Editor's note: On Sunday you might have seen three men volunteering their time to re-install the Bicentennial sign on Boston Post Road in front of the Academy School. Their work Sunday was the culmination of a project that started when the sign was nearly destroyed by a car crash earlier this year. At our request, Bob Gerard, one of the volunteers, tells us the story:
This project was picked up as a community service project by the Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archives to repair and re-install the Bicentennial sign after it was nearly destroyed by a vehicle collision.
The sign was noticed missing in late September by our Archivist Nancy Bastian, she mentioned it to me and I went outside and found only two dirt patches where the sign post had stood. Nancy followed up with some phone calls and reported back to our Board of Directors that she found out that the sign was damaged as a result of a vehicle accident and was at the town Beach & Rec. storage garage.
I contacted Beach & Recreation Director Scot Erskine who directed me to Laina Piscitelli, the Town Construction Manager at the Facilities Dept. Laina was extremely helpful and sent me some photos of the damaged sign.
She had been trying to find a repair solution, but, as a result of the accident the posts were completely destroyed, and the body of the cast sign had a large deformed crack. I offered on behalf of the Archives to find a solution to get the sign repaired and re-installed.
Also being a member of Madison Hose Co. #1, I enlisted the help of firemen Jon Wilber, and Past Chief Chick Daricek, they were instrumental in repairing the sign and researching replacement posts and hardware.
We picked up the sign from the Town on October 28th and skilled repairs were made to the cracked sign, carefully grinding the rough edges of the crack until it was able to be re-aligned and stabilized. Enough cannot be said about how much skill went into this repair. The parts were ordered through the Town, which was handling the paperwork for reimbursement from the vehicle owners insurance. Two new legs, top caps, and decorative bases were ordered. The parts arrived Thursday Nov. 29th, and the engineering of the reassembly began.
On Sunday December 2nd the sign was ready and the holes were dug, and the sign secured and carefully leveled.
The Board of Directors of the Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archives thanks everyone involved to bring this project to a successful completion. The sign is an important part of Madison's history, and has now returned to where it stood for the past 37 years.
The Archives serves as a repository for all photos and documents about Madison, our mission is preservation. Visit our website to learn more about us http://www.evartsarchives.org/ or check us out on Facebook!