By STEVEN WARBURTON News Staff

The Glengarry Fencibles Trust (GFT) has received close to $100,000 in federal money to help in its efforts to preserve the Bishop’s House, located just west of Iona Academy in St. Raphael’s.

GFT President Brenda Baxter says she is very grateful that both of Glengarry’s Members of Parliament, Francis Drouin and Eric Duncan, supported GFT’s funding application to Parks Canada.

“We were competing with the rest of the country,” Mrs. Baxter told The News. “We are very grateful to receive this.”

FEDERAL SUPPORT: MPs Francis Drouin (left) and Eric Duncan were at the Bishop’s House Friday to announce federal support for continued improvements to the landmark.

FEDERAL SUPPORT: MPs Francis Drouin (left) and Eric Duncan were at the Bishop’s House Friday to announce federal support for continued improvements to the landmark.

On Friday, the MPs visited the site to see the work that has been completed and to formally announce the federal contribution of $98,572.02. The funds have been used to restore two of the Bishop’s House’s north- facing stone walls, including the centre wall that dates back to 1808. The 1924 wing on the west side will also get some work, as will the northwest corner of another wall.

...all this north wall (illustrated) is being repointed, in addition to the corner that faces Frog Hollow Road.

REPOINTED: As the right corner of this wall, the last phase of the Parks Canada cost-sharing grant, was being consolidated last November, David Watson the owner of Stoneworks, found some cracks and halted work. After excavating the area two weeks ago, Vladi Kovinich determined the issue was not structural since the substantial footing was not affected, and the foundation was subsequently repaired with the help of private donations. In the meantime, the board decided to proceed with additional masonry: all this north wall (illustrated) is being repointed, in addition to the corner that faces Frog Hollow Road. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Ms. Baxter says that this round of federal money isn’t the only grant her organization has received. The group was also able to take advantage of a Regional Incentive Grant from the United Counties of SDG. This grant, which is for almost $10,000, will allow the GFT to do work on the house’s western and northern facades. This work will involve installing new windows and doors and replacing the cedar shakes on the roof.

All in all, she expects that project will cost about $20,000. She points out that her organization also receives private donations as well as an annual allotment from South Glengarry Township. The GFT bought the Bishop’s House in 2016. It was built in 1808 by Rev. Alexander Macdonell, who later became the airst bishop of Ontario.

© The Glengarry News, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. pg. 6
All rights reserved.

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