Sisters buy Brick Meeting House in Colrain

Recorder Staff
Last modified: 2/27/2016 5:21:54 PM
COLRAIN — The Brick Meeting House, built in 1835, has new owners and a new lease on life.

The long-dormant meetinghouse at 1 Jacksonville Road was sold this month by the Coleraine Land Historic Building Preservation Trust to sisters Brenda Parker Leduc of Southwick and Karen “Cookie” Parker of Springfield for $25,000.

For the past decade, the nonprofit Historic Preservation Trust has been hoping to prevent the landmark, former church from deteriorating into an unsalvageable relic. For awhile, the building was considered as a future site for a senior center

“They seem to be very positive people, and we’re hopeful they’ll do good things for the building,” said Brad Brigham, treasurer of the preservation trust that sold the building. “I don’t know what their plans are for the building” he said, “but I know they have an appreciation for its history. That was certainly important to us. So we’re happy to pass it on to like-minded people.”

Leduc said she and her sister hope to repair the building and to put in a country store or pub-style restaurant on the first floor and find other uses for the second floor, she said.

“Paying for it is just the first step,” said Leduc. “Real money and work is ahead for us. The first year is just going to be work. Hopefully, we’ll have it respectable in time for the Crafts of Colrain (in November).”

Leduc also imagines the meeting house being used for other special town events, maybe even a “breakfast with Santa” around Christmas, she said.

“I’m trying to put all my energy and effort to get this (building) up to code, said Leduc, who is a real estate agent. Parker, her sister, owns other property and has many contacts with different tradespeople, she said.

Leduc said she hopes to have a “meet and greet” later this spring, so that townspeople can come by to see the building and talk about potential uses for it. Among the issues to be tackled will be putting in a septic system and fixing deteriorating floor joists, she said.

For years, Leduc admired the Brick Meeting House, as she drove through Colrain on her way to the Mount Snow, but the first time she found out it was for sale, she couldn’t afford the $200,000 asking price, she said. “I would have bought it then, if I had the money,” she adds. “I would always stop by it and take pictures,” she said. “Every time I drove by, with my minivan full of kids, I would jokingly say: ‘There’s my church, guys.’ I had my mind set on it, and I’m thrilled it became a reality. ... It was calling to me,” said Leduc.

With her business based in Westfield and her children in school, Leduc said she can’t move to Colrain, but would try to find people to run businesses in the building, once it’s been restored and is ready for commerce.

The two owners have set up a Facebook page for the building. The page is called “The Old Brick Meeting House Renovation Project.”

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbroncaccio@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277




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