We recently came across this old postcard that shows how South Main Street in Wolfeboro used to look in about the late 1800s. We're thinking that is Pickering House (The Yellow House) on the right. The gable end is different, but the house was built in sections so it may have changed a little later. Anyway, you can see that at the time of this photo, fences ran up and down the street. Today, the one at Pickering House seems to be the last one standing.
Although it may seem odd to focus on a fence as one of our first projects, it hasn't stopped us from diving into research and starting to formulate plans. The reason that we are starting with the fence is simple: it isn't interconnected to 20 more things that need to change. A fence is a highly visible, standalone project.
Here is a photo of the fence today:
The balusters follow an interesting, alternating pattern and (while covered in a million coats of paint) seem to be in decent shape. Unfortunately, the top and bottom rails are not. Furthermore, each of the newel posts apparently once had some sort of "round ball” stone tops. These tops were broken off years ago.
We are now researching the best options for repair. One possibility is to have the fence sections dipped to remove old paint, then rebuilding the rails. Another option may be to have a replica made of a composite material, depending on what we find out through Historic Register research and talking to experts about feasibility.
When we've decided the best route to take with the fence, we look forward to sharing the names of individuals and companies who will be helping with this painstaking work. Although we still have a long way to go, it is exciting to see our project team starting to develop!