Chamberlain House Damaged When Pipes Burst

suzenatale

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Chamberlain Parlor after damage

Operators of the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum were expected to meet on Thursday to discuss repair and maintenance of the historic Maine Street home that once belonged to Maine’s 32nd governor.

Jennifer Blanchard, executive director of the Pejepscot Historical Society, said severe cold weather was the culprit when frozen water and heating pipes burst and sent water flowing to the first floor in early January.

The water damaged one wall, two ceilings and some period furniture in the parlor and dining room. Other artifacts, including Chamberlain’s 1893 Medal of Honor, which was donated last year, were not damaged.

“Fortunately we had a conservator look at [the furniture],” Blanchard said, “and he thinks the underpinning upholstery will be OK.”

During a tour of the building Wednesday morning, Blanchard pointed out a rare sight: 19th century timber that was used to build the original portion of Chamberlain’s house, which was elevated using local shipyard equipment to make room for a new first floor in 1871.

Blanchard said Pejepscot is still working with contractors and insurance agents to assess the financial impact of the damage.

The museum is traditionally closed during the winter, but the damage was enough to cancel a one-day tour scheduled during next month’s 10th anniversary Longfellow Days, a monthlong event that celebrates the life and work of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who once stayed at Chamberlain’s house.

Amy Waterman, spokeswoman for Longfellow Days, said Pejepscot is still expected to participate in the event in some form to highlight Chamberlain’s relationship with Longfellow.

Blanchard said some supporters have already come forward to donate to the museum after hearing about the incident.

“Every gift makes a real difference,” she said, “as we strive to take the best care we can of Joshua Chamberlain’s home.”
http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/...-temporary-closure-of-historic-brunswick-inn/
 

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suzenatale

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BRUNSWICK, Maine — A board member of the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum on Wednesday described “a terrible scene” after freezing temperatures caused significant water damage in the house museum overnight Friday.

“Water was pouring from the ceiling,” Benet Pols said of the parlor of the Potter Street building, the former residence of the Civil War hero and 19th-century Maine governor. “It was a terrible scene. There was water gushing through the ceiling.”

Pols said the painted ceiling has since collapsed.

Pols said he responded to a call Saturday from the chairman of the board of the Pejepscot Historical Society, which owns the museum, seeking people to help move period furniture and artifacts to a safe location....
http://bangordailynews.com/2014/01/...ine-civil-war-heros-artifacts/?ref=relatedBox
 

Nathanb1

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“Every gift makes a real difference,” she said, “as we strive to take the best care we can of Joshua Chamberlain’s home.”

Seriously? They didn't shut off the water and drain the pipes? In MAINE?
 

suzenatale

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“Every gift makes a real difference,” she said, “as we strive to take the best care we can of Joshua Chamberlain’s home.”

Seriously? They didn't shut off the water and drain the pipes? In MAINE?
People live upstairs, so they couldn't turn the water off. But I do wonder why none of them could figure out how to turn off the emergency shut off switch.
 

Nathanb1

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People live upstairs, so they couldn't turn the water off. But I do wonder why none of them could figure out how to turn off the emergency shut off switch.
That's just....horrifying. You'd think a museum would install a simple sensor (like people have in their laundry rooms and hot water heater closets) to set off an alarm when there's a leak. It's not expensive, and if people live above, then there would be someone to hear it. Or just a regular alarm company. Heads should roll.
 

suzenatale

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That's just....horrifying. You'd think a museum would install a simple sensor (like people have in their laundry rooms and hot water heater closets) to set off an alarm when there's a leak. It's not expensive, and if people live above, then there would be someone to hear it. Or just a regular alarm company. Heads should roll.
Well a similar thing happened in a house my father owns, no one was home and the old hot water heater was overworked from the cold temperatures and stopped pumping water through the pipes causing them to freeze and explode, it was the water company that first noticed the leak when they saw their pressure drop in that case. I'll hold out judgment until I hear the whole story.
 

IcarusPhoenix

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There's actually a slight historical error in the above story; yes, Longfellow did stay at the Chamberlain house once. However, he also lived in it, many years before Chamberlain bought it... and then picked it up, moved it to a completely different location, and build a whole new first story underneath it. Chamberlain wasn't really a fan of half measures...
 

suzenatale

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There's actually a slight historical error in the above story; yes, Longfellow did stay at the Chamberlain house once. However, he also lived in it, many years before Chamberlain bought it... and then picked it up, moved it to a completely different location, and build a whole new first story underneath it. Chamberlain wasn't really a fan of half measures...
Well, considering that he rented rooms there "stayed" could apply, generally people go in the opposite direction and suggest that he owned the house. But I see your point.
 

Nathanb1

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Well a similar thing happened in a house my father owns, no one was home and the old hot water heater was overworked from the cold temperatures and stopped pumping water through the pipes causing them to freeze and explode, it was the water company that first noticed the leak when they saw their pressure drop in that case. I'll hold out judgment until I hear the whole story.
Well, that's a private home. Unfortunate, but nothing irreplaceable. Sorry. I've done too much home maintenance.
 

IcarusPhoenix

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Well, considering that he rented rooms there "stayed" could apply, generally people go in the opposite direction and suggest that he owned the house. But I see your point.
Yeah, there does seem to be some wiggle room; in this case, the story as written is unclear and there's an implication that he was merely a visitor of the Chamberlains.
 

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