Fundraising efforts are well underway
By Chris Hoffman
(Sherburne, NY – May 2013) On April 25 Save the Sherburne Inn Restoration Project, Inc. (SSIRP) officially purchased The Sherburne Inn building, listed on the National Historic Register and located at the southwest corner of the intersections of State Routes 12 and 80. The building’s predecessor, The Sherburne House, burned to the ground in 1915, after which philanthropic residents of Sherburne financed a replacement that is the current structure. The Sherburne Inn held its grand opening nearly 100 years ago, on June 19, 1917.
Fundraising efforts are underway, with more than $17,000 donated to date from private citizens in support of the restoration project. The Board is in communication with the NYS Preservation League for state grant funding, and will be applying to local community foundations and businesses for funding as well.
Tammy Sawyer of Mountain View Gardens has offered to donate a percentage of plant sales on Sunday May 26 to SSIRP. Individual donations, which are tax deductible, can be made through PayPal under the “Contribute” tab on the SSIRP website, or by mailing checks to SSIRP, PO Box 1102, Sherburne, NY 13460.
The project has recently attracted the attention of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which will be following The Inn’s restoration on its blog at http://blog.preservationnation.org/2013/04/10/the-sherburne-inn-how-one-community-is-keeping-a-local-landmark-alive/#.UWw3Aa5PNaS. Additionally, SSIRP can be followed on its website at thesherburneinn.org and on Facebook.
Sherburne resident Dr. William Au is overseeing a project on memories of the Inn called The INNsiders. Au’s committee is seeking input from anyone with personal memories of The Inn and how it has been a part of their lives. These memories will be preserved in a magazine and DVD. The INNsiders will have a presence at the 2nd Annual Sherburne Arts & Crafts Family Festival on Saturday June 8 in Gaines Park in Sherburne, where they will conduct interviews for the project.
SSIRP incorporated in January 2013 and received nonprofit status from the IRS in February 2013. The purchase was made possible after a $10,000 down payment last October and subsequent donations totaling $155,000 from Board members and private citizens determined to save the building from threatened destruction. SSIRP’s business plan includes sleeping rooms, a restaurant and bar, a pub, event space, and retail space, and envisions the restored inn as an economic driver for the area, including the creation of dozens of permanent jobs. The project is conceived as one that will involve the entire community, including local farmers and producers to supply the restaurant and local businesses that will benefit from meeting and event space and from tourism-driven guests at The Inn.