Repairs to a leaky roof at the historic Old Drovers Tavern are complete, thanks to a $6,000 grant from the Oneida Savings Bank Charitable Foundation. The tavern is the former Magee auction house at the corner of Route 20 and Nelson Road in Nelson. The exterior work was completed Oct. 29, 2021.

Nelson Preservation Associates formed in 2019 to revitalize the Nelson Corners area by restoring historic buildings and providing economic opportunities in a community center atmosphere. This grant money was used to repair the leaking rear roof and insulate the back part of the building, where the heat loss is greatest, while NPA’s Board of Directors spends the winter finalizing plans for the larger building restoration.

The long-term plan includes building a replica two-story English barn to replace the modern auction barn to house the studio apartments currently in the main building then returning the property to its original purpose as a drover’s tavern.

The NPA team is working on several local and national grant opportunities to realize these goals.

Community Bank Branch Manager Barb Houghton helped the NPA team learn about the Oneida Savings Bank grant opportunities for local nonprofit organizations working to revitalize neighborhoods by providing economic redevelopment, affordable housing and community centers.

“I am very proud that we live in a community that gives back,” she said. “This is a wonderful landmark, and I can’t wait to see it completed.”

This year, NPA held a paint fund drive over the summer, and the community generously raised close to the $2,000 goal. While the plan originally was to paint the building before winter, NPA will instead be painting early next year and will use the winter to work with crafters in the community to rebuild window sashes, restore shutters and continue paint analysis while working with state officials to list this property on the National Register of Historic Places.

The community has provided great support for this endeavor so far with pro bono work or donations provided by Keeney Tree and Lawn Care, Benedict Stump Removal, Buell Fuels/Center State Propane, Mary Gosden Studios, Emerald Equipment Systems, Merkle’s Antiques and Collectibles, Purcell’s Wallpaper & Paint, Sherwin Williams and numerous private citizen donations, all spurred on by the original grant donation from Oneida Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.

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By martha

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