Five years after the Silversmith’s House Restoration Project was launched and more than 35 years after Dr. Mel Thurman began restoring the structure following a 1982 fire, the home of Antoine Oneille this month was unveiled to the public.
A ribbon-cutting and open house was held for the circa 1818 home at 150 S. Main St. on September 14.
Rev. Steve Matthews, First Presbyterian Church pastor, dedicated the house to God’s service prior to the ribbon-cutting.
Becky Millinger, who chaired the restoration committee, agreed that a divine hand may have helped bring the long process to fruition.
“I think it’s been a long process, but I know this was what God wanted for this building,” she said. “We’re not sure how it will be used for the church.”
Possibilities include meeting rooms and a youth area.
In addition to housing a food pantry, parts of the restored house may have a public use at some point.
“We’ll have community things, possibly,” Millinger said. “We’re going to be looking at building policies of it.”
The food pantry now serves about 100 people per month, out of about a 5-foot-by-7-foot area, and that will likely increase now, Millinger said.
“That’s one of the big things that will impact our food pantry,” she said. “It’s something that will be used over the years, long after I’m gone. So we’re happy about it.”
See complete story in the September 25 edition of the Herald.