As we near the third anniversary of the tornado that badly damaged the c.1792 Jonathan Dickerman House, and nearly destroyed the c.1800 Talmadge Cider Mill, our own Bob Zoni is re-shingling the J.D. House with the same kind of wood shingles that he used when shingling the roof the last time in 2006. Were it not for the 2018 tornado, said Bob, the 2006 roof would have lasted at least 30 years.
* Bob Zoni installing new wood shingles on the roof of the J.D. House on a very balmy March 11th. Barring bad weather, he anticipates a completed job by early April.
* Great view of the Giant's head from the roof of the J.D. House. Photo by Bob Zoni.
* Shingling the roof
* Nice shot of the Cider Mill Barn and Dickerman House with the Sleeping Giant as a backdrop. We'll get the same shot once everything is finished.
The 1792 Jonathan Dickerman House is well on its way to complete restorartion following last May's tornado that devastated much of Mount Carmel, West Woods, and changed forever the landscape of Sleeping Giant State Park.
Checkout the photos below to see some of the outstanding work performed on the J.D. house by restoration contractor and longtime Hamden Historical Society member Bob Zoni.
* Winter of 2018-19
Restoration contractor Bob Zoni points to the area above the front door that suffered considerable damage when a huge tree crashed through the roof during last May's tornado.
Bob Zoni's initial restoration efforts were directed at repairing the many broken supporting timbers above the doorway. When possible, he repaired original wood creatively with clamps and epoxy, replacing hopelessly damaged original wood with "old wood" obtained from reclamation companies. The replacement wood closely resembled the original wood from 1792.
Bob happily reports that the superstructure of the house is finally stabilized. The next steps are to complete repairs to the clapboard siding, the roof, and interior details, which will require considerable effort to complete. Bob couldn't put anything on a firm timetable, but it is hoped that the Jonathan Dickerman House will be open for tours before the end of the summer.
* Major support mended with epoxy. Just like a broken bone, stronger than before.
* New hemlock rafters, but the same as the original
In the photo at left, Bob points to the red oak support beam above the doorway that had been severed and displaced. He was able to realign the two pieces with a clamp and epoxy it back together.
The supporting beam at the top of the photo at right, also of red oak, had been broken into three pieces. The middle piece was totally destroyed. Bob was able to replace the middle portion of the beam by fashioning another matching piece of red oak to make a complete and continuous sill plate for the roof rafters, which are made of hemlock.
The next project for Bob is repairing the Dickerman-Talmadge Cider Mill Barn, which he says is not necessarily a guaranteed fix. The roof was caved in by a large tree and the damage to the superstructure was considerable. But Bob remains optimistic.
Bob became interested in the Hamden Historical Society in 1992, when he volunteered to help dismantle the cider mill barn at its original West Woods Road site, then rebuild it at the present location with fellow Society members Brian Porier, Charlie Gilbert, Al Gorman, Bill Doheny, Russ Findlay and his son, Greg.
Over the past quarter century, Bob has completed many repairs to the house and barn, including a new roof to the house in 2006, some plastering of the interior walls, and various repairs to the clapboard siding thanks to a tenacious woodpecker.