Update On Hall Projects

By Constable Hall on August 8, 2023

We have been very busy with projects and updates here at the Hall during 2022/2023.

  • The garden restoration continues. Thanks to our Master Gardener, Gina Mallette, and our 25+ volunteer gardeners, we have completed removing the weeds from most of the garden, and have planted one triangle as an herb garden. A brochure is available in the Hall that describes many of the herbs and what they would have been used for during the Constable era. A composting system has been set up. We continue with leveling the garden by adding dirt, installed an irrigation system, and continue to refine the walkway edges. The unsightly out of control hedges have been removed (thanks to the BOCES Forestry Class) are being mulched and are growing back very nicely. In the future we will be able to keep them trimmed at waist height like they are viewed in our historic photos.
  • The entrance driveway had much unsightly brush removed. We did some work on the driveway to level out some huge potholes.
  • A major clean out in front of the Hall has been completed. The view from the Hall porch has been restored and the Hall is again visible from Route 26. Night time lighting has also been improved for viewing the Hall in the evenings from Route 26.
  • A Memorial Grove along the driveway has been cleaned out and a pathway built through there for viewing. A Veterans Monument has been installed and we await some benches that will be installed in that area.
  • New roofs were put on the Servants Quarters and Carriage House outbuildings. Both of the old roofs were leaking. New and improved lighting was installed upstairs in the Carriage House so our artifacts are more accessible and can be better protected.
  • The Carriage House clapboards were in a state of advanced decay. They have been replaced by new ones with the historically correct red color. The Servants Quarters has also been resided with the appropriate color red.
  • The four chimneys of the Hall have been leaking for years. During late 2021, masonry repair and new chimney caps were put on and the problem appears to be solved.
  • New signage has been constructed, painted and installed to help direct visitors as they approach.
  • Several painting projects continue inside and out, the brick wall in the Oneida room was restored and repaired, and new lighting was installed for the displays.
  • The old gift shop has been cleaned out, repainted and will become the Oneida room in 2024. This room will feature the early history of the Constable family and their interactions with the Oneida Nation. Our special items from the Oneidas are currently being restored so hopefully they will return by the end of the 2023 season. Currently this room is the "Twas Room" to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of "The Night Before Christmas". We have wonderful new displays and display cases set up. Special ornaments commemorating the 200th are for sale, along with several books by our favorite author/T'was specialist, Pamela McColl. She has visited several times to help us set the mood for the 200th.
  • The Gift Shop has moved into the Carriage House. We have many new and different items for sale there.
  • The Executive Director’s office has moved into the Carriage House. The vacated room will return to its historically correct role as a Land Office.
  • The brush around the pond has been cleaned out. Proper ditching was restored. A wonderful new path has been cleared and mulched for people to enjoy both sides of the historic pond.
  • A path has been built through the woods behind the flag pole so that lawn space can be utilized more.
  • A dangerous White Pine hanging over the Hall was taken down and others trimmed.
  • The roofs over the Land Office and chapel had minor leaks. They have been inspected, repaired and their flashing improved.
  • Textile and furniture experts have visited the Hall to assess the collection.
  • Improvements are being made to our security system. High speed internet was installed with thanks to matching funds from Spectrum. Now we can support a mesh WiFi network. Multiple security cameras are now installed to monitor the area, with more being added. Remote temperature monitoring was added to alert us within minutes if the furnace fails to come on.
  • Three huge dangerous trees were removed from the front lawn to safeguard the hall and our visitors.
  • We have increased our community outreach to encourage more local visitors, tours and usage of the Hall, such as Halloween Trick or Treating, Christmas Caroling on the Veranda, the Hall was "Lit for Christmas" for outside photo ops, S'mores in Constableville, Easter Egg Hunt, and the Colonial Color Run and Costume Contest, Annual Lacrosse Shootout, etc.

These improvements cost a significant amount of money. We wish to thank the Northern New York Community Foundation and the Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund, Bob and Nellie Gipson of the Tianaderrah Foundation, Harry and Grace Rissietto, and several anonymous donors.

And of course, our many members, volunteers and supporters donate time, energy and money to make these important changes possible. Thank you very much!!