It was 1907.

In Washington, President Theodore Roosevelt reportedly shook 8,513 hands in one day.

In England, Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts.

In baseball, the New York Giants' Roger Bresnahan became the first catcher to wear shin guards.

And in Southport, the J&R Lamb Studios of New York installed an elaborate stained glass window in Southport Congregational Church.

Some 106 years later, J&R Lamb was back in Southport recently -- this time to carefully remove the now-fragile window and truck it away to be restored.

The Rev. Paul Whitmore, the church's senior minister, said the arched window -- which measures about 22 feet high by about 15 feet wide -- was badly deteriorated. Lead that holds pieces of glass together was missing in some places, some pieces were loose and moving within the frame. In high wind, the entire window bowed as much as five inches.

"Remarkably, it withstood Irene and withstood Sandy," Whitmore said, referring to the 2011 and 2012 tropical storms that belted Southport and Fairfield Beach.

The landmark gray-stone church on Pequot Avenue was built in 1875, and the stained-glass window was installed 32 years later.

Critical condition

A consultant the church hired to assess the window's condition said stained glass lasts about 100 years and then needs to be restored. She said this one was in critical need of work and recommended J&R Lamb to restore it, the minister said.

It was only after the church enlisted Lamb that a church member researching the window's history discovered it was made by the same company.

Whitmore said the window on July 30 and 31 was removed in 15 or 20 sections, which were crated and trucked off to be restored at the Lamb studio, which now is in New Jersey.

He estimated the window's design includes "a couple thousand" individual pieces of colored glass, all of which will be removed, then put back in position with new putty and new lead.

The job is estimated to cost $225,000 to $250,000, and the church has planned a capital campaign to pay for it, Whitmore said.

"It's a once-every-hundred-year event," he said of the restoration, "a little bit of time travel."

Built as a legacy

When the church was built in 1875, most Congregational churches were white clapboard structures. That the Southport congregation chose to build its church of stone reflected a mindset rarely seen today, Whitmore said.

"The people who built the church built it to way outlast their lives," he said. "There doesn't seem to be that kind of mindset anymore."

When completed and reinstalled, however, the stained glass window likely will outlast most of today's congregants.