Ye Yacht Yard shed to get historic facelift
FAIRFIELD — It has a storied history, but the shop building at Ye Yacht Yard, located at the end of Harbor Road, has seen better days.
It was once the workshop and stomping grounds of Howard Burr, and later, his wife, Barbara. From there, the couple would make repairs, and haul boats. Sundays would find boaters gathered ’round Howard, and his ever-present pipe, for his “Sunday sermons.”
Howard Burr died in 1993, and Barbara passed away in 2004.
The workshop isn’t used anymore, but old buoys and rope lines still adorn the wooden shack. Ye Yacht Yard itself is a town property and provides slips for 65 small boats. There is also a storage rack for kayaks, and a boat ramp providing access to the water.
The restrooms, severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy, were previously repaired using FEMA funds. Now, it’s the shop building’s turn, thanks to a donation from the Southport Conservancy.
According to Bill Hurley, the town’s engineering manager, the Conservancy approached officials several years ago about raising money for the repairs. The fundraising complete, the organization went to the Historic District Commission earlier this year and secured approval for work.
Hurley said bids have been secured for the work, and the cost is put at $37,872 to make repairs to the roof, siding, carpentry and steam box, which was used to bend wood. The Southport Conservancy will cover all of the cost and is prepared to make an additional donation of $4,128 for any extra costs or materials.
“The interior is in basically good condition, considering the age,” Hurley told the Board of Selectmen. He said the repairs might allow some town departments, like Public Works, to have some limited access to the shed.
Selectman Chris Tymniak said it is work the town knows needs to be done, and Selectman Kevin Kiley asked about the timeline for the project.
“They were trying to get it in for May,” Hurley said, but it won’t go the finance board and Representative Town Meeting for approval until June. “We’ll probably start work in July. If not, then I’d imagine August or September. It would be finished in the summer or early fall season.”
First Selectman Mike Tetreau said the Southport Conservancy deserves a “big thank you” for funding the repair work.