By Sue Moore
More than 100 people turned out for the dedication of the community pavilion last Saturday.
Emcee Kristina Powers Aubry thanked the 800 plus people who donated time, money, and skills to build the pavilion, extending her heartfelt thanks to each one.
She recounted the timeline for the project from beginning to end. In spring, 2011, village officials began to think about placing a pavilion on the cement slab that the Lions Club had used for the Summer Festival, thinking that the pavilion could be used for the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market.
Brady Township officials helped get the paperwork approved since the land is in their jurisdiction.
In 2012, the Vicksburg Historical Society accepted the challenge of becoming the fiscal agent for the project and the leader in overseeing the build out.
The first design was crafted by architect Mark Harsha, but it was too expensive, so Chris Newman presented an idea that became a reality. As a member of the Timber Framers Guild, Newman suggested that his group of volunteers build a mortise and tenon type of structure that would have no nails.
At the same time, Mike Frederick of Frederick Construction, was asked to oversee the project and volunteered his time for free. It made a huge difference every step of the way to have his expertise, she said.
In September, 2013, about 90 volunteers and a few paid staff from the Timber Framers Guild began the project, taking just 12 days to complete the building.
But lots of work had gone into preparing for the big day. A lot of money was raised and timber was sought. Tim Moore, local forester, was recruited to acquire the timber, which was all donated by area wood lot owners.
Richard Barnes, with his portable sawmill, sawed the wood at the Mike and Kathy Becker woods and the Matt and Julie Skrzypek farm.
Karen Hammond organized the food brigade, since over 1,700 meals would be needed to feed the hungry volunteers and local people who came to help. Hammond recruited churches, clubs, community members and other organizations to provide food and beverages for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Overseeing the entire building of the pavilion were Margaret Kerchief, president of the Historical Society, and Kristina Powers Aubry, vice-president. They were onsite each day along with Hammond, to organize, supervise, and sell wooden pegs to help raise the last dollars needed to finish the job.
The Guild left, and winter came. A roof was put on during intermittent snowstorms. Then, as the last part of the project, electrical circuits installed were installed.
The Farmers’ Market opened its doors in the new pavilion on Friday, May 16.