VESTAL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Local Masons have completed a 2 year project to restore a monument to their most famous member.
The Southern Tier Masonic District is holding a rededication ceremony tomorrow for the George Washington Statue located in the Vestal Hills Cemetery.
Built in 1938, the condition of the monument’s base had seriously deteriorated over the years.
At one point, the original stone base and steps were covered with plaster and painted, which itself had been damaged by the weather.
The Masons announced the project 2 years ago and raised 50 thousand dollars from their membership, local businesses and the community.
The 8 foot tall bronze statue of Washington and plaque were temporarily removed and the base was completely reconstructed to the same specifications of the original using Indiana limestone.
The statue and plaque were then reinstalled without any modification.
Past District Deputy Grand Master Scott Kinne says the end result could not have turned out better.
“I just think it’s fantastic. The landscaping went in last weekend and with that, it’s really just a shining example of what can be done when the community comes together,” he said.
Kinne says Washington was a proud member of the Freemasons and the statue was erected above the section of Vestal Hills that was once reserved for Mason gravesites.
The Masons will also be setting a time capsule inside the monument filled with Masonic memorabilia and items from today.
Tomorrow’s ceremony is schedule for 11 a.m. and will be followed by a reception at the Saint Mark’s Vestal Lodge on Lincoln Drive.