Best Historic Restoration

Seashore Farmers' Lodge

Staff Pick

When Sol Legare resident Ernest Parks and history buff Corie Hipp decided to restore the falling-to-pieces Seashore Farmers' Lodge, they restored more than just a building. Since the 1930s, the Lodge had housed a neighborhood organization created by the freed slaves who settled Sol Legare after the Civil War. The group, also called the Seashore Farmers' Lodge, collected dues from members that would then be used to help out families in need if tragedy struck — say their crops failed, or a family member died. Parks and Hipp, along with others who've taken up the cause, have turned the newly restored building into a beautiful museum, keeping the upstairs as a meeting room for members of the Lodge. Parks is also hosting community events like concerts, potlucks, and even Civil War reenactments of the 54th Massachusetts there. It's one of the most inspiring stories of community stewardship we heard this year.
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