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The Chapel Building -  Maintenance and Improvements

The Middle Bass Chapel Association identified necessary repairs, planned for building maintenance and designed improvements to the Chapel Building.  From the Middle Bass Chapel Association handwritten  Records Book, the following repairs and improvements were completed:

  1. In 1882, a walk from the Chapel steps across the street, Grape Avenue, was built and the Chapel was carpeted.
  2. From the 1883 Annual Meeting report by the Secretary [Miss Pamela Berdan]: “On July 11th: an informal meeting was held in the Club House parlor, at which a number of ladies were present. After some discussion, it was deemed advisable to make an effort to cover the unsightly floor of the Chapel with a carpet and subscriptions to that end have since been solicited. The result you see today and we hope that the added comfort and beauty thus given to our little place of worship will be a reward to the generous friends who so freely gave us their aid.”
  3. In 1883, the Middle Bass Chapel Association paid $1.16 to record the deed and $11.62 for gas (to produce electricity).
  4. In 1884, the following expenses were recorded for the Chapel: carpet from F. Eaton & Co. cost $106.50, wallpaper from T. J. Brown, Eager & Co. was $65.00, a walkway from builder Joseph Brady was $5.55, lattice from builder Joseph Brady cost $12.84, painting by Allen & Parkhurts cost $5.00 and cleaning was $1.50.
  5. In 1885, the Chapel was insured for $18.75. With respect to maintenance, the Chapel received one coat of paint and the ground in front was “prepared” for grass seed.
  6. In 1886, the following expenses were documented: $29.58 for painting the Chapel, $3.75 for the board of the painter, telegraphic dispatches cost $0.75 and cleaning was 25 cents a week.
  7. In 1887, the Middle Bass Chapel Association wanted to improve ventilation by adding window(s) on the rear wall. This improvement was designed by the Chapel architect E. O. Fallis and the Chapel builder Joseph Brady gave an estimate of $215.45, not including the glass for the front window. The Trustees approved this amount; the actual bill was $239.30 with the additional amount caused by the alteration of the platform and the necessary gas fitting (for electricity).  The Brooks & Otis Co. estimated the cost of papering the Chapel to be $59.  An estimate from Mr. Williams of Port Clinton for painting the Chapel with two coats of paint was $100: $65.00 for painting the Chapel and $35.00 for painting the roof.  Williams was to coordinate with Mr. Otis about the appropriate colors.  Mrs. Francis Pilgrim Isherwood and Mrs. Aaron Lufkin Kelsey were to decide upon the colors.  All work was completed but the Middle Bass Chapel Association treasury did not have sufficient funds.  In order to settle the last bill for painting, the 1887 Trustees (Mrs. Aaron Lufkin Kelsey, Mrs. Thomas C. Rowland, Mrs. Peter Frederick Berdan, Mrs. Francis Pilgrim Isherwood, Mrs. Alexander W. Scott, Mrs. James Clark and Mrs. James Scott Rodgers) each advanced $10 of their own money.  The Trustees were paid back the advanced money in 1889, although the majority of the Trustees redirected their $10 toward starting a lending library in the Chapel.
  8. In 1888, the Chapel was reinsured for a cost of $18.00. Chambermaids were paid one dollar each for sweeping the Chapel and Frank and John for laying the carpet. Francis Pilgrim Isherwood was to put borax on the carpet to protect it from crickets. The stained glass windows were broken in several places.  In an effort to protect them, the ladies decided to cover the stained glass windows on the outside of the Chapel with wire netting.  They were to obtain measurements and see Middle Bass Club member, Mr. William B. Melish who owned a wire manufacturing company. In Cincinnati, Ohio.  The picture below from the Rehberg mausoleum on Middle Bass Island shows a wire screen over a stained glass window. 

William Rehberg mausoleum at Middle Bass Island cemetery.  Note the wire screen in a wooden frame placed over the stained glass window for protection. Photo taken by Marie Demer Rader, Summer 2011.

  1. In 1889, the Middle Bass Chapel Association decided to purchase a sofa, screen, wooden bench and table for the platform. No costs were identified.
  2. In 1890, two dozen more chairs and a stencil to mark them “Chapel” were purchased along with a bookcase for the hymn books and a screen, wooden bench and table for the platform.
  3. In 1891, the Trustees wanted to make a change to the front of the Chapel to make it more ornamental and to keep the glare from the minister’s eyes so they contacted the architect E. O. Fallis. However, Mr. E. O. Fallis did not keep the appointment so in 1892 they decided to wait on this Chapel improvement.
  4. In 1892, it was decided to paint the Chapel a lighter color than the “present ugly color.” The Trustees obtained estimates from Mr. Williams of Port Clinton for painting the Chapel with and without the roof. There was no mention in the Records Book if the Chapel was painted. 
  5. In 1893, it was suggested that Mrs. James Clark speak with Mrs. Francis Isherwood about putting in a memorial window for her husband as Francis Pilgrim Isherwood died at his cottage in August 1893. There is no information in the Records Book to indicate if a memorial window for Francis Pilgrim Isherwood was added to the Chapel.
  6. In 1895, a rug was purchased to cover the Chapel carpet in front of the door where it was beginning to wear.
  7. In 1897, the President requested that Burt examine the roof, put a new board in the floor of the porch and paint the inside of the porch. Clarence Elisha Burke was appointed to buy a rug to put inside the Chapel door.
  8. In 1898, it was noted that the Chapel doors need painting. Peter Frederick Berdan bought the rug to go inside the Chapel door as Mrs. Clarence Elisha Burke was unable to do so because of an illness.
  9. In 1904, Mrs. LeRoy Brooks was to look into a new platform and steps for the Chapel.
  10. In 1906, it was documented that “the Chapel needs a new roof, bell rope changed, shutters over windows repaired, steps braced and the porch painted.”