Bath’s historic Fairfield-Gutzeit House will be receiving $1.6 million worth of much needed tender loving care.
Loyalist mayor Jim Hegadorn was joined by Lennox and Addington MPP Ric Bresee and Denise Cumming of the Ontario Trillium Foundation on Thursday to officially kick off a restoration project, which is slated to be complete for the museum to re-open for the summer 2025 season.
“The Fairfield-Gutzeit House has been at the heart of Bath, at 341 Main St., since being constructed by William and Benjamin Fairfield in 1796,” said Hegadorn. “Supported by the community for decades, the Fairfield-Gutzeit House has operated as a museum, providing residents and visitors with insights into our local history. As a heritage home, complete with preserved artifacts, antique furniture and art, this house has been a community gathering place, hosting a variety of cultural events.”
A condition assessment done on the home in 2022 revealed the need for significant repairs to preserve the building’s integrity. Work slated to be completed on the home includes wall cladding as well as restoration of the floor, windows and evaves with painting to be done to the exterior. The museum will remain closed to the public while work is completed.
“I’ve been watching this project for many, many years,” said Bresee, who served as mayor of Loyalist before stepping away for a successful run as MPP. “I’ve had the opportunity to tour this facility and there are some absolutely amazing artifacts in the building. But moreover the building itself is an artifact on to itself. With that, making sure that it is safe, making sure that it is usable and accessible to the public has been the goal of Loyalist Township for many years. I’m really glad to see it coming to fruition.”
Cumming announced the Trillium Foundation would be contributing $148,350 towards the project.
“The investments made in this historical property will be appreciated by all who visit it,” said Cumming.
Hegadorn echoed those sentiments.
“Improvements will also contribute to our economic well-being by allowing organizations to develop quality social and historical programming at the FGH, and to encourage tourism,” said Hegadorn.
To mark the occasion, members of Loyalist council joined the MPP and project developers in a mock ground breaking.