In over seventy years of neglect and abandonment, nature and the elements aided by the inaction of men, came back to claim a once historic home, collapsing roofs and crumbling walls. And now unless something is done quickly, the little that remains of this historic structure will be lost forever and a part of Montgomery's history will be wiped off the face of this earth. Future generations will not know about the people who came before them and paved the way for present day Montgomery.
Here is an excerpt from the January 11, 2007 meeting of the town board meeting of the Town of Montgomery, which illustrates perfectly why we cannot possibly delay action on preserving and stabilising the ruins:
Richard Phelps (Audience) came before the Board and Public regarding some serious problems at the Colden Mansion Site that he wanted to bring to the Board's attention.
Mr. Phelps requested the Colden Mansion to be on the February 1st Agenda and stated that he has a preliminary copy of a Stabilization Report on the Colden Mansion and that the Committee would like to give a presentation on that at the February 1st meeting.
Mr. Phelps passed out a packet of copies of photographs to the Town Board.
Supervisor Cockburn stated that the Colden Mansion would get added to the February 1st Agenda.
Mr. Phelps referred to the photographs in the packet which he presented to the Board and stated that the Colden Mansion needed immediate attention because there are 2 trees leaning against the 1 remaining stone column that is in the front of the Mansion and the base of the column has been undermined where a wooden beam which went through the column as a support is rotted away and is now leaving a large cavity in the back of the column and The trees in question will press against the stone column and cause the column to tumble into the cellar. The stone column to the right of the front door has collapsed inside the cellar and that is what will happen to the remaining column if the Town doesn't act in a judicious manner. The solution is for this cavity to be filled in with stone and mortar and the 2 trees, which are leaning against the column, to be removed after that cavity is filled.
A discussion was held on the matter and about a Preservation Fund for the Colden Mansion.
A Motion by Councilwoman Jasiel, seconded by Councilwoman Buck Smith that the Town Board of the Town of Montgomery go forward with getting quotes for the stone column and remove the 2 trees at the Colden Mansion Site.
Roll Call: All Ayes Motion Carried: 5-0
Mr. Phelps stated that any work that is going to be done has to be brought before the Historic Preservation Board and he offered to draw up the specifications/work proposal for the Board to go out to quote with.
Supervisor Cockburn suggested that if Mr. Phelps draws up a work proposal that it should be reviewed by an Engineer and then get it to the Historic Preservation Commission or leave it for her and she will get it to them.
Supervisor Cockburn told Mr. Phelps to bring in the work proposal to her and she would make sure that Mr. Aiello reviewed it.