Boy Scout Matt Jackson, helpers are creating the structure in honor of late museum curator
By Jill Keppeler
As the wooden framework of a new gazebo rises near the buildings of the Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Museum on Saunders Settlement Road, it's more than just a possible bandstand, or a place to sit in the shade.
It's a dream come true.
Matt Jackson, 15, a member of Boy Scout Troop 841 of Niagara Falls, is building the gazebo with help from family and friends as his Eagle Scout project. He's undertaking the project in honor and memory of his grandmother, the late Linda Jackson, who served as the curator of the museum and died in February 2014.
"This was a dream of my wife's, to build a gazebo on the property here," said Matt's grandfather, Paul Jackson. "She was the curator here for years."
Matt said he knew that he wanted to make that dream a reality.
"Me and grandma were talking before she died about doing this," he said while taking a break from working on the gazebo recently. "When she died ... it become a solid project."
The completed gazebo will be a 24- by 14-foot oval. While the planning started last year, construction on the structure began earlier this month.
The Jacksons said that money for the project was raised through family, friends, donations and fundraisers. It's been a team effort. Architect David Wylier, a family friend, assisted with plans. Electrical work was donated in part by M&M Electric Co. 5-Star Roofing & Siding is assisting, as are Jay Wendt Construction, carpenter and family friend Henry Walerowicz and others.
Matt Jackson said that he hopes to have the gazebo mostly complete and usable by the annual Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Museum Festival, which will take place July 25 and 26 at the museum. However, the project will probably be added to and tweaked for quite some time afterward.
"We have a roof and a floor," he said. "It'll work."
Bonnie Haskell, the current curator of the museum, said she's looking forward to the addition to the museum complex at 2660 Saunders Settlement Road.
"It's wonderful," she said. "We're very pleased."
Rob Dunn, Zachary Spaulding and Matt Jackson work on a gazebo recently on the grounds of the Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Museum, Saunders Settlement Road. Jackson organized the project as a tribute to his grandmother, the late Linda Jackson. (Photo by Jill Keppeler)