A work in progress at International Mother’s Day Shrine

GRAFTON—After being gone from its rightful place, one of the stained glass windows from the International Mother’s Day Shrine was returned home on Wednesday.

For nearly 115 years, the International Mother’s Day Shrine has stood proudly reminding residents and guests to the area the importance of mother’s everywhere. The shrine, complete with beautifully colorful stained glass windows, is a landmark in the city, county and state.

After over 100 years, the stunning, antique stained glass windows have begun to show their age, and are in need of major repairs.

“The stained glass windows are in critical condition,” shared International Mother’s Day Shrine Board Member Larry Richman.

The improvements being done to the windows include re-leading the windows, replacing any broken glass and repairing or replacing the wood window frames, as well as replacing the exterior acrylic storm coverings on the outside of the building, according to Richman.

After being awarded the bid for the project by the Board of Trustees of the Mother’s Day Shrine, the father and son duo from Williams Stained Glass Studio, out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, set to work to begin repairing the ornate pieces of art.

On Wednesday, May 29, the pair worked together to safely remove the sanctuary window, given by WP Hendrickson and his wife, and transported it back to their facility to complete the repairs.

After months of repair time, the window returned home to the International Mother’s Day Shrine on Wednesday.

“We had this one for approximately three months, but if we had worked on it non-stop, it would have taken nearly four weeks to repair,” shared Mike Williams. “There are a lot of little pieces within the window that needed attention.”

During the project, 14 windows that are 14 feet high by 11 inches wide, 11 windows that are seven and a half feet in height and 39 inches wide and one window that stands 19 feet in height and 48 inches wide will be tended to.

Williams said to complete a project of that magnitude would take the team nearly two years to finish them all.

In addition to re-leading and repairing any broken pieces, the window received a new plate glass storm covering to help ensure the beautiful window would last for many years.

“The storm coverings that are up now are plexiglass and over time have become hazy and discolored,” Williams revealed. “Plate glass will not distort like the plexiglass does over time, and it will also help show off the windows clearer.”

Before leaving, the Williams’ removed another window in the most need to take it back to their shop for repairs.

The Mother’s Day Shrine Stained Glass Restoration project is no small feat, and Richman revealed that total cost of the project comes in at approximately $400,000.

To help cover the cost of funding such a large project, the shrine will be completing applications for funding through historic grants, but will need to come up with matching funds, and is turning to the community.

“Last Mother’s Day, we announced that we would be undertaking the stained glass window project, and on that day alone, we received a check for $5,000 and another for $500,” he revealed. “I thought it was pretty amazing just how fast people wanted to help out.”

The Board of Trustees is once again looking to the community for support of their project to restore the Mother’s Day Shrine’s historic beauty. Virginia Paugh Wolfe has been entrusted as the chairperson for stained glass window restoration project.

For those wishing to contribute to the restoration of the historic and iconic building, donations may be mailed to the Mother’s Day Shrine, P.O. Box 513, Grafton, WV 26354 or may be hand delivered to the City of Grafton Finance Department, located at 1 West Main Street, Grafton. Checks will need to be made payable to the Mother’s Day Shrine Stained Glass Window Fund.

Donors may also make contributions through PayPal at www.internationalmothersdayshrine.org, or through GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/restore-the-mothers-day-shrine.

“The Mother’s Day Shrine is an important part of Grafton’s history, and I would really like to see it restored to its former beauty,” Richman expressed. “We are happy that the project is underway and that we have one window successfully completed.”


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