GRAFTON—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 Treasurer Larry M. Richman.
There will be various restoration refurbishments that will be completed to save the 27 historic treasures of Grafton and Taylor County.
“This will 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,” Richman explained.
During the work, 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.
The total cost of the project comes in at approximately $400,000, and will be completed by Williams Stained Glass Studio, of out Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“They were awarded the bid to restore the stained glass windows by the Board of Trustees of the Mother’s day Shrine,” Richman said.
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.
According to Richman, nearly $54,000 has already been raised by the Board of Directors through the generous donations from the public contributions.
“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 International Mother’s Day Shrine is a 146-year-old landmark of Grafton and is one of the sixteen national historic landmarks in West Virginia.
On December 18, 1970, the shrine was named a National Historic Place, and on October 5, 1992, it was added to the National Historic Landmark registry. Then, on June 30, 2007, it was noted as a National United Methodist Historic Site.
“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.