Our headquarters, the Captain Nathan Harding House on Main Street, has been much quieter than we would like because of COVID restrictions. We miss being there, meeting people there, having events there and celebrating a historic building the community came together to restore. So we thought we would take the opportunity, it being our 30th anniversary as well, to virtually visit and tell the story of the house that became our third office, and forever home, in 2010.
A historic picture of the George N. Harding house, another captain in the Harding family.
The building remained in the Harding family until 2007 when it was purchased by David and Gail Oppenheim from Cliff LaRose. They worked with the Fishermen’s Alliance in planning the building’s restoration, restored it, and then sold it to us.
More than $1 million in funding was provided by several sources: a Community Preservation Act grant (the town has a view easement on the east, west, and south sides of the building), a USDA low- interest, 40-year mortgage, foundation grants, and hundreds of private donations.
The restoration was done to be as accurate as possible. While the house was gutted and the barn demolished (it was condemned and we were not allowed to restore it for liability reasons), the windows, trim, shingles, etc are exact replicas using modern materials. The parlor and fireplace room are unchanged.
CEO John Pappalardo’s office used to be the bathroom (they had to throw the tub out the window during reconstruction, it was too big to go out the door). The four offices on the second floor are original rooms and have original fir floorboards that were salvaged from various rooms.
The footprint of the building remains largely unchanged. One major loss in the restoration was the front entrance (street side) main staircase, which spiraled up to the second floor, with stained glass windows.
The barn is a 70 percent scale replica of the original (on the outside), due to permitting/property line issues. New is the full basement and garage underneath it. It is no longer a barn but a presentation/meeting space. The hallway between the barn and the house did exist originally, but was redone during construction (including a foundation).
One other great asset of the house is that three Habitat for Humanity homes were built on the property behind us.