Colonial Dorchester Bell Tower
The Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site plays host to St. George’s Anglican Church, a significant feature in the colonial period of the area. The sanctuary, originally built in 1717, received authorization from the General Assembly in 1733 to construct a larger church onto which the bell tower was added in 1751. Through the centuries the church bore the brunt of fires and earthquakes and eventually fell into a state of disrepair. The bell tower is now the only feature that remains of the structure. A Cypress window frame is still present in one of the windows, a unique witness to the history of the area. Unfortunately, the frame has more recently played host to colonies of carpenter bees, boring tunnels deep into the wooden beams. The bee larvae in turn are being enjoyed by woodpeckers causing further severe damage to the wood. The mullion (shown) has been removed for assessment and testing of the efficacy of anoxic fumigation methods to eradicate the pest infestation at the WLCC. If successful the entire frame will undergo treatment to preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations.
In addition to the conservation work, WLCC researchers digitally documented the tower as well as the frame window as a part of the conservation documentation process.