Bath church restoring historic Glebe House

Published 9:53 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Restoration efforts are under way on the circa 1830 Glebe House in Bath. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

BATH — A historic structure in Bath is the focus of restoration and preservation efforts that began earlier this summer.
The Glebe House, located adjacent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, will be returned to its former glory, according to Bea Latham, who chairs the committee overseeing the work.
“Glebe is of English origin and means land that is set aside for use by ministers,” Latham said. “The Glebe House in Bath dates back to about 1830 and is very similar to the Bonner House, so similar that it has been said the two houses were possibly built by the same person.”
The restoration committee has carefully evaluated the structure and compiled a list of immediate needs.
“We hope this summer to have the exterior of the house painted, replace any deteriorating wood and reglaze the glass in the windows,” Latham said. “Many of the windows appear to be very old, if not original.”
The work, of course, comes with a price tag. The initial stage, the exterior repairs, is estimated to cost from $18,000 to $20,000.
“St. Thomas Episcopal Church is going to have to raise the money, and we are fortunate to have received $10,000 from the Historic Bath Foundation,” Latham said. “During Bath Fest, there was an art show and sale promoting local artists, and the artists that participated donated all their proceeds. We also have yard sale proceeds, as well as money from the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, which owns the house.”
Once restoration and preservation efforts are completed, the Glebe House could become an extension of the church, according to Latham.
“We could have Sunday-school Bible studies there, and it could serve as larger office space for church business,” she noted. “It would be a nice place for the minister to meet with brides and grooms and grieving families, and it would be possible to use it at times for community events.”
Latham said she expects the project to be a success, but it will take time.
“This won’t happen overnight and it will be ongoing just because of the financial aspect,” she said. “We’re paying for it as we go.”
Tax-deductible donations may be mailed to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 257, Bath, NC 27808. Donations should be earmarked for Glebe House restorations, Latham said.