Old church to see new life as Waddington history museum

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 4:38 PM EST
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WADDINGTON, New York (WWNY) - The village of Waddington needs engineering work done in order to build a new history museum. That isn’t cheap, but it found a way to get it done by enlisting help from local college students.

“It’s actually one of, if not the oldest building within the village of Waddington and it’s the oldest church this side of the Mohawk River,” said Waddington town and village historian Kathy Putney.

She says the old St. Paul’s Episcopalian Church is one of the most significant buildings in the north country. Built in 1818, the church has long been a part of the Waddington community.

Now, with the village owning the vacant church property, it’ll be renovated into a historical museum, replacing the current museum which is in the basement of the old town hall. Clarkson University students are helping.

“Their engineering program - they are working on coming up with some drawings and designs for the new museum that we will be erecting on St. Paul’s property,” said Putney.

Those students are working in four groups, coming up with their own independent designs from blueprints to digital renderings.

“We really want to show the community its great roots and everything that has come from the Waddington area,” said Nick Budeshein, Clarkson student.

The museum currently has multiple genealogy reports, photographs, and artifacts from members of the community. All those items will be relocated to the new museum which is set to open sometime within the next few years.

One of the challenges is what the new building next to the renovated church will look like.

“Especially something that old, like, the church is 200 years old and trying to put something directly next to it that is going to be brand new is challenging. It’s different. But I think what we have right now is a good option,” said Emily Trudeau, Clarkson student.

A museum dedicated to the history of Waddington, wrapped into an engineering lesson at Clarkson University.