The historic Andrews Chapel at the Swampscott Cemetery took another step toward restoration thanks to the work and intitiative of local Boy Scout Michael Norcott.
For his Eagle Scout project, Michael, of Troop 53, spearheaded the restoration of 14 of the chapel's 20 original pews, completing the finish work a little more than a week ago.
The pews, stored at the Machon School, were covered with dust and dirt and needed major work if they were to see new life in a restored chapel.
Michael undertook the pew challenge after Deb Bogardus, head of the Chapel Restoration Committee, approached the troop at the Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery, seeking help with the chapel restoration.
"There are many projects that need to be completed in order to restore the Chapel, and restoring the pews was one of them," said Michael.
The scout planned, organized, and executed the pews project.
He consulted with Deb and the head of the Swampscott Public Works Department, Gino Cresta.
The director and DPW employees gave Michael access to the school and provided a water trailer for power washing pews.
Michael received valuable help from Ron Trapasso, owner of Attwill Furniture Company in Lynn, who recommended how to do the work and the right products to use.
Michael also recruited help from Troop 53.
They cleaned and power washed the pews.
They treated water stains with bleach.
They dried the pews, sanded them, applied tung oil, and went over the pews with steel wool before applying a second coat of oil.
"The completion of the work above was made possible with the help of my fellow scouts and troop leaders from Troop 53, as well as friends and family." said Michael. I cannot thank those who helped enough, especially Mrs. Bogardus, Mr. Cresta, and Mr. Trapasso.
"Also, this project would not have been possible without the extremely generous donations of Waters & Brown in Salem, and Norman's Paint and Wallpaper in Swampscott. Their generosity and willingness to help was critical to the success of this project."
Michael also received donations of supplies from Home Depot in Saem and Harbor Freight in Danvers.
In December, Andrews Chapel was voted on to the National Register of Historic Places. The Mass Historical Commission voted unanimously for the designation.
The 1923 Chapel has undergone extensive exterior renovations but much work is still needed to restore the interior.