Bonine House

Archived Story

Bonine House roof progresses

Published 2:11pm Monday, July 30, 2012

The mansard roof of the Bonine House tower is being restored to its former Second Empire glory.
The contractor is Dale Layman of Layman Construction, known by many as the manager of Pokagon’s Old Rugged Cross Church reconstruction.  Terms of the grant from the Michigan Architectural Foundation (matched by Underground Railroad Society of Cass County) require that the project be completed by Sept. 1, and work is on schedule.
Layman discovered while pulling off the old “fish scale” shingles that the original color was not a faded natural gray, but a deep, vibrant green, which will guide him in the restoration.
A generous donation by Mary Anne Bonine in memory of her husband, Alan Bonine, will allow URSCC to re-roof the entire Bonine House this summer. URSCC and Friends of the Bonine House are very grateful.
Fundraising has begun for masonry repair and replacement of the front and side porches, with a goal of $50,000.  Work on the gardens is in the planning stages, with excavation of tree stumps and other debris nearly completed. Restoration of the inside of the Bonine House will begin in earnest after the roof is finished.
More information on the restoration, the Bonine House and the Underground Railroad Society in Cass County can be found on
Donations can be made online, or sent to URSCC P.O. Box 124, Vandalia, MI 49095.

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