GUILFORD >> With boats shuttling building supplies and volunteers to Grass Island, work began on the renovation of the iconic red shack Saturday, Sept.10.

In his endeavor to earn his Eagle Scout ranking, John Markowski, a Life Scout from Boy Scouts of America Troop 471, is leading the project. He anticipates being completely done by the end of October.

More photos here.

An original summer cottage, constructed in 1914, the red shack was destroyed by fire around 1936 and rebuilt about 1940. The town purchased the building, plus 7 acres of Grass Island land, for $15,000 in September 1965.

The red shack has been called “an artist’s treasure” by some, as it is often featured in paintings of local scenes.

Over the years there have been various small repairs on the structure, but this project, to restore the structural integrity of the building, is the largest of its kind.

Markowski has been fundraising, working with town officials, architects, builders, local businesses and volunteers to preserve the local landmark. Many of the building materials and labor will be donated, yet donations and volunteers are still needed. He has collected over $26,000 to date.

Speaking to about 25 volunteers, before beginning the work of removing the roof, Markowski stressed the importance of following the plan he and the town agreed upon prior to work commencing on the project.

“The plan that we will execute today, a lot of time has gone into putting it together,” he said. “We can’t deviate from the plan at all. I have certain requirements I need to meet with the town and environmental protection and coastal area protection. So we really need to stay to the plan.”

And so the volunteers did, as they dismantled the roof in this phase.

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