BY O.J. EARLY
The historic Dickson-Williams Mansion is getting a new roof.
Workers are in the process of replacing a 20-year-old cedar-shake shingle roof at the 1820s-era residence, according to Beverly Williams, a member of the board of directors of the Dickson-Williams Historical Association.
"The shingle roof was in much worse shape that we expected," Williams said this morning. "We knew that, with the water coming through, it wasn't in good shape."
Construction of a new standing-seam metal roof should be complete in two weeks, depending on weather conditions, added Williams, a descendant of Dr. and Mrs. Alexander Williams, the original owners of the handsome brick residence.
The new roof will be made of metal, non-overlapping panels.
"They've used a very elaborate scaffolding system," he said. "It allows them to make better use of their time."
The Greeneville Historic Zoning Commission unanimously issued a Certificate or Appropriateness to the Dickson-Williams Historical Association in October to replace the aging roof.
Williams told the board then that the present roof leaked badly, but that no major water damage has resulted from the leaks.
Historic Zoning Commission Chairman Sarah Webster, who also serves as president of the Dickson-Williams Historical Association, told the commission that many standing-seam metal roofs are used in historic Jonesborough.
The new roof at the North Irish Street location will cover the entire building.
Webster said in October that initial plans called for only the main building's roof to be replaced. Lower roofs, like those over the entry-way, were not to be replaced until at least next year.
"Through the generosity of some donors, we've been able to do the whole roof at one time," Williams said today.
Some debate has surrounded whether or not the roof was metal in the mid-19th century.
Webster has said that, even if the home did originally have a shake-shingle roof, that roof would have been replaced by 1850.