BRANFORD — History has a way of repeating itself. At least in the case of the Pine Orchard Union Chapel.
Back in 1897, money was raised for the construction of the chapel. The Wallace brothers donated the land, neighbors held parties to raise $1,600 and children dug and sold clams and raised nearly $7 for the project.
Now, with extensive renovations needed to preserve the building, neighbors are again working together to raise money. And, they will see their donations at work when the groundbreaking for the restoration project takes place 11 a.m., Oct. 19, at the chapel.
This past summer, Sienna Torella raised some $4,000 selling homemade, fresh pink lemonade, along with tie-dyed masks, bandanas and shirts.
Her slogan, “Raise a Glass of Lemonade to Save Our Beloved Chapel.”
The Mary R. Tisko School third grader talked about the importance of this neighborhood.
“People have a lot of weddings there and we have arts and crafts there and it’s just really fun,” the 8-year-old said.
“It would be sad and no one would really get married,” she said about the possibility of the chapel not existing in her neighborhood.
Carole Brown shares this love of this historic building and with her matching gift up to $100,000, Sienna’s donation will double.
“Especially at that age to think they were able to make that much money and then have it matched makes them so much happier,” she said of the lemonade stand. “They should be proud.”
Brown remembers attending church services when she was a young girl, while summering in Hotchkiss Grove with her family.
“It’s just so much a part of the area here,” the 85-year-old said.
“Architecturally, it’s a gem of Queen Anne Victoria architecture and there’s so many memories for so many people,” she added.
While originally built