We had the pleasure of talking with John Markowski this week about his Eagle Scout Project – Save the Shack Guilford! John will be a senior at Guilford High School next year and has taken on what is quite a tremendous project on a beloved, iconic Guilford Landmark.
The Shack was built at the turn of the 20th century as a summer cottage. It burned down in the 1930s and was then rebuilt. In the 1950s, the house was moved to higher shore due to rising tides. In 1963, the owners, the Monroe family, sold the shack and its half-mile of land, called Grass Island, to the town of Guilford.
Last year, after people were spotted sitting on the roof of the house, the town launched an assessment to determine the safety of the structure. Recent hurricanes over the past several years had contributed to the building becoming structurally unsound. It was deemed unsafe and fenced off to the public. John caught wind of the town chatter and decided to take it upon himself to organize an initiative to reconstruct the Grass Island cottage. He met with town leadership to discuss his plans and he was given the okay to take on saving Grass Island as his Eagle Scout project.
Since there was little to no money set aside in the town budget to renovate the property, John’s first step has been organizing fundraising efforts. The project will be 100% funded through donations. He has launched several initiatives to pay for the project. All funds raised will not only be used to renovate the property but also set aside to cover the cost to maintain the property for years to come.
Fundraising sources include:
- Page Hardware – Donating a percentage of Grass Island Swiss Army Tinker Knife sales to the project. Knives are available exclusively at Page Hardware.
- The Guilford Mooring Restaurant – Donating 10% of proceeds to the project on July 12 & July 19.
- Connex Credit Union – Donating a percentage of all funds collected in their coin machines to the project (July 1-Sept 1)
- The Guilford Foundation – The Foundation is matching donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000. Any money from the project that is not used for the current restoration will form a fund that will pay for long-term maintenance and care of Grass Island.
You can also donate directly to the project by visiting:
- Go Fund Me – Save the Grass Island Shack
- Make a donation to the Town of Guilford – Finance Department — Attention ‘Save the Shack Fund’
For more information about John’s project or to help by volunteering or donating materials, visit: www.savetheshackguilford.com