John Schwaesdall, a Ramona roofing contractor, read an article in the Ramona Sentinel last year that mentioned donations were needed to help replace the roof on the historic Verlaque House.
He immediately called Ramona Pioneer Historical Society President Judy Nachazel to volunteer his equipment, time and many years of expertise to do the job from start to finish without a contractor’s fee.
To further cut costs, he borrowed a forklift and dump truck from other contractors.
In a down economy, the historical society struggled for over a year to raise $16,000 in donations, said Nachazel, noting that Schwaesdall went above and beyond expectations in re-roofing and repairing things not covered in the original bids that ranged from approximately $18,000 to $28,000.
The expenses for his crew and materials totaled $14,000, leaving a surplus of $2,000 for other museum projects.
When Jonnie Wilson, co-chair of the awards committee for the Congress of History of San Diego/Imperial Counties, presented an Award of Appreciation to Schwaesdall for his “selfless efforts in replacing the roof on the Verlaque House,” he quickly credited Ray Hosley and his brother Jack, also roofing contractors, who, he said, “worked for peanuts to help me replace the roof.” Built in 1886 and fully furnished in period antiques, the Verlaque House is the centerpiece of the Guy B. Woodward Museum at 645 Main St. The museum is open for docent tours on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Tours and archival research are available during the week by appointment.
For more information, call 760-789-7644.