HISTORY IS MADE IN MONTGOMERY—WITH WOOD



Local Hardwood Czar And Eagle Scout Team Up To Ensure Preservation of Village’s Historical Ledgers

Montgomery, NY (May, 2009) – Architectural Mouldings, Hardwoods and Supplies (AMHS), a Montgomery-based company that supplies domestic and exotic imported hardwoods and also generates high-end mouldings and casework, is pleased to announce that its association with Valley Central High School student and Eagle Scout Michael Mont has resulted in a magnificent custom-made cabinet/bookcase for the Montgomery Village Museum.

Says AMHS owner Ken Betz, “We were very impressed with this young man’s sincere desire to provide for the local historical museum something it was lacking. Not many teenagers would be willing to give up so much of their time and energy for this kind of project. We figured the least we could do is offer some of what we have here at AMHS in abundance—basically space and craftsmanship.”

This was not the first time that Troop 386 has put itself in a position to help out. Marion Wild, Village Historian, receives assistance regularly from Scout members at local events. During one she mentioned to Michael Mont that several very old and precious ledgers, books, and documents being kept in acid-free boxes really deserved more suitable storage and support. She asked young Mont if he might be interested in building a bookcase for these materials in the village’s new museum – recently opened in Wesley Hall – as part of an Eagle Scout project. Mont accepted the challenge, and per one of his scout masters’ suggestions, sought out Ken Betz, who has a reputation for getting involved in community projects. Mont and Betz met and Betz helped the teen to generate an estimate for the materials that would be needed.

Thereafter Mont wrote letters to small business owners and even attended several town board meetings to ask for support. And the community responded enthusiastically to the young man’s enterprise and perseverance. Some board members gave him generous checks on the spot; the Knights of Columbus contributed; and Eddie’s Deli put out a collection jar. The single highest donation came from realtor and board member Elizabeth Mansfield, who gave Mont $300.

Armed with a total of $1000 for materials and guidance from Betz, Mont and several of his fellow scouts designed and built a beautiful and functional cabinet, with two doors shielding several shelves for the ledgers (which must be stored horizontally so as not to compromise their already age-weakened bindings), and drawers and shelving below for the acid-free storage boxes. The young people cut all of the cabinet parts individually and did all the sanding, finishing, staining, and construction, down to attaching of the hardware, under Betz’s supervision. They also installed the cabinet in the Village Museum, capped by magnificent, hand-milled moulding. Mont estimates that he spent about 41 hours planning and fundraising and about 38 hours on the actual construction.

Adds Betz, “It would have been much easier for these boys to go into a building supply store and knock together a simple bookcase. But this is not what those ledgers deserved and it’s not what the boys wanted. Here at AMHS we take pride in our artistry. We do a lot of historical renovation work and we understand that to honor history is to place value on the future. That’s what this project was about—for everyone involved.”

To learn more about AMHS, contact Ken Betz at 845-457-1494.  To learn more about the Village of Montgomery Museum, contact Marion Wild at 845-457-7576.

Mouldings, Hardwoods, & Custom Work

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