Skene Manor ‘excited’ about new season

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Skene Manor opened its doors for the season on April 29 at noon and although the day was slow, there is excitement for what lies ahead for the summer, president Kris Miner said.

“You can go a lot of places and get a sandwich, but you’re not going to get a sandwich with history and our fabulous volunteers,” she said.

At noon on Saturday, the manor had a gift dropped off from a fellow community member. The gift has been a raffle prize for the manor for the last five years and is one way the manor raises money to continue restoring the building.

“Jean Mead has made a quilt for us to raffle off for the past five years. It’s so pretty and she does such a great job every year. She really has an eye for color,” Miner said.

Mead makes the quilts by hand with a lot of small patchworks that transition well throughout the quilts. Many manor volunteers say she has a natural eye for color and her work is art.

“It’s the fifth year she has made one for us and every year she does something incredible,” said volunteer Mary Ann Thompson.

Miner spoke about how they hope to make the manor more of an “experience” this year. She said that is where they would like to start as they look to continue building possible event ideas.

“Our overall idea we are trying to keep in mind this year is the Skene Manor experience. We’re focused on all the details starting with you coming up the driveway… we want you to come in and have lunch and see everything to embody what this place is,” she said.

Some of the ways the volunteers are looking to get more people to the manor are by offering different events. From candle-making to ideas of some music on the lawn, Skene Manor is cooking up some great summer options to be announced later.

“We’re trying not to bite off more than we can chew, but we want to try to start planning other things we can do to,” she said.

Skene Manor is getting some cosmetic attention, according to Miner. The back porch near the kitchen entrance needs attention and that has been a priority on the list for them for a little while.

“That was a big hit to our budget because the back porch roof was beyond repair. The roofers we got were able to fit us in on the weekends and gave us a break on the price, but it’s still a lot,” she said.

The repairs cost of the roof was about $14,000 and thanks to last season, they were able to cover the expense. Miner said they were thankful for how successful last season was regardless of the pandemic and mask mandates.

“The fact that we had that money at startup was a testament to the work we did here last year and it was only the first year after Covid,” she said.

With SUNY Adirondack booking two days at the manor for students and other organizations booking with the manor, they are ready to take on this year. However, Miner says they could still use more volunteers.

“We can always use more hands and we would love to see new faces. Just yesterday we had three new volunteers show up and help us out which was beyond helpful,” she said. “The ways people can volunteer are endless.”

The next event to happen at Skene Manor will be a Mother’s Day brunch on May 8 from noon to 4 p.m. The manor would like to know if you plan to join them ahead of the event so call Marie at 518-499-1315 to reserve a seat.

“It’s the 23rd year since a dreamer said, ‘we can do this’ and ‘we can have people come in and see this; that’s a testament to small-town America and that is why this place is so special to me,” Miner said.