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A little TLC in Au Sable Forks

Au SABLE FORKS - When Rebecca Kelley and her husband, Craig Brashear, first purchased the former Tahawus Masonic Lodge in Au Sable Forks, she knew what could eventually be there.

"It's starting to look like what I was seeing in my head," Kelley, head of her own ballet company, said about the open house that was held at the site of the Tahawus Lodge Center Dec. 29.

"This is a beautiful building, I really like to fix things up big and beautiful," Kelley added.

The TLC is also part of a bigger picture along the main street of the hamlet, which includes several renovation projects to a number of the buildings along Main Street.

"There is a lot going on to help build up Main Street," Kelley said. "With the help of many, we can transform a wonderful historic building into and inspirational, bustling hub of community activity, enterprise and cultural programming."

Kelley spoke excitedly and optimistically as she gave people a tour of the three-story structure, laying out her vision before them of what each room would eventually become.

"I've been impatient because in my mind, I can see it all and what it will be," Kelley said. "It is very satisfying to reach this milestone and have an open house. There's still a lot left to be done. I hope that our enthusiasm for the project, though, is something that is contagious and inspiring to others."

Many residents and those interested in the project visited the site during the open house, including town of Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas and Housing Assistance Program of Essex County (HAPEC) Executive Director Alan Hipps.

"We have been working with Rebecca and Craig to help with grants and funding for the project," Hipps said. "There are a number of sites along Main Street that we have been able to help with, and it's exciting to see the changes."

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