SHERBURNE – The newly formed citizens’ preservation group known as Save the Sherburne Inn Restoration Project Inc. (SSIRP) has raised the funds to purchase the Sherburne Inn property (most recently known as The Bullthistle Inn) from current owner Jim Webb and is proceeding to closing the purchase around April 1.
SSIRP was formed in October and incorporated in January in response to the news that the historic building and the adjacent property were to be purchased by a store chain and demolished in order to construct a new gas station and convenience store. In October, Webb agreed to give SSIRP until April 1 to purchase the building, and also gave SSIRP right of first refusal on the adjacent property (formerly the Big M grocery store).
Since its formation, SSIRP established a board of directors and applied for nonprofit status from the IRS, which was approved on Feb. 27. Plans for the building include restoring the exterior and renovating the interior to include a restaurant and bar on the main floor, a pub with light food on the lower floor, sleeping rooms, event space for parties and meetings, and other amenities to meet customer demand.
The Inn, which is listed on the National Historic Register as part of Sherburne’s historic district, opened its doors on June 19, 1917, following the efforts of philanthropic residents who donated funds to rebuild on the property after The Sherburne House burned to the ground in 1915.
“We’re very grateful to Jim [Webb] for giving citizens of this community the opportunity to save and restore the building,” said Kathleen Yasas, president of SSIRP. “Our goal from the beginning was to do the right thing for Sherburne in preserving Sherburne’s anchor corner. We realize hard work is ahead in raising funds for restoration and renovation. Our board members are ready to roll up their sleeves and, with the help of the community and other patrons, feel confident we can turn the lights back on in downtown Sherburne.”