Roscoe Village to add more benches to gardens

| October 17, 2012

Roscoe Village is in the process of adding new benches to the grounds. Pictured here is the first bench that was completed and donated by Mike Pherson of M&M Construction. To make a donation for a new bench in Roscoe, call the Visitor’s Center at 622-9310 or Connie Miller at 623-6526.

COSHOCTON – From 1969 – 1975, the first bench in Roscoe Village was designed by Mrs. Montgomery. Using antique architect books and magazines as a guide for her restoration, construction crews created unique bench designs from Montgomery’s vision. Montgomery’s main focus in restoring Roscoe was gardening where she loved to plant perennials, shrubs, and trees. In her mind, there was no better way to enjoy her works of art than by creating places for visitors to sit and relax.

Diana Swigert had the privilege of working with Mrs. Montgomery while Roscoe was being restored. The benches were used during the restoration of Roscoe and one of Swigert’s jobs was to wipe off the morning dew each day.

Now, some of the benches are deteriorating with age and Swigert wants to add new benches to different areas of Roscoe. Each bench costs $250 and Swigert is looking for local residents to donate money for a bench to be made. Each bench is custom-made by M&M Construction with Ohio lumber.

“I want to keep her preferences in the gardens without adjustment changes,” said Swigert. “She wanted benches in the garden and I want to keep her benches in the garden.”

Due to cost, these new benches will be made out of red oak instead of redwood, which was the lumber used to make the original benches. The benches are thicker than average and very sturdy. For those who donate money for a bench, an engraved plaque will be placed on the brace board with the names of those who donated that bench, which will be donated by G.A. Fischer. They may also be a place for donators to dedicate the bench in memory or in honor of a loved one.

“I would like to have several new benches for the garden next spring,” said Swigert. “That would be wonderful. This I feel is a way of continuing Mrs. Montgomery’s vision because that is what I truly think and feel, a continuing vision for her garden.”

Funding for the new benches is all by donation only. Money for two benches have already been donated, one by Mike Pherson of M&M Construction and the other by Swigert. One bench has been constructed and is now in the Buckeye Garden under three dogwood trees and a Buckeye tree, and the other is in the process of construction now. On average, it takes one month to build a bench from the time the order is placed to completion.

“Mike Pherson from M&M Construction has really done a great job working with me,” said Swigert. “He has done an excellent job with the pattern and the bench.”

There are three original benches left and two are starting to deteriorate. The first places the new benches will be placed will be in Mrs. Montgomery’s gardens, and the three original benches will stay in the village until they are no longer useable.

Swigert is working on the benches with Connie Miller, landscape manager at Roscoe, and Chad Miller, maintenance supervisor.

“These are people who want to support Mrs. Montgomery’s visions in the gardens,” said Swigert. “That’s what these benches are for.”

To donate to the Roscoe bench project, contact the Visitor’s Center at 622-9310 or Connie Miller at 623-6526.

“As a gardener, I can see how Mrs. Montgomery’s style and way of doing things was unique and ahead of her time,” said Swigert. “It was inviting and enjoyable for all of the seasons. A bench was just a way to invite people to sit and enjoy their garden. She’s a person that I truly admired. So it’s very easy for me to carry on her vision. I admired her style.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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