HALIFAX — Vandalism was reported at the historic Blacksmith Shop and School House, 490 South St., run by the Halifax Historical Society, over the Veteran’s Day weekend.
According to a police report, both buildings were broken into and two fire extinguishers from the schoolhouse were discharged, coating the interior of both historical structures with a fine white powder.
The fire extinguishers were later found in nearby bushes and in the Blacksmith Shop by police, the report says, and were fingerprinted by the Plymouth County Sherriff’s Department Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
The damage, which is expected to be covered by the town’s insurance policy, is estimated to be in the realm of $20,000, according to John Campbell, of the Halifax Historical Society. The town has a deductible of $5,000, he said.
A hazardous materials team will need to be brought in to clean all of the surfaces in the buildings, and the items in them, including all of the historic blacksmithing tools.
Campbell said that the two buildings, normally only opened several times a year, would not be able to open in time for the upcoming annual Holidays in Halifax celebration Saturday, Dec. 8.
After the insurance company approves the claim, he said that it may take three to four weeks for the clean-up to be completed.
No items were reported stolen, although the police report notes that in addition to the fire extinguisher damage a door was found open and unsecured at the Blacksmith Shop and a window pane was broken at the School House.
The report also mentions that the burglar alarm systems installed in both of the damaged buildings were not in use at the time of the incident due to the number of false alarms caused by animals. The investigation is ongoing.