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Middlefield Builder Has Hand in Town Hall Makeover

John Augeri picked up masonry from his father and has used the skill to build or renovate buildings throughout the town. Patch caught up with him at the site of his latest job — Town Hall.

 

John Augeri's hands have helped build, and rebuild Middlefield.

So it was no surprise this week to find the 79-year-old chiseling away at the brick and mortar of Town Hall, replacing what mother nature and age have worn away.

"I'm just giving it what it needs. Like the old saying goes, 'Just fix what's broke,'" Augeri says.

A self-employed home builder for more than 60 years, Augeri learned masonry as a teenager from his father, Salvatore, who emigrated from Sicily in 1917 and "proceeded to establish himself with only the shirt on his back."

"Not only could he work with his hands but he had a truck," says Augeri, recalling his father's Model T truck which was often used to transport workers employed by the Arrigoni Brothers in Durham.

Augeri built his first two houses in Middlefield before enlisting in the Air Force at the age of 19. His military service lasted four years.

"When I came home I picked up where I left off," he says.

In the 1970's, Augeri built Lyman Orchards' Apple Barrel store, as well as the farm's golf clubhouse. He also had a hand in the first addition to the Middlefield firehouse and construction at the Levi E. Coe Library.

And there are the homes in Durham and Middletown which he built, and too many renovations to count.

Of course, counting got a little harder last summer when Augeri lost three fingers above the knuckle in an accident. 

"They said 'See, if you would've retired you wouldn't have lost those fingers.' I says, 'You know what? I still got my head,'" Augeri laughs.

Russ Parmelee November 10, 2012 at 02:15 PM
One of the two houses John built in Middlefield prior to enlisting was my family's former home on Mack Road. I remember an energetic, friendly and very skilled teenager helping my Dad in the construction of our three bedroom Cape. Over the years John became a valued family friend. He continued coming back to help my Mom with repairs to the home until her death in 2009. John and his family were well known and respected for the quality of their craftsmanship throughout the area.
Michael Hayes November 10, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Russ Thanks for sharing. John mentioned your father and the home on Mack Road when we talked. He joked about your dad's reaction to his being nervous about being able to finish the job. "I was showing a lack of confidence. He said, 'You can do it and besides that you're gonna do it.'"
sue November 12, 2012 at 02:52 PM
John Augeri totally renovated my home and has continued to be our number one choice for home repairs.He is an extremely intelligent, skilled and dedicated worker .I can't think of anyone else who can come close to matching him as the choice for this job. We are very fortunate to have him in our town.

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