WARDSBORO -- At first, some civic-minded volunteers simply wanted to spruce up the stage on the second floor of Wardsboro's town hall.

They've ended up with a donated set of antique, painted curtains that, when properly restored and hung, will take performers and spectators back to a time when such works of art were fixtures in Vermont.

It's a major undertaking that requires fundraising, which kicks off with a concert by the musical duo Hungrytown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the town hall. If all goes well, a small group called Wardsboro Curtain Call is hoping to have the backdrops hung in time for the town's famed Gilfeather Turnip Festival this fall -- and for every event after.

"For us, we're replacing lost history with found history," said Cherie Moran, a member of the group. "And I just think it's such a wonderful thing."

SLIDESHOW: Wardsboro's historic curtains.

Most of Vermont's painted curtains were created between 1890 and 1940 for town halls, grange halls, theaters and opera houses. Burlington-based Curtains Without Borders was started in 1996 to find and assess those curtains.

"We thought there might be 25 pieces, but the total number of historic painted curtains in Vermont eventually grew to 185. We believe we have now found them all," Christine Hadsel, the organization's director, wrote on