TLGV Awards $15,000 in Historic Preservation Grants

Union Society Eastford

TLGV Awards $15,000 in Historic Preservation Grants

The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) recently awarded $15,000 in grants to five local organizations to preserve, protect, interpret, promote or market historic and cultural resources. Since TLGV began awarding historic and cultural grants in 2003, more than $1 million has been disseminated to local organizations. For many the funding is the necessary step toward completion of their projects.

“The number, diversity and importance of the projects in the applicant pool made the selection process difficult this year,” said Lois Bruinooge, executive director of TLGV. “These five projects are important to preserving the rich history of The Last Green National Heritage Corridor.”

TLGV awards grants based on a competitive application process. There were more than one dozen applicants for this grant cycle. Every project is vetted and evaluated for its potential benefit to the region. Every successful grant must be matched 1:1.

The following grants were awarded:

Friends of Ashbel Woodward Museum in Franklin, CT was awarded $1,500 for a project to upgrade its digital systems to better catalog and organize the three major collections housed at the museum. The grant will also purchase proper shelving and storage for physical artifacts in the collections.

The Hampton Antiquarian and Historical Society was awarded $1,500 for the historic Burnham Hibbard House Museum Carriage Shed restoration in Hampton, CT. The project is part of the on-going restoration work to maintain the Burnham- Hibbard House Museum. The carriage house is the largest outbuilding on the one-acre property. The society’s goal is to house a collection of antique farming implements, which are now in storage, and create a space for programs and demonstrations for the public and school children. The grant will allow the society to upgrade electrical systems.

The Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society in Danielson, CT was awarded $4,000 for its project to create an archive of all its founders, including 40 Holocaust survivors, that can be used for educational purposes throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. The archive will include documents such as immigration papers, photos, press clippings, descriptions of each founder and video interviews. The entire package will be collected on a hard drive and then copied onto DVD’s which can be disseminated to schools, municipalities, community organizations and institutions of higher learning.

The Town of Eastford was awarded $4,000 for repairs to damaged sections of the 1806 east wall of the Union Society of Phoenixville House and the repainting of the original old-growth clapboards. The grant will help address the urgent needs of the building and is part of a $23,000 structural repair effort and a longer-term $400,000 overall restoration. The Union Society building is one of only two Union Society buildings left in Connecticut and sits at the intersection of routes 44 and 198 in Eastford, making it a highly visible local icon.

The Voluntown Historical Society in partnership with the Town of Voluntownwas awarded $4,000 for removal of lead paint and repainting of the Wylie Schoolhouse and its two outbuildings. Wylie Schoolhouse is the only remaining one-room school house in Voluntown, CT and the town’s only operational historic building. The peeling paint has been deemed a health hazard and the Voluntown Historical Society has suspended all programing in the building, including its role as a living history museum for the town’s school children. The painting project is part of a larger renovation plan.

“With its listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the responsibility to preserve this historical icon to enthrall and educate future generations reaches even beyond our local community,” said Jen Panko, president of the Voluntown Historical Society.  “Having limited funds to address the urgent restoration, renovation and safety issues currently restricting public access, the town of Voluntown and the Voluntown Historical Society can now move forward to ensure that school will be back in session for many more years to come with this grant from The Last Green Valley.”

The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor is the last stretch of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington, D.C.  The Last Green Valley, Inc. works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. Together we can care for it, enjoy it and pass it on!


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