Honoring organizations in every New England state
The Herbert and Louise Whitney Fund Community Preservation Grant Program provides grants of $1,000 each to a small to mid-sized heritage organization in each of the six New England states.
The 2018 deadline has passed. Join our email list to find out when the 2019 application is live.
Historic New England believes in being a regional partner for heritage organizations. Community Preservation Grants demonstrate our belief that collaboration among organizations devoted to preservation activities will strengthen all efforts and raise the visibility and importance of preservation throughout New England.
Herbert and Louise Whitney Fund for Community Preservation
The endowment fund that supports the Community Preservation Grants Program is named in honor of Herbert and Louise Whitney to recognize their deep appreciation and love of all things New England, in particular the Bishop family farm in North Woodstock, Connecticut.
2017 Community Preservation Grant Winners
These organizations received $1,000 grants
James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut, to inventory, catalogue, and make accessible collections of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, located in his former home, which was named a National Historic Landmark in 2016 and is used for a writers’ residence program.
Museum L-A in Lewiston, Maine, to purchase flat file storage to protect collections of Bates Mills bedspread design original artwork, and make the designs more accessible for income-producing art projects that help support the museum.
Longmeadow Historical Society in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, to renovate an exhibition room at Storrs House Museum to feature the 1890-1920 story of the town, including images selected from 1,500 glass plate negatives taken by local photographer Paesiello Emerson.
Sandy Island Archives in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, to engage the Northeast Document Conservation Center to conserve and digitize two Olmsted Brothers 1938 landscape plans for Sandy Island Camp, located on a Lake Winnipesaukee island and the oldest continuous YMCA camp in the USA.
South County History Center in Kingston, Rhode Island, to expand archival storage to accommodate a threatened 35,000-image collection of photos taken locally by Narragansett Tribe member Kenneth T. Mars from the 1960s to 2011.
Essex Community Historical Society in Essex, Vermont, toward restoration of the National Register-listed Fort Ethan Allen Water Tower, built 1893, enabling the historical society to resume interpretation and public visits and bring renewed attention to the landmark.
Past Community Preservation Grant Winners
2016 Community Preservation Grants
- Windham Textile and History Museum in Willimantic, Connecticut, to digitize 425 of the museum’s most important oversize textile machinery drawings for online access.
- Sagadahoc Preservation, Inc., in Bath, Maine, to help fund historic paint finish documentation for Winter Street Church restoration.
- Fitchburg Historical Society in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, to support a master plan for renovation of the Phoenix Building in a downtown revitalization area.
- Warner House Association in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to support a textile care workshop for small museums held at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord.
- Tomaquag Museum in Exeter, Rhode Island, for an oral history video project with ninety-five-year-old Chief Strong Horse, an elder of the Narragansett Tribe.
- Root District Game Club in Norwich, Vermont, toward matching a grant for foundation repair for a 1937 one-room Root Schoolhouse.
2015 Community Preservation Grants
- Friends of Samuel Smith House & Property, Inc., in Niantic, Connecticut, to replace eight rotting gutters that had to be removed and clapboards on the seventeenth-century Samuel Smith House, acquired for preservation in 2013.
- Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine, toward transfer of the Harrie B. Coe collection of films (fifteen reels) to digital files. These films are promotional footage of Maine, centered on Maine life and recreation from the early twentieth century.
- Tales of Cape Cod in Barnstable, Massachusetts, toward an architectural and archaeological survey of the Olde Colonial Courthouse in Barnstable, to document the building, increase public appreciation, and plan future preservation activities.
- New Ipswich Historical Society in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, for installation of a bronze sign marking the New Ipswich Center Village National Register Historic District, to increase visibility and knowledge of the historic village.
- Living History, Inc., in Providence, Rhode Island, to support Iron Man, an archaeological field school for low-income urban high school students, based at the Nathanael Greene Homestead in Coventry, Rhode Island.
- Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, for a professional survey of Abenaki Native American artifacts throughout the museum collection, leading to improved cataloguing, exhibition, and interpretation.
2014 Community Preservation Grants
- Greater New Haven Labor History Association in New Haven, Connecticut,to produce eight additional panels for the traveling exhibition, Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story. The exhibition presents worker oral histories about the presence of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in the city from 1878 to 2006.
- Presque Isle Historical Society in Presque Isle, Maine, to conduct research and produce an exhibition on the role of one-room schoolhouses and those who taught in them in Presque Isle, the largest city in the geographically remote Aroostook County, the northernmost county in Maine.
- Rocks Village Memorial Association in Haverhill, Massachusetts, toward restoration of the Rocks Village Hand Tub House, built in 1840 as a fire station. It served as a meeting house for firemen and residents in addition to protecting the Rocks Bridge, which still operates as a hand-cranked swing bridge.
- Star Island Corporation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to digitize for preservation and access through Vaughn Cottage museum and archives currently inaccessible films from the 1930s to ’60s. The films record aspects of island life including the presence of poet Celia Thaxter.
- Westerly Armory Restoration in Westerly, Rhode Island, for research and exhibition of a Civil War collection that includes recently offered artifacts representing the career of Rhode Island Major General A. Hun Berry.
- Vermont Historical Society in Barre, Vermont, to present a Care and Handling of Textiles workshop in spring 2015 for Vermont historical organizations and an accompanying lecture for the general public. This project meets a need identified through the work of the League of Local Historical Societies and Museums.
2013 Community Preservation Grants
- New London County Historical Society in New London, Connecticut, in honor of the visit of the historic whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. The New London County Historical Society will restore an 1846 painting by John Ewen, Jr., that depicts “signals” or “house flags” that identified ships and the New London whaling firms that owned them.
- Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore, Maine, will make 872 photographs in the Washburn Family Archives more accessible to the public by digitizing them, creating a database with images, and creating an online exhibit about the family.
- Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club and Loring-Greenough House in Boston, Massachusetts, will have a conservator survey the textile collection to determine environmental and storage conditions and articulate goals to achieve better storage and access for the volunteers and the public.
- Portsmouth Athenaeum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will, through the North End Project, collect and scan family photographs and stories to digitally preserve Portsmouth’s ethnically diverse North End, a twenty-six-acre site re-developed during the 1960s as part of an urban renewal program.
- Pettaquamscutt Historical Society in Kingston, Rhode Island, will interpret the 1792/1858 Old Washington County Jail museum and the historic Kingston Village landscape that surrounds it through the use of light-filtering scrim shades graphically printed with interpretive text and images.
- The Preservation Trust of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, is working to preserve more than five hundred boxes of rescued historic records from the Vermont Marble Company archives, to become resources for the Vermont Marble Museum.
2012 Community Preservation Grants
- The Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center in Waterbury, Connecticut, to clean paintings to be included in an upcoming exhibition, Art for Everyone: The WPA in Connecticut, that highlights paintings, murals, and sculptures that were given to public institutions throughout the state through the Depression-era Works Progress Administration artists project.
- The Kennebec Historical Society in Augusta, Maine, to further pay down the mortgage on the Henry Weld Fuller House. Established in 1891, KHS uses the Greek Revival residence located in a National Register Historic District as its headquarters, and recently raised funds to pay off the major portion of the debt on the historic property.
- The Westport Historical Society in Westport, Massachusetts, to support Phase II of archaeological testing for the protection of historic resources at the Cadman-White-Handy House, which was built c. 1715 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
- The Exeter Theater Company in Exeter, New Hampshire, to support the renovation of the historic Ioka Theater as a community cultural center presenting programs that create excitement, pride, and support in Exeter and the greater New Hampshire Seacoast.
- Friends of Hearthside, Inc., in Lincoln, Rhode Island, to support the installation of a new exhibition about the Talbot looms, some of the original looms used to create some of the country’s finest fabrics at Hearthside 100 years ago.
- Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, Vermont, to document the concluding exhibition The American Ideal for continued educational use where students learn how the Civil War and President Lincoln brought meaning to the promise of the American ideal of equality, justice, and opportunity for all.
2011 Community Preservation Grants
- The Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center in Waterbury, Connecticut, to support the conservation of James H. Beard’s painting “Cattle on Elton Farm,” which depicts a local scene.
- Wilson Museum in Castine, Maine, to purchase a scanner and archival sleeves to ensure the preservation of and increase accessibility to a rich collection of archival material of the history of Castine and the founders of the museum.
- Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, Massachusetts, to support the restoration of an important folk art statue and lawn roller for display in the permanent exhibition Learning from the Landscape.
- Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene, New Hampshire, to support reorganization and improvements to artifact storage to ensure preservation of the collection and allow easier access for research and educational purposes.
- Friends of Hearthside, Inc., in Lincoln, Rhode Island, to preserve an important collection of early twentieth-century hand-colored photographs by digitizing the collection and allowing broader public use in publications, exhibitions, and websites.
- Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, Vermont, to purchase archival shelving and cabinets to ensure the continued preservation and accessibility of Lincoln family papers and objects in the collection.