Historic New England awards six Community Preservation Grants

Oct 20, 2021

Each year, Historic New England awards one Herbert and Louise Whitney Fund Community Preservation Grant to a small to medium-size heritage preservation organization in each New England state.

A light-colored brick building with Greek-style columns on one section, and an A frame to the right. A banner on the A frame says, "Our community, our world, your museum."
Bennington Museum in Vermont

Historic New England is committed to telling the whole story of the region’s history. These grants support projects that save and expand the stories shared in our communities. This year, Historic New England awarded grants of $1,250 to the following six organizations.

Norwich Historical Society
The historical society seeks to preserve, protect, and promote the rich history of the town of Norwich. The grant will be used to hire an intern to research Haitian connections to the c. 1750 Diah Manning House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the Haitian Revolution the Manning family housed Haitian prisoner and refugee Jean-Pierre Boyer in their home from 1800 to 1801. Boyer went on to serve as President of the Republic of Haiti from 1818 to 1843. 

Rufus Porter Museum of Art and Ingenuity
Located in Bridgton, the museum promotes and preserves the life and legacy of painter and inventor Rufus Porter. The grant supports paint and plaster conservation work on parlor and entry at the c. 1790 Nathan Church House, one of Bridgton’s oldest surviving buildings and home to a collection of New England murals. This work is part of a long-range plan for the museum campus, a significant cultural and economic driver in this community.

Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts
The organization offers changing exhibitions and innovative programs to engage and enrich Lynn’s diverse population and has been eager to reconnect with the Khmer community. The grant supports the purchase of supplies and printing, marketing, and programming expenses for a collaborative exhibition with Khmer Identity, a platform honoring Khmer legacies and contemporary Khmer voices. Lynn has the third largest population of Cambodians in the U.S.

Khmer Identity’s logo was inspired from the Khmer Classical Dance hand gesture that represents “flower”.The gesture casts a shadow of a living flower onto the background, a symbol of resiliency.
Khmer Identity’s logo was inspired from the Khmer Classical Dance hand gesture that represents “flower.”

New Hampshire
Greenfield Historical Society
The historical society preserves the history of Greenfield by collecting, researching, and archiving written materials and artifacts that pertain to the town and its people. The grant funds the purchase of software to publish the first in a series of paperback books that bring the town’s history to life in a family-friendly, easy-to-read, illustrated format. The book will tell stories of Greenfield’s colorful heritage and its famous and infamous residents. In addition, video interviews of residents will provide firsthand accounts to complement the publications.

Rhode Island
Foster Preservation Society
The preservation society has worked for years to restore the Winsor Blacksmith Shop and preserve the many artifacts there. This grant supports repairs to the roof. The shop contains numerous artifacts showcasing the blacksmith’s many products including an unusual sling that supported oxen while affixing shoes to their hooves (unlike horses, oxen cannot stand on three feet). The fully operational shop is open to the public several times throughout the year. 

Bennington Museum
Bennington Museum is a museum of art, history, and innovation for Southern Vermont and nearby regions. The grant supports research, plaque installation, curriculum development, and related expenses to engage the community and partner with public schools on the Stopping Stones project. Stopping Stones is committed to positively and permanently affecting the lives of descendants of enslaved Americans. The historical reparations endeavor brings attention to the people and places affected by slavery.

See a list of previous recipients.

Herbert and Louise Whitney Fund for Community Preservation

The endowment fund that supports Historic New England’s 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.