PHOTO: Monmouth County Historical Commissioner Muriel J. Smith, Twin Lights Friends president Mark Stewart, Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian C. Burry at awards ceremony
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Historical Commission presented nearly $80,000 in grants and regrants for historical preservation and restoration of historic churches, homesteads, libraries and museums Monday evening, including two to the Parker Homestead in Little Silver.
“This marks the 29th year Monmouth County has provided these needed funds to restore and renovate our many fine examples of historic architecture,” said Freehold Deputy Director Lillian C. Burry, in making presentations totaling $59,062 to the history groups and Friends who had made applications during the year. She pointed out that the additional $20,000 awarded at the same time to applicants in the regrant program was made possible through the NJ Historical Commission through the Monmouth History Partnership Program created three years ago to support existing and emerging local organizations with funds for operating support and special projects.
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Among the 13 historic groups receiving funding ranging from $1197 to $6,000 were the Strauss House mansion sponsored by the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society, which received $5.300 to enable them to stabilize the foundation of the historic former summer bungalow, $4700 to the Parker Homestead to restore the sweet potato frame on the farm, $5200 to Christ Church in Shrewsbury to rebuild the chimneys on the rectory, and $3,670 to the Shrewsbury Monthly Meeting Group to replace siding and make external repairs to the Meeting House on Route 35. All grants are on a matching fund basis and are being used for both re-purposing buildings to adapt them for re-use and simultaneous preservation or maintaining their original purpose.
The Twin Lights Historical Society’s president Mark Stewart accepted the $3500 in the regrant program which will enable the Lighthouse to have a part-time curator and make it possible to keep the museum open for visitors in the absence of a state employee, a position recently eliminated by the state Parks Department.
The Parker Homestead also received a regrant grant of $3,000 to offset fixed costs, including utilities and insurance, and the Red Bank Public Library received $1,500 to continue its archiving of the Red Bank Catholic High School yearbooks. The T. Thomas Fortune Foundation received $1,500 to cover outreach costs connected with the preservation and restoration.
“Monmouth County in particular can be proud of its role in shaping the mid-Atlantic region, the nation and the world for more than 350 years,” Burry told the standing room only crowd at the presentation ceremonies at the Hall of Records. “Its pivotal role during the American Revolution, early industrialization, and continuing legacy of technological innovation all distinguish our county in the historical record,” the freeholder said, in congratulating each of the historic organizations that continue the work of education and preservation of Monmouth County historic resources.