Connecticut Historic Preservation Grants – 2018

Posted May 29th, 2018 by maryalbro and filed in News & Announcements
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The 1772 Foundation and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation have awarded 20 historic preservation 1:1 matching grants totaling $192,120. Grants were provided for exterior work:  painting, surface restoration, fire/security systems, repairs to/restoration of porches, roofs and windows, repairs to foundations and sills, and chimney and masonry repointing. Grants ranged from $1,500 to the grant maximum $15,000. Two organizations received the maximum award amount. The 1772 Foundation also awarded grants in New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Since the partnership between The 1772 Foundation and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation began in 2011, the Foundation has distributed over $1,500,000 to 153 projects of private, nonprofit organizations across the state.

Three sites associated with early industrial technologies are among those being restored using this year’s grant funds. One is an historic factory building. While many such buildings have been transformed into business space or housing, this building, used as a museum, is open to the public and retains a lot of its old factory charm. The second property is a grist mill; the third a sail loft.

Located within the Collinsville Historic District, the Canton Historical Museum building was built in 1865 by the Collins Company. Plows were assembled in the building, painted, and then shipped via railroad to their destinations. When steel plows were no longer needed due to mechanization, the company turned its building into a social club for its workers. It contained a reading room for the men, a parlor for the women, a six-lane bowling alley, and a shooting range. In 1939, a local resident and Collins Company employee received permission to house his collection of local memorabilia in the building. This collection was the forerunner to the Canton Historical Society Museum. In 1966, the Collins Company went out of business. After having use of the building for over 30 years, the historical society was able to purchase it in 2002. The building will be painted and some exterior repairs made using funds awarded by 1772.


The Gurleyville Grist Mill, located in Mansfield beside the Fenton River, is owned by Joshua’s Tract Conservation and Historic Trust. It was built about 1750 as an expansion of a wood frame sawmill that had operated on the site since 1723. The mill is unusual, being constructed of local stone rather than wood. It is the only stone mill of its kind in Connecticut. It operated until 1941, when a broken part could not be replaced due to the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent metal shortage. The mill contains perfectly preserved equipment:  two sets of grinding stones, conveying devices, the silk bolter for flour sifting, shafts, and huge gears. The basement houses the turbine mechanism, which was installed in 1875 to replace the outside undershot water wheel. The assemblage of equipment illustrates traditional millwrighting giving way to innovations of the nineteenth century. Grant funds will be used to correct structural deficiencies identified in a recent condition assessment of the mill.


The Charles Mallory Sail Loft is part of Mystic Seaport Museum. It is one of the few remaining unmodified sail lofts in existence. Charles Mallory built the loft in 1839. His firm, Mallory & Grant, as well as other sailmakers used it into the 1870’s. It has an open floor plan, which was needed to construct sails for tall ships. Before blueprints were supplied to them by ship designers, sailmakers made their own patterns. After measuring the masts and yards of the ship, the sailmaker made a paper pattern, 1/8″ to the foot, and sketched the outline on the loft floor. Originally located downriver from the Museum, the loft was moved to its current site in 1951. The building now is used to interpret historic shipbuilding trades (sailmaking, rigging, and ship chandlery) as part of the Museum’s recreated 19th century village. The cedar shingle roof has deteriorated from normal weathering and is in need of replacement.

A list of all of this year’s Connecticut recipients of historic preservation matching grants follows.

American Clock & Watch Museum (Bristol)Miles Lewis House$4,000
Canton Historical SocietyCollins Company building$6,000
Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation (Hartford)Superintendent's cottage$6,500
Connecticut Audubon Society (Hampton)Edwin Way Teale House$15,000
The Denison Society (Mystic)Denison Homestead barn$12,000
The Dudley Foundation (Guilford)Dudley Farm big barn$12,000
Enfield Historical SocietyMartha Parsons House$12,000
Historical Society of East HartfordMakens Bemont (Huguenot) House$7,500
Hyland House Museum(Guilford)Hyland House$12,000
Joshua's Trust (Mansfield)Gurleyville Grist Mill$15,000
Lisbon Historical SocietyBurnham Tavern$10,000
Mystic Seaport MuseumCharles Mallory Sail Loft$12,000
New Haven MuseumMuseum$12,000
The Norwich Historical SocietyEast District Schoolhouse$5,000
Old Saybrook Historical SocietyGeneral William Hart House$12,000
Pequot Library (Southport)Library$1,500
The Rockfall Foundation (Middletown)Captain Benjamin Williams House$12,000
Simsbury Historical SocietyPhelps House$3,620
Torrington Historical SocietyCarson House$12,000
Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust (New Milford)Smyrski Farm white barn$10,000