BOSTON – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) announces that the Massachusetts Sesquicentennial Commission of the Civil War is now accepting applications for matching funds to be used towards the preservation of historic objects, sites and document collections that are significant to the history of the Civil War.
Downing, who serves as the Senate vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development notes that western Massachusetts hosts a number of Civil War related sites and attractions, including the Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield, the Ashley House in Sheffield, the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, the Sojourner Truth statute in Florence and the Springfield Armory. Additionally, Northampton features two stops on the Underground Railroad: the Hill Ross Farm and the Dorsey-Jones House.
The program, a partnership of the Sesquicentennial Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, is now in its second cycle. Earlier this year, the Commission awarded over $91,000 in matching funds to 24 projects across the Commonwealth.
The program is open to Massachusetts municipalities and non-profit organizations and provides state matching funds of up to 50 percent of a project’s total cost, but not exceeding $7,500. Eligible projects may include the renovation, rehabilitation, restoration or enhancement of existing monuments or memorials relevant to the Civil War and Civil War veterans. Proposals to construct new markers for historically significant sites will also be considered.
Eligibility was recently expanded to include preservation or digitization of historic documents. This will encompass local libraries and towns which may own or seek to acquire documents relevant to the Civil War such as archived records, or letters which may require restoration or digital archiving.
The rolling application period began January 1, 2014 and ends on April 1, 2014.