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PRESS RELEASE- Downing & Speranzo Announce Historical Grant For Pittsfield
June 25, 2007

Pittsfield- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and State Representative Christopher N. Speranzo (D-Pittsfield) announce today that one of Pittsfield’s historic treasures, the Samuel Harrison homestead, is receiving $50,000 from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF), administered through the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC).  The MHC is a division within the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.


These state dollars will provide a significant portion of the 50% match required for the $246,322 Save America’s Treasures grant awarded the Samuel Harrison Society from the National Park Service.  With this funding the Samuel Harrison Society will be able to set in motion plans to establish a museum of African-American history at the homestead, located at 82 Third Street, Pittsfield. 


“This historic home represents triumph over struggle during a time when freedom was not spread equally among people,” stated Downing.  “Reverend Harrison was known in his congregation and his community as a political activist and leader in the movement to abolish slavery.  Preserving his legacy though the restoration of his home and the establishment of a museum of African-American history fits well into the culture and creative economy of Pittsfield.”


“This funding helps continue the restoration and renovation of a project that is important not only for its historical significance in Berkshire County, but for the rehabilitation of a neighborhood in Pittsfield,” remarked Speranzo.


The Samuel Harrison House was gifted to the Society by Ruth Edmonds Hill, great granddaughter of Rev. Harrison.




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