Boston - State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and State Representative Stephen Kulik (D- Worthington) announced today that the Center Cemetery in Chesterfield has been selected to receive $11,000 in pre-development grant funding from the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC), a division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Francis Galvin.
“Thanks to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Town of Chesterfield may now move forward in developing a strategy for repair and preservation of this historic cemetery,” stated Downing.
The Center Cemetery is Chesterfield’s oldest burial ground for the Town’s earliest founders and settlers. Until recently, the Town has been financially unable to develop a preservation plan that would address the much-needed restoration. However, a recent bequest in the will of a civic-minded resident has allowed Chesterfield to meet the 50 percent match required by the MHC’s pre-development grant guidelines.
“I congratulate Chesterfield on submitting an excellent proposal for this very competitive grant, which I was very pleased to support. The cemetery is the final resting place of many of Chesterfield’s most prominent settlers, including a number of Revolutionary War veterans,” stated Kulik. “Once restored with the help of this grant, the cemetery will again serve as a fitting tribute to their memory and honor Chesterfield’s past.”
This funding will help initiate the restoration of the cemetery’s holding mausoleum, unstable or broken headstones, and other damaged monuments. For more information on grant opportunities through the Massachusetts Historical Commission, visit: www.sec.state.ma.us/mhc.