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Essex Heritage Announces 2024 Partnership Grant Recipients
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: Essex Heritage
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May 2, 2024 – The Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), in keeping with its long tradition of supporting the region’s unique cultural heritage, announced the 2024 Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Program recipients at the Commission’s spring meeting at Hamilton Hall in Salem on April 23rd. Over the next year, the 12 grant recipients will be working to implement a diverse range of educational, interpretive, inclusionary, and preservation projects throughout Boston’s North Shore and the Merrimack Valley.

We recognize the importance of supporting local organizations and we are proud that we are able to award twelve partnership grants again this year. Over the life of the program, we have provided grants to every community in Essex County – and we know that this seed money greatly impacts the region by leveraging more investments in the Essex National Heritage Area.

2024 Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Recipients:


Hammond Castle Museum:
Within the Hammond Castle Museum’s collections are several recordings made for or by John Hays Hammond Jr. between 1940 and 1965, including Hammond’s own voice recordings and noteworthy classical performances on his custom organ and piano. The Hammond Castle Museum will undertake the second phase of efforts to digitize these recordings. The goal of the project is to create a comprehensive inventory of the content, rehouse the cleaned originals in archival sleeves and cases, utilize this material within their programming and educational materials, and make them available for public access through Digital Commonwealth.


Ipswich River Watershed Association:
Ipswich River Watershed Association will use their grant to provide transportation and programming to youth who may otherwise not be able to experience their “Floating Classroom” program. The environmental education program allows youth to practice hiking, kayaking, water safety, and trail etiquette. They make real-world connections to classroom learning about natural cycles, ecosystems, and human impacts. More time in nature improves mental and physical health outcomes, and outdoor excursions are especially beneficial to youth as they develop life skills.


Lawrence History Center:
Immigrant City Archives, doing business as Lawrence History Center, will undertake much-needed chimney and masonry repointing on the main building. Rain and weather have damaged the building, which is the primary archival storage, research, education, and administrative building, allowing water to make its way down the chimney and fireplace and along the rear wall and into the 2nd floor research room.


Manchester-by-the-Sea Museum:
Manchester-by-the-Sea Museum will develop “Manchester, The Revolution, and The War at Sea,” a program including both a multimedia presentation and walking tour. The program will tell the story of Manchester during the American Revolution, with the objective of creating a better understanding of the town's cultural heritage. *


Marblehead Museum:
Marblehead Museum will take part in carrying out “Headers in the Revolutionary War,” a two-day event designed to encourage multi-generational audiences to explore Marblehead’s role in the Revolutionary War through a series of programs and activities around the town’s Historic District. The free event will include a printed “passport” containing a schedule of activities and a walking tour of important War-related sites throughout town. Visitors will be able to “meet” Sarah Mugford, visit the Masonic Hall to learn about Patriot Freemasons, attend a recreated Town Meeting to decide whether to support the rebellion, tour Old Burial Hill, and more. *


Methuen Memorial Music Hall:
Methuen Memorial Music Hall will use their grant to undertake an emergency window repair on the historic 1897 Music Hall. Built for the first concert hall “Great Organ,” the building sustained damage to the front large window, which will be repaired and repainted. Masonry work around the window will also take place, all with the goal of preventing water from entering and causing greater damage to the building.


Custom House Maritime Museum:
Custom House Maritime Museum will work on their “Kid’s Discovery Center,” which will focus efforts on community-centric educational programs, investing in interactive displays and play spaces to attract younger audiences. The creation of the Kid’s Discovery Center will include development of both the physical space and the programming which will take place within it. Interactive elements will include blocks and pulleys, a ship’s wheel and video monitor, and audio tours.

North Andover

North Andover Historical Society:
North Andover Historical Society will create a display for the diary of Private James Stevens, a North Andover resident, which details his experience serving in the Revolutionary War. The exhibition will include signage and a multimedia component consisting of visual images of the diary pages with auditory accompaniment. Stevens’ diary begins on April 19, 1775, when he arrived with the rest of the Regulars at the North Parish Meeting House and began the march to Concord. *


City of Salem – Pioneer Village:
The City of Salem will create an interactive public art project with the intention of increasing awareness and understanding of the region's Indigenous heritage. A series of five traditional beading workshops will be held in 2024, each focusing on a different type of adornment (necklace, bracelet, headband, and earrings) culminating in a collaborative display. The project emerges from the work of a group in Salem which includes members of the Massachusett Tribe, historical interpreters, educators and others interested in honoring, learning and sharing the story of the Massachusett Tribe in Salem.

Hamilton Hall, Inc.:
Hamilton Hall will restore the 1805 building’s “Hearth Room” exterior door, which will remedy the frequent water infiltration that is causing damage to the adjacent ceiling and floors. The work will include custom repair, restoration, and painting of a four-panel wooden door, the door jambs, the transoms, and the sidelights.


Swampscott Historical Commission:
The Swampscott Historical Commission will undertake their project, "Preserving the General John Glover Farmhouse's History for Posterity through a Historic Architecture Building Survey,” part of on-going efforts to save the 1732 John Glover farmhouse. General John Glover was a Revolutionary War hero best known for rowing George Washington across the Delaware River to victory in December of 1776. *


Essex Agricultural Society – Topsfield Fair:
The Essex Agricultural Society will create “The Manumission of Pompey,” a resource book intended to educate the public that explores the working life of Pompy Mansfield, a man enslaved in Lynn. The project will reproduce and transcribe original documents to produce a resource book as well as a digital program to be presented by the Essex Agricultural Society. The resource book will include illustrations, a glossary of selected common and obscure agricultural terms, and transcriptions of the original records to increase accessibility of the material.

About Essex Heritage and the Essex National Heritage Area
Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve, and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area comprises the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. For more information, visit or call (978) 226-8154.  

*Projects marked with an asterisk (*) relate to “Revolution 250,” a collective effort to commemorate the 250thanniversary of the American Revolutionary War and its preceding events.

About the Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Program
The Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Program is a matching grant program created to foster and support the stewardship activities of municipalities and organizations that share Essex Heritage’s mission to preserve and enhance the historic, cultural and natural resources of the Essex National Heritage Area (Essex County). Impacting many in the region, the program has invested more than $1.6 million in support of the region’s nationally significant heritage.

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Posted: May 6, 2024
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