Burlington County will distribute $31,716 to seven local history organizations to help support their operations and advance projects to preserve, promote and educate residents about county history and historical sites.
“Spanning from the Native Americans and early Colonials through the Industrial Revolution and the fight for Civil Rights, our county is home to so much incredible history and so many important properties and artifacts,” said County Commissioner Linda Hynes, the Board’s liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation. “These historic sites and museums are among our county’s most treasured assets, and these grants will help support organizations committed to preserving and showcasing the history that makes our county so special.”
The grants were awarded as part of the New Jersey Historical Commission’s County History Partnership Program to assist existing and emerging local history organizations and other nonprofit organizations that undertake local history projects and programs.
Burlington County’s seven grant recipients were recommended by a peer panel within the County’s Division of Parks and the awards will be used for a variety of purposes and projects, including general operations, development of museum exhibits and support for specific history projects.
The Board of County Commissioners voted Wednesday to approve the panel’s recommendations for the following grants:
- Armed Forces Heritage Museum, Wrightstown: $10,000 to support the creation of a transportable exhibit focused on New Jersey military involvement in the Revolutionary War. The museum plans to launch the exhibit at the historic Captain James Lawrence House in Burlington City and then move it throughout Burlington County communities, museums and educational facilities.
- Chesterfield Township Historical Society: $3,500 to support a planned museum within the Crosswicks Friends Meeting House.
- Evesham Township Historical Society: $3,000 for general operating support for the society’s local history museum at the John Inskeep Homestead. Inskeep was a Revolutionary War solider who later become mayor of Philadelphia.
- Indian Mills Historical Society, Shamong: $1,000 for general operating support for the organization’s planned museum at a building recently purchased on Oakshade Road.
- Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown: $8,320 to support the center’s H.E.A.R We Are Burlington County project to raise awareness about Burlington County history, culture and folk arts through the creation of listening spaces, presentation and discussion forums, concerts and podcasts.
- Timbuctoo Historical Society, Westampton: $4,780 to support the production of a video series about Timbuctoo and other antebellum free black communities in New Jersey with interviews with experts, descendants, elected officials and other interested residents.
- Woodland Township Historical Society: $1,200 to support the development of a “Welcome to Historic Cranberry Trail” in partnership with the Whitesbog Preservation Trust, Double Trouble Park and Cloverdale Farms. Plans call for the society to identify and scan photographs and paper goods and produce trail postcards.
Hynes said the investments in local history preservation strengthen communities and help grow local economies. She cited the benefits seen from the County’s investments in Historic Smithville Park in Eastampton and the Historic Prison Museum and the Burlington County Lyceum of History and Natural Sciences in Mount Holly.
“Our history helps define us and these fantastic organizations and projects will keep that history alive for current and future generations to learn about and be enlightened by,” Hynes said. “That alone is worth the investment, but we also know that historic sites and museums also help attract visitors and produce economic benefits. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The John Inskeep House in Evesham is the historic family home of John Inskeep, a Revolutionary War solider and former Philadelphia mayor. It is now the site of a local history museum run by the Evesham Township Historical Society (Photo credit: Evesham Township Historical Society)
The Timbuctoo Civil War Cemetery is the resting ground of several African-American Civil War veterans.