Friday, December 18, 2009

Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Program Reinstated, Essex LINKS in Haverhill, National Honors for Man with Local Ties



In the earliest days of Essex Heritage certainly one of the most popular and beneficial programs that was offered was the Partnership Grant Program. The $1.5 million that was provided in grants to nearly 200 local municipalities and not-for-profit organizations was a boon to the region and had an impact on preservation work in the region. The funding that was provided resulted in another $5.0 million in additional investments that was added to those projects that helped boost the regional economy even higher. Grants were provided in every one of the thirty-four communities that make up the Essex National Heritage Area. When Essex Heritage was forced to put the program “on hold” during 2009 due to budget cuts and other limitations it was a painful decision, as we realize the importance of the program to the region. We are now pleased that in 2010 we will be able to offer a slightly curtailed grant program to the region The program for 2010 will not be as expansive as it has been in the past, but it will be coming back and that is indeed good news for those who will receive a grant from Essex Heritage in 2010.

The grant program that Essex Heritage is about to announce for 2010 has been adjusted a bit as the amount of grant money available is less than in the past, but from a positive standpoint the application process has been streamlined. The grant program in 2010 will total $25, 000 and will be allocated in 10 grants of $2,500 each. Preliminary pre-applications will be accepted as an ON-LINE application only. A $20.00 application fee must accompany the ON-LINE application. The ON-LINE pre-application that will be more concise than in the past will then, be evaluated and from those a select number of applicants will be invited to offer a more complete application that must be accompanied by more complete exhibits to support the submitted application. We must make it clear that “making the first cut” in the application process will not assure that a grant will be provided. A select committee organized by Essex Heritage will evaluate those applications that are submitted in phase ll of the process and the ten projects that are selected will then be offered funding.

The On-LINE application web site is expected to be available shortly after the first business day of the New Year, and the ON-LINE application process will close on February 12, 2010. The ON-LINE site will also contain additional detailed information regarding other criteria relative to the application process. In early March 2010 the invited applicants will learn if they can submit full applications, and in early May the final grant awards will be announced. In this program, Essex Heritage will entertain projects which:

  • Create or further develop educational opportunities for youth
  • Increase awareness and understanding of the region’s heritage
  • Preserve and enhance historic structures, landscapes, and cultural resources

We look forward to implementing this program once again, and understand how important it can be to the region. If there any that have questions about any phase of this program contact Essex Heritage’s Director of Development, Bill Steelman at 978 740 0444 or contact him at


Essex Heritage has maintained a relationship with the Buttonwoods Museum in Haverhill for many years. That location has served as one of the regional group of Visitor Centers connected with our organization. On Thursday, December 17, 2009 that location acted as a host facility for an Essex LINCS teacher workshop. The theme of the workshop was “Working in Essex County and the United States”. After a series of morning lectures by Salem State staff, a shoemaker from the area provided a demonstration of early American shoemaking using 19th century tools and skills .In addition to the lectures, Historical Society staff from the Museum provided a tour of the museum that included a visit to a “ten footer’ shoe shop on the site. Attendance at the seminar was excellent, and of the twenty-five teachers at the seminar, six were from Haverhill and the rest were from the northern end of Essex County. There is a main lesson plan offered to the attending teachers and those plans along with exhibits are then used to convey this part of the heritage of this region to their students. The LINCS program has been a wonderful addition to the work of Essex Heritage and we certainly appreciate the work done in the region by all connected with this initiative. We particularly want to thank, Rebecca Zimmerman who coordinates this effort for Essex Heritage.


Almost from the first days of Essex Heritage there has been a strong connection to the preservation and care of historic records. We became involved in those issues after a volunteer at the Gloucester Public Library brought to our attention some substantial damage that had been done to dated historic records from a flood that occurred in the basement of Gloucester City Hall. From that experience, Essex Heritage established the all-volunteer Historic Records Council. That organization acted as an arm of Essex Heritage until it was “spun off” to become a “stand alone” group that still meets now to discuss needs in that area. That group established a strong connection to the National Archives and Records facility locally. We were very pleased to see that David Ferriero a former resident of Beverly and a graduate of Beverly High School has been named the Archivist of the United States, This is a wonderful appointment, and Essex Heritage is pleased to see a gentleman with local ties to this region playing a leadership role in a Government organization that has such a strong link to Essex Heritage.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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