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American Independence Museum Receives $80,000 Grant Award

The American Independence Museum in Exeter, NH has received a $80,000 grant award from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) to support the rehabilitaiton of the Ladd-Gilman House (c.1721).

Home of the State Treasurer for New Hampshire and State Treasury from 1785 to 1789, the Ladd-Gilman House also served as home of the Granite State’s first Governor beginning in 1800. The complete scope of the project includes archaeology, perimeter excavation and regrading, foundation repointing, replacement of a modern stone retaining wall, restoration of rotten sills and the addition of storm doors.

“Upgrades will also be made to utility systems to help plan for future growth and enhance the structure’s energy efficiency,” said museum Executive Director Emma Bray, who expressed excitement at the award.

“We are so appreciative of LCHIP’s investment in this project at the Ladd-Gilman House, which celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2021,” she added.

The forty-two projects that received matching grants from LCHIP are spread across the state. Sixteen natural resource conservation projects will be supported by $2 million, while twenty-six historic resource projects will receive $1.9 million, all in matching grants.

Grant recipients are required to provide at least one matching dollar from another source for every dollar received from the state through LCHIP. This year, they will provide more than $3.70 for each state dollar.

The smallest grant is $7,500 for a planning study to help the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts explore what is needed to convert the former Shrine of Our Lady of Grace into a cultural and arts center. The largest grant of $350,000 will help the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire create the Birch Ridge Community Forest in New Durham.

The eighteen-member LCHIP Board of Directors selects the grant recipients as the culmination of a rigorous application and review process.

LCHIP’s Board Chair, Amanda Merrill of Durham said, “The LCHIP Board and staff have the responsibility and privilege of helping to protect natural, cultural and historic resources across New Hampshire. It is a pleasure to work with dedicated colleagues from local government, citizens groups and non-profits to preserve the places that make our state special.”

Home to a world-class collection of 3,000 historic artifacts, the museum welcomes more than 5,000 visitors annually and distinguishes itself with educational school programs and events that make history fun and relevant.

Specific details of the project, which will begin in the spring of 2019, will be released soon.

Museum to host final Colonial Holiday Tea of the season

With a full house in attendance for the first Colonial Holiday Tea this past at the American Independence Museum Folsom Tavern in Exeter, the final event in the series takes place on Saturday, December 8.

At the event, guests enjoy a more rustic version of a Victorian Tea with assorted finger sandwiches, scones, and cookies, which were prepared by colonial inspired caterers, For the Love of Food and Drink.

According to Executive Director Emma Bray, the event provides a fun entrypoint to “those who may not know about the museum.”

“It takes place at Folsom Tavern where George Washington once dined, so it is fun to sit and relax in this historic environment,” she said. “If you want to visit the museum in 2018, this is your last chance.”

For Bray, this past Saturday’s attendance both delighted and surprised staff.

“Any time you start a new program, you are never quite sure what might happen,” she said. “We were thrilled at the response and expect another full house this Saturday.”

At the event, which features a seating at 11am and 2pm, guests may also try their hand at making mulling spices and lavender sachets as well as practice writing with a quill pen.