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This spring, perimeter excavation will begin outside the Ladd-Gilman House (c.1721) at the American Independence Museum, work that will kick off a number of projects to rehabilitate its structure.

“For many years, the Ladd-Gilman House has suffered from water infiltration from an old roof, a deteriorating foundation and other deferred maintenance issues,” explained museum Executive Director Emma Bray.

Such issues, she noted, compromise the building’s internal environment, which jeopardizes some of the museum’s “most rare and delicate artifacts.”

“In our effort to better care for our historic building and our 3,000 objects housed in it, we must address the moisture getting into our building,” she said.

The complete scope of the project includes archaeology, perimeter excavation and regrading, foundation repointing, repair of a modern stone retaining wall, restoration of rotten sills and the addition of storm doors.

In addition to an $80,000 grant award from New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the museum received support from other sources, including $20,000 from the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation and $10,000 from the William W. Treat Foundation. “LCHIP and several very generous matching donor partners have made our day,” noted Ozzie Ayscue, president of the museum’s Board of Governors. “This grant puts a literal foundation under the 1721 Ladd-Gilman House and American Independence Museum collection and a figurative one under a spirited and forward-looking organization.”

Expressing thanks for “the financial contribution of many,” Bray said the project is particularly important given the upcoming 300th anniversary of the Ladd-Gilman House and 30th anniversary of the museum, both occurring in 2021.

“As stewards of this property, it is most fitting that we undertake this work to ensure the long term integrity of this house,” she said.

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 fifth Governor beginning in 1794. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Properties.

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.