Six Historical Societies in Burlington County Receive $27,000 In grants

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Six Burlington County historical societies will receive grants ranging up to $9,000.

Freeholders awarded $27,030 in grants — from funds provided by the New Jersey Historical Commission — at its meeting last Wednesday.

The recipients include the New Jersey chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of AmericaShipman Mansion FoundationEvesham Township Historical Society, Armed Forces Heritage MuseumBatsto Citizens Committee and Woodland Township Historical Society.

The National Society of Colonial Dames of America’s New Jersey chapter will receive the biggest grant of $9,000. The funding will go toward general operating expenses of its two historical sites.

The society operates museums at the Old Schoolhouse in Mount Holly and Peachfield mansion in Westampton. The schoolhouse, on Brainerd Street, was built in 1759 and is the oldest schoolhouse in the state. Peachfield, on Burrs Road, was built in 1725. The land was purchased by Quaker John Skene in 1674.

The Shipman Mansion Foundation will get $8,734, to be used for collection management. The foundation helps restore and operate the Shipman Mansion at the Red Dragon Canoe Club on Edgewater Park Avenue in Edgewater Park.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Norma Carter, a volunteer with the foundation. “We are one of the oldest boating clubs on the Delaware River, and we have artifacts going back to the late 1800s. This is a wonderful opportunity to get them organized and show them to the public.”

The foundation leases the mansion and provides open houses and lectures about maritime culture and history. It also hosts concerts at the mansion in the summer.

The Evesham Township Historical Society will receive $4,062. Its vice president, Pat Dougherty, said the organization will use the money to preserve photos, provide education to local schools, and give tours of the Higginbotham House, a farmhouse built in 1725 on Madison Court.

The society used its photos and documents recently to teach children at the Florence V. Evans Elementary School about life in the 1800s, Dougherty said.

The Armed Forces Heritage Museum, adjacent to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Wrightstown, will get $2,534. The museum will use the money to help fund the continuation of its Living History Project, for which veterans give oral accounts of their time in different branches of the military and various wars, behind the backdrop of video that goes along with the accounted history.

The Batsto Citizens Committee will get $2,000 to buy a camera for the watchtower of the 32-room Batsto Mansion. The committee helps fund restoration and museum tours in the Batsto Village in Washington Township off Route 542.

The Woodland Township Historical Society will get $700 to complete a website redesign.