The Bordentown Historical Society (BHS) closed out its 2021 fundraising year with $246,685 in grants awarded.
The year ahead will include continued preservation, programmatic expansion and progress on Phase I of the restoration of the Clara Barton Schoolhouse, noteworthy on the cusp of Clara Barton’s birthday, Dec. 25, 1821, exactly 200 years ago, according to information provided by BHS.
While 2021 continued under the shroud of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bordentown Historical Society marked the year with fundraising and operational milestones. The year saw record-breaking returns of the Spring Garden Tour and Harrowing History, rededication of the schoolhouse, and Clara Barton’s Birthday Celebration, to name just a few events, according to the statement.
“We are proud of the society’s many accomplishments this past year, especially the attention directed to Clara Barton, her schoolhouse, and her incredible achievements that reinforced her status as a true American icon,” BHS co-President Steven Lederman said in the statement.
A major focus for BHS in 2021 was the 200th anniversary of Clara Barton’s birthday on Dec. 25. This milestone presented the opportunity for the BHS to progress the restoration and preservation of the original one-room Clara Barton Schoolhouse. Thanks in part to the Historical Society’s donors and the grants received, Clara Barton’s Schoolhouse will be outfitted with modern technology while restoring and retaining its 1921 charm, and original 1852 significance, according to the statement.
This effort will be propelled by a $181,000, 60/40 matching capital grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust. Matching the public funds, the single largest contribution, $42,500, was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Foundation.
“New Jersey is repeatedly recognized as having the best public school system in the nation. It is our responsibility and privilege, with insightful partners like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to preserve this legacy jewel as the first free public school in the State,” BHS po-President Bonnie Goldman said in the statement.
Meaningful operational support funding in 2021 was provided by:
• Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services/Siever’s Grant awarded the BHS a non-matching grant of $9,970 for Program Support.
• The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey awarded the Bordentown Historical Society $7,715 for work to be done on the first floor of the Friends’ Meeting House.
• The NJ Council for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Rescue Plan Act – COVID Response Grant awarded BHS a non-matching $5,000 grant for program support.
• New Jersey Manufacturers awarded the BHS a $500 non-matching grant for general support.