The New Jersey Historic Trust has approved the Lawnside Historical Society for a $60,607 matching grant for the Peter Mott House Underground Railroad Museum, as part of $14.3 million in funding for historic tourism, planning and preservation projects.
The Garden State Preservation Trust will act on the NJHT’s recommendations at its next meeting. The grant funds will be released in spring or summer 2022 after approval by the governor and appropriation by the legislature.
The Society will be required to raise the match of more than $40,400 of the estimated $101,011 for Mott House projects. The money will be used to replace or repair interior stairs, the cedar shingle roof, windows, clapboard, bulkhead and chimney.
“I am pleased to see such a great response to this year’s grant round,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Department of Community Affairs Commissioner. “Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund grants provide an opportunity for applicants to honor, preserve, and restore irreplaceable landmarks, which serve as a voice for historic preservation in New Jersey.”
The Society restored the 1845-era farmhouse at a cost of more than $400,000 then opened the historic site to the public in 2001. Several grants have helped maintain it in the past 20 years. Pre-pandemic, more than 1,000 people visited the museum each year. Since 2020, tours have been eliminated by schools, individuals and community organizations, an important source of income, making donations and grants more important than ever.
Additionally, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system needs to be replaced. Donations can be made by clicking Donate at www.petermotthouse.org.