HOWELL – The MacKenzie Museum in Howell Township was one of several historical sites in Monmouth County selected to receive preservation grants from the Monmouth County Historical Commission.
Grants and regrants were awarded to a total of 36 applicants to provide funding for different projects.
“It was an honor to present the 15 grant awards to these admirable organizations for their commitment to preserving historical structures in Monmouth County,” said Commissioner Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Historical Commission. “I believe the best way to honor our rich County history is through the preservation of our historical structures, and these historic preservation grants provide applicants with means to restore and rehabilitate these structures for future generations to enjoy.”
The Monmouth County Historical Commission awarded historic preservation matching grants totaling $71,215 for 15 restoration projects. Projects that are eligible for funding are preservation, restoration or rehabilitation of historic structures, which are owned by non-profit organizations or municipalities, and are accessible to the public.
Additionally, the Monmouth County Historical Commission awarded history regrants to 21 applicants totaling $48,500 through the New Jersey Historic Commission, a division of the Department of the State. Included in this is the Howell Heritage and Historical Society with the MacKenzie House.
The Mackenzie House is home to the MacKenzie Museum and Library. The last owner, Jessie MacKenzie, as one of the original incorporators of the Howell Historical Society and gave her home to Howell Township in 1982 to be used as a museum and library. The newly founded Howell Heritage and Historical Society purchased the house from the township in 2020 with the goal to refurbish and reopen the MacKenzie House Museum and Library to the public.
Over the past couple of years, the Society has received grants to help with brick repointing, basement reinforcement and more. This year, they will use the funds towards fundamentals.
“This portion of the granting process is called GOS (General Operating Support). It is for use toward the basics of facility operation. Such as building insurances, electricity, phone service, fire detection/reporting systems (security),” Howell Heritage & Historical Society President Robert Novak said.
Novak explained that at the moment, the organization is not certain of the exact amount granted total due to an error. However, corrections are currently in the process.
“We do not care to ‘mis-state’ what HHHS is getting, until we have actual check in hand. They should be forthcoming shortly,” Novak said. “But we are grateful for whatever the final amount is, as it will help us stretch the budget.”
“The Historical Commission is excited to award 21 applicants funding through the New Jersey Historical Commission County History Partnership Program,” Commissioner Burry said. “This program is essential to assisting Monmouth County’s cultural organizations educate residents about our history through their normal operations and special projects.”