MacKenzie House, Other Historic Sites Receiving Preservation Grant

On the outside of the MacKenzie House, the four brick piers beneath the north porch will be replaced for stronger support. (Photo courtesy Robert Novak)

  HOWELL – The MacKenzie House in Howell, the Georgia Schoolhouse in Freehold Township and many more historic sites in Monmouth County have recently been awarded preservation grants from the Monmouth County Historical Commission.

  “The annual awards ceremony for the Preservation Awards Program looked different this year, but it was still my sincerest honor to present grants to these organizations who have devoted so much to the preservation of historical structures in Monmouth County,” said Commissioner Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Historical Commission. “Monmouth County has a rich history and I commend each of these organizations for their commitment to preserving structures for the next generation to learn from and enjoy.”

  On February 22, a virtual ceremony was held and a total of $61,215 in grants were awarded. 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.

A contractor is to add block and brick support to the foundation in one corner of the basement, to give added strength to that corner of the house. (Photo courtesy Robert Novak)

  “Since 1990, the Historical Commission continues to provide support for preservation undertakings in Monmouth County,” said John Fabiano, Executive Director of the Historical Commission. “Once again, we have a variety of dedicated grantees that are moving these preservation projects forward.”

   The MacKenzie House Museum and Library in Howell was one of 10 historical projects in Monmouth County to receive a preservation grant. The Howell Heritage & Historical Society plans on using the grant towards brick repointing.

  “This particular Monmouth County grant was for $3,890 toward the project quote of $8,280. During this project, the contractor is to add block and brick support to the foundation in one corner of the basement, to give added strength to that corner of the house. Also, it covers working on the four brick piers beneath the north porch, to replace them with a stronger support system, to keep the porch from sinking further into the ground, and pulling away from the house. We are looking forward to the improved weather, and being able to schedule this project for later this season, as we determine the contractor’s availability,” Robert Novak, President of the Howell Heritage & Historical Society said. 

  The Freehold Township Historic Preservation Commission was also awarded a preservation grant to help replace the cedar shake roof at the Georgia Road Schoolhouse. The Georgia Road Schoolhouse originally started in 1735 by a land grant from King George, this old one room schoolhouse is the oldest remaining schoolhouse in Freehold Township, New Jersey.

The Georgia Road Schoolhouse will use the funds to replace the cedar shake roof. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Polverino)

  “It is one of two remaining one-room school houses within the township, the other is the West Freehold School House which we are also working on. The roof has to be replaced every 50 to 75 years, and the rest of the building is all original to 1862,” Cheryl Polverino, the Township’s Historian, Vice Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission and the founder of the Heritage Society, said.

Photo courtesy Cheryl Polverino

  The other recipients of the 2021 Preservation Grant included:

  • Allentown Historic Preservation Commission – Borough Annex exterior painting
  • Freehold Borough – Historic Firehouse doors restoration
  • Monmouth County Historical Association – Association Headquarters chimney restoration
  • Friends of Monmouth Battlefield – Craig House windows replacement and repair
  • The Parker Homestead 1665 – Parker Homestead kitchen restoration
  • Township of Millstone – Baird House front porch replication
  • Ocean Grove Historic Preservation Society – Old Neptune High School Wing wall restoration
  • InfoAge Learning Center – Camp Evans Building 9400 exterior painting

  For information about the County’s Historical Commission call 732-431-7400, ext. 7413, or visit the County’s website at