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Grants a boost for County’s built heritage

Built-Heritage-grant-for-library

Making the presentation, from left, are: Elizabeth Crombie, Marilyn Lauer, Jackie Soorsma, Carolyn Clarke (Stephanie Lynn and Marilyn Kennedy missing); Barbara Sweet, Library CEO and Carol Penhale, of the Community Foundation.

Using proceeds from five years of successful Christmas House Tours in the County, The Built Heritage Fund, administered by the County Community Foundation, has presented three grants.

“The 2015 Save the Day” grant of $5,000 was presented to assist the White Chapel with its roofing project. The roof is in immediate need of work and because of the building’s historical designation it will be a cedar shake roof completed this fall.

The White Chapel

The White Chapel

The Old Chapel was the first Methodist Church in Prince Edward County and one of the earliest in Upper Canada. It has been maintained as a place of worship for a longer period than any other church of Methodist origin in Ontario. An annual service is held in June and weddings also take place in the chapel. The chapel is maintained by Picton United Church. The White Chapel is located about 2 km  north of Picton, just off Hwy 49 on White Chapel Road.

During the grants process the Grants Committee decided as a result of this being the inaugural grant process, and in recognition of the high quality of applications received, that they would present two additional grants in recognition of the significant efforts to preserve heritage and important buildings in Prince Edward County.

The committee presented $1,500 toward the tower restoration at St Mary Magdalene in Picton and $1,500 to the Prince Edward County Library Picton Branch to restore its windows.

Mary Magdalene towerSt. Mary Magdalene Church was built in 1913 and restored approximately 25 years ago.  It was designated significant building by local historical society.  The tower restoration is already under way.

The Main Street Picton library was built in 1907 and is known as a ‘Carnegie Library’, as original funding and design was donated by Andrew Carnegie.  There were 2,509 of these around North America, all built between 1883 and 1929.
The restoration of the windows is part of a planned and documented historical building plan begun more than five years ago.

The grants committee noted the grant applications showed a clear demonstration of how the Built Heritage Fund resonates with a community full of heritage buildings and a genuine care for their potential and possibility.

Grants Committee members include Stephanie Lynn, Elizabeth Crombie, Jackie Soorsma, Marilyn Lauer and Marilyn Kennedy.  Most members of the House Tour Organizing Group were present.  Carolyn Clarke was absent from the deliberations.

The Prince Edward County Built Heritage Fund came about in  August 2010, following the precipitous demolition of the 135 year old Methodist Episcopal Church, an iconic landmark on Main Street, Picton as it brought a few concerned citizens together to discuss how important historic structures in the County could be saved.

The first Christmas House Tour was held in December 2010.  The reputation and success of the annual tour grows every year, with proceeds mounting in a fund designated for the preservation and protection of built structures determined to be important to the community and the history of Prince Edward County.

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