The Denison Homestead

300 Years of Mystic, CT History

1772 Foundation Grant

The Denison Homestead Receives 1772 Foundation Grant

The Denison Homestead has just been awarded a highly competitive matching grant from The 1772 Foundation. The amount of the grant is $8,650. The 1772 Foundation provides grants for “bricks and mortar projects” for historic preservation in NJ, CT and RI, thanks to the original benefactor, the late Stewart B. Kean. 

www.1772foundation.org

The grant is to be used for much needed exterior work on the historic 1717 house museum. All exterior windows need re-glazing and repainting. The wooden shingles need some cleaning and preservative. It is hoped that the community and Denison Society members will help match this generous grant.

 

What is the Denison Homestead?

The Denison Homestead is a 1717 house museum which preserves the way of life of succeeding generations of the descendants of one of Mystic’s founders, Captain George Denison. The shingled house, also known as Pequotsepos Manor, sits on 160 acres of land granted to Denison in 1654 by John Winthrop Jr. for his service in the colonial militia. Denisons lived on the site from 1654 to 1941. In 1946 the house was converted into a museum under the direction of J. Frederick Kelly, distinguished architect and author of Early Domestic Architecture in Connecticut. It is furnished with family heirlooms. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

This grant is awarded to unique historical properties.

The Homestead museum is unique in several ways. It was the last major restoration commissioned by Kelly before his death and one of his few surviving restorations. Kelly conceived the idea of a “successive” restoration. There are 5 different period rooms which portray the lifestyle of several generations: a 1740’s kitchen, with its rare trimmer arch, an 1800’s Federal Parlor, Revolutionary War Period Bedroom, Victorian chamber and a 1930’s parlor. The acreage surrounding the museum provides space for colonial reenactments, archaeological digs, school programs, a farm market, a nature center and numerous hiking trails. The Homestead is located only 5 minutes from 1-95 and The Mystic Seaport, easily accessible by tourists and locals.

 The grant asked why they should help fund our project?   This project is  a critical part of our effort to restore and preserve our 294 year old structure. Overtime much of the Society fund-raising efforts have centered on protecting the surrounding land. Receiving the grant money will help jump start the major house restoration that still lies ahead as documented in assessment and survey reports. Exterior work on the structure will provide the community with visible evidence that we are actively working on restoration of a local landmark and afford an opportunity for them to become involved and provide financial support. The restored windows will stop the drafty winter conditions and enable us to run year round programs inside the house.

www.1772foundation.org

Money is Still Needed for other Restoration Projects

The Denison Homestead  still has other restoration projects that require funding help but are thrilled with this wonderful gift from The 1772 Foundation to jump start Homestead Restoration. We are looking for ideas and other grants to help us.  

The foundation needs re-pointing and water table stones repositioned so water is directed away from foundation during rain. A concrete slab needs to be poured with positive drainage to help keep some of the moisture out of the cellar and prevent further deterioration from moisture.  The sills under the Federal Parlor need to be strengthened. These are just a few of our next major issues to address.