Preservation Trust of Vermont 


Thank you to all of you who have made contributions to the Preservation Trust over the last several months.  It has been a daunting yet remarkable year, and your support is most appreciated.  Without your help, we simply could not do all we do to assist the many communities throughout Vermont.

Dots Restaurant, Wilmington
Dot's Restaurant, Wilmington, after Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 
I'd like to extend a special thank you to all of those who contributed to our Flood Relief Fund.

To be honest, we hadn't really thought about a Flood Relief Fund until Charity Clark was in touch with us in the first days immediately following Tropical Storm Irene.  Charity worked for Governor Howard Dean several years ago, and is now an attorney in New York City.  She had seen the videos and photos of the devastation in the state -- especially the damage to our covered bridges, and wanted to help.  She created a Facebook page, put out a plea, and that was the beginning.  Hundreds of others followed.  

Individual contributions came from across the nation.  In the end we received nearly $50,000 from people who wanted to help.  Then came a major gifts from Newman's Own Foundation, the Walter Cerf Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation, and the Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation.  And finally, the Freeman Foundation set aside their normal guidelines, and committed major support for flooded communities.

In total we've received over $225,000 and we are in the process of making grants to help covered bridges, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and community gathering places in flood affected downtowns and village centers.

While these grants won't solve all of anyone's problems, we hope that they will provide an emotional boost and help play a small but important part in the recovery effort necessary to rebuild healthy and vibrant communities in our historic downtowns and village centers.

Thank you for making this work possible.  We are grateful.

Paul Bruhn
Executive Director

PTV News

Journey's End: The Turner Homestead in Grafton, VT

The Preservation Trust is working on an exciting project to preserve and interpret Journey's End, the homestead of African American Daisy Turner in Grafton, Vermont.


The work is part of a cooperative effort of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Division for Historic Preservation, the Fish and Wildlife Department at the Agency of Natural The Vermont Electric Cooperative, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and VELCO.

Daisy Turner Homestead
Birchdale Camp at the Daisy Turner Homestead, Grafton, VT
Journey's End was so named because it represented the happy conclusion of the difficult journey of Daisy's father, an escaped slave and Civil War Veteran, to Vermont. Alec Turner successfully farmed, logged and raised a large family at this hill farm using the traditions he learned at the Virginia plantation where he was a slave.  

Daisy lived a remarkable life and was articulate until she died in 1988 at the age of 104.  Her stories and the history of Journey's End have been well documented by Jane Beck, the founder of the Vermont Folklife Center.

Birchdale Camp, built in 1911, is the lone remaining building on the site, although the foundations of the main house, the original log building and several outbuildings remain as important archeological resources. The site is significant on a state and national level for its association with African American history.  

Feasibility studies estimate it will cost about $250,000 for the preservation and interpretation of the property.  The Preservation Trust is looking for an owner or steward who will purchase or lease the Birchdale Camp plus the surrounding five acres, and make it available for public visitation.  For more information, please contact Eric Gilbertson at


Preservation in Progress 

The Preservation Trust of Vermont is embarking on a new effort to help communities throughout the state increase awareness and maintain momentum with their local projects.  "Preservation in Progress" will be a new area of our website that will offer easily accessible information about preservation projects throughout the state, as well as information about how to contribute to these important efforts. If you are interested in having your project included, please contact Meg Campbell at



Statewide Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference

Mark your calendars for this year's statewide Historic Preservation and Downtown Conference on Friday June 8, 2012 in Wilmington, Vermont.   


This conference is a partnership among the Vermont Downtown Program, the Division for Historic Preservation and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. More information coming soon! 



2012 Preservation Retreats
The Preservation Trust of Vermont hosts two-day Preservation Retreats at the Grand Isle Lake House from Spring through Fall. Retreats are for groups undertaking historic preservation and community development projects.


Preservation Retreat at the Grand Isle Lake House
Preservation Retreat at the Grand Isle Lake House.

Participating groups present a ten minute case study about a project they're working on. The case study frames a question or problem that needs to be solved to advance their project. Two to three people typically attend from each group.


Leaders, participants and special guests share ideas, identify funding opportunities and technical assistance resources, and move projects forward.


2012 Retreats have been scheduled for:


May 21-22: Retreat will include lead safe training and lead certification; the cost will be higher.


June 11-12: Redundant Churches with Tuomi Forrest


July 24-25: TBA 


September 17-18: TBA  


October 15-16: TBA  


For more information, please contact



Seeking Community Gathering Places Business Models

Help!  Please send us examples of community, cooperative, or individually owned businesses that are village-scaled breakfast/lunch gathering places and feature local farm-fresh food.

We are working with property owners that are exploring business models for a community breakfast/lunch gathering place.  The owners are not interested in starting or running the business, but they are willing to make their building available at low rent to an operator and to help finance and develop this sort of community gathering place.  We'd like to share examples of other places, whether individual, cooperative or community-supported enterprise.   

Thank you in advance for your feedback!   For more information, please contact


Poultney Episcopal ChurchPoultney Episcopal Churches: Community Meeting February 13
The Preservation Trust of Vermont is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese and the St. John's/Trinity Vestry to seek a compatible and sensitive community uses for Trinity Church in Poultney and St. John's Church in East Poultney.  The Preservation Trust will host a community meeting on February 13th to seek input and interest concerning the two historic churches.  For more information, please contact Ann Cousins: or 802-343-8180.

Hearse Houses
In support of community efforts to save the Bridport Hearse House -- a small garage used specifically for housing hearses -- the Preservation Trust is trying to get a count of remaining hearse houses in Vermont.  Besides Bridport, we know about survivor hearse houses in Bakersfield,  Corinth, and Stowe.  Any others? Please contact


Vermont News

Preservation News in the Vermont Legislature 

With January comes the opening of the 2012 legislation session at the Vermont State House.  Governor Shumlin's Budget Address was promising for preservation and downtown issues.

Governor Shumlin's proposed budget includes a $500,000 increase in the Downtown and Village Center tax credit program.  These additional credits will be directed to village centers and downtowns in flood affected communities. 

Historic Postcard of Waterbury Women's Ward
Historic postcard of one of the buildings at the State Office Complex in Waterbury 
One of the biggest issues the Governor and Legislature are facing is the future of the flood damaged State Office Complex in Waterbury.  Prior to Irene, over 1500 state employees worked at the Complex, and their presence has been an important part of the revitalization of Downtown Waterbury.  Fortunately the original and architecturally most significant buildings in the Complex only had flooding in the basement areas which means that flood mitigation solutions will be easier and the upper floors will be more easily rehabilitated. 

The Governor's proposal relocates the Agency of Human Services back at the Waterbury Complex, and moves the Departments of Education to Downtown Barre. The Agency of Natural Resources would move to the National Life Building in Montpelier. The plan is subject to sorting out the costs of the proposal- work that is being done by the architectural firm of Freeman-French-Freeman of Burlington and Goody Clancy of Boston.

The Governor also proposed an increase for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.  If approved, the $14 million would be used for a variety of conservation, historic preservation, and affordable housing efforts.  Over it's 25-year history, the Board has focused it's support of housing in community centers, and many of the units are located in historic buildings.

The budget is currently being review by both the House and Senate. 


Preservation Resources

Preservation in Pine Preservation in Pink
If you haven't yet visited Preservation in Pink, you're in for a treat!  Kaitlin O'Shea-Healy's passion and curiosity shine through in the preservation blog she started in 2007.  Today Preservation in Pink has 300-600 visitors per day.  According to the About page, "daily blog topics range from current events to personal essays to [pink] flamingo related thoughts to travel topics to preservation resources and much more."  






Free Resources on the Trust Website 

Did you know that they Preservation Trust of Vermont Maintains a list of resources for historic property owners on our website? 


2011 Restoration Directory: A juried directory of preservation architects, tradespeople, contractors, consultants and suppliers.


Preservation Trust of Vermont Grants: A list of the various grants available through the Preservation Trust.


Other Funding for Preservation Projects: A directory of local, state and national grant sources for preservation-related work around the state. 


Information and resources for:  

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