Wonderful News!

by Judith Wellman

Our National Register of the Farmington Quaker Crossroads Historic District nomination received the approval of the New York State Review Board yesterday [March 16, 2007] with the full support of all board members present! It is now listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and will be on its way to Washington on Monday, where it will be reviewed and hopefully added to the National Register of Historic Places by April 26, 2007. This is the day that our application for the Save America’s Treasures grant is due. This National Register listing is so important, because it is the basis for all major state and federal grants.

This nomination and listing has been possible not only because of the national significance of this district’s history but also because of the hard work of Mark Peckham of the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; the research of Charles Lenhart and others; the Chace Fund of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, which supported this research with a grant last year; and the support of so many of you who have written letters and signed petitions on behalf of this district, including the Town of Farmington, Farmington Quaker Church, North Farmington Cemetery Association, and many other groups and individuals. Many, many, many thanks. This district is a tribute to all of you!

A Trip to Washington, D.C. On March 1, Rich Regen, Billie Luisi-Potts, and Judith Wellman took the early morning red-eye flight from Rochester, New York, to Baltimore-Washington International Airport and then the Amtrak to Washington, D.C., where we met with Fiona Lawless of Save America’s Treasures and Kate Beale and Danielle Kline in Senator Clinton’s office. We explored both a Save America’s Treasures grant and a specific appropriations for the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse. Both meetings were very encouraging, and we thank our hosts so much for their warm welcomes. As a result, we have requested an appropriations from Senator Clinton’s office, and we will write a grant for Save America’s Treasures for $700,000 to help restore the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse. We will also be working on matching grants for these funds.

These grants will go toward stabilizing the basic meetinghouse structure, moving the building onto its new foundation, rebuilding the small building at the rear that was used for small meetings of ministers and elders, and restoring the exterior of the original building. The rebuilt small structure at the rear can then be used as a visitors’ center to house bathrooms, a small exhibit area, and a gift shop. Interior restoration will be a third phase.

See photo above for your intrepid advocates in Washington. What a privilege it is to connect the nationally important themes related to the Farmington meetinghouse with the same themes in our nation's capital, just as people did before the Civil War.

Talk on Quaker History and Farmington Meetinghouse. On April 16, Judith Wellman will be speaking at Representative Meeting of New York Yearly Meeting at Chautauqua on the history of Quakers in Farmington-Scipio Quarterly Meeting, highlighting events at Farmington and Scipio as they reflected women’s rights, Seneca Indian rights, and abolitionism and the Underground Railroad, with a focus on the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse.

So far, we are right on track with our projected plan. Moving right along, in harmony! Peace and joy to you, to those you love, and to all those who love the ones you love, and so it goes around the world.

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