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Grant to help fund historical survey of Jonesborough

August 6th, 2011 10:57 pm by Heather Richardson

The State of Franklin Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution received a $5,050 grant for an architectural and historical survey of the town of Jonesborough in areas outside of the established historic district.
The grant awarded comes from federal funds allocated by the Department of Interior under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act. The programs in Tennessee authorized by this act are administered by the Tennessee Historical Commission. The grants pay for up to 60 percent of the costs of approved project work. The State of Franklin DAR has to provide the remaining 40 percent of the costs as matching funds.
“These grants are important in helping us preserve our area’s history for generations to come,” state Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, said. “It is also extremely important to us economically as we build our tourist development, which helps create jobs for our citizens and economic opportunities for area businesses.”
According to State of Franklin DAR member Virginia Maden, the grant was applied for in early September. The group started with a map of the town that showed the historic district as well as structures outside it and the approximate time those structures were built in 10-year increments. With that map they were able to locate a little more than 100 properties that met the criteria for their project.
Once the surveying begins, Maden said they will perform “windshield surveys” in which they will evaluate structures from the road to establish which properties could have historical significance and which are obviously of no historical relevance. Then those deemed to possibly have historical significance will be evaluated more closely.
The goal is to identify those structures within Jonesborough’s city limits but beyond the designated historic zone which have historic relevance to the area, as well as to bring more attention to those structures to their owners and tourists.
DAR members will work with the Heritage Alliance and a professional photographer, who will provide training on how to recognize historic structures and how to properly document them. Once the structures are established, DAR members hope to create a brochure with photos and information on each.
“We are really honored to have a chance to do something that will impact the town for some time and will help people that don’t realize they have a gem of some kind to be able to take care of it better,” Maden said.
This year’s selection process emphasized projects conducting architectural, archaeological and historic site surveys. Such projects are designed to identify and to record historic districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects built before 1960 that are significant to Tennessee’s history. Surveys could be for a specific geographic area or for sites associated with themes or events significant in the state’s history.
Priorities for funding survey projects included areas experiencing rapid growth and development, other threats to cultural resources, areas where there are serious gaps in knowledge regarding cultural resources, and thematic surveys based upon existing historic study units produced by the State Historic Preservation Office.
In addition, the upstate area also will receive benefits from several multi-county grants, including $25,000 to fund a preservation specialist staff position for the First Tennessee Development District.

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