In the spring of 1994, the Town of Scotland purchased the 29-acre Kimball farm in Scotland, Connecticut. The circa 1723 farmhouse was the birthplace of Samuel Huntington (1731-1796), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in whose honor the house was recognized in 1972 by the National Park Service as a National Historic Landmark. The town agreed to hold the house and 4.6 acres for 2 years to give area residents a chance to organize and raise the $150,000 purchase price. The town planned to retain only the rear acreage for town use, selling the historic house and land fronting on Connecticut Route 14.
Determined to preserve the house as a museum open to the public, the concerned group of area residents formed the Governor Samuel Huntington Trust, Inc. (the Trust) in September 1994. The IRS recognized this non-profit corporation in June 1995 as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. The Trust accepted the challenge to raise the required purchase price by July 31, 1996, and leased the house and 4.6 acres in February 1995.
In December 1995, the Connecticut Historical Commission awarded the Trust a matching funds grant of $50,000 as reimbursement, provided the Trust first purchased the house. The Commission was well aware that this is one of only three surviving houses associated with Connecticut's four signers of the Declaration of Independence, the other two are in private hands. Only Samuel Huntington's birthplace, a well-preserved, unrestored rarity still in a rural village setting, could become a museum accessible to the public.
With support from Senator Christopher Dodd, the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut and its financial backers, and Huntington relative Dr. David Chase of Chase Enterprises in Hartford, the necessary funds were raised. The Norwich Savings Society provided an $80,000 mortgage loan, interest-free for 15 months, and the Trust made up the balance.
After two years of operation, and completion of a series of studies and research projects, definitive state support was received as a result of Lieutenant Governor Jodi Rell's endorsement and support of the initiative to obtain a $300,000 grant from the Bond Commission to cover much-needed preservation work and site expansion.
The Trust is currently undergoing transition to paid contract help, which is now the key to the museum's future. The volunteer Board of Directors has accomplished much in the effort to preserve Samuel Huntington's birthplace, but must now find funding for the staff that will plan and develop the Huntington Homestead Museum, as a significant cultural asset and quality tourist destination.
The Governor Samuel Huntington Trust is dedicated to preserving, restoring and interpreting the birthplace of Samuel Huntington in Scotland, Connecticut. Huntington was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, President of the Continental Congress, President of the United States under the ratified Articles of Confederation, and Governor of Connecticut. Because of his achievements, the property was designated a National Historic Landmark house and site in 1972.
In owning the house and site, the Trust recognizes its role as a trustee of significant material culture and its obligation to make those cultural resources accessible to a multi-generation and diverse audience. Through public and school programs, special events and publications, the Trust seeks to inform visitors of the historical importance of Samuel Huntington in the young republic, as well as to interpret architecture and life, rural society and economy, and racial diversity in Eastern Connecticut.
|The Huntington Homestead is owned and operated by the Governor Samuel Huntington Trust, Inc., PO Box 231, Scotland, CT 06264. A non-profit corporation formed in 1994, the Trust is authorized by the IRS to receive tax-exempt contributions. This site has been made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Society of the Cincinnati.|
|This page last modified on 3/24/01.|