The Festival of Trees has awarded a $10,000 matching grant to the Salem Historical Society to be used for the restoration of the Salem Depot Train Station. This donation is part of the Historic Preservation and Restoration Grant Program designed to provide preservation funding to private non-profit organizations, private businesses housed in a historic property, cities and towns, and other public entities. Attendees to the annual Festival of Trees holiday event are encouraged to cast their vote for their town to be considered for a grant to help fund a restoration/preservation project in their town. Salem, NH received the most votes during the 2007 Festival and was awarded the matching grant.
“Our goal has always been to be a catalyst for historic preservation in our community and we wanted to expand the efforts to other cities or towns to help raise awareness its importance,” said Maureen Pollard, President of the Methuen Festival of Trees. “We are thrilled to be able to assist in preserving such an important historical building as the Salem Depot.”
Built in 1867, the Salem Depot Train Station was the focal point in the town of Salem, NH when daily trains were transporting freight, passengers and animals to their various destinations. Centered halfway between Boston and Concord, NH, the Salem Depot was the stop where most travelers took a brief rest during their journey. The years and elements have taken a toll on this historical landmark and thanks to a group of Salem, NH residents and businesses that joined together to form the Salem Depot Restoration Committee, the revival began this year.
This project, funded solely through donations, has hit a few stumbling blocks during this process. When it came time to tackle a new roof they realized they were low on funds and would have to put the project on hold. “A miracle happened when the Festival of Trees came forward and saved the day,” said Beverly Glynn, Chairman of the Salem Historic Commission. “Their generous donation allowed us to complete a new roof and weatherize the exterior of the depot which was key to preserving the exterior of the building.”
Since its inception in 1994, The Festival of Trees has provided more than $750,000 for public historic restoration projects including the Tenney Gate House, a large portion of the Searles and Tenney granite walls, the Masonic Lodge, the Bell Tower on the grounds of the former Searles Estate and the tomb of Mary Francis Hopkins Searles. Both North Andover, MA and Salem, NH have been awarded the Preservation Grant since the expansion.