The Forbes Letterbook

Forbes House Museum Receives Grant from Milton Women’s Club

A $5,000 grant award from the Milton Women’s Club is the latest donation from generous contributors supporting the Forbes House Museum’s current exterior restoration project.

“It’s especially meaningful to the board to have the support of a Milton organization like the Milton Women’s Club.  We are most grateful for their generosity,” said Anne Malone, chair of the museum trustees.

Combined with private contributions and an allocation from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the grant is funding restoration of the museum’s porches, starting with the hexagonal south porch with its distinctive Chinese glazed ceramic blocks and other original architectural features.

After extensive preparation this winter, BMR Contractors began removing the porch columns in March and discovered their good craftsmanship meant they required minimal replacement.  “We were very pleased with the quality of the wood,” said Cheryl Tougias, project architect and a principal at Spalding Tougias Architects.

During excavation, contractors learned the foundation was more uneven than expected, and more of the foundation will need to be rebuilt rather than just repointed.  Tougias, a Milton resident, commends the contractor’s level of attention to the project’s historic aspects, including using salvaged brick to match those in the home’s foundation. “BMR Contracting and its subcontractors really have respect for the building’s many historic elements,”she added, noting that a focus on repairing instead of replacing is one of BMR’s strengths.

As the first of several essential projects, the porch restoration is on schedule for completion in June, in accordance with Massachusetts Historical Commission’s grant provisions.

Built in 1833 as the home of Margaret Perkins Forbes and her family, the Forbes House Museum includes Chinese export art, Civil War artifacts and Lincoln memorabilia among its collections. The Greek Revival home on Adams Street was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966.

During the restoration effort, the museum is adjusting its house tour schedule because of the relocation and storage of many collection items.  For more information, please consult the museum’s website, www.forbeshousemuseum.org.

3and9


Columns from the museum’s south porch before and after restoration

 

Excavation of the south porch foundation reveals the extent of rebuilding required


Excavation of the south porch foundation reveals the extent of rebuilding required

Forbes House Museum Presents Its Annual Spring Fundraiser – Cocktails on the Orient Express

The Forbes House Museum is excited to announce its annual spring fundraiser, Cocktails on the Orient Express, on Saturday, June 11th at 6 p.m.

This year’s fundraiser will be held at the sprawling Sugarbaker Estate located at 1015 Brook Road, Milton, MA, and will feature cocktails, canapes and local musical stylings.

This annual sold-out event attracts neighbors, friends and prominent community members, corporate professionals and philanthropic leaders from throughout the Milton and Greater Boston area. The evening’s theme is the Orient Express to celebrate inspiring stories of innovation and adventure.

The Forbes House Museum receives only a small portion of its operational expenses through fees or endowment and is not government funded. The proceeds from the museum’s spring fundraiser are critical so that the museum can continue to provide an array of free and reasonably priced tours, events and programs throughout the year for the benefit of all.

Individual tickets to this event are set at $75 if purchased before June 3rd. Any tickets remaining after June 3rd will be sold for $100. To purchase tickets or to sponsor the event, please visit www.forbeshousemuseum.org/orientexpress or call the museum office at 617.696.1815.

Forbes House Museum Announces Winners of the 2016 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest

LucyAsanza-1stPlace-4th-Cunningham

The Forbes House Museum is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest. Continuing the tradition started by Mary Bowditch Forbes in 1924, the Forbes House Museum invites students in grades K-8 to participate in the contest, which provides youth an opportunity to express their creativity while cultivating an appreciation of President Lincoln’s life and legacy. The contest is a highly anticipated signature event for the museum, which has received thousands of entries from area students since the re-launch of the annual program.

Enthuses Milton Public School Superintendent Mary Gormley, “The impact that this contest and the Forbes House have had on our students has been powerful in many ways. The students are given the opportunity to feel connected to the historical significance of our community, understand the relevance of Lincoln and his presidency and also display their understanding of these complex issues through both writing and art.”

The essays and drawings were judged by a member review committee comprised of members of the FHM Board of Trustees and Lincoln Committee, along with local educators and Civil War experts. The committee members are: Jeffrey Bernier, Rich Elam, Mary Ellen Geary, Denise Gilardone, Susan Lachevre, Anne Malone, Kenny Richardson, Harry Robinson, Joann Sacco, Pat Suhrcke and Mary Wendell.

An awards ceremony to recognize the contest winners will take place on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Milton Public Library in the Keys Room. All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP at 617.696.1815 or info@forbeshousemuseum.org by Friday, April 8, 2016 to confirm attendance for the winning student and her/his family.

The winners are as follows:

Lincoln Drawing Contest:

Kindergarten:
First Place: Hannah Mattirello, Cunningham School
Second Place: Ella Bowden, Cunningham School
Third Place: Siofra Faherty, Cunningham School

Grade One:
First Place: Bosa Mwosa, Cunningham School
Second Place: Lila Asanza, Cunningham School
Third Place: Esme Neugebauer, Collicot School

Grade Two:
First Place: Reagan Vaughan, Collicot School
Second Place: Taya Miller, Cunningham School
Third Place: Mary Lovett, Cunningham School

Grade Three:
First Place: Sydney Wilmot, Collicot School
Second Place: Sophia McFadden, Cunningham School
Third Place: Maggie Mullen, Collicot School

Grade Four:
First Place: Lucy Asanza, Cunningham School
Second Place: Tanner Sutherland, Glover School
Third Place: Grace Analetto, Cunningham School

Grade Five:
First Place: Ana Fonseca, St. Mary of the Hills School
Second Place: Julian Seale, St. Mary of the Hills School
Third Place: Katie O’Toole, Cunningham School

Lincoln Essay Contest:

Grade Six:
First Place: Alison Blake. Milton Academy
Second Place: Justin Pham, St. Agatha School
Third Place: Maggie Smith, St. Agatha School

Grade Seven:
First Place: Samantha Ford, St. Agatha School
Second Place: Samiran Moody, St. Agatha School
Third Place: Caroline Egan, St. Agatha School

Grade Eight:
First Place: Margaret Farrell, St. Agatha School
Second Place: Eimear McGowan, St. Agatha School
Third Place: Jacqueline White, St. Agatha School

For more details about the Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest, click here.

Forbes House Museum Embarks on Porch Restoration Project

The Forbes House Museum has achieved an important milestone in restoring its north and south porches with the selection of BMR Contracting of Needham as the project contractor.

“This project will restore two of the most distinctive architectural features of this marvelous building—the north entry porch and the elaborate, hexagonal south porch, which incorporates Chinese glazed ceramic blocks into its second floor balustrade,” said Jeffrey Gonyeau of Gonyeau Preservation Services. “In addition to this critical preservation work, it will also ensure continued safe ingress and egress at the museum.”

The construction project will include restoring the columns on the museum's porches.

The construction project will include restoring the columns on the museum’s porches.

The museum published invitations to bid and contacted contractors in mid-December. The project team, led by Gonyeau, met with prospective bidders in late December to tour the site and review the scope of work. In January, the team and the museum’s Administration Committee met to discuss the bids and selected BMR Contracting after reviewing references. Museum Trustees voted to approve the contract with BMR in early February.

Private donations and a grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission are funding the restoration project at the historic home. “This work is part of a longer, more extensive, and more expensive restoration project to come in the next few years. We are grateful for generous beginnings. These contributions recognize what a rare treasure Milton has in the Forbes House Museum,” said Anne Malone, chair of the museum trustees.

“Given the building’s high architectural significance, we are very fortunate to have assembled a great project team to oversee the work,” Gonyeau added. Beginning in early March, the team will coordinate with BMR to complete preliminary interior work in order to start exterior construction as soon as the weather permits. Work is scheduled to be completed by early June.

Built in 1833 as the home of Margaret Perkins Forbes and her family, the Forbes House Museum includes Chinese export art, Civil War artifacts and Lincoln memorabilia among its collections. The Greek Revival home on Adams Street is a National Historic Landmark.

During the restoration effort, the museum may need to adjust its house tour schedule because of the possible relocation or storage of various collection items. For more information, please consult the museum’s website, forbeshousemuseum.org.

 

Forbes House Essay & Drawing Contest Brings History to Life

1st Place Winner, 2015, Grade 4, Adriana Ruiz, Cunningham Elementary School

1st Place Winner, 2015, Grade 4, Adriana Ruiz, Cunningham Elementary School

If you grew up in Milton, chances are at some point you visited the Forbes House Museum and participated in the museum’s annual Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest.

For the uninitiated, the contest dates back to 1924, when Mary Bowditch Forbes began this tradition as a way of cultivating an appreciation of Lincoln’s life and legacy among Milton’s young people.

Today, students in grades K-8 are invited to participate. The Lincoln Drawing Contest is for students in grades K-5, the Lincoln Essay Contest is for students in grades 6-8.

Says Genevieve Martland, who teaches 6th grade English at Pierce Middle School, “The Forbes House Museum Essay Competition is a valuable way for students to make a connection to one of Milton’s cultural institutions. Although the essay is challenging for sixth graders, it opens the door to learning about the Civil War early in their educational career.”

Last year’s 4th grade winner of the drawing contest, Adriana Ruiz, participated three years in a row and the third time was a charm—she took home the first place prize. Says Adriana, “I was shocked that I won it—there were so many talented students in my class. It was a great honor.”

Adriana said that the contest required some preparation, and that she and her classmates researched images online and watched a few BrainPOPs about Lincoln. (Although the contest is 92 years old, students approach it using the most current resources—BrainPOPs are quick and fun online lessons in history, science, social studies and other topics.)

Enthuses Superintendent Gormley, “The impact that this contest and the Forbes House have had on our students has been powerful in many ways. The students are given the opportunity to feel connected to the historical significance of our community, understand the relevance of Lincoln and his presidency and also display their understanding of these complex issues through both writing and art.”

More details about the Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest and Rules can be found on the Forbes House Museum website at http://www.forbeshousemuseum.org/lincoln-contest/.  The deadline for all entries is Friday, Feb. 26 at 5:00 p.m.

We Have a New Website!

As you can see, The Forbes House Museum has a new website! It has many new features, including a mobile-friendly layout, an all new design, social media integration, an online catalog, virtual exhibit, and much more.

The China Trade Trail section of this website, which includes links to many other points of interest, has also been completely overhauled.

We will be posting news and articles on our blog, The Forbes Letterbook. The new website will be refreshed with new content regularly, so please visit often! Please explore the website and let us know what you think!