Miller-Cory House Gets New Lease on Life Through a Grant from The Westfield Foundation

Feature article on TAP of Westfield: Westfield’s Living History Museum Lives on Thanks to Westfield Foundation Grant

Westfield – The Miller-Cory House Museum was established by the Westfield Historical Society in 1972 and is a nationally recognized historic site.  The volunteer members of the museum are dedicated to the preservation of the 18th century dwelling, its grounds and gardens.  As a “living museum” open to the general public, the museum’s purpose is to recreate not only the atmosphere, but also the everyday activities of colonial life.

The property has been a fixture in Westfield since 1740 and has served the community as the town’s first and only colonial living history museum.

Over the years, the roof of the museum has been deteriorating and in desperate need of repair.  The delicate renovation requires the use of historically accurate materials which are not easy to come by and very costly and requires a contractor with expertise in historically appropriate materials to maintain the historical accuracy of the living museum. 

In the spring of 2020, the Westfield Foundation was approached to provide funding for this project.  The Board of Trustees of the Foundation approved a $140,000 grant to accomplish the goal.  This grant was funded by the Bertha Bogaert Fund, a fund established in the Foundation by bequest under the will of Ms. Bogaert and has been designated to provide significant funding to major projects in the Westfield area.  Other projects funded by the Bogaert Fund have included a $400,000 grant to the Mindowaskin Park playground, a $93,000 grant to equip a STEM classroom at Westfield High School, a $200,000 grant to the Westfield Y capital campaign, and others.

Since 1975, the mission of the Westfield Foundation has been to provide funding support in the arts, health, aging, historic preservation, social services and civic projects.  In pursuit of these goals, the Foundation has granted over $7,000,000 to various organizations.

Foundation Announces End of Year for 2018

Westfield – In 2018, the Westfield Foundation distributed over $278,000 in grants to 26 different agencies, among them: the Westfield Service League, Our House Foundation, Flintlocks BSA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Alzheimer’s Association, Arts Power and the YWCA Union County.  The diversity of grant recipients is a testament to the fact that the Foundation’s grants impact many lives. 

The foundation focuses on four sectors: Education, Health, Social Services and the Arts. For 2018, 46% of the grants were for educational requests, 5% for health, 44% for social services and civic and 5% for the arts.

Grants from the Foundation help individuals and agencies launch promising civic projects, so they can become sustainable agencies that meet a specific community need.  In 2018, the Foundation provided a major grant toward the renovation of Mindowaskin Park, which recently opened to the public.  In addition, the Foundation funded a state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering and math classroom at Westfield High School.  These major grants were from the Bertha Bogaert Fund held at the Foundation.

In the fourth quarter, the Foundation distributed $68,000 to 7 organizations. Recipients included Social Justice Matters, the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra and Community Access Unlimited.

Currently, the Westfield Foundation is holding their annual fundraising appeal. The Foundation has added the capability of making a secure donation, via their website, for the first time. 

The Foundation holds only one annual fundraising campaign per year. If you wish to donate by check, to the foundation’s current annual appeal, donations may also be sent to: Westfield Foundation, PO Box 2295, Westfield, NJ 07091.

If you have questions about making a donation or are interested in creating a ‘family legacy’, which would benefit the community for years to come, please contact Betsy Chance, Executive Director, by phone at 908-233-9787 or by email using our contact form. Thank you for giving back to our community.