Historical foundation seeks grant to restore William Henry Harrison's Grouseland

For years the Grouseland Foundation has run and maintained William Henry Harrison’s old mansion. Now the foundation says that the building is in need of some restoring.

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 7:05 PM

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI)- Many who call Vincennes home will tell you one thing that makes their town special is its history. Including Vera Foley who’s family has been in Vincennes since the American Revolution.

"I’m descended from some of the old French settlers that were here that settled this area before the revolution even and it just means everything really to us to have this town preserved and maintained," said Foley.

She's talking about one of the oldest houses in Vincennes at Grouseland. For years the Grouseland Foundation has run and maintained William Henry Harrison’s old mansion.

Lisa Ice-Jones is the Executive Director of the Grouseland Foundation. She says it has been quite a while since its last restoration project.

"So 52 years ago was the last major restoration so it has been well taken care of. Prudent decisions have been made and people have loved it and honored it. But its time," said Ice-Jones.

That’s why the foundation is working towards a challenge grant. If the foundation can raise $800.000, they will receive a grant worth $400,000.

Earlier this week the foundation reached out to the city council for $100,000. It's a large amount of money but it’s an investment that could bring in more visitors.

"We feel like and I think they agree on the influx of the four hundred thousand into Vincennes, that's a major deal and everybody wants to take advantage of that and make that work for the good of tourism in the entire area,” said Ice-Jones.

As for the citizens of Vincennes, they are in favor for the project. Doing whatever they can to help preserve the city’s rich history for years to come.

"I think its well worth the investment but I certainly hope that people realize the importance of maintaining our heritage. Once these properties and these historic sites are gone you can never replace them," said Foley.

The Grouseland Foundation has until June 2019 to raise the money to receive the grant. The city council will vote at its next meeting if they will put up a hundred thousand dollars toward that goal.

If you would like to donate to the cause please check out their website here.

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