The South County History Center has received a State Preservation Grant from the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC). The grant, which amounts to $42,075, will be allocated for capital preservation projects at the Old Washington County Jail. The center hopes to secure matching funds in the next few months. The State Preservation Grant program requires a $1:$1 match. The funds will be used to replace the Old Jail’s roof, which is 22-years-old, and for repairs to decaying exterior mortar. The South County History Center’s Executive Director, Erica Luke, expressed gratitude for the prestigious grant and noted how it will help in preserving the Old Jail and the Center’s growing historical collection for future generations.

The South County History Center’s mission is focused on discovering and preserving the local history of South County. Its archives and research collections contain 70,000 pieces and 1,000 volumes, respectively. Among the collection is the Kenneth T. Mars, Jr. Photograph Collection, believed to be the largest collection of vernacular photographs by a person of color in the United States.

The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission since 2002 has administered a historic preservation grant program made possible through bond issues voted on by the state’s residents. The program’s objectives are to fund renovation projects at public historic sites, museums, and cultural art centers throughout Rhode Island. The recent announcement of over $1.18 million in grants for 18 capital projects originating from 12 towns and cities can be found on the RIHPHC website.

Please visit for information about the South County History Center, its mission, and the preservation projects it has undertaken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *