Frances Perkins Center Awarded $500,000 for Preservation of Historic Landmark


“The Woman Behind the New Deal” by Kirstin Downey. The Paperback Edition costs $16.95, Anchor Books.  It’s the Riveting and Inspiring Story of the Life of Frances Perkins.  A Must Read!

Frances Perkins, Subject of the Book: “The Woman Behind the New Deal, by Kirstin Downey.

The Frances Perkins Center has been awarded a prestigious $500,000 grant from the National Park Services – Save America’s Treasures grant program to preserve and restore the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark in New Castle, Maine.

The grant will help fund the preservation of the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark and requires the Frances Perkins Center to raise equal matching funds.

Purchased in January 2020 by the Center, this remarkably intact saltwater farm sits on 57-acres, one of the last large unbuilt landscapes along the Damariscotta River.  To date, the Center has raised more than $3 million toward its $5.5 million capital campaign goal.  Preservation work on the property will begin later this year.  The Center will continue to offer educational programing virtually and through its traveling exhibit during COVID, with in-person programs to be announced when viable and safe.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by this National Park Services grant that will let us welcome visitors to a safe and accessible Frances Perkins Homestead, and to make it a living memorial to a great American,” said Board chair of the Frances Perkins Center Sarah Peskin.  The Homestead is located on the River Road in Newcastle.

Frances Perkins was the US Secretary of Labor from 1933 – 1945.  She was the first woman to serve in a US Cabinet, a key advisor to President FDR and a lifelong advocate for social justice and economic security.  Secretary Perkins was responsible for initiating groundbreaking New Deal programs that are key to American society today including Social Security, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage. Perkins had deep roots in Maine.  The Homestead was continuously occupied by the Perkins family from the 1750s until its recent acquisition by the Frances Perkins Center.  Frances Perkins owned it from 1927-1965.  The property is anchored by the 1837 Brick House.

The Frances Perkins Center is one of 42 reciepients nationwide – and the only project in Maine selected for a share of the $13.8 million in Save America’s Treasurers grants program this year.

Please see posts herein dated October 30, 2018 and August 13, 2017 for more background information of the Frances Perkins Center.