LITTLE SILVER, NJ – Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is pleased to announce that the Parker Homestead 1665 – Inc. is the winner of the 2020 M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation. This award was presented by County Clerk Hanlon to the Trustees of the Parker Homestead 1665 – Inc. in October, and will be featured in the County Clerk’s 25th Anniversary of the County Archives and History Day commemorative video.
“The Parker Homestead 1665 – Inc. is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the beautiful and historic structure situated in Little Silver,” said County Clerk Hanlon. “The all-volunteer Board of Trustees truly embodies all aspects of the M. Claire French Award through their dedication to the maintenance and preservation of this important historic site. Thanks to their hard work, Monmouth County residents and visitors can learn from and enjoy this treasure for years to come.”
The Parker Homestead 1665 – Inc. is a 501c (3) charitable organization created and managed entirely by volunteers for the express purpose of restoring the historic Parker Homestead and making the building accessible to the public. The efforts of the Board of Trustees included seeking grants to fund renovations, organizing fundraisers, working with other historical organizations, and pursuing historically correct renovations to ultimately turn the site into a “living classroom” for students, civic organizations, and the public to learn from its history.
The mission of the Parker Homestead – 1665, Inc., founded in 2012, has been to preserve the unique 330-year history of the Parker family through the restoration and maintenance of the property and its structures. The organization hosts exhibits and events dedicated to enriching the residents of Monmouth County’s collective appreciation of local heritage.
The Parker Homestead has a well- documented history dating back to the initial settlements of New Jersey. Its grounds date back to 1721 and include a circa-1790 horse barn, circa-1925 cow barn, and a circa-1875 wagon barn, all of which have been restored. According to Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff, the site is “as important as Jamestown.” The property is now listed as a historic site on both the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places.
The Trustees of the Parker Homestead organization, both past and present, dedicated many years to the project and overcame multiple obstacles to make the historic building accessible to the public. The property had been in poor condition and largely inaccessible for over 20 years.
The M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation recognizes outstanding achievements of an elected official, government employee, public servant or civic organization in supporting historic preservation in Monmouth County through education, development, planning, rehabilitation, advocacy, community leadership or other means. Created in 2015, the award is named after M. Claire French, Hanlon’s predecessor, who was County Clerk from 1997 until her retirement in 2015.
The M. Claire French Award Committee members are County Clerk Hanlon, former County Clerk M. Claire French, Assemblyman Robert D. Clifton, Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley and historian Rick Geffken.
For more information, visit the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office website at www.MonmouthCountyClerk.com/Archives, or contact the Monmouth County Archives Division by phone at 732-308-3771.
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