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Each year, the Old Saybrook Historical Society (OSHS) recognizes an individual or organization that shares its passion for protecting and promoting the town’s rich history. This year’s recipients of the society’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation are Jane and Keith Bolles, owners of Saybrook Home, for their preservation of the Ambrose Whittlesey House located at 2 Main Street.
The Bolleses started their furniture and fine goods store more than four decades ago in the Ambrose Whittlesey House. “We are thrilled! Anytime we are recognized for our accomplishments and efforts it is very rewarding for us,” said Keith Bolles. “We have enjoyed running our business out of this historic home for the past 42 years. It fits well with what we are doing here and we are honored to be recognized for preserving the history here.”
The Bolleses are now listed on an OSHS plaque in the Town Hall along with the award’s previous recipients.
“The Bolleses are in very good company,” said OSHS President Marie McFarlin. “Past winners include Herb and Sherry Clark for Bushnell Farm, Carol and Stephen Huber for Whittlesey House on Ferry Road, and Barbara Maynard for lifetime achievement. All the winners have been recognized for their exemplary stewardship, treatment, or use of historic resources.
“We are going to have a presentation to honor the Bolleses in the early spring when we give them a plaque that will be placed on the outside wall of the Ambrose Whittlesey House,” Mcfarlin continued. “This annual award made by the OSHS is intended to remind residents of the value and importance of maintaining our heritage as a vital characteristic of our unique community.”
The Ambrose Whittlesey House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, predates the American revolution. It was built in 1765, with an addition coming in the 1800s.
“The thoughtful expansion of Saybrook Home over the years has reflected and maintained the architectural integrity of this early home,” McFarlin said. “Located at the head of Main Street, it is a significant and influential representation of the historic character of our community.”
This year the OSHS committee made its selection for the award from more than two dozen possibilities. The committee consisted of Historic District Commission Chair William Childress and Vice chair Diane DePaola, Town Planner Christine Nelson, John Whittlesey House owners Stephen and Carol Hubers, OSHS members Ed Mosca and Tedd Levy, and McFarlin, the ex officio chair of the committee.
The award recognizes recent projects, programs, policies or actions that make significant contributions to historic preservation in the town. The goal is to keep history relevant to townspeople. Any non-profit organization, government agency, business, or individual is eligible.
Nominations must meet one or more of the following criteria: an exemplary project, program, policy, or action resulting in the preservation, rehabilitation, and active use of historic buildings, structures, or resources; outstanding individual or organizational leadership in historic preservation; exemplary stewardship, treatment, or use of historic resource(s); or significant contribution to education, economic development, community revitalization, public involvement, sustainability, or other public benefit through preservation ideas, activities or programs.
For more information visit, saybrookhistory.org.
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