Madrid’s St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum is New Home to 1855 Nevin Memorial Church
MADRID — A $10,000 Community Foundation grant will support efforts under way at the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum to stabilize and restore the historic Nevin Memorial Church that once stood in Lisbon.
The 1855 structure was donated to the museum in November 2020. In February, museum officials commissioned its deconstruction and successfully moved the structure to the Power and Equipment Museum’s main campus at 1755 State Highway 345 where it will join more than a dozen other historic buildings on the museum’s village green.
Nevin Memorial Church permanently closed its doors in December 2019 after 164 years of worship. Anticipating its closure, church trustees approached the Power and Equipment Museum’s board and offered the building and its contents to the museum.
The museum plans to feature historic exhibits in the church and add it to campus tours. Among other valuable details, the structure features 12 stained glass windows created by the renowned Horwood family of stained-glass artists from Ogdensburg. Each window is being restored in preparation for re-installation.
In addition to its role as an important addition to the village green and depiction of early North Country life, museum officials plan to offer the church as a venue for weddings, memorial services, and other community gatherings.
“The museum is one of our region’s gems. Our holistic partnership has helped enhance the museum’s work and mission now, and will sustain it for future generations,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “We are pleased to be part of this project, which will be a meaningful complement to its current offerings for those who visit.”
Ronald E. Sheppard, president of the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum Board of Trustees, said Community Foundation support “is an invaluable addition to our efforts as we build out this significant and impressive contribution to our campus.”
“This will enhance a strong sense of community involvement and pride, foster historical preservation, and promote economic development in our rural corner of the county,” Mr. Sheppard said. “Thanks to generous supporters like the Community Foundation, the museum continues to grow its endowment and develop exciting plans for the future.”
The museum has a near decade-long history of working with the Community Foundation.
In 2012, not long after the Community Foundation expanded its service area to include St. Lawrence County, the Power and Equipment Museum was one of the first nonprofits in the county to establish a Foundation partnership with a permanent endowment fund. In 2017, the museum successfully fulfilled a matching grant challenge for its endowment that is stewarded at the Community Foundation.
Today, the Community Foundation partners with more than 50 nonprofit organizations serving St. Lawrence County residents, helping them to build capacity, establish agency endowments and more.
Since 1983, the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum has aimed to preserve and teach the history of how early North Country residents lived and the many ways technology and equipment helped shape their lives. Its expansive collection includes hundreds of artifacts and features approximately 30 historical buildings, exhibits and collections. Featured buildings and artifacts include a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a two-story granary, a gas station, steam engines, log cabin and more.
Visit slpowermuseum.com to learn more about the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum and ways to support its work and mission.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors, and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.