Is your house at least 50 years old?
Does it retain most of its original exterior architecture?
Does it represent the period and architecture in which it was built?
The first step in obtaining a historic plaque for your home is to contact the Society to determine whether your house is eligible and if any research has already been done on it. All houses are researched prior to the ordering of the wooden plaque from the sign-maker. The cost includes the personalized wooden plaque itself and research for the title chain and for checking mortgages, tax records, maps, newspapers, genealogies, wills, probates, town directories and other primary sources to prove the date of construction. Although the method for the research is standardized, no two title chains are identical so the time may vary greatly. Research through probate records is especially time consuming and often requires genealogy work to be undertaken at the same time to reveal the heirs and administrators of the estates.
If you have the time and perseverance to do your own research, the Society will provide you with printed how-to guidelines for doing your own documentation to be cross-checked by one of the Society’s plaque researchers. The deeds central to plaque research are located in the vaults of the Bristol Town Hall which are only open on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Additional research information (maps, photographs) is located at the Society which is open at certain times during the week and by special appointment.
$500 includes both the research and the cost of the plaque itself.
To begin the process of ordering your plaque, call the Society directly at 401-253-7223 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include your house address in your message.
As of December 2015, Fire, Burglar and Security systems at the BHPS are fully installed due to the receipt of a generous $15,000 matching grant from The 1772 Foundation. The BHPS has motion alarms and security cameras throughout the building, has a secured entry alarm system and a fire alarm system that is directly linked to the Town of Bristol Fire Department. As part of its 2015 Matching Grants for Historic Preservation made available to organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, The 1772 Foundation Grant has enabled the Society to protect its unique research library, its extensive paper document room, the significant portrait collection, and all of the other artifacts throughout the building.
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