Thanks to two grants, the Presque Isle Historical Society will be making some upgrades to the 1875 Vera Estey House Museum on Third Street in the Star City.

A $25,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation will be used to make repairs to the exterior of the house museum, which requires requires constant repairs, especially with wooden clapboard siding. The Estey House is over 140 years old.

The second grant of $12,000 from the Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation will go towards the renovation of the gardens on the grounds of the museum which have virtually gone unused since the 1980s. The Historical Society, in partnership with the City of Presque Isle, plans to turn the gardens into a “pocket park”.  A pocket park is a small park open to the public in an underutilized lot within easy access of downtown. The gardens will then offer a beautiful and tranquil spot for reading, picnicking, meditating, and even outdoor weddings.

Kim Smith, Society board member, said the total amount received from the grants was only half of the project budget so additional fundraising will be required to complete the project.

To celebrate their good fortune, the Society is turning the next scheduled public tour into a celebration. On Saturday, July 27, two new exhibits will be debuted that day inside the Vera Estey House Museum:  The Characteristics of a Victorian House and What is a Painted Lady; and Murderous Millinery:  Victorian Bird Hats. Admission is just $5.00 per person.

In addition, one of the new sculptures for the garden will be unveiled that day at 12:30 p.m.