In the Fall of 2019, the Evesham Historical Society was thrilled to learn that we had been awarded a grant by the New Jersey Cultural Trust to develop a Preservation Plan for the John Inskeep Homestead. During 2020, when our doors were closed to the general public, Margaret Westfield and her team from Westfield Architects and Preservation Consultants were donning masks and working individually or in pairs to study and the John Inskeep Property roof to basement and property line to property line as well as the organization and governance of the Evesham Historical Society. Their evaluation included the history and construction of the house, butcher shop and privy, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, the grading and landscaping of the property and the areas that need further archeological exploration. They noted what is currently there, its functionality and historic appropriateness and looked at repairs and improvements that would not only preserve the buildings and property but would restore it to historical accuracy.
In early April 2021, we received the almost 400 page report of their findings along with cost estimates to do the physical work involved and suggestions for continued care and maintenance of the property and the health of our organization moving forward. Although the scope and cost of the work to be done is overwhelming when looked at in its entirety, individual tasks are prioritized and broken done in such detail that we will be able to see a path to move forward. We have already identified three key structural issues and are proceeding with a plan to address them, hopefully with some partial grant funding. Future endeavors will require organizational changes, major fund raising efforts on our part and lots of public support.
We are extremely grateful to the New Jersey Cultural Trust for providing a grant to complete this study and to Margaret Westfield and her team for not only all the work they have done in preparing the report but also for making themselves available to answer our numerous questions and offer advice as we continue our stewardship of this amazing part of Evesham’s history.