To provide a highly interactive historic site offering educational experiences built around the Tavern and its courtyard activities.
In the past year we have focused on different levels of education:
The coming year include:
In 1992, a group of local citizens became the Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern Foundation, Inc. (RHHT) and received title to a dilapidated historical hotel tavern that was ready to collapse. These members used their creative organizational skills, and contributed physical and monetary efforts to stabilize the rubble. Additionally they developed a preservation plan and sought funding toward this goal. Local political support and state funding brought about Federal Restoration Grants from ISTEA (Federal Intermodel Surface Efficiency Act of 1991). Nothing spurs action like action. And so, as this historic hotel/tavern site came back to life (now with a viable tavern restaurant, it encouraged more funds that allowed the “Rangers” (a core of dedicated volunteers) to build a replica Blacksmith Shop. ISTEA grant funds then supported the building of a Transportation Museum\and Meeting Hall. The Tavern/Hotel was considered a transportation hub in pre-automobile times, so gifts of antique carriages brought about by a need for a Carriage House to exhibit them. The Foundation's enthusiastic membership and ISTEA came through again. Today this group of buildings inspired by a now growing Foundation membership once again provides a vibrant community center, The Historic Heathsville Town Square.
What is unique about the Tavern? Its volunteers! We are so lucky to have a majority of our members volunteer their time; cutting grass, working in the gift shop, handcrafting items to sell at Farmers Market, running the Farmers Market program, cooking food and putting up tents for fund raising events, cleaning the facilities, watering plants, marketing, writing articles, and just so much more. They are the backbone of the organization and talented too. Our docents; local history buffs and specialists in historic arts, run our education programs for the schools, group tours and special requests. They make up the guilds and interest groups, furthering our desire to share history and Heritage Arts with the community. Without our people we would just be a building to look at.
Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern Foundation was established for the purpose of rehabilitation of an historic building that was in ruins. The original team of volunteers was diligent in caring for the artifacts from the building and assuring that it was restored accurately and carefully. With the opening of the building in 2002, the initial objective was accomplished. In the subsequent ten years, the Foundation has continued to maintain the building and share the heritage that it represents with the community.
In the beginning, a Quilt Guild has been an active supporter and a major fund-raiser for the Foundation. Over the last ten years three more guilds and artisan groups have been added to the Tavern family: blacksmith, woodworkers, spinners and weavers, and scrap bookers. These groups support the educational objectives of the Foundation providing education and historic information. Additional buildings have been added to the historic square.
The guilds are changing the character of the Foundation. The guilds work to produce high-quality hand-crafted items, using traditional skills. The blacksmith’s forge, the woodworkers shop (use both modern and traditional tools), and the spinners’ and weavers’ studio are open to the public several days each week and skilled volunteers are available to educate and demonstrate skills. The quilters and scrappers meet on-site on a regular basis and have classes and events that are open to the public.
As the skills have grown, the Foundation is attracting more skilled artists and artisans. In the last year, we have begun to formalize a program of classes. In 2012, we initiated the program with a 5-day “camp” for children to learn Heritage Arts with an accompanying adult. This program is informally called “grandparent’s camp”; being an ideal way for grandparents to share time with their grandchildren. The initial camp was very successful and we anticipate more sessions in 2013. We are also initiating a program of workshops on Heritage Arts in the fall of 2013.
With broadening our focus, we face some inevitable strains within our membership. Maintaining and protecting our historic tavern building must always be our first objective. We are challenged to find ways to support the production requirements of the guilds without compromising this objective. With the on-site studios and workshops, the Tavern is becoming a social focus in our community.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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