BETHEL – The Bethel Historical Society received $15,000 in grant money to assist with the construction of the upcoming Mary E. Valentine Collections Wing, according to a press release by Executive Director Randall Bennett.

Bennett said that the Historical Society received a $5,000 grant from the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust  foundation and a $10,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation.

“I don’t know the exact time that we sent out those grant applications, because we send out so many left and right, but I believe it was around midsummer,” Bennett said. “We’ve received grants in the past from both of these organizations. Morton Kelly has supported our student internship program, while the Davis Family has supported our renovations and upgrades at both the Mason House and the Robinson House.”

In February, the society received a $200,000 bequest from resident Mary E. Valentine, who died in 2012. It was the society’s largest gift from an individual.

The money was put toward the construction of a collections wing on the Robinson House on Broad Street.

Bennett said that construction has remained on schedule, and that he expects the work to be done “sometime in late spring.”

“We have workers here every day except for the weekends,” Bennett said. “The carpenters are going to be returning soon to start the finish work, such as the door trim, window trim and the installation of the doors. We really are making good progress.”

Bennett said the society is working on a new grant that would allow them to expand its exhibit titled Bethel: A Historic Town.

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