Connected brick house, ells and barn: The Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark in Newcastle. Photo courtesy of Frances Perkins Center

NEWCASTLE — The historic homestead of the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet will be preserved with the use of a $500,000 federal grant.

U.S. Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, who lived in Newcastle for many years and was a driving force behind Social Security, pictured before a House hearing on the idea in 1935. Library of Congress

The members of the Maine Congressional delegation said the Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle will receive the money through the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures grant program. It will allow the center to improve the condition of the principal structures at the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark, the delegation said.

Perkins was the U.S. secretary of labor from 1933 to 1945. The delegation said the Frances Perkins Center is in the midst of acquiring Perkins’ homestead and turning the property into an educational and community resource.

The planned improvements “will help preserve this important historical landmark for generations to come,” the delegation said in a letter to the National Park Service.

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