Fund Raising Goals

Hello, and we hope this letter finds you well. What a year 2020 was! Yet in spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, your Bellevue Historical Society Board of Directors and other volunteers were hard at work behind the scenes to ensure that the Society’s mission carried on.

During this unprecedented time, our dedicated construction crew made significant progress on our future museum home, the Tremont House:  

  • The three front porches have been repaired and reinforced.
  • Bricks have been replaced where needed.
  • The roof has been repaired and is now leak-free, as is the roof on the Annex!
  • Concrete has been poured on the west and south sides of the building and a new handicap-accessible front porch is now in place.
  • 175 years’ worth of paint has been scraped and removed from the window and door trim, and all the trim is newly painted.
  • Exterior doors were installed on the second and third-floor balconies, and the transom glass above them has been replaced. A new door, same historic styleas the other doors, was installed at the top of the fire escape.
  • Six new pillars and four pilasters (side pillars) have been installed. We were able to preserve some of the original columns, four of which are being rebuilt through this winter with plans for installation in the spring.
  • The Annex (the building behind the Tremont House) was power-washed, weather-proofed as much as possible, primed and painted. This is where much of our collection is currently stored.

In addition, we continue our ongoing work to organize and document “Bellevue’s scrapbook” – the collection of artifacts and mementos documenting our shared history – in preparation for display.

Yes, great strides are being made toward opening a museum dedicated to Bellevue’s unique history – hopefully in time for the building’s 175th anniversary in late 2021!

Unfortunately, we had to cancel some of our 2020 fundraising and program events due to COVID-19 concerns, including our biggest fundraiser and Summer Signature event, the Taste of Tremont. We also had to cancel our Annual Meeting, our popular Annual Garage Sale, our 4th Annual Harvest Barn Dance (co-hosted with Historic Lyme Village), and our Great Gatsby Gala.

AND YET: Community support has continued to make the work possible. Many faithful members and friends sent additional donations. Our fundraising committee came up with the creative idea of a drive-through chicken BBQ fundraiser in September, and our amazing volunteers and customers brought it to fruition. Area businesses and individuals signed on as sponsors, allowing this event to raise $10,000. Our annual Bellevue Cemetery Walk, with area funeral director Brian Foos as guide, drew over eighty attendees. We continue to highlight Bellevue’s history on our Facebook and web pages. It would appear that the setbacks of 2020 have not dampened Bellevueans’ enthusiasm for their history!

Everyone has been affected in some way by this pandemic. But as you can see, the Society’s mission continues in spite of the many challenges we are all facing. That is why we are writing to ask you to join the Bellevue Historical Society for 2021 – and, if possible, become a Tremont House sponsor while you’re at it. Or if you prefer not to become a member but still want to be a Tremont House sponsor, you are welcome to do that, of course. All sponsors will be prominently recognized on a plaque inside the museum in proportion to their gift.

Our annual member dues are very reasonable and entitle you to receive our quarterly newsletter. The dues paid by our members in 2020 helped make the above-mentioned progress possible. But in 2021, we will need to raise a LOT of money if we want to open the Tremont House in time for the building’s 175th anniversary late in the year.

None of our volunteers – including board members – get paid.
For obvious reasons, the Society has to hire professionals to do some of the fabrication, construction and design, and we have been privileged to work with a number of area businesses who are as committed to creating a suitable home for the Bellevue Heritage Museum as our volunteers are.

Specifically – and these are very rough numbers – our building committee estimates we will need a MINIMUM of $120,000 just to open the ground floor as a museum. The projects listed on the next page are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for our work on the Tremont House to continue...

We need to raise …

  • $15,000 for heating of first floor and ductwork for second floor (each floor will eventually have
  • its own heating unit)
  • $12,000 for electrical (cost will depend on number of outlets, lights, etc.)
  • $ 4,500 for flooring on first floor
  • $65,000 for fire protection system (suppression system, alarms)
  • $ 7,500 for stairway
  • $ 6,000 for drywall
  • $10,000 for miscellaneous, overruns, etc.

These are rough estimates. And of course, they do not include our ongoing regular expenses for utilities and the like.

In short: After years of hard work by many people, we are SO close to opening our town’s history museum! How we look forward to sharing the memories and stories that the people of Bellevue have contributed in the form of photos and artifacts!

Bellevue is a special place, thanks to businesses and people like you that call it home. We love this town, which is why we are so passionate about preserving its history.

Whether you have lived in Bellevue all your life or are a to people like you! new resident, whether you are now settled here or somewhere else – in some way, you are part of Bellevue’s story. Perhaps your ancestors started out here or your business is here. Maybe you simply appreciate the uniqueness of buildings like the Tremont House.
Whatever your connection to Bellevue is, we thank you in advance for your 2021 membership contribution and – if you can – for considering a Tremont House sponsorship at whatever level is comfortable for you.

If you make a sponsorship pledge totaling $250 or more, you can pay in installments by December 31, 2021 if you choose.  We just want to have some idea of your intentions for budgeting purposes.

Bottom line: It is your continued generosity that will enable the momentum to continue in 2021! Stay well and again – thank you!

Board of Directors
Bellevue Historical Society


See here how to Donate or Become a Member.