Civil War Preservation Grants


In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, funding was approved in the state’s FY2014 budget for the purpose of preserving objects in the Commonwealth which are significant to the history of the Civil War.

Municipalities and non-profit organizations may apply for matching funds for the renovation, rehabilitation, preservation, or enhancement of objects including existing markers, memorials, monuments, and plaques significant to the commemoration of the American Civil War and Civil War veterans. Proposals for construction of new markers for significant sites currently lacking markings will also be considered.   Funds may be awarded for objects and sites in which they are located which suffer from exposure to the elements, deferred maintenance, or those threatened by destruction.  Grants will also be awarded to sites which would benefit by improving public access or adding educational markers. Projects requiring planning including feasibility studies, historic research, or historic evaluations will also be considered. All projects should follow the “Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historical Properties”.

Funding will also be considered for preservation or digitization of historically significant documents related to the Civil War. 

This grant program is offered through the joint cooperation of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, the Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.


Planning Projects: Requests may be submitted to conduct studies necessary to enable preservation of an eligible property including architectural/engineering fees to conduct such studies. Costs associated with the project sign, photography, legal ads, and conducting and documenting historical research are also eligible.

Preservation Projects: Requests may be submitted for preservation, safety, and accessibility improvements. These may include site stabilization, protection, rehabilitation, restoration, ADA compliance, and landscape preservation. Requests may also be submitted to construct new markers and educational signage for publicly-accessible sites.

Eligible costs: Labor, materials, overall site preservation, non-routine landscaping, building code compliance, universal access, signage, project legal notices, and certain other professional services.

Ineligible costs: Routine maintenance, upgrading mechanical systems (HVAC), administrative personnel, and construction of buildings and additions.

Ineligible Projects: Non-historic objects, non-Civil War related objects, private residences, privately owned documents, or sites not open to the public.


Municipalities and non-profit organizations in ownership of eligible objects and documents located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Matching funds are granted in amounts up to 50% of total project costs, but not to exceed a maximum grant of $7,500.

The Massachusetts National Guard has an interest in the preservation of veterans’ memorials in the Commonwealth.  The Commission may recommend the proposed project to the National Guard for additional consideration.

Work completed prior to a grant award is ineligible for funding consideration.


Proposals will be reviewed by a panel appointed by Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. The review panel may request further information or hold interviews.  The Commission may also submit proposals to the Massachusetts Historical Commission who reviews the suitability of a project (document preservation projects excluded).


  • Level of historical significance of the property

  • Potential for public education, as well as public use of and interest in the site

  • Potential for loss or destruction

  • Administrative and financial management capabilities of the applicant

  • Appropriateness of proposed project

  • Demonstrated financial need

  • Demonstrated ability to provide matching funds

  • Extent of public support 

  • Consistency with state and local preservation and community revitalization plans

  • Use of historically accurate materials and building techniques

  • Geographic distribution of proposals


Applications will be accepted beginning on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 and ending on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. 


Application materials are available at Completed grant proposals and relevant documents should be submitted to:

By mail:

Department of Veterans Services

ATTN: Civil War Sesquicentennial

600 Washington St., 7th Floor

Boston, MA 02111


*Electronic submissions are preferred.

Application Materials:

Civil War Preservation Grant FY14 - Application Form (pdf, 59k)

Civil War Preservation Grant FY14 - Grant Guidelines (pdf, 78k)

Additional Resources:

Massachusetts Historical Commission Project Notification Form (pdf, 6k)

Guide for Completing MHC Project Notification Form (pdf, 17k)

Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties