What is happening at the Homestead? What will it be?
The historic 1786 Patton Homestead, the former home of two famous American generals – General George S. Patton Jr. and his son Major General George S. Patton IV, is a cultural center open to the public for recreation, education, and events. With the Wenham Museum now managing the Patton Family Archives and offering tours, the Homestead will be a local and national destination. Exterior renovations were completed in the fall, 2018 and the Hamilton Historical Society has just moved into the Homestead along with the Director.
What is the history of the Homestead gift? Is there a financial benefit?
The Town accepted the Homestead and 27 acre gift from Mrs. Joanne Patton in 2012 and sold 4.5 acres in 2015 for $1 million: $500,000 is reserved for recreational fields and $500,000 was dedicated to Homestead operating and capital needs. An additional $156,000 from the developer was allotted for affordable housing. The twelve townhouses that were built on Patton Ridge generate approximately $150,000 annually in tax revenue for the Town’s general fund. It is expected that fees from events, private rental and fundraising will bring in funds necessary to cover all operating expenses of the property within three years.
How is the Town managing the property?
On February 14, 2019 the Town welcomed the new Director of the Patton Homestead, Kaleigh Pare, to manage and promote the use of the facility and property. The Director position and operating funds for the property were approved at Special Town Meeting in October, 2018 was
What is the role of the Patton Homestead Inc. (PHI) non-profit?
The PHI is a nonprofit created to support the Homestead and the Town. The primary responsibilities are to advise the Town on the needs of the Homestead, to work with the Town to apply for grants and to fundraise for capital and programming needs. The PHI volunteer board will work closely with the Director of the Homestead to plan for the programming and events that will take place.
What is the role of the Wenham Museum?
The Wenham Museum manages the Joanne Holbrook Patton and George Smith Patton IV Archives (the family archives) and offers tours. The Wenham Museum assumed the lease and role previously performed by Gordon College. Collaborations between the Wenham Museum, PHI and the Town will result in various educational and heritage-based programming to the community.
When can the Homestead be used?
The exterior grounds including the fields, the trails by the Ipswich River and the scenic overlook deck can be used by the general public from sunrise to sunset. The public will be able to rent the exterior grounds for a private functions starting spring, 2019.
The main parking is to the left of the former Patton house. A few spaces for easier access to the trails and river are available by the abandoned Patton well, which is further south along Asbury Street toward Town.
Access to the interior of the house is primarily through the Wenham Museum archive tours.
When conversion to a public building from a private residence is complete there will be three function rooms that can be configured in various ways and accommodate 75-90, an exterior porch and the opportunity to set up a tent for up to 125.
How much money is in the Patton Special Fund and how is the Town using it?
The Town, via special act of the Legislature, created the Patton Special Fund for complete transparency of all financial aspects of the property. It now holds the remaining balance of the $500,000 of the proceeds of sale of the Patton Ridge property. Approximately $295,000 has been used for capital renovations. The Town has also been using this fund for property maintenance expenses for the last several years.
What are the costs of converting the private residence to a public building?
Approximately $2m is necessary – much of which must go toward making the property accessible as is required by state and Federal government. PHI will lead a $2million fundraising effort (to include reserve funds) to raise funds for interior renovations. The interior can be used now but does require additional renovations to fully utilize the space.
The PHI and the Town have asked our Legislators (Sen. Bruce Tarr and Rep. Brad Hill) for grants and funding to convert the Homestead from a historic residence to a public facility while maintaining the historic character.The Legislature passed a capital bond bill that included $750,000 for the Homestead but it still needs to be funded by the administration. No anticipated funding date has been announced
How can I donate to the Homestead?
Tax deductible donations to support the Homestead can be made directly to the Town of Hamilton or to Patton Homestead, Inc., and sent to 650 Asbury St, Hamilton, MA.
How can I volunteer?
Contact the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will need help with programming, outreach to veterans and cultural organizations, and grants. Also, PHI is looking for board members to help with promotion, capital fundraising, nonprofit financial management and legal support. Contact the board at email@example.com
FAQ Last revised 04-06-2019