Buck birthplace seeks funds

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Dear Editor:

The Board of Directors of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation (PSBBF) seeks funding to complete the restoration of windows in the Stulting House, historic birthplace of the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize writer, Pearl S. Buck, located in Hillsboro. Restoration of the windows is an urgent priority for the Foundation. We have completed restoration of the windows on two sides of the home, and now need to complete this project in order to preserve this historic treasure.

While a number of projects over the past decade have helped preserve the historical integrity of the birthplace, including the installation of a new cedar shake roof, new copper gutters and French drains on the house, a new barn roof, it’s become apparent that replacing the windows of the 160-year-old Stulting House is now imperative in order to ensure that this centerpiece structure of the birthplace grounds survives. The PSBBF began grant-funded projects to paint the house and restore the windows in 2013 under the supervision of the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office. While painting to the exterior of the house will be completed in 2016, we now find ourselves lacking funding to complete the remaining windows.

The PSBBF is aggressively committed to saving and preserving the Stulting House, and is pursuing grant funding again from the State Historic Preservation Office and other sources, but we need help from you! To restore and replace the remaining windows will cost around $20,500. We are partway to our goal, but we still need to raise $10,000 in order to complete this critical project. We hope those of you who love the books of Pearl S. Buck, or who appreciate the beauty of her birthplace will consider contributing to this campaign.

The Pearl S Buck Birthplace Foundation was incorporated as a WV 501c3 nonprofit organization in 1968 to manage and maintain Pearl’s birthplace. The house was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and opened as a museum in 1974. After nearly 50 years, the PSBBF continues to function as the overseer of the birthplace and grounds. During the summer months, the house is open for tours conducted by an on-staff tour guide. The Sydenstricker cabin, built in 1834 and the cabin of Pearl’s father Absalom, also resides on the Birthplace grounds.

Pearl often spoke of the Stulting House where she was born June 26, 1892, as her home in America. In My Mother’s House she states “May it live again, my mother’s house, and may it prove to others, too, a gateway to new thoughts and dreams and ways of life.” It was her desire to leave a living legacy, not a museum. Her plea was that it should never fall into ruin. It is the mission of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation to answer that plea.

Please contact us with any questions or comments. Visit us at our website at pearlsbuckbirthplace.com, or find us on Facebook or emial info@pearlsbuckbirthplace.com or call 304-653-4430 or 304-599-2496.

Sincerely,

Kirk Judd, PSBBF