LOWVILLE — Two north country historic treasures are on the list of applications being considered for inclusion on the National Historic Registry by the end of the month.

On Dec. 9, the State Historic Preservation Office finalized the approval of an application by the Theodore Basselin House, 9757 State Route 812, Croghan, for inclusion in the state registry and a proposal for new boundaries for the Thousand Island Park Historic District on Wellesley Island already listed on the registry.

That approval also triggered their submission for the National Historic Registry.

It took Basselin House owner Travis Proulx one year and eight months to pull together the extensive information required to submit his application to the state registry in the spring of 2020, and working with a Vermont-based preservation consultant to fine-tune the application with the documentation, maps and photographs required for approval since.

“It’s important to me to put a stake in the ground in Croghan history on how our community was created and how this community came to be,” Mr. Proulx said.

Through the process, he learned warnings that too many changes had been done to the four buildings on the property constructed in stages in 1855, 1875 and 1900 to be included as historic were unfounded. He also learned that being on the registry did not mean all changes to his property would be forbidden.

“A lot of people think that when you’re on the Registry of Historic Places it means that you can’t touch the place but in actuality, that’s not true,” Mr. Proulx said, noting that changes that keep the building functional are allowed as is restoration work, “All it does is open another pathway forward in order to be able to restore the house in a way that is affordable.”

The benefits of being on the registries can include a “measure of protection from the effects of federal and/or state ... projects”; a 20% federal income tax credit for any “substantial” rehabilitation costs; and the ability to apply for state preservation matching grants, according to the state Historic Preservation website.

“It’s exciting,” Mr. Proulx said after Basselin House passed the state vote, and he is eager to look into the historical marker process that comes after national approval.

The proposed change to the Thousand Island Park Historic District, which was added to both registers in 1982, will push the district’s lines out to the St. Lawrence River shoreline to include the boathouses.

The application said that both the 31 historically significant boathouses verified to have been built between 1875 and 1940, and 51 more recently built boathouses combine to “contribute to the Park’s visual and historic character.”

The proposed boundary starts at the east end of the 269.57 acre park and continues “west and clockwise” along the shore.

The state and national registries use the same eligibility criteria.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment

suzanne phillips

Many thanks, Mr. Proulx for your successful efforts in restoring the Brasselin House and having it included on the National Historic Registry. My Mom, Esther Steiner Hodge, was born and grew up in the general area of Naumburg/Croghan and she occasionally mention this House and Mr. Brasselin. It is so very sad when wonderful older buildings, such as the Brasselin House, are left to deteriorate until they are torn down and replaced by modern buildings that lack the charm and workmanship of the original treasures. Again thank you for caring!!!!!!!!!!!

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