GROTON -- On Saturday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Groton Historical Society is sponsoring an Open House of its headquarters, the Boutwell House at 172 Main St.

Over the last two years, a great deal of work has been completed to stabilize the building, repair damage and update the systems to bring it into the 21st century.

In 2010, the house suffered two very serious water pipe failures that flooded portions of the museum's exhibition and work areas.

The Board of Directors brought in several new members, wrote a long-range plan and applied for grants. These resulted in both a Community Preservation Act grant for $176,525, which was unanimously approved at Groton Town Meeting in April 2012, and a Cultural Facilities Fund grant for $79,000 awarded in November 2012 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Both of these grants were for physical renovations such as new wiring and plumbing, plaster replacement, fire suppression system and a new furnace.

The first round of work is now completed and ready to be shown to the community.

On Saturday, visitors can see the changes that have brought the building up to code, made it safe for the future and laid the foundations for improved interpretation of the collections.

Historian Brian Bixby will be on hand as George Boutwell himself to talk with guests about an earlier Groton. He will answer questions about his life as Massachusetts' youngest governor and the first head of the Internal Revenue Service under President Lincoln.

The Open House is free for all.


Refreshments will be served.