Schumer an­nounces new ef­fort to des­ig­nate Grant Cot­tage as a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Lau­ren Hal­li­gan lhal­li­[email protected]­i­tal­first­

MOREAU, N.Y. >> Se­na­tor Charles Schumer vis­ited Grant Cot­tage this week to launch a ma­jor push to des­ig­nate the site as a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark.

The famed Saratoga County cot­tage is where the per­sonal mem­oirs of 18th U.S. Pres­i­dent Ulysses S. Grant were com­pleted, and where he died in 1885.

Af­ter a tour of the cot­tage on Mon­day af­ter­noon, Schumer an­nounced a new ef­fort for Grant Cot­tage to be des­ig­nated as a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark.

“This is an amaz­ing trip for me. Grant was an amaz­ing gentle­man,” Schumer said, ref­er­enc­ing facts he learned while read­ing au­thor Ron Ch­er­now’s 2017 book on Grant.

Though his rep­u­ta­tion through­out his­tory was not al­ways glo­ri­fied, “When you read about him you learn the real Grant,” Schumer said.

“This is part of Amer­i­can his­tory,” Schumer con­tin­ued while stand­ing on the porch of the cot­tage, not­ing its many orig­i­nal ar­ti­facts in­side.

“I be­lieve that the Grant Cot­tage de­serves to be­come a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark, and I am telling the mem­bers of this com­mu­nity and all of the Cap­i­tal Re­gion, I am now go­ing to push hard for it,” Schumer de­clared, not­ing his pre­vi­ous success is get­ting other land­marks des­ig­nated.

Though the process can take a while, in this case, “We have a lot of Grant en­thu­si­asts in the Senate and in the House, and I will en­list them to make sure that the cot­tage be­comes the land­mark it so de­serves to be,” Schumer said. “We’re go­ing to push very, very hard.”

The Na­tional Park Ser­vice des­ig­nat­ing the U.S. Grant Cot­tage State His­toric Site as a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark would have myr­iad ben­e­fits for the iconic cot­tage, as well as Saratoga County, ac­cord­ing to Schumer.

First, he ex­plained, cer­tain fed­eral preser­va­tion grant pro­grams, for ex­am­ple, the Save Amer­ica’s Trea­sures Grant Pro­gram, place a pri­or­ity on award­ing funds to Na­tional His­toric Land­marks. Upon re­ceiv­ing the des­ig­na­tion, this fund­ing could then be used for main­te­nance and up­keep of the Grant Cot­tage, which was orig­i­nally built over a cen­tury ago.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Schumer ar­gued that the of­fi­cial Na­tional His­toric Land­mark des­ig­na­tion would help in­crease the name recog­ni­tion of the Grant Cot­tage, bring­ing new tourists to the site and boost­ing the Saratoga County and Cap­i­tal Re­gion tourism econ­omy as a re­sult.

In a let­ter to the Na­tional Park Ser­vice, Schumer said, “This pres­ti­gious des­ig­na­tion would not only help to fur­ther pro­tect the his­tor­i­cal in­tegrity of Grant Cot­tage and the sur­round­ing Adiron­dack Moun­tains, but most im­por­tantly, would help draw much-de­served at­ten­tion to the his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of this prop­erty for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

Cur­rently, Grant Cot­tage at­tracts about 8,000 vis­i­tors a year dur­ing its sea­son, which runs each year from Me­mo­rial Day week­end to La­bor Day, then week­ends through Colum­bus Day.

Non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion The Friends of Grant Cot­tage man­ages the daily oper­a­tions and programmin­g at Grant Cot­tage, which is a state-owned site.

Saratoga-Cap­i­tal Re­gion Di­rec­tor of the New York State Of­fice of Parks, Recre­ation and His­toric Preser­va­tion Alane Ball Chinian said that the des­ig­na­tion would be terrific for the re­gion, and for The Friends of Grant Cot­tage.

“We’re so ap­pre­cia­tive of the work that they do and if this could help them get greater recog­ni­tion from around the coun­try and sup­port their ef­forts than that’s a win-win,” she said.

“You can never have enough na­tional land­marks in your re­gion,” Todd Shimkus, pres­i­dent of the Saratoga County Cham­ber of Com­merce, said of the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other lo­cal site re­ceiv­ing this des­ig­na­tion. “His­tor­i­cal tourism, tourism re­lated to his­tory, is ab­so­lutely one of the top three things we have in Saratoga County,” he said, adding that any ini­tia­tive to en­hance and grow the re­gion’s na­tional recog­ni­tion is enor­mously im­por­tant.

“Be­yond be­ing the fi­nal res­i­dence of Pres­i­dent Grant and lo­ca­tion where the in­com­pa­ra­ble Per­sonal Mem­oirs of Ulysses Grant were au­thored, the Grant Cot­tage grounds are home to some of the most breath­tak­ing views and land­scapes in all of New York State, all of which de­serve to be pre­served for gen­er­a­tions to come. With the site over a cen­tury old, en­sur­ing this prop­erty has ac­cess to all the fed­eral re­sources and sup­port pos­si­ble is a must,” Schumer said in a news re­lease. “Grant Cot­tage is one of Up­state New York’s true hid­den trea­sures, with the his­tory to prove it, and it should be rec­og­nized by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment as such.”


Se­na­tor Charles Schumer speaks on Mon­day at Grant Cot­tage in Moreau.


Grant Cot­tage site co­or­di­na­tor Ben Kemp, right, gives a tour to Se­na­tor Charles Schumer, left.


Grant Cot­tage is where the per­sonal mem­oirs of 18th U.S. Pres­i­dent Ulysses S. Grant were com­pleted, and where he died in 1885.

Site co­or­di­na­tor Ben Kemp, left, and Se­na­tor Charles Schumer check out the view from the Grant Cot­tage over­look.

Grant Cot­tage site co­or­di­na­tor Ben Kemp, left, gives a tour to Se­na­tor Charles Schumer.

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