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For Immediate Release: 10/2/2015

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Columbia State Historic Parks Receives National Trust Grant


Jess Cooper

Central Valley District Superintendent

(530) 536-5930


Funds to Help Preserve the Wilson-McConnell House

COLUMBIA, Calif. —The National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded a $3,400 grant to fund a preservation study of the historic Wilson-McConnell House located in Columbia State Historic Park. The grant, matched by funds from California State Parks, will produce an architectural assessment, a use study and a plan to improve Americans with Disabilities Act access.

“We’re grateful to have the National Trust’s support and recognition to help us realize a preservation and sustainability goal,” said California State Park’s Central Valley District Superintendent Jess Cooper.

The Wilson-McConnell House Project (Project) was selected from a large number of qualified grant applicants nationwide competing for more than $1 million in funding. 

"These funds provide the foundation for important preservation work nationwide”, said National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Executive Vice-President David Brown. “The grants go toward protecting the places that tell America’s story and they often trigger other preservation projects, further strengthening efforts to protect our country’s heritage and make our communities more livable."

The goal of the Project is to restore and rehabilitate the property to preserve and share its history with the public. A focused assessment by preservation architectural firm Page & Turnbull, approved by the National Trust, further identified its treatment needs.

Columbia State Historic Park is a National Historic Landmark District, a designation which calls for the highest of preservation standards.

The little white house located on Main Street and across the street from the City Hotel in Columbia was built for widow Rose Wilson and her children in 1879 as a bedroom addition to the family dry goods store and residence in the brick building next door. In 1943, Sonora dentist Dr. James E. McConnell and his wife Geraldine purchased and restored the house and they were instrumental in helping Columbia become a state park in 1945. In 1952, the house appeared in the Western movie classic ‘High Noon’ starring Gary Cooper. The 0.42-acre property was purchased by the state in 2005.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded non-profit organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories.


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