Heyworth-Mason Building makes historic register

PERU - The centerpiece of Peru's ongoing park development project has just received a little more attention from the national level.

The Heyworth-Mason Building, situated on the banks of the Little Ausable River, was recently named to both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The circa 1836 structure, which once housed A. Mason and Sons Lumber Company, was credited for having "greatly impacted the building industry in Clinton and Essex counties."

Town Supervisor Peter Glushko commended the efforts of town historians Ron and Carol Allen for being the driving forces behind pursuing the recognition, adding the landmark status will "open up more avenues for grants to preserve the building."

"It gets us into a few more areas where money's available," said Glushko, who added the recognition will also draw more attention to the development of Heyworth-Mason Park.

The town has been formally pursuing development of a park at the site since 2005, when it applied for and was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant to cover the cost of design work for the project, said Adele Douglas, grant coordinator for the town and coordinator of efforts to develop the town park. The process of moving forward has been slow, she noted, relying heavily on the distribution of state funding. Milestones to date have included securing an appropriation through Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, for the installation of a new roof on the Heyworth-Mason Building and a state Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation grant to develop the park.

The town started development of the site two years ago, said Douglas, utilizing town resources and volunteers to perform the work. However, the work was deemed too labor intensive and was approved to go out for bid during the town board's May 23 meeting.

The main work to be performed at the site includes developing walking trails throughout the property, making improvements to the park's access road and the creation of a parking area.

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