Treasure your Treasures: This #GivingTuesday, consider supporting a Great American Treasure

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Part of the NSCDA’s mission is rooted in historic preservation: the protection of cultural heritage, people, and places. The NSCDA Great American Treasures Museum Alliance is the truest expression of that commitment to our nation’s history. Each of these historic properties, museums, and memorials have joined this free program that unites their passion, resources, and reach. As a member, the NSCDA provides these sites with unified branding, free marketing, annual membership to the American Alliance of Museums, scholarships to the Attingham Summer School, staff roundtables and professional development programs, and eligibility for the NSCDA Great American Treasures Museum Alliance Grant. The NSCDA Museum Alliance Grant was created through the NSCDA Comprehensive Campaign which concluded in 2020. The one-million-dollar endowment supports an annual draw of $20,000, which will be awarded in four $5,000 competitive grants. After nearly a decade of dreaming, planning, and fundraising, the NSCDA has completed its first Museum Alliance Grant cycle. Nineteen of our remarkable Great American Treasures applied to win funding. Each project aims to advance the ​preservation or awareness of the historical trusts ​(buildings, collections, landscapes, gardens, or communities) of the NSCDA.

Our Awardees

The Centre for French Colonial Life, St. Genevieve, Missouri
Linden/Hands-on House Fencing Replacement   The Centre for French Colonial Life, St. Genevieve, Missouri Funding supplies to be used by volunteers to build a new, historically accurate fence to replace the fence erected at the Beauvais Linden House in the 1970s.
Joel Lane Museum House, Raleigh, North Carolina
Joel Lane Museum House Interior Paint Analysis  Joel Lane Museum House, Raleigh, North Carolina The means to hire Dr. Susan Buck, conservator and paint analyst, to gather samples of interior paint and ​wall/trim treatments and analyze them to determine accurate colors and finishes for the 1769 Lane House.
McAllister House Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Sustainability Based Horticulture Initiative   McAllister House Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado The purchase and installation of an irrigation system, rain sensors, a rain barrel catchment system, drip line, mulch, ​and rock and flagstone to ethically support the restored landscape.
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield, Connecticut
Mobilizing Educational Programs: George Washington Really Did Sleep Here!  Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield, Connecticut A fifth-grade curriculum, mobile program that interprets General Washington’s life, his role, and service to the U.S. ​The primary and secondary evidence will be gathered in five traveling trunks delivered by members of the NSCDA-CT.​ Only four site projects received national funds, yet we strive to support all of our Great American Treasures. As you plan your annual giving, please consider supporting a Great American Treasure. Each project is one way you can see your contribution be immediately put to work, providing real benefits to tens of thousands of schoolchildren and families who visit our sites every year. Shop our projects to see what else you can support.

Historic Preservation

  • Coach House Entryway Restoration Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden, Portsmouth, New Hampshire Contact Jeff Barraclough, Executive Director: To address the much-needed maintenance to the entrance of the (c. 1832) Coach House. Specifically, broken panes ​on the semi-circle arched window will be replaced and rotting molding surrounding the door threshold will be replaced.
  • Welcome Support Sulgrave Manor & Garden, England Contact Alison Ray, Chief Executive Officer: To replace three failed stone pillar bases for the covered walkway at the Courtyard entrance to the new ​“George Washington Exhibition.”
  • Preservation of Tate House: Repair of windowsills and ell roof Tate House Museum, Portland, Maine Contact Holly Hurd, Executive Director: To re-shingle the failing rear (southern) side of the roof with historically accurate white cedar shakes and responsibly ​rebuild three sills cellar windows on the front side of the house.
  • Structural Stabilization of the 1820s Smokehouse Travellers Rest Historic House Museum, Nashville, Tennessee Contact Katie O’Bryan, Executive Director: Funds to support the restoration of the smokehouse, to include the installation of an interior and exterior drilled ​pier system to stabilize the structure and prevent future vertical settlement. In addition, funding will support masonry repair ​and tuckpointing of the bricks.

Museum Interpretation

  • Andrew Low House Museum Walkabout Guide  Andrew Low House Museum, Savannah, Georgia Contact Rebecca G. Eddins, Director: A printed, self-guided tour pamphlet of the mansion to support visitor interests and safety in light of Covid-19.
  • Life at the Hill House: Understanding Antebellum Austin through the City’s only Extant Slave Quarters  Neill-Cochran House Museum, Austin, Texas Contact Rowena Dasch, Executive Director: A weekend of robust public programming surrounding their interpretation of Austin’s only extant slave quarters, a spotlight on The Slave Dwelling project by Joe McGill, and supporting interpretation and demonstration by other craftspeople.
  • Collating and Augmenting Historical Research for The Powder Magazine Museum   Powder Magazine, Charleston, South Carolina Contact Katherine S. Pemberton, Director: The services of Brittany Lavelle Tulla, owner of BVL Historic Preservation Research, to mine primary and secondary research necessary to expand the interpretation of The Powder Magazine from Charleston’s military history to a broader and more inclusive view of colonial Charleston.
  • Clarke House Museum Sharing History Clarke House Museum, Chicago, Illinois Contact Noren Ungaretti, NSCDA-IL Museum Alliance Chair: A reinterpretation workshop for key stakeholders to gather, ask, and answer important questions about the future ​of the Clarke House and its role in telling Chicago’s history.
  • Providing a Pause: A Guided Meditation and Reflection Point for Visitors Learning About the History of Enslavement at Van Cortlandt House Van Cortlandt House Museum, New York, New York Contact Laura Carpenter Myers, Executive Director: To create a place within Van Cortlandt House for visitors to pause to reflect and share their feelings about the difficult ​history of enslavement being presented by the recently interpreted Enslaved Peoples' Quarters. This will also include a ​site-specific guided meditation in a written and audio recorded format, presented by Adriane Rozier of Black Breath Sits.
  • I Lived Here as Well-Phase II Ximenez-Fatio House, St. Augustine, Florida Contact Elizabeth Towers, NSCDA-FL Museum Alliance Chair: A revision of their tour, “I Lived Here as Well” to be centered on the life experiences of African American women in ​St. Augustine, c. 1798-1889. Funding supports new research and writing and an actress to perform the work.


  • Establishment of Quality Collections Management and Care System  Historic Rosedale Plantation, Charlotte, North Carolina Contact Kathryn Freeman, Development & Publicity: The supplies and staff training to establish a collections management program in preparation for AAM Accreditation.
  • Conservation of Wood Pail Hotel de Paris Museum, Georgetown, Colorado Contact Kevin Kuharic, Executive Director: The conservation of an archaeologically recovered wood pail so that it might be responsibly displayed and used to tell the story of a John Touk, a Chinese gardener who worked and lived at the hotel.


  • Spanish Courtyard Renovation Condé Museum House, Mobile, Alabama Contact Mary Lee Montgomery, Director: To install a new irrigation system, and redesign and plant a lush, colorful and historically-inspired garden such as those ​found in coastal, c. 1780-1813 Spanish America when Spain reigned over Mobile, Alabama.
  • The Historic Landscape The Historic Indian Agency House, Portage, Wisconsin Contact Adam Novey, Executive Director and Curator: To complete three initiatives: the restoration of their surviving prairie landscape, the documentation, salvaging, ​and preservation of significant architectural components of a Fort Winnebago structure, and the cultural dedication ​ceremony for a significant new outdoor exhibit about the native Ho-Chunk people.
  • Octagon House Garden Project Octagon House, San Francisco, California Contact Julie Sarno, 4th Vice President and Chair, San Diego County Committee: Funding to install hard and soft landscape improvements to bring The Octagon House into ADA compliance.

Treasure your Treasures

Want to help? Reach out to the staff at Great American Treasures by emailing or by contacting the individual sites. Most donations are tax-deductible and crucial to the survival of our cultural heritage, which has been hard hit by the COVID crisis. Consider funding the past to save our future. We’re thankful to serve you.

Call for Proposals

Tuesday 3 August 2021

In an effort to engage with the local arts community once again, The NSCDA invites artists of the DC region to submit design proposals for a public artwork created for the grounds of Dumbarton House, the national headquarters of The NSCDA. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has had a profound effect on the lives of all, including Dumbarton House, its staff, visitors, Board members, friends, and neighbors. We would like to recognize and pay tribute in some small way to this year of difficulty and loss, as well to the many acts of kindness, sacrifice, and humanity witnessed throughout the global community. An art installation situated in a spot of quiet contemplation on the museum grounds seems an appropriate way to acknowledge this exceedingly difficult period. Review the full RFP here.

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America Announces New Executive Director

Friday 4 June 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Carol Cadou Named Executive Director NSCDA and National Headquarters Dumbarton House June 4, 2021, WASHINGTON—The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) is pleased to announce that Carol Cadou will be the Executive Director NSCDA and National Headquarters Dumbarton House on September 7, 2021. “We are thrilled that Carol has accepted the position of Executive Director of the NSCDA and National Headquarters Dumbarton House. She is a highly skilled, dynamic and proven leader. Carol will build on our organization’s momentum, from the launch of Great American Treasures a year ago to the successful completion of the Comprehensive Campaign and the most recent American Alliance of Museums reaccreditation of the Dumbarton House museum. We are in exceptional hands with Carol as our leader,” said Katherine Cammack, NSCDA National President. Since May 2018, Cadou has served as the first Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO of Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Before joining Winterthur, she spent nearly twenty years at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, first as Curator and later as Senior Vice President for Historic Preservation and Collections. Prior to Mount Vernon, she was the Curator for the Maryland State Art Collection in Annapolis and the Curator of Education and Interpretation at the Historic Charleston Foundation. “The Dames have been leading the preservation of our nation’s historic sites since 1891. The continued vibrancy and success of this women’s organization represents the remarkable energy and commitment of women across the country,” said Cadou. “I’m looking forward to working with the NSCDA leadership and staff to reach new heights in historic preservation and in teaching American history.” Cadou is a graduate of Wellesley College, the Sotheby’s American Arts Course, the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, and in 2019 she received her executive MBA from Ohio University. Her publications range from The Installation of Historic Architecture at Winterthur Museum to The George Washington Collection: Fine and Decorative Arts at Mount Vernon. Carol’s latest book, Stewards of Memory: The Past, Present, and Future of Historic Preservation at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, was released by the University of Virginia Press in 2018. PDF of Press Release