Two Funding Announcements to Help Historic Preservation in Holly

Two Funding Announcements to Help Historic Preservation in Holly

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 19, 2021)

Holly, MI – The Holly community is celebrating not one, but two, funding announcements this week for projects that further historic preservation and the creation of community spaces.


The largest of the donations is a $500,000 gift from the family of Charles Stewart Harding Mott II towards the Holly Heritage Homestead project.  Holly Township owns the property, which is a  14 acre strip that lines 13409 North Holly Road.  Currently the land has the Hawley Barn, a pair of farmhouses, and a community garden.

Plans to enhance the space started in 2017 as the Township stepped in, with help from the Charles S. Mott Foundation, to stabilize the barn that had been leaning precariously.  The structure was righted,  a new foundation was laid, and Township officials worked with Oakland County to come up with a Master Plan and a Conceptual Plan, which was recently approved by the Township Board.

“The Family of Charles Stewart Harding Mott II has been involved with the Holly Farmstead Project, since the beginning, when they attended one of our stake holder meetings in 2017. As the project continued, they showed their support and eagerness to help make this project a reality for the youth of this community by making a gift of $100,000.00 dollars to get the project off the ground,” said Township Supervisor George Kullis in a statement about the most recent gift.  “The family is eager to see this project become a reality for the community and its youth. They are making an additional gift in the amount of $500,000.00 to help see this project through. This will allow the township to move forward on the development of this project as a whole, instead of one piece at a time, while creating educational opportunities for our youth and families for many years to come.”

The plans include a new Township Hall, livestock area, community gardens, pollinator garden, the existing farmhouses and barn, plus a sugar shack to help support maple syrup harvesting from the property’s ample maple trees.

The next steps will be engineering plans for the entire project, with the first physical improvements likely being the parking lot and fencing.

“We are grateful for everyone who helps us preserve history, and build this space for the community to enjoy,” Kullis said.  Anyone with interest in helping raise funds or make donations can reach out at


The Main Street Holly 501c3 was awarded a $40,000 grant to help support The Save The Holly Union Depot Project from the Community Foundation for Greater Flint and the Charles Stewart Harding Mott, II, Holly Michigan Fund.

The money will go towards helping to move the Holly Union Depot from its current location, which is too close to the busy railroad tracks to be used by the public, to a safer location that is closer to the active downtown.

“The main reason for moving the depot is to keep it preserved as part of our history, but the other part is to be able to let the public use it again,” said Holly Downtown Development Director Nick Klempp who is spearheading fundraising efforts.  “We plan to use the Depot as a welcome center for when people come to town and need information about what is going on or how to get involved. We want to set it up as a museum so that our community, visitors and the schools can use it as a way to learn our history and how it ties into railway history, and a place that people can rent to use for small get-togethers.  We want it to be a big part of our community like it was intended to be.

“I am really looking forward to the time when the Depot is finally situated in its new spot and people of the community can see why it took so long to get this right.”

Klempp said the end goal for fundraising is 1.8 million which includes everything from getting the site ready to move, moving the depot, rehabilitating it after it is moved and furnishing it again and developing the site around it to be a little parklet.

“It is a huge goal but we have it broken up into four phases. We are currently working on phases one and two and are hoping to get the depot moved to its new spot by next Spring and then work on the other phases to finish the project.  People can pick up a copy of our case statement at the Village offices and see all the plans and ideas for how they can help.”

Organizers are also selling decorative take home Depot bricks at the Village offices for $50 and $100 that people can purchase to help fund the depot.

We will also have a Railway day story telling during the HollyDays celebration on September 11th where participants can give a donation to help and then take a tour to hear stories of Holly’s connection to the railroad and the depot.  We have met our goal to get the match that the Holly DDA promised to the Depot committee but still have a long way to go to reach our complete goal but we are hoping to get the Depot moved to its new spot by next Spring.

If anyone would like to donate or has any questions about donations or how they can help they can contact Nick Klempp at

Note: The story originally characterized the Holly Heritage Farmstead gift as a grant and this post was updated to clarify that it was a gift, not a grant.


Uplifting in Store for Hawley Barn in Holly (Sept. 9, 2017)

Collaboration and a Clear Plan to Give Holly Farmstead a Future (Nov. 5, 2017)

Holly Winds $150,000 towards Union Depot Move ( Oct. 1, 2019)

For more Holly-related stories visit the Oakland County Times Holly News Page.  Oakland County Times is a reader-supported publication. Please chip in on our PayPal page or sign up for a monthly pledge on Patreon.


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