FRENCH COLONIAL AMERICA RECEIVES MAJOR GIFT FROM PHILANTHROPIST DAVID T. ORTHWEIN FOR HISTORIC BUILDING RESTORATION AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS
French Colonial America is pleased to announce the receipt of a major donation from St. Louis-area businessman and philanthropist, David T. Orthwein. Mr. Orthwein’s generous gift of $500,000. will be applied to renovation of the Beauvais/Linden House (now also called the Hands-on History House). A portion of the gift also will be used to support FCA’s innovative education activities including its living history and interactive learning programs for families, homeschoolers, school groups, and site visitors of all ages.
One of Ste. Genevieve’s many historic buildings, the Beauvais/Linden House owes its “Linden” popular name to a magnificent Linden tree that once stood on the property. With an early vertical log structure at its core, it has had several updates over the past 200 years, the most recent of which (about 50 years ago) was funded by Mrs. Harry B. Mathews, Jr. Today, it is called the “Hands-on History House,” reflecting its role as home to the experiential education programs offered to visitors young and old.
FCA Board President Tandy Thompson commented: “We are extremely grateful to Mr. Orthwein for this, his most recent and generous gift, as well as for his past support since FCA’s inception. Our historic buildings are all more that 200 years old and require special and on-going care. Mr. Orthwein’s appreciation of our efforts to experiment and develop innovative educational programming helps us to fulfill our mission by allowing us to expand our offerings. His support in these challenging times is especially reassuring and encouraging.”
Mr. Orthwein’s interests, in addition to FCA, include large-scale, sustainable agriculture in this region. He thoughtfully carries on his family’s longtime tradition of supporting a variety of institutions and organizations focused on education and healthcare.