Ward-Heitmann House Museum Foundation
PO Box 573
277 Elm St
West Haven CT 06516-0573
Contact Information
Address PO Box 573
277 Elm St
West Haven, CT 06516-0573
Telephone (203) 937-9823 x
Fax 203-937-9823
E-mail wardheitmann@sbcglobal.net
Web and Social Media
Board Member Elaine Goodson describes her own family quilt before giving a tour of the quilts, in the Ward Heitmann House Museum, to a group of school children.
To preserve and restore the Ward-Heitmann House to function as a museum which will serve as an education center for students, scholars and historians.
A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.
The Ward Heitmann House is the oldest surviving structure in West Haven, CT. This is your opportunity to help us restore the house and keep it sound for future generations to come. We are in the middle of trying to raise $280,000 for a complete restoration of the home. As a volunteer board, we have received $220,000 in grants for this project, toward a total project cost of $500,000.
A Great Opportunity Ending Date Dec 31 2020
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1996
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Michael Francis Weber
Board Chair Michael Francis Weber
Board Chair Company Affiliation self employed
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Mission To preserve and restore the Ward-Heitmann House to function as a museum which will serve as an education center for students, scholars and historians.

The Ward-Heitmann House is the oldest surviving structure in West Haven, Connecticut and maybe the oldest within the original boundaries of New Haven Colony. Written records indicate that a house belonging to Ebenezer Clark of New Haven was on the site in 1725, although the house may have been built as early as 1684. When British troops landed at Savin Rock in July 1779, the house was already at least 50 years old. It has never been moved, has never had a fire and was a residence continually until 1991.

During its 300-year history, a number of families have lived in the house. Their life stories represent a microcosm of West Haven, Connecticut and New England history. Since buying the house from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1995, the Ward-Heitmann House Museum Foundation has been restoring the house as a museum. Each room has been furnished to show the lives of the families at various times in the history of the house, from colonial through post-Civil War. In 2003, the Ward-Heitmann House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006, the Museum held a series of events to celebrate our 10th Anniversary.

Impact The Ward Heitmann House is the oldest surviving structure in West Haven, CT, providing open houses, guided tours, and blacksmith shop demonstrations to the public. The It also serves as a repository of historic information and artifacts for students, schools and scholars.
The top 5 most pressing needs are:
1. Funds for the restoration of the house
2. Board Members with expertise in capital campaigns.
3. Updated Strategic Plan
4. Docents
5. Part-time secretary to schedule events. 
CEO Statement No paid staff at this time.
Board Chair Statement I got involved in 1996 when my father, a board member, asked me to come over and take a look at the interior of the Ward Heitmann House, that was left incomplete after the initial preservation attempt. I have been involved ever since as a volunteer. I am a carpenter by trade, with previous experience in historic preservation. I had been volunteering on and off for the past 20 years. In 2012, I became a board member, then vice president and now president. The house has such history and each time I worked on it I discovered something new. Once when a group of professors from a local university were cleaning the inside they discovered a 17th shoe that had been buried in a floorboard. A tradition from that past that represented good luck when you buried a child's shoe in your home. It is the connection to the past that keeps me involved and the chance to preserve West Haven's History for others.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Museums
Areas Served
West Haven
State wide
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Located in West Haven, CT but serves greater New Haven and the State of CT.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments We have a volunteer grant writer who has raised several thousand dollars in grants toward our restoration project. We would greatly appreciate donations from the general public to support her efforts.
First and foremost we give tours to all visitors to share the history of the house and its occupants. This is done through open houses and scheduled tours. We host 500 elementary students each spring for a tour of the house and a visit to the blacksmith shop.  We participate in the statewide museum open house day.
Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
We host the local area boy scouts who work on the open forge and create their own iron works. We teach simple blacksmithing skills to the boy scouts. We are hoping to work with the boy scout organization to reinstate the blacksmithing badge. It was eliminated due to the skills no longer being needed and was replaced by a metal working badge. 
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / /
Description We have partnered with the West Haven library to host story time for pre-schoolers at the house. This program is called Museum 101. Along with the story time we have hosted a pumpkin patch and egg hunt to introduce the children and their parents to the museum.
Population Served / /
Program Comments
CEO Comments
The Ward-Heitmann House Museum exists to share the history of West Haven and the lives of those who have lived in the house since 1726 (it may have been occupied as early as 1684). The challenges we as a board face today are securing funds to preserve the house for future generations. A needs assessment of the building was done and many areas need to be immediately addressed. 
Another challenge is that there are no paid staff members. The operation of the program relies on an all-volunteer board.  More board members are needed to keep the history of the house alive through tours and additional activities that are provided onsite. A plan needs to be established to hire a paid part-time staff member to bring not only the physical house itself but the programs we offer into the next phase of offerings to the public.
CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Michael Francis Weber
Term Start Oct 2015
Email mfaweber@sbcglobal.net
Email mfaweber@sbcglobal.net
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 18
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
Valerie BrunoJune 2013 - Oct
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation N/A
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
The Ward-Heitmann House collaborates with the West Haven and surrounding areas schools to offer tours and blacksmith demonstrations. The library is also a partner in offering story time on the grounds and bringing pre-schoolers and their parents to the site. 
American Association of Museums2018
CEO Comments All-Volunteer Organization.
Board Chair
Michael Francis Weber
Company Affiliation self employed
Term July 2018 to Dec 2020
Board of Directors
Jose AmayaOwner Tree Service
Doreen BreenRetired
Courtney DorsiPolice Officer
Dr. Patrice E. FarquharsonWHCD
Elaine Goodsonretired social studies teacher
Tom HinesVolunteer Blacksmith
William LangRetired
Patti PerryAflac Insurance
Joseph WeberRetired
Jenny WeberMaster Gardner Self Employed
Barbara WendelowskiRetired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 6
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 4
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Risk Management Provisions
Directors and Officers Policy
Board Co-Chair
Thomas Hines
Company Affiliation Self-Employed
Term July 2017 to Dec 2018
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments
The challenges we are facing as a board is the ability to raise funds to support our restoration and ongoing mission. We recently had the opportunity to add several new and diverse board members to our board. However, it is still a challenge to attract people to make commitment without any paid staff to run the daily operation.
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2019
Fiscal Year End June 30 2020
Projected Revenue $220,000.00
Projected Expenses $220,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$689,299$492,207$515,351
Current Assets$407,497$225,107$237,141
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$17,395----
Total Net Assets$671,904$492,207$515,351
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountCT Trust for Historic Preservation $19,233 -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Goal $500,000.00
Dates Oct 2016 to Dec 2020
Amount Raised To Date 220000 as of Dec 2019
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
CEO Comments Our organization operates with an all volunteer staff. We have a small reserve of operating budget. We need to use that money for operational costs such as insurance, heat, electricity and other yearly property maintenance. If we use the money in our reserve toward the restoration we will not have any money in the event of a larger unforeseen event occurring that will need to be taken care of. It is difficult in West Haven to raise funds. Our community is changing rapidly and many of the population who are moving in do not have funds to donate to our organization nor do they have any commitment to preserving the Ward-Heitmann House. They simply need to survive from day to day. Our previous board make up is of long term residents who have put many hours and funds into preserving this historical treasure. We have recently elected to our board a younger, more diverse generation of West Haveners to bring in more interest for our foundation. We hope to educate new residents about our home through the tours we give to school children and other events we hold. We need to hold on to our reserves while we look for more ways to enrich our organization. We also purchased the house next door to renovate and rent out. We purchased this house with funds left to us from a previous board member as a bequest. We received a loan to renovate this house. Our goal is to have some rental income to help with our regular yearly upkeep on the house once it is renovated. 
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address PO Box 573
277 Elm St
West Haven, CT 065160573
Primary Phone 203 937-9823
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Michael Francis Weber
Board Chair Michael Francis Weber
Board Chair Company Affiliation self employed


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