Old Sturbridge Village has received a $5 million gift from a former trustee and longtime supporter of the Massachusetts-based living history museum.
The gift from the estate of Helen A. Titus, who went by Susie, is the largest single gift in the museum's history that dates to 1946. She died last year at age 81.
"Susie was incredibly supportive of the museum over the past 20 years, and we are grateful that she made such a generous provision for the Village in her estate planning,'' President Jim Donahue told The Telegram & Gazette. "Susie's legacy and impact will live on for generations to come.''
A native Californian, Titus fell in love with the architecture, the people and the history both at the village and in New England after her visit, he said.
The gift is unrestricted, meaning the museum can use it as it best sees fit. But the village will soon launch a campaign to raise money to help rebuild roads, HVAC systems and roofs and Donahue said he expected the Titus gift to help that campaign.
The 200-acre museum depicts life in a rural New England town of the 1830s.