OUr Mission

Reimagining historic sites as dynamic engines of progress and development.

The John Brown Heritage Foundation was founded in 2015 to preserve and maintain significant heritage buildings and sites.

We believe that historic sites reach their full potential when they are vibrant community spaces that nurture a growing passion for learning. The Brown Homestead, which JBHF owns and manages, is providing a model of how historic sites can become creative educational leaders and community catalysts, helping to redefine educational paradigms for a changing world.

We are working to ensure that historic site management becomes an integral part of community planning and development.

OUr Values

Holistic Education

We include an educational component in every aspect of our work.

We believe in inquiry-based education that nurtures human relationships and fosters both the cognitive and creative sides of the human psyche.

Innovative Thinking

We adopt non-traditional approaches and methods.

We look for and embrace fresh perspectives that shape progressive ideas and technologies. By balancing these with knowledge of and appreciation for traditional methods and ideologies, we allow diversity of thought and action to build a path from the past to the present that empowers us to continue our journey into the future.

Community Connection

We are relevant to, and make a make a positive impact in our community.

We believe in using heritage sites to create deeper community connections. We practice and advocate personal integrity, mutual respect and valuing difference. Our programming and organizational culture encourage collaboration, conflict resolution, listening, leadership and mentoring.

History as a Continuum

We forge meaningful connections between the past, present and future.

We view history as a continuum of which our present era is only a part, and work to ensure that our focus on the past does not keep us from being presently relevant and forward thinking. 

Embrace Uncertainty

We explore tangible truths where the facts are incomplete.

We accept the incomplete and elusive nature of history. Rather than rigidly adhering to a single perspective or interpretation or era, we invite open discussion and diverse opinions, turning limitations into opportunities.

Everyman’s History

We celebrate the history of the common man.

We look beyond the traditional historic lens that focuses on the perspective of prominent figures, and attempt to understand how the ordinary person experienced and impacted history. This allows us to examine the development of our society at a community level.

Vibrant Culture

We provide a collaborative learning environment for all.

We believe that organizations thrive when the staff and volunteers are provided opportunities for growth, movement and meaningful intellectual contributions. We believe in the “campfire rule,” and we wish to ensure that anyone who works for and with JBHF leaves us better off than we found them. 

Economic Sustainability

We are creating a vital and achievable financial plan.

We are building an organization with sufficient financial stability to withstand adversity over time, by adopting a diverse and growth-oriented business plan focused on investment in meaningful activities and programming. We will assist other sites in discovering their own approach to sustainability.