Historical Commission Meeting

Monday, May 10, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
A meeting of the Historical Commission

Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

  • Present: Ann Tweedy, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Sara Robinson, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Susan Mareneck, Chair, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Edie Field, Honorary, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Susan Lynton, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Anne Schuyler, at 7:10 PM
  • Present: Eva Gibavic, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • (All on zoom.)

See original Agenda * * * DRAFT Meeting Minutes * * *

Meeting opened: 7:05 PM

Meeting closed: 8:56 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Access to Historical Commission monthly meeting - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556

    • SM contact - leveretthistoryinfo@gmail.com Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556 Meeting ID: 861 2514 7556

  3. Historical Commission Mission and Vision

    • Mission statement - Mission & Vision statement draft

      General Discussion...
      Susan M. to send out new version.

  4. LHC Activities Timeline

    • LHC Activities Timeline - Timeline illustrates Mission & Vision - draft

      General Discussion...
      Susan M. to send out timeline again for commission members to review. No input received to date by Susan L. Question about where to put National Register Historic Districts?

  5. Preservation Planning for Historical Assets

    • Industrial History programming - UPDATE on "A Sense of Where You Are: Getting to Know Leverett's Industrial Past' Virtual and in-person tours to Leverett's historic industrial landscape and sites." (When to offer voluntary in-person site visit?) 2021 and 2022

      General Discussion...
      CPA funding to continue the inventory and programming on Leverett's Industrial Heritage for the coming year 2021-22 was approved at Town Meeting on May 1, 2021. "Zoom to the Federal Mill" will be held on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 7pm. Since the property is accessible, an invitation for people to go in person on their own as per Cowls' accessibility guidelines. SM will post on town website. Pleun B. will do press release. By summer a final "Sense of Place..." program for this program year will be offered on the Pike "Turning Mill" on Chestnut Hill Brook, North Leverett Center. Date TBD.

    • LHS Collection Inventory - UPDATE - Moore's Corner Schoolhouse and Field Family Museum collections of the Leverett Historical Society inventoried and digitized.

      General Discussion...
      Approved for funding in 2021-22 by Town Meeting, the inventory project will possibly start in the summer. Five graduate students from UMASS Public History program, recruited through Marla Miller, are interested in helping. In the fall, volunteer Liz Etheridge will also be assisting on the design of the inventory, along with Steve Ball who will consult on the hardware. Dawn Ward will oversee the interview process with the grad. students. She will attend the June 14 Historical Commission meeting to coordinate.

    • Slarrow Sawmill - UPDATE - Sale of historic property by current owners. Discuss Historical Commission role in preserving town's historic properties. Most are privately owned. Might there be a pro-active stance on the part of the LHC to encourage preservation?

      General Discussion...
      Discussion about "what the Historical Commission can do" to be proactive in promoting sustainable reuse of historic properties. The proposed reuse of the Slarrow Sawmill as the headquarters of a preservation business by its owner and her thorough research that led to the recent discovery of the significant expense that would have to be incurred to bring the dam up to useable condition has stirred conversation about the town's role in preserving its historic sites across different constituencies.

      Properties in the centers of two of Leverett's villages, the former Field Library building, now called the (Field) Family Museum in Leverett Center owned by the town with some expenses paid through a partnership with the Leverett Historical Society (LHS) and the Moore's Corner School House, now a museum of and currently owned by the Leverett Historical Society, are a focus of the 250th planning effort. As a first step, an inventory of holdings in both museums is underway thanks to CPA funding under LHS and LHC leadership. The Sustainable Economy (formerly Revenue) Committee has also focused on adaptive reuse of significant historic properties like these as possibilities for reinvigorating the village centers, adding amenities that make them more interesting destinations. A Master Planning process led by the Leverett Planning Board will include consideration of these goals.

      The LHC will form a sub-committee to explore options for the village centers. Sara R., Susan L., Susan M. and Anne Schuyler volunteered. It is suggested that we invite Preservation MA "circuit rider", Stacia Caplanson to a meeting (open to others?) to learn about and discuss options. We will inquire of the current owners of the Slarrow Sawmill about the possibilities of partnership regarding repair of the dam. In addition to the historic value of a pre-Revolutionary site in the town's historic landscape, and the previous investment of CPA funds to restore the roof and mill building, the town has an interest in the dam repair since the mill pond has provided a water source for the Fire Dept. on the north side of town.

      Names of potentially interested parties who might be willing to join an effort to research resources for such efforts have been suggested. Harry Wilson, Will Stratford and Charlie Abbott were mentioned as people who might want to help the Historical Commission and interested village residents focus what could be done with the historic center of Moore's Corner, for instance. Such efforts could feed into the Master Planning process.

  6. History-related Cultural Events

    • Leverett 250 - Planning for 250th year 2024 in Leverett.

      General Discussion...
      In addition to the focus on restoration and adaptive reuse of historic properties in the village centers, the stonewall "lift" (clean-up and rehabilitation) is ongoing and there will be plantings in the fall of 2023 for blooms during the anniversary year. At the April meeting of interested citizens, a tentative calendar for 2024 was drafted., with events happening at intervals in all seasons throughout the year. The LHC will support historic programming as it evolves.

    • Schooling in Leverett - "10 to 1", One-Room Schoolhouse Oral History Project publication. Collaboration with Leverett Education Foundation to highlight Leverett Elementary School and education's historical importance in Leverett.

      General Discussion...
      We lost another of the "Scholars" who narrated the "10 to 1" compilation of memories of one room schools in Leverett when Wayne LaClaire died this month. Sara will reach out to the Leverett Library about the possibility of having "10 to 1" as the book for a future "Leverett Reads". Susan M. will reach out to the Leverett Education Foundation about their interest in a joint event once the Library opens to celebrate the publication fo "10 to 1" and the current Leverett Elementary School together. AnnT. will check out the possibility of having the Post Office send out copies of the book ordered through the Historical Commission and bill our account directly. There is an account set up for the LHC to accept payment for copies of the book.

    • Stone walls - Preserving stone walls in Leverett - "Mapping Leverett", a project for 250th that brings together neighbors to locate and restore Leverett's stone walls.

  7. Cemeteries

    • Individual Cemetery Issues - National Register Historic Districts documentation.

    • Veterans Recognition Project - New resource listing Leverett veterans from the TH vault..

  8. CPA - Reconnaissance

    • Reporting - Template for monitoring CPA funded properties. Protocols for Historic Preservation Restrictions TBD - HPR for Moore's Corner School House to Select Board. Town Hall HPR?

  9. Old Business

  10. LHC - Schedules/ Meetings/ Duties

    • LHC Membership - LHC Vacancy

    • Town website - Update history section on Town website -"Leverett History" on town website

  11. Special topics

    • Suggested topic - Suggested topic for future exploration - updating the Howe's Brothers photos now (30 years after last "update")?

  12. New Business

    • General Discussion...
      Eva brought a possible funding opportunity to the table to see if anyone on the commission would want to apply to the Pioneer Valley History Network's effort to document "enslaved history in the Pioneer Valley"? No volunteers.

  13. Meeting Wrap-up

    • Next Meetings:
      1. Mon, Jun 14, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      2. Mon, Jul 12, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
    • Published! Meeting Closed at 8:56 PM.

The listing of matters is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.

Minutes prepared by SM

Posted to: Historical Commission