Historical Commission Meeting

Monday, June 14, 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 8:00 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: 9:34 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 Efforts are currently underway to determine whether virtual meetings will be legal for public bodies (such as town commissions) after 6/15/21, when the state emergency declaration ends. The state law supposedly says meetings must be in-person and open to the public.

      General Discussion...
      Possibility of state extending emergency order to make online meetings legal until April 2022.

      The July meeting 7/12 @ 7pm, will be a tour to review and document current conditions of historic properties that have received town CPA monies for preservation. It will probably embark at the Leverett Crafts & Arts on Montague Road in Leverett Center.

      The August meeting will move to the first Monday, 8/2 @ 7pm.

  3. Historical Commission Mission and Vision

    • Mission statement - Mission & Vision statement draft (see Agenda item #4). In addition to identifying and evaluating sites, how does LHC mission sync with encouraging sustainable preservation of our historical assets?

  4. LHC Activities Timeline

    • LHC Activities Timeline - Timeline illustrates Mission & Vision - draft. At this juncture, 3 years from the 250th, what focus of LHC might be most effective?

  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." Finishing up 2021 with Chestnut Hill Mill and investigation into a signage program? Outline for 2022 programs? Is a focus on sustainable re-use for prominent historic buildings in village centers desirable?

      General Discussion...
      In addition to planning for the Chestnut Hill Brook Mill program this summer, the idea of doing a program on the Slarrow Sawmill, now up for discussion as to whether it should become the property of the town, is timely. Pleun suggested that we do a zoom program first so that we have a record, then an in-person event, since there is parking available. Ann T. commented that with the water low, the filming of the dam is opportune. Eva suggested that we focus on the families involved with the mill over its history. Discussion to be continued.

      Pleun also presented some research on the opportunity to follow up on the suggestions that came out of previous "Sense of Place..." programming to institute a historic properties signage program. She has a document that brings together some of her research. If we could read it over before our next gathering, in order to discuss it at more length, she will look for sign sources that could be standardized with consistent costs, etc.. Members agree that following current design of black lettering on white shield-like shapes is probably the route we want to pursue.

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

      General Discussion...
      Two members of the Friends of Leverett Pond, Steve Freedman and Tom Hankinson, attended to request permission to use the Field Family Museum (old library) as a site for checking out boats to be used on Leverett Pond through the FLP Boat Loan Program. Dawn Ward and Edie Field, representing the Leverett Historical Society, were present to hear the proposal. It would be primarily 2, 4 hr. shifts on Sat/Sun's and seasonal. There are 6 boats. The volunteers could be introduced to the collection by Edie Field, so if people were interested in contents of the museum, they could give a general idea of the collections and what is visible on the first floor. (The LHC is only peripherally involved since the town still owns the building, but the LHS has been the curator of the collections housed there since the library moved.) The Historical Society will consider the request.

    • Slarrow Sawmill and other prominent historic properties - UPDATE - 250th goal to work with the Historical Commission, Planning Board, etc. to plan for sustainable preservation of historic buildings in the village centers. Discuss Historical Commission role in preserving town's historic properties. Most are privately owned. How can the Historical Commission take a pro-active stance to encourage preservation and sustainable adaptive re-use?

      General Discussion...
      Several people attended the meeting to discuss next steps to evaluate the offer by the Kirleys, current owners of the sawmill in North Leverett, to donate the mill, dam and adjacent property to the Town of Leverett; Ken Kahn and Steve Freedman from the Planning Board, as well as Tom Hankinson from the Select Board. Pleun Bouricius, Industrial History consultant to the Historical Commission was also present.

      Questions were raised about whether Community Preservation funds could be used to repair the dam. Amy Boyce had been given an estimate of $250,000+. Ken raised the possibility of the town doing needed repairs and then entering into a management agreement with someone who wanted to run a business there. Others believe there might be parties interested in purchasing it from the town if dam were repaired.

      It was suggested that the Select Board set up an ad hoc working group to do a cost analysis of repair (dam and mill separately?) and ongoing expenses (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc...) and to come up with plausible scenarios for sustainable preservation and adaptive reuse. Several people plan to attend the Select Board meeting on 6/22/21 both in person and online to make the suggestion.

      There were questions about the need for a fire pond in the North end of town, but the Fire Dept. now is equipped to fill the tanker from a diverse range of sources, unlike in the past.

      1. LHC_Statement_of_goal_for_sustainable_historic_preservationrev.docx
  6. History-related Cultural Events

    • Leverett 250 - Planning for 250th year 2024 in Leverett. Fund-raising questions. Next meeting Sunday, July 18, 3pm Library (raindate 7/25). (Judith Inglese received Cultural Council grant and will proceed.)

    • 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. Next steps?

      General Discussion...
      It was suggested that we look at the possibility of presenting the "10 to 1" to the town in the fall in conjunction with the Harvest Festival. We can contact the Leverett Education Foundation (which had reached out to the LHC before the pandemic) to see if they might be interested in planning this as a joint venture.

      Susan reported on a letter Edie Field received from Betty Glazier House thanking us for sending her a copy of "10 to 1". She sent a whole page of "stories she forgot to tell us" as well, such as the Moore's Corner School House outhouse being dragged down the road for a July 4th prank - sparks flying.

    • 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

    • 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. Town Hall HPR? When to tour sites - July meeting?

  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...
      Funded by a Cultural Council grant, Nancy Emond's painting class chose historic sites as a subject for plein air watercolor paintings. They would like to do an exhibit at the LC&A. Would the LHC be supportive? Commission members replied in the affirmative.

  13. Meeting Wrap-up

    • Next Meetings:
      1. Mon, Jul 12, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      2. Mon, Aug 2, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      3. Mon, Sep 13, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
    • Published! Meeting Closed at 9:34 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