Historical Commission Meeting

Monday, September 13, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
A meeting of the Historical Commission


Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

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

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

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 8:45 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 Since the state will allow virtual meetings to continue until 4/22, the LHC plans to hold a virtual meeting on zoom until further notice.

  3. Review and document CPA-funded properties

    • In-person meeting - Observations and documentation of historic properties which have received preservation funding from the Community Preservation Act account.

      General Discussion...
      General agreement on the use of a draft form for the yearly review of local properties that have received Community Preservation Act funds for historic preservation and for which the town (LHC) holds Historic Preservation Restrictions (HPR). The review documents will be submitted to the Community Preservation Commission. Would they also be available to the public on the town website? (CPC or LHC web pages?). Question regarding CPC funding for town-owned buildings: they do not currently have a Historic Preservation Restriction (HPR) generally required for all recipients of CPC historic preservation funding, because the LHC (town commission) cannot hold an HPR on itself. A suggestion was made by Michael Steinitz at MA Historical Commission that the town could write an MOU (non-binding) committing to the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings which received CPA funds. Another idea was for the HPR to be held by the local land trust, Rattlesnake Gutter Trust (RGT). LHC will discuss with the Town Administrator and CPC chair.

      A question arose about the dam on Leverett Pond which received CPA funding - should it have an HPR?

      1. Moores_Corner_School_House_-_assessment_LHC7-12-21_.docx
  4. 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 ("Town Pound" test case?)? Outline for 2022 programs? Is a focus on sustainable re-use for prominent historic buildings in village centers desirable?

      General Discussion...
      Post the information about the October 22 and 23, "Sense of Place..." Leverett industrial history program, online and in-person at the Joseph Slarrow/ North Leverett Sawmill in North Leverett Center. Contact the Kirley brothers regarding whether they will be able to have the brush cut for the 10/23 visit to the mill site.

      Post the video from the virtual "Chestnut Hill Mill Program" on August 6, 2021 and the visit on 8/8, which was attended by 9 people. Post the 3D video of the town pound which has been successfully revealed by extensive clearing during the summer.

      In 2022 we will focus on several new mill sites and perhaps industries. There was a charcoal pit on Brushy Mtn., preceding the Howard Bros charcoal business on Hemenway Road. There was also an important mill above the charcoal kiln location on Mill Hill and Rattlesnake Gutter, before the charcoal business grew in that neighborhood in the 20th century.

      A big tree has come down on the Brushy Mtn. "mill pond" area.

    • 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...
      Progress is being made on the inventory project. The scanning equipment has been purchased and is being prepared. First site will be the Moores' Corner Schoolhouse Museum (where there is no heat), then the Field Family Museum. Two interns from the UMASS Public History Program have been interviewed, hired and are now working out a schedule. Dawn Ward of the Leverett Historical Society, Ann Tweedy and Eva Gibavic of the Leverett Historical Commission are working together on the inventory project. They report that when folks see the MCSH door open they stop in.

      Sara Robinson invited LHS officers and local volunteers to meet in early August, 2021 to assess what repairs and maintenance are needed at the MCSH Museum. A team has volunteered to figure out ways to address siding, door, window, chimney flashing and foundation issues which are important to preserving the collection of historical artifacts on site.

    • Slarrow Sawmill and other prominent historic properties - UPDATE - Select Board's ad hoc committee on question of accepting ownership of North Leverett (Slarrow - Kirley) Sawmill and Dam property. 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...
      An ad hoc committee of 10 interested residents was appointed by the Select Board to evaluate the feasibility of accepting an offer from the Kirley brothers' trust to donate the property that the historic Slarrow sawmill is on, plus an adjacent 2+ acres, to the town. The committee is charged with advising the town on all the liabilities, benefits and opportunities that would accrue with ownership of the property. The committee has met twice. The next meeting will be 10/6; then 11/3, the first Wednesday of the month at 7pm. All are agreed on the goal of preserving the sawmill and dam. There are two approaches being explored at present.

  5. Historical Commission Mission and Vision

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

  6. 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?

  7. History-related Cultural Events

    • Leverett 250 - Planning for 250th year 2024 in Leverett. Fund-raising questions. Next meeting Sunday, October 17, 3pm Town Hall. Activity subcommittees are working. A budget draft is underway.

      General Discussion...
      Next meeting, Sunday October 17 at 3pm, Town Hall.

      1. July_18_2021_minutes.docx
    • 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 has been challenging to gather the "Scholars" and young people wh interviewed them in 2017-18 for the book, "10 to 1", stories of Leverett's One Room School Houses to kick off the sale of the books, hear from some of the narrators and young people who interviewed them. The pandemic has closed the venues such as the school and library where we might have gathered.

      Sara and Ann will bring books to the town-wide tag sale on 10/9/21. We will create an order form that can be downloaded from the town website. People can check out or purchase copies of the book at the Library, currently, now that the library has reopened. Could we send a flier with an order form home to families through Leverett Elementary School? Though they had suggested a joint gathering to dedicate the book before COVID shut-down, right now the Leverett Education Foundation is focused on a campaign to support the greenhouse. We are looking for an opportunity to do something before more of the elders leave us!

    • 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.

      General Discussion...
      Still hard at work around town clearing and restoring our stone walls.

  8. Cemeteries

    • Individual Cemetery Issues

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

  9. CPA - Reconnaissance

  10. Old Business

  11. LHC - Schedules/ Meetings/ Duties

    • LHC Membership - LHC Vacancy

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

  12. Special topics

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

  13. New Business

  14. Meeting Wrap-up

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