Historical Commission meeting

Monday, May 9, 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm
A meeting of the Historical Commission

Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

  • Absent: Edie Field, Honorary
  • Present: Susan Lynton, at 5:00 PM
  • Present: Anne Schuyler, at 5:00 PM
  • Present: Eva Gibavic, at 5:00 PM
  • Present: Ann Tweedy, at 5:00 PM
  • Present: Sara Robinson, at 5:00 PM
  • Present: Susan Mareneck, Chair, at 5:00 PM

Also Present:

  • Carol Heim
  • Carole DeSanti
  • Brian Emond
  • Pat Fiero

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

Meeting opened: 5:13 PM

Meeting closed: 7:02 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

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

    • LHC Vacancy - Welcome to parties interested in serving on the Historical Commission.

      General Discussion...
      The candidates for the vacancy on the Historical Commission introduced themselves:

      Brian Emond, 75 North Leverett Road, 45 years in town, currently a constable, has served on fire dept., finance, liaison to police dept., school building committee and energy coordinator. Has worked to identify vets in town, directed Vietnam Vets, is a Vietnam vet, served on the Ad Hoc "Dam" committee. Lecturer in Mathematics at UMass, taught HS math.

      Carole DeSanti, 59 Montague Road, writer, editor, teacher, moved here in 2001, deep love of history, 2012-17 served on Leverett Historical Commission, had to resign due to job constraints. As a member able to bring connections to arts and academia, creative contributions.

      Pat Fiero, Laurel Hill, moved to Leverett in 2006, worked with Leverett Peace Committee, "Hands Across the Hills", Leverett Alliance, interest in restoration of mill pond in North Leverett center was inspiration to get involved in historic issues, served in MA legislature, interested also in economic development and affordable housing.

    • 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 7/22, the LHC plans to hold a virtual meeting on zoom through June 2022.

  3. 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.

      General Discussion...
      Need a date for Brushy Mtn program ; zoom to Roaring Brook will be 5/20/22. We are redoing Roaring Brook Industrial Heritage site program so there is a recorded video documentation for the record. SM to post to town website and LeverettConnects. The FY23 "Sense of Where You Are..." funding for signage and interviews with workers in the local industries was approved at Town Meeting on 4/30/22

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

      General Discussion...
      Ann Tweedy reports that the UMASS Public history grad students are still working on the inventory at the Field Museum. Devinne has been consistent but more student helpers are needed. Marla Miller at UMASS will help drum up students who may be interested in a summer job. MCSH collection is close to being completely digitized and they are starting on the Historical Society collection held in the Field Family Museum. They should be done in about three months. The Leverett Historical Society is requesting a review of all their material once the digitization is complete. Since the Historical Commission and Society partnered on this project, there is not a problem with that request.

    • Preserving Leverett's historic properties - UPDATE Update on CPC guidance regarding implementation of $30,000 "conditions assessment and planning" grant for the Field Family Museum.

      General Discussion...
      Ann Tweedy believes there will be outreach to the community for a committee to oversee. The Selectboard will direct, the Historical Commission as the town's official arm to deal with historic assets will logically be part of it. A question arose about whether the Historical Society should take its collection out of the building? It has been known since a 2013 report by a grad. student from Simmons College Library Program that the conditions under which the collection was being stored was not ideal and needed to address issues that could contribute to deterioration of the historic documents and artifacts.

      The Community Preservation Commission has been meeting to revise their application process. Ann believes the deadline will be moved to October 4. They are working on a new application form and process based on research of what other towns do. When their process is complete they will reach out to the community to inform.

  4. History-related Cultural Events

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

      General Discussion...
      A question has been raised by the 250th committee as to how the Historical Commission will be involved in the Town's "Birthday Party" in March of 2024. Would we want to tie our participation to the new signage program that two residents with mill remains on their property have expressed interest in? Would the Town Pound be the first prototype to find design format, fabricator, materials, etc.? Should we contact Bill Rathbun, who designed several models for the cemetery information signs and all the historic district signs?

    • Schooling in Leverett - "10 to 1", One-Room Schoolhouse Oral History Project publication. Collaboration with Leverett Education Foundation to celebrate the publication of "10 to 1", Leverett Elementary School and education's historical importance in Leverett on June 11, 1pm at the Leverett Library. Also presentation of the project at the staewide Massachusetts History Conference, June 7, 2022.

    • 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.

  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? Sterling mission statement - https://www.sterling-ma.gov/sterling-historical-commission

  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. Cemeteries

    • Individual Cemetery Issues

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

  8. LHC - Schedules/ Meetings/ Duties

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

  9. Special topics

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

  10. Review and document CPA-funded properties

    • Yearly review - Yearly observations and documentation of historic properties which have received preservation funding from the Community Preservation Act account will happen at the July meeting.

  11. New Business

    • Discussion of LHC vacancy. - Discuss candidates interested in filling the Commission's one vacant seat.

      General Discussion...
      New member: Question of how to decide? Criteria could include: 1. Add new skills; 2. Commitment to historic preservation; 3. Diversity of opinions;

      There is more interest than before. All three candidates are interested in historic preservation. Anne Schuyler says she is not comfortable in voting tonight without a process. What if we had a couple of questions for all candidates to answer in writing? Anne Schuyler volunteers to draft a couple of questions. All LHC members are welcome to send her suggestions for the content of those questions. At the June meeting the LHC can approve the questions, then they would be distributed to the candidates with a due date before the end of the month, so that at a second end-of-the-month June or early July special meeting the LHC could meet to select the new member, since the July meeting is scheduled to be the tour of CPC-funded properties that LHC is required to review on a yearly basis.

    • LHC Budget - Expense receipts?

  12. 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