Historical Commission Meeting

Monday, December 12, 2022, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Town Hall & online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
A meeting of the Historical Commission

Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

  • Absent: Edie Field, Honorary
  • Absent: Sara Robinson
  • Present: Susan Mareneck, Chair, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Eva Gibavic, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Carole Desanti, at 7:20 PM
  • Remote: Susan Lynton, at 7:00 PM
  • Remote: Anne Schuyler, at 7:30 PM
  • Remote: Ann Tweedy, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • Carol Heim
  • Pleun Bouricius

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:15PM

Meeting closed: 8:52 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Preservation Planning for Historical Assets

    • Digital Archives - Investigate potential of town website as a storage venue. What are the issues around accessibility? UPDATE - report from the subcommittee on LHC digital archive needs. Potential for collaboration with Town Clerk for continuing the digitization of town records started in 2015?

      General Discussion...
      In November, several members of the ''Digital Archives'' storage sub-committee met with Mik Muller who designed and hosts the town website, to discuss how/where to store the growing LHC library of videotaped programs from the ''A Sense of Where You Are...(ASOWYA)'' programming offered since 2019 by the LHC on zoom. Could the town website store a digital archive? The answer was basically ''no'' - not enough bandwidth for that level of storage. We discussed some re-design ideas for the way the LHC page and the ''Leverett History'' page could be utilized better with links for information access. The LHC page should just be links to information (not a poster for programming as it is now). The LHC needs to finish its ''Mission & Vision'', ''Timeline'', there would be links to our official documents (which are there now, but out of sight), links to Mass Historical Commission and other relevant bodies, legislation, collections, data resources, etc..

      Susan M and Eva attended a meeting of the Leverett Municipal Light Plant board in early December with the same query about the possibility of a digital archive on Leverettnet. Mik had suggested that we might have a separate server on the internet service to which town documents could be saved. We learned from them that because there is not a ''tech team'' in Leverett town govt., that although the town has band width, they do not want to have a hard drive or any equipment that potentially needs service on the network. They suggested that we talk to the Selectboard regarding the future need of all boards and the town vault to be digitized and stored. Brian Cook, (also the Fire Chief) is the tech consultant that Margie uses and we were directed to talk to him re a cloud-based solution.

      The LHC and Town Clerk have already worked together through a SHRAB grant to digitize some historic town records through a free service that the Boston Public Library provides to towns in the state. Those files are stored on ''Digital Commonwealth''. The archivist at Digital Commonwealth has advised that it is preferable for towns to store their own records as they are more accessible to the general public that way.

      As a result of the length of time that it is going to take to pursue this conversation with various town bodies, it was decided that we would set up a separate YouTube and Google Drive accounts for the LHC (without an email) to which all LHC members would have access, to alleviate Eva from having to store all of the videos from LHC programs on her personal accounts.

      Next steps would be:
      1. Meet with Brian Cook (Eva will contact)
      2. Meet with Mik again.
      3. Talk to Lisa re having a town ''digital vault'' (SM will contact)

      MOTION, moved by Ann Tweedy, seconded by Eva Gibavic: A motion to speak to the Selectboard about the LHC setting up separate Google (w/out email) and YouTube accounts, to which all LHC members would have access, to store the digital archive of historic data and programming created by the LHC in activities to carry out its mandate to document and preserve Leverett's history, until the issue of a ''digital town vault'' can be resolved.

      Pass: Aye: Ann Tweedy, Eva Gibavic, Susan Mareneck, Anne Schuyler, Susan Lynton, Carole Desanti. Not Present: Edie Field, Sara Robinson.

    • Industrial History Programming - UPDATE - ''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. 'Follow-up to 'Leverett's Charcoal Industry'' presentation on Thursday, December 1, 7pm on zoom; possible next steps. Signage program start up. ' 'Embodied History'' interviews.

      General Discussion...
      A prospective date for first ''Embodied History'' conversation/interviews could be February 12. 2022. Greenfield Recorder contacted LHC re an article on charcoal kiln/industry in Leverett. Pleun does not believe that Eliot Sherman would be interested in having an article focused on the kiln. Eva has heard of people going inside of it since the 12/1/22 zoom program. Pleun spoke to him about possibilities for preservation if not of the dome, the collapse of which seems inevitable, to creating a historic site with signage. All kinds of possibilities: what if part of the structure were to be left standing? Would there be the possibility of that area being separated from his private property? Would protection from Article 97, MGL, ''Good Samaritan'' law protect the owner of such a property if it were owned by a town? Non-profit? Could it become a ''local historic district''? Eliot spoke of consulting a lawyer. Pleun will stay in touch with him regarding next steps, if he has questions or wants to collaborate with the LHC.

      Susan M., Pleun and Eva will zoom with the reporter from the Greenfield Recorder to explain the delicacy of the situation with the remaining charcoal kiln and suggest that the article be directed to the ''A Sense of Where You Are, Finding and Interpreting Mill Foundations in the Landscape'' in general as there has been considerable interest in town and beyond Leverett's borders.

    • LHS Collection Inventory - LHS Collection Inventory - Moore's Corner Schoolhouse and Field Family Museum collections inventoried and digitized. Status? Next steps?

      General Discussion...
      Still working on the CPC grant. A resident who works in the archives at Amherst College may help with documenting 3D artifacts. Discussion needed with LHS re raising additional funds in the future.

    • Preservation Planning Presentation - Preservation Planning Presentation by Jennifer Doherty, Local Govts. Coordinator at the Mass Historical Commission, on zoom, Thursday 12/15 @ 7pm, for the Historical and Community Preservation Commission members, as well as Leverett Selectboard members, on the ''Secretary of the Interior's Rehabilitation Standards...''

      1. 2022-12-15_Leverett_Standards_ColorPresentation_JDohertyMHC.pdf - Sec. of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation presentation
  3. LHC Business

    • Requests - Request from Town to reconsider the letter of support for rehabilitation of town hall grounds.

      General Discussion...
      Ann T. to find out if Margie has found a comparable situation in another town that was funded through CPA funds.

    • Town website - Redesign Historical Commission page: add timeline and mission statement, links to programs, etc.. Possibility of using the ''Leverett History'' page as the interface for links to the LHC programming?

    • New Business - New Business - topics for future discussion

      General Discussion...
      Susan L - Otis might be a good resource for the Moore's Corner Schoolhouse preservation project. They have a similar schoolhouse which they are restoring.

      Carole DeSanti - Would we want to consider adding the historic status of the Peace Pagoda siting in Leverett as part of our website? Many people know about/visit the town because of the Peace Pagoda, so it might be good to include on a list of historic sites of interest.

  4. Meeting Wrap-up

    • Next Meetings:
      1. Mon, Jan 9, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission meeting" -- Town Hall & online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      2. Mon, Feb 13, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Town Hall & online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      3. Mon, Mar 13, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Town Hall & online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      4. Mon, Apr 10, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Town Hall & online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      5. Mon, May 8, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Town Hall & online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      6. Thu, May 25, at 7:00 PM "LHC Web Subcommittee" -- Town Hall & online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
    • Published! Meeting Closed at 8:52 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

Minutes approved on Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

Posted to: Historical Commission (updated 2022-12-07 19:39:20).