Historical Commission Meeting

Monday, December 10, 2018, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Town Hall
A meeting of the Historical Commission

Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

  • Absent: Ann Tweedy
  • Absent: Sara Robinson
  • 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 7:00 PM
  • Present: Eva Gibavic, at 7:00 PM

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:10 PM

Meeting closed: 9 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. 1. Update - Digital Archives Project & Cemeteries

    • Cemeteries - Cemetery Preservation Campaign/ Research/ Conservation (brief update) - Update: Contact Betsy Friedberg at Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) regarding State and National Register designation for seven historic cemeteries submitted by UMASS grad students August 2017. - Update: CPC funded Tamara Conde‚Äôs to work on Mt. Hope; - Leverett Cemetery ownership question (Wiley et al.) - Leverett Cemetery Association signage update.

      General Discussion...
      Discussion regarding seven Cemetery Form E Inventory submissions by UMASS History graduate students in 2017.: Edie Field is following up to add additional information asked for by B. Friedberg at MHC in her response to us in 2018. Additional information on Long Plain, Mt. Toby, Wiley, Gardner and Patrick cemeteries was requested. It was suggested that material from the cemetery property evaluations prepared by Martha Lyon, Landscape Architect, for Leverett through the recent SHRAB, "Veteran's Recognition" grant be included in the materials submitted to MHC for the outstanding cemetery properties awaiting state designation.

      Eva would like to include the tomb and two graves on Rattlesnake Gutter as Leverett's official 13th historic cemetery. No one had objection. More discussion is needed.

    • Digital Archives Project - - Baptist Church archives (brief update).

      General Discussion...
      No update.

    • Individual Cemetery Issues - Individual Cemetery Issues & Questions: Leverett Cemetery Association

      General Discussion...
      No discussion.

    • Veterans Recognition Project - Martha Lyon/Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture, LLC Final Report - Next Steps.

      General Discussion...
      We will have several copies of Martha's final report printed and circulated. Copies should be made for the Library, Town Hall Archive, Leverett Historical Society Museum, Community Preservation Commission(?) and the Cemetery Association as an informational resource.

      A meeting with Bill Rathbun, designer of Leverett's National Register Historic District signage, will be set up for January 2019 to discuss informational signage for each historic cemetery. Information that could be included: first burial (last burial for those now closed ?), brief history , significant historical connections (family), burials, map locating veterans (and others?)

  3. 2. History related/ Cultural Event possibilities

    • Schooling in Leverett - "Education in Leverett- Village Schools to Consolidation" Oral History Project.

      General Discussion...
      No update.

  4. 3. Strategic Planning for Historical Assets Survey

    • ConComm OSP - Maps update.

      General Discussion...
      Next meeting of Open Space Committee is 12/20. The cemeteries and mills will be on separate maps. The map that Eva created and Martha Lyon edited will be used to locate all the historic assets.

    • Historical Assets Survey Questionnaire - HAS Questionnaire - - Final Report - Strategies for reporting findings. Meet with Capital Planning Consultant re future funding for Historical Assets.

      General Discussion...
      CPC has approved LHC application for matching funds if we receive approval to submit a Survey & Planning Grant application from MHC. We should hear whether we have been invited to apply in December, applications are due in February. The S&P grant would help us roll out the results of the survey, convene interested parties and begin a town-wide planning process which would include strategies for using our historical assets to raise revenue for preservation as well as to increase the tax base.

  5. LHC

    • Commission communication - Ethics Test

      General Discussion...
      EG as newest member, has completed.

    • CPA Monitoring - Reporting on visits

      General Discussion...
      Questions about CPA deed restrictions regarding pubic accessibility of properties that received town monies through the CPA. It seems to boil down to a question of "available" to the public, by arrangement vs. "open" to the public at all times. There have been misunderstandings about the distinction amongst townspeople in the past. Through the LHC rep, Ann Tweedy, we will bring this to the CPC's attention. A suggestion might be to make signage that could be applied to all CPA-funded sites with wording to the effect of, "This property, CPC Grant # ______, having received Leverett Community Preservation Act funding, is available to the public by permission of the Grantor (owner). Please contact: "owner"? Historical Commission via town website" email?"
      Susan will call the resident who asked the question to clarify.

    • LHC Budget - Collect LHC expenses from 2017-18 to present to SB and Finance for 2020 budget.

      General Discussion...
      Budget requests are due to Town Administrator by 1/11/19.

    • Policies, New members?

      General Discussion...
      (SM will send email to PB re distinction between Historical "Commission" and "Society" referencing their December Newsletter confusion.)

      No new member invitations have been issued.

  6. 5. LHS

    • Brief update of activities - - Brief update of activities - Meetings planned?

      General Discussion...
      Friday and Saturday hours at Leverett Historical Society Museum in Leverett Center, former Field Library building.

      Edie Field will contact Rob Cox at UMASS Special Collections to see if they would scan the new "Maynard Journal" acquisition.

  7. New Business

    • Demolition Delay Ordinance - Demolition Delay Ordinance accessibility

      MOTION, moved by Susan Lynton, seconded by Eva Gibavic: Motion "to accept the change to the Demolition Delay Bylaw, Chapter 61 of the Leverett Town Code...to "Section (3) REGULATED BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES: The provisions of this bylaw shall apply only to buildings or structures meeting one or more of the following conditions: a. Buildings or structures over 100 years old on the date of the Application. b. Buildings or structures placed on a list filed by the Commission with the Inspector prior to the date of the Application, such buildings or structures being listed because they are a Historically Significant Building as defined in Subsection (2) h.".

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

      As discussed with the Planning Board, they will create a Zoning Bylaw to be approved at Town Meeting requiring the Building Commissioner invoke the Demolition Delay bylaw. If either criteria are met in an application for a Demolition Permit in Leverett, it will need to be reviewed by the Leverett Historical Commission.. The LHC may propose other changes or clarification to Chapter 61, such as shortening mandates for review and documentation. Most towns do not have more than a one year delay. LHC may also create a list of historically significant buildings based on MACRIS and NRHD listings. Research and rewriting may take more time than we have for this year's town meeting, so we may just bring the language cited above this year.

    • Fish Pond - Friends of Leverett Pond - Dam Repair, inclusion as one of Leverett's historical assets; barn contents; etc..

    • Historical Bridges/ Capital funding - Historical Bridges and funding for repair?

      General Discussion...
      Meeting on 12/11/18 with Sarah Concannon, Capital Planning consultant. She asked if we had an official list of town-owner historical assets. We might want to make an official list (separate from the Open Space Plan). It could be that as part of any planning following from the Historical Assets Survey we will want to have the community help list the assets by categories and importance. Sarah wondered if any of the bridge repair that Leverett is about to embark on could be considered historic preservation and qualify for funding under that category.

    • MHC - MHC Archaeology - Leverett Policy

      General Discussion...
      Eva will work on creating a draft of a Town policy on archaeological sites and remains.

    • Newsletter - February 2019 newsletter

    • Town Pound - Town Pound disappearance from Assessor's Maps

  8. 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

Minutes approved on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019