Historical Commission Meeting

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Online only - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
A meeting of the Historical Commission

Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

  • Present: Sara Robinson, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Susan Mareneck, Chair, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Carole Desanti, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Susan Lynton, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Anne Schuyler, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • Linda Whiting

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 9:12 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Preservation Planning for Historical Assets

    • CPA Application - Draft extension of ''A Sense of Where You Are'' which might include: completing Embodied History and Signage efforts, plus ''How the LHC nurtures the environment for preservation (valuing Leverett history) as well as increasing access to Leverett history''? How to address endangered historic properties in town? Does Leverett want to be a part of the national 250th celebration in 2026?

      General Discussion...
      Discussion of LHC proposal to LCPC for 2024 - Leverett's 250th year - in which its historic identity will take center stage shifted a bit from the activities LHC has pursued since its 2018 Historic Assets Survey report. Results of that survey showed a significant mandate 'to make Leverett's history visible through education and preservation of historical assets'. LHC feels recent 'Sense of Where You Are...' programming has been successful in responding to that mandate. As a result of LHC programming a new non-profit has been formed and is working to preserve the Slarrow Sawmill, one of Leverett's most iconic historical sites. Still - others are falling into disrepair and possible destruction (Field Tavern might be an example). Since this year's grant (through spring 2024) will continue to work on making history visible through continuing 'Embodied History' and the beginning of a program of installing historic markers at locations which have been the subject of LHC research and programming, this year we will focus on sharpening the effectiveness of the Historical Commission partnership with other town entities in preservation work.

      One focus will be redesigning a more effective partnership with the CPC (which requires the LHC to annually monitor historic properties which have received CPA preservation funding).

      Another focus will be to continue our work with the Town Clerk and others to support the Town of Leverett in its effort to make its current and historic record more accessible through creation of a digital archive.

      Support Leverett in its current 'Comprehensive Planning' process through research on how other towns have leveraged their historic assets to meet community needs.

    • Industrial History Programming - UPDATE - Scheduling CPA-funded programming: ASOWYA (''A Sense of Where You Are: Getting to Know Leverett's Industrial Past'') 1. Embodied History: Charcoal Talk presentation (private? public?); Identifying next ''embodied history'' topic (timber industry? include logging, milling), identify participants, schedule a time and place to share stories? or individual interviews? 2. ''Signage'': current status? (Sunraise printing in Hadley?)

      General Discussion...
      'Charcoal Talk' film and 'Leonard LaClaire interview' about charcoal-making in Leverett to be shown first to participants and guests. It was decided to ask the North Leverett Baptist Church if we could hold a screening with refreshments in their Fellowship Hall (where the filming took place in February 2023). Dates of 10/21 or 10/22 are best for LHC members. Since the film is long, 2pm was chosen as a start time. We would like to hear from the participants before we create a public program. Links to view the film and interviews will be sent to participants ahead of the screening. If they do not have internet, LHC will follow up with a phone call or an email. It might be possible to offer a way for them to view the presentations before the screening. The full film and interview will be archived and accessible to the public but an eventual public program would include background material and an excerpt from the footage, not the entire 2-3hrs. of video recordings. Another 'Embodied History' topic - 'The Timber Industry' (logging, sawmills, lumber business, house, wooden box and furniture making; the charcoal business used slab from sawmills too) could include not only people with experience working in the industry (only a. few surviving locally), but also those who could present the history of Beaman-Marvel Box Shop or Cowles Family Lumber industry.

    • LHS Collection Inventory - LHS Collection Inventory - Update on Moore's Corner Schoolhouse and Field Family Museum collections inventory and digitization. Example of ''Jan'', researcher who used the collections during the summer.

      General Discussion...
      Eva and Ann, who oversee, absent. Update next month.

  3. LHC Business

    • Annual LHC review of CPA funded properties - Discuss current format and possible improvements to the process.

      General Discussion...
      (See above.)

    • Leverett 250th in 2024 - Leverett 250th Anniversary update

    • Town website - Update on redesign of Historical Commission page on town website. Pros/cons of LHC email address change.

  4. Access to Historical Commission meetings -

    • In-person, online meeting format - LHC members discuss current status and future for LHC meetings

  5. New Business

    • Update on Leverett's Historic Properties - Field Family Museum Ad Hoc Committee; Moore's Corner School House (LHS); Friends of the North Leverett Sawmill and ''Heritage Site & Nature Trail''(FONLS); Rattlesnake Gutter Trust (RGT), Rattlesnake Gutter Road restoration.

  6. Meeting Wrap-up

    • Next Meetings:
      1. Mon, Oct 16, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission" -- Online only - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      2. Mon, Nov 13, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Online only - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      3. Mon, Dec 11, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Online only - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      4. Mon, Jan 8, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Online only - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      5. Mon, Feb 12, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Online only - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      6. Mon, Mar 11, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission meeting" -- Online only - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
    • Published! Meeting Closed at 9:12 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, Nov 7, 2023