Historical Commission meeting

Monday, May 13, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Online and in-person at town hall: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83596838694
A meeting of the Historical Commission

Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

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

Also Present:

  • Doc Pryne
  • 'The Reminder'

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

Meeting opened: 7:11 PM

Meeting closed: 9:05 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Preservation Planning for Historical Assets

    • Conditions Assessment Funds - Discuss funds allocated by Town Meeting on 4/27/24 for the evaluation of three CPA funded cemeteries.

      General Discussion...
      The question of whether to stretch the budget to include Jackson Hill Cemetery in the conditions assessment process came up (it was incorrectly labeled as a 2nd round of funding for North Cemetery in the Community Preservation Coalition database thus was leftout of the warrant article approved at Town Meeting on 4/27/24 for $4,500. It was decided to stay with what was on the warrant this year. Some Historical Commission members will attend the Leverett Cemetery Association annual meeting on 5/14/24. Does LCA have a database of who is buried in each cemetery? Do they have a website? What is their purview regarding maintaining the cemeteries? What relation do they have to private historic cemeteries such as Marvel, Wylie, Gardner, Patrick? We know that neighbors are helping to maintain Wylie; its status remains unclear. We believe it was given to the town, but never officially accepted. Gardner is in very rough shape, as is Patrick. Marvel is maintained by families who have loved ones buried there (primarily Billings).

    • HPR Monitoring - Archiving the annual monitoring reports on CPA funded historic preservation projects in Leverett. Discuss location of reports and date for this year's monitoring tour.

      General Discussion...
      We will schedule our annual monitoring tour of CPA funded properties for July 8, 2024; meeting at Town Hall at 6pm. The Historical Commission will figure out a way to post the results of annual monitoring (our template now used for 3 years and photos) on our Town webpage.

    • Industrial History Programming - UPDATE - ASOWYA (''A Sense of Where You Are: Getting to Know Leverett's Industrial Past'') 1. Embodied History: (public) 'Charcoal Talk' presentation scheduled on September 14, 2024 in the Library Community Room; Update on'Timber Industry' - February 10, 2024 conversation. 2. ''Signage'': Update - Pleun and others. Historical Commission YouTube channel link now on our webpage.

      General Discussion...
      Update on signage: Ann Tweedy has worked with Ann Ferguson on text and placement of the test mill signage. It is ready to be ordered and installed. Most likely it will happen afte the 250th festivities at the beginning of July. We will check in with Pleun regarding ordering. It would be good to put on our Town webpage where the signs are once they are up.

      We need a title for the fall 'Charcoal Talk' to be held at the Library on Saturday, September 14, 2024 from 1-3pm. We hope that people who worked in the Charcoal Industry and who participated in the videotaping of the conversation in February 2023 will attend to be part of the presentation too. There is a model of the Charcoal Kilns at the Moores Corner Schoolhouse that could be on display.

    • LHS Collection Inventory - LHS Collection Inventory - Where and how will the digitized collection become available to the public?

      General Discussion...
      The Leverett Historical Society Collection Inventory Grant from the CPA funds is complete. Now the question ishow to make it accessible to the public. First, the database needs to be linked to the scans. Eva says it has to be done by someone familiar with the content. You have to add key words. Does this process require anothe program to make it accessible to researchers on the internet? There are isses to be resolved, such as duplicate Box #'s between the MCSH and FFM collections. The problem with collection programs is that they have annual fees. We can have a computer somewhere with the files on it as an access point. We may want to seek a SHRAB grant to develop a system of back-up drives, one of which could be kept in the vault and one with the Historical Society.

    • Oversight of Historical Assets - Field Tavern (private ownership); North Leverett Sawmill and ''Heritage Site & Nature Trail''(FONLS) Field Family Museum Ad Hoc Committee; Moore's Corner School House (LHS).

      General Discussion...
      The Field Library is at a standstill since the Pozar's offer to paint it cannot proceed due to lead paint and the refusal of the town's insurer to allow other than certified lead remover to work on it. Would the Pozars be interested in working on the interior? the ramp? The FFM Ad Hoc Committee seems to be in limbo.

      The MA Attorney General's Office will present to town boards on June 7 at 2:30pm at Town Hall to explain their 'Neighborhood Renewal Program' and how it might assist with Leverett's 'distressed properties'.

  3. LHC Business

    • Leverett 250th in 2024 - Leverett 250th Anniversary update: May events: 5/25 - Antique Vehicle Show at LES. Historical Commission float in 250th parade?

      General Discussion...
      Update the HC webpage with announcement of 'Charcoal Talk' on September 14, 2024 once a title is chosen.

      Marcia Gagliardi from 'Uniquely Quabbin' is interested in publishing an article on Leverett's programming and research into its industrial heritage in their fall issue. She will reach out to connect her reporters to people in Leverett who might be interviewed.

    • Report from the Community Preservation Committee - Monthly update on CPC business by the Historical Commission representative.

      General Discussion...
      Ann Tweedy our rep to the CPC was not present. Report from Sara Robinson on the status of the Moore's Corner Schoolhouse vis a vi the CPC: LHS has received a conditions assessment from MACultural Facilities funding. It has designated things that need immediate attention, such as the roof needing to be replaced (though it does not leak). The building is sound, it needs electrical work and a fire alarm system. They believe it needs water for fire prevention. Granite foundation stones are good. Though some of the analyses are skewed towards high end renovation standards it will give the LHS help in determining next steps. An estimate of the cost of work that according to their assessment needs to be done = $380,000.

  4. Access to Historical Commission meetings -

    • LHC Meeting format - Do we want to return to in-person meetings at Town Hall in the warmer months?

  5. New Business

    • National 250th Anniversary - Begin discussion of LHC interest/involvement in national semiquincentennial in 2026. Leverett has several 'witness properties' (Field Tavern, Slarrow Sawmill and Hubbard Tavern?).

    • New Research - Recognition of new research into Leverett's historical record.

      General Discussion...
      How to recognize new research such as Will Melton and David Palmer's recent contributions? Sue Hoyle sent a book called 'Hidden Landscapes' for our review about ceremonial landscapes. We are not sure what she was asking, but Eva will follow up and request that the library purchase a copy.

  6. Meeting Wrap-up

    • Next Meetings:
      1. Mon, Jun 10, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Online and in-person at town hall: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83596838694
      2. Mon, Jul 8, at 6:00 PM "Historical Commission Annual CPA Monitoring " -- Online and in-person at town hall: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83596838694
      3. Mon, Aug 12, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission meeting" -- Online and in-person at town hall: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83596838694
    • Published! Meeting Closed at 9:05 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