April, 12 2023

The minute-taker’s scribble seems to include an illegible name. My apologies. The legibles included: Gina Bent, Jim and Vicki Pope, Diane Austin, David Fessenden, Chris Corey, George Winters, Bob Canada, Peter Webb. We were delighted to have the company of a new member, Christine St. George. The usual arrangements have been made at the local tattoo parlor.

Last month’s minutes were deemed wonderfully written, ingeniously witty and highly informative. Grammatically, they were an embarrassment. Approval was received for lack of an alternative. Our Treasurer’s report revealed that expenses (deposit on Xmas trees – $1195.00, propane – $655.58, phone $51.73 and electricity – $124.58) exceeded revenues. The treasury stands at $27,204.03.

Cribbage, every Thursday, 5:30-8:30 PM, remains a source of modest funds but great pleasure. Thank you, George and Diane for management. Gina arranged and took part in an extensive wasp inspection. Thank you, Gina. The situation appears under control. As Clarence Farwell is often heard to say: “It’s a bahn.”

Mark Fountain is working on his preparations for the artwork on the wall behind the cannon. We’ve paid Mark $184.97 for his material expenses so far. He has estimated that the project’s cost will be $1,500. We have received $500 in contributions and are hopeful that more donors will be able to help out. It is certain to be a singular artistic rendering of life through the years in Brookline. Mark has shared a partial draft of his work. The background wall behind the Democratic cannon will boast multiple Brookline historical vignettes, sketched in meticulous detail.

Eric DiVirgilio, our resident railroad nut (check out his videos here: https://brooklinehistory.org/the-brookline-railroad-series/), has recommended that the Brookline Station sign donated by the Cottons be hung on the wall above the “kitchen” or on the wall directly across. Eric has completed the repairs to the antique display case he donated, and he is looking forward to putting together a display of Brookline Railroad artifacts and materials. It would, by the way, be the perfect place for the opening of the Brookline railroad poster that hangs in the town library, a gift of Ray and Claire Kecy. One wonders about the need for deacidification treatment. Before the founding of the BHS in the early 1980’s, the library was a local repository for things historical. The Brookline Fire Department also did enormous service to that end with a wide range of department-related equipment, as well as the town hearse. Eric Jensen’s plan for the large tv monitor has not panned out. It is in the basement and Gina will see what she wants done to do it.

Kurtis Fusco of Brookline and Hunter Ardehali of Hollis were to give a long-awaited presentation at the BHS three days after this meeting. Because these minutes were drafted after that, it can be reported that the duo, who call themselves the “ NH Relic Hounds,” gave an entertaining presentation on 4/15 with about 40 people in attendance. They shared the story and artifacts from their discovery and excavation of a large dry well in town that had been filled-in about 100 years ago with many items of everyday life. It was a literal time capsule. They researched many of their finds, particularly glass bottles, to understand their significance. But the recovered materials were diverse: porcelain doll parts, studded ice worker shoes, cast iron toys, watches, flatware, ice skates, clay pipe remnants, marbles, buttons, you name it. Several BHS supporters provided a generous table of delicious refreshments for after the presentation. The BHS is grateful to Kurtis and Hunter for their willingness to share their adventure.

The BHS is holding a barn/garage/yard sale on Sunday, April 30, 8 AM to 2 PM. Donated items to sell are welcome. Preferably no knick knacky smalls, thank you. But please consider dropping of your treasures at the BHS on Wednesdays, 9 to 12. Other times can be arranged by emailing webb.peter.g@gmail.com. Vicki Pope and Diane Austin are heading this us. Thank you to them.

It was reported that the UNH Library’s collection of scannable Brookline Annual Reports has been greatly enhanced. The link is available on the BHS website: brooklinehistory.org. The reports are a vast and user-friendly source of Brookline historical information from the last 120+ years. Annlouise Denehy has donated more rare Brookline ephemera. Thank you, Annlouise.

Lastly, the BHS was thrilled to announce that Walter Hemming has donated a lye stone found on his property. Walter explained that he was eager to have more people be able to see the artifact. It is a large, flat-topped stone, chiseled by someone a century or two ago for use in making lye, a key ingredient to making soap in simpler times. The 300 pound stone will be displayed on the BHS property. Dan Bent and Arthur Korn are providing the services to bring it to its new home for all to see. Thank you, Walter.