August 12, 2020

In attendance were Vicki Pope, Eric DiVirgilio, Bob Canada, George Winters, Gina Bent, Clarence and Marcia Farwell, Peter Webb, David Fessenden

The Treasurer’s report and the minutes from the last meeting were accepted. Marcia mentioned that the Lion’s club has been making and will again make a generous $1,000 annual contribution to the BHS. It was suggested that an engraved brick in the sidewalk would be a good way to permanently memorialize our gratitude to the Lion’s Club. Satisfaction was expressed regarding the new roof installed by Vaillancourt Roofing, a necessary project that cost us $10,500. A sidewalk brick form will be sent to Vaillancourt for their consideration. Xmas trees have been ordered with an initial deposit of $800. We will once gain need volunteers to help with unloading and sales.

Marcia and Clarence are donating a small shed for outside storage. The building was payment years ago to Clarence from John Collins for septic work. Most recently it has served as a storage shed at the Farwells’ for about the last 25 years. When Collins owned it, it stood east of the North cemetery on Route 13. In the interim. It was moved to near the Farwell Real Estate building and town bicentennial souvenirs (1969) were sold from it. There was discussion relative to the best placement of the shed. The group is eager to have all gas-powered equipment kept safely outside our facilities.

Conversation moved on to prospective tree cutting and eventual site work to create a gravel parking area on the east side of the property, down to near the town pound. Trees have been flagged for cutting. We decided not to cut the three previously-flagged large trees in the vicinity of the southwest corner of the pound. The flagging on them will be removed. The Appalachian Duo, Jim Pope and Bob Canada, have completed their work on the kitchen bump out, much of which had to be performed lying on their backs on the ground. Thank you, gentlemen, for your skilled and generous diligence. Projects on the books include the shed, the kitchen stove, the outside old kitchen stairs, rehabbing and painting the interior windows of the Barnaby House. Anyone minimally handy or eager to get out of the house is welcome to join our Wednesday morning work party from 9 AM to 12AM. The assembled are hopeful that, now that the 250th parade is behind us, the Fire Department will soon be able to move the hearse from the first floor of the barn to the garage space below. There it will be kept in a secure and climate controlled environment.

The group expressed collective relief that the health of supporter and friend, Elly Austin, has improved following a saga of challenges. We are pleased for Elly and his family. He has our best wishes.

Jack Fallon has donated a high quality digital camera to the BHS. He also is working on trying to get our high school students involved in producing local history-related videos. Decades ago the HB students published about twelve issues of an extraordinary a magazine titled “Spile” with articles on local people, places and events. It is hoped that the current resources of the BHS could assist with supporting photos, recorded interviews, documents and artifacts. Jack inquired re the original home of Eliza Daniels, the Brookline native whose husband, Dodge, donated the money to build the Daniels Academy Building in her family’s memory. That research is ongoing and assistance is welcome.

That brought to Gina Bent’s mind a colorful personality from the ‘60’s known as Leapin’ Eliza. Gina shared the story she had heard of this “enforcer” at the Milford Street grammar school, a woman who could leap tall fences in a single bound to apprehend misbehaving students.

Several members wondered whether the old village store might still house items of historical value which should be preserved by the BHS. In that vein, a recently-acquired A..A. Hall store souvenir glass pitcher was presented. It is dated 1912, and was just purchased on eBay. The seller indicated that he bought it the week before at a Brookline yard sale. The members sighed in unison at the thought of the irreplaceable Brookline artifacts lost over the course of time.

Eric has seen to the transfer and retention of the immense amount of digital data upon which Sid Hall based his recent town history, “Nestled Here.”  George noted that Manuela has successfully put the folio indexes on the BHS website. These books are collections of miscellaneous historical papers, photos and documents of all kinds relating to Brookline. In the course of many months, Amy Fessenden reviewed the contents of the books, recording page and substance. Manuela has put Amy’s indexes in searchable form on the Website.

Eric told us that the application for one of those metal state highway historical markers has been completed and is under consideration with the authorities. The marker would stand along Route 13 and memorialize the ice business that operated at Lake Potanipo in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Eric was thanked for his efforts. The group once again expressed its gratitude for Brian Fessenden’s generous electrical services and materials.

David will be away on 9/9, our next meeting. Peter will cover and be responsible for snacks.