December 13th, 2023

We had an intimate gathering of people of good cheer: The Popes, Gina Bent, Webb, Tim Austin, Christine St. George. As always, wayward travelers would also have been welcome. However, as we had the place to ourselves, we took an oath of secrecy about the fate of the generous snacks that had been provided. Suffice it to say that holiday baking is in full-swing and it wasn’t pretty to watch. We all took comfort in the fact that bathing suit season is at least 6 months away.

We began with sincere best wishes for David Fessenden’s prompt recovery. As an integral part of the BHS, his absence was conspicuous and regretted by all. The minutes ticked off some, but given the season of peace, they were approved by lack of strenuous objection. The Treasurer’s report from Chris Corey indicated a profitable month. Revenues: cribbage – $118, calendars – $1,800, donations – $95, tree sales – $8,410, history books – $206; for a total of $ 10,529. Expenses: phone – $52.46, electric – $76.04, propane – $372.01, insurance – $2289 (annual), alarm system – $287.40 (annual), brick engraving – $241, Christmas tree final payment – $3.238; for a total of $ 6,557.91. We were in the black for this month by $3,971.09.

Our Christmas tree sale went well. 120 were delivered by the Colebrook tree farm on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Enough kind folks showed up to help us unload the tractor trailer, rack and price the trees, including Scouts, Lions, Karl Dowling and his perennially-prospective son-in-law, neighbors, and other fine people. Thank you. As always, we started selling on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and each Saturday and Sunday thereafter. Once again, generous volunteers joined in to cover the shifts to sell. Thank you. There was plenty of cookies, cider, hot chocolate, and baked goods. The Lions Club ladies were they on 12/2 with lots of cookies and frosting for old and young children to decorate and enjoy. Christine St. George provided Christmas music. The trees were pretty much gone after the first weekend, with less than 20 left. Loyal customers soon finished them off. The BHS is grateful for all the townspeople who helped make this crucial fundraiser a success. We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday.

Lots of people have said that their schedules make it difficult for them to come to see our facility and collections. To make it easier for busy people to visit, the BHS will have an open house for the public on Saturday, January 20, 9 AM to 2 PM. No admission fee. Free snacks will be available. BHS devotees will be there to provide insights on the collections. Put it on your calendar to stop by to dispel the rumors about what really goes on at 17 Meetinghouse Hill Road.

We are thrilled to have received the magnificent 1892 Brookline Railroad poster from the Brookline Public Library, as well as a framed panoramic photograph of the icehouse crew and building, and a small poster advertising a comedy show to be performed at Tarbell Hall (above the former village store). Thank you very much to the Library. We will see to the proper care and conservation of these genuine treasures, and we will make sure that they are available for the public to view. There’s a bit of mystery surrounding the provenance (I’ve been waiting for years to use that word) of the irreplaceable 1892 poster. There’s a somewhat cryptic inscription on the back that mentions the Burgess family and Hazel Davis, but the understanding is that Ray Kecy, a renowned Brookline auctioneer, gave it to the library for display 50 or so years ago, before our town was blessed to have a historical society. If anyone has any additional information, it would be gratefully received.

The next monthly meeting of the BHS, open to all comers, will be January 10 at 7 PM at 17 Meetinghouse Hill Road. Refreshments will be potluck. We look forward to seeing you.