February 21st, 2024

Valentine’s Day sentiments prevailed over the lust for local history, so this month’s meeting was moved from the second Wednesday of the month to the third. That didn’t deter one member from showing up per the usual schedule. Love can be blind. Our small group, unlike another currently proposed meeting format, had the pleasure of each other’s company: Vicki and Jim Pope, Tim Austin, David and Amy Fessenden, Chris Corey, Bob Canada and Webb, the Lesser. Oblivious to party affiliation, we met, we discussed, we decided. Imagine that.

The minutes were riddled with errors, but no one wanted to bother. The treasurer’s report, on the other hand, was an uplifting experience. Revenues: rental, $100; cigar box guitar raffle, $305; membership dues, $335; cribbage, $95; donations, $1,576; open house donations, $139; totaling $2,500. Thank you very much to all who made that possible. Expenses: electric, $116.37; phone (two months), $104.92; propane (two deliveries) $876.88; PO box (annual), $182; totaling $1,280.17. Our treasury has a current balance of $35,312.41, some of which is in the form of CD’s. Thank you, Chris. The BHS will endure for the time being. There have been no donations to the railroad poster conservation campaign, although pledges have been heard. Chris and Amy, bless them, will be working on the necessary forms for the BHS’s state and federal filings.

There will be a reimbursement to a member who kindly purchased a case for the guitar being raffled. The drawing of the winning raffle ticket for the guitar will be at the end of this year’s Christmas tree sale. Tickets are available. We are open for guitar raffle tickets, town histories and indexes, engraved bricks for the front walk, and guided and self-guided tours of our collections; as well as baked goods, conversation and coffee, every Wednesday morning, 9 to 12.

A brand new Brookliner recently stopped by to see what we might have on her 1800’s home. The best resource for house data is the Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds, but she reminded us that we keep a multiple binder “House Book” collection on old homes in town. Its contents are primarily what homeowners have given us. Please think of contributing copies of research and photos to preserve the story of your home. It’s so easy for such things to be lost forever.

Our 1/20 open house was a wonderful success. There is strong interest in hosting another. Given the unveiling of the Mark Fountain mural, there was a welcome abundance of artistically-inclined visitors. We think that we should offer something to entice other people and groups who haven’t had occasion to visit. Neither a cryptocurrency seminar nor a deer field dressing demonstration has been proposed, but creative minds are at work.

We continue to seek new annual memberships: individual – $25; lifetime individual – $150; family – $40; benefactor – $250; patron – $1,000. Memberships are available on our website: brooklinehistory.org.

We are looking to put together a short article on the building of the barn, as the memories of those involved ain’t what they used to be. The eventual article, framed behind museum quality glass, should be less likely to fade. The Popes searched copies of “The Brookliner” from their tenure and have gathered a significant amount of info for us. Thank you, Vicki and Jim. Diane Grzyb, who along with her late husband, Scott, donated the barn’s hand-hewn mortise and tenon frame, is working on it as well. The Popes also generously donated a complete collection of the “Brookliners” they published.

The refreshments exceeded expectations. We’ve been doing refreshments “pot luck,” which means the same generous souls take care of it each month. Thank you, Amy and Vicki. Others are welcome to contribute, despite the high bar that Amy and Vicki have set. Because the second Wednesday of the month in March is town meeting, we will meet on March 20th, the 3rd Wednesday. Someone please remind you-know-who.