June 12th, 2024

This meeting was held in the shadow of the sudden passing of David Fessenden. David was formally the President of the BHS for some 15 years. He stepped aside to serve as the Director of the organization for the purposes of the necessary filings with the Secretary of State, but his leadership never changed. He, with Amy’s support, was the BHS’s chief cook and bottle-washer. He was our friend. A son of the South, he resettled in a little town rich with his family’s history and he dedicated himself to its heritage. We will miss him dearly, but he will always be with us as we continue his good work. Our condolences to all the Fessenden family. Amy has been assured that we are eager to lend a hand in any way we can. We will decide on a permanent memorial for David.

Joining us this evening (second Wednesday of the month, 7 PM) were Eric DiVirgilio, Peter Cook, George Winters, Chris Corey, Maggie Marszewski, Vickie and Jim Pope, Clarence and Marcia Farwell, Annett Quimby, Kim McClure and Peter Webb. The public is always welcome. Minutes were dismissed as piffle. Treasurer Corey reported that $96.20 (including $50 in memory of Loring Quimby) came in and that $210.83 went out last month. The treasury stands at $37,751.81. A proposal to visit Foxwoods for a better return on our accounts has been referred for careful study to the recently-formed committee on dumb ideas.

With the invaluable help of Rogene Porter and Clarence Farwell, Chris St. George and Maggie Marszewski are continuing their work to improve our collection of info on old houses in town. We welcome the contribution to our collections of any materials on local homes. We are happy to copy and return originals. Ann Webb has connected with someone who makes house signs to post the year of a house’s construction and original owner’s name. Once we have an acceptable version, the BHS will put together a program by which the signs can be purchased by interested homeowners. In anticipation of the 250th celebration in 2026 of our nation’s founding, Chris is also doing research on Brookline’s Revolutionary War veterans.

We thank George Winters for the purchase and installation of a new window shade. The repaired barn window is available for pick up at Portland Glass in Nashua, and will be reinstalled soon. The Farwells generously offered to help fund the repair work. Great minds are cogitating the best approach to preserving a stunning circa 1889 Fresh Pond Ice Company surveyor’s sketch of Lake Potanipo and all the shoreline properties, recently donated by Valerie Bergin. We continue to dream of facing the concrete foundation walls in the lower gallery, so that we can brighten the room and have more space for shelves and hangings. The Popes are again spearheading the Brookline July 4th parade. Help is welcome. There will be free hamburgers and hot dogs afterward at the Brookline Ball Park, thanks to the Brookline Lions and the Hollis Brookline Rotary Clubs.

Our next meeting is July 10. We hope to see new and old faces. Thank you in advance to the kind souls who will bring some sort of snack for the undernourished among us.