March 20th, 2024

Thirteen ‘Liners managed somehow to drag themselves from the security and comfort of their abodes to meet this evening a la maison de Barnaby: Judy and Peter Cook, Bob Canada, Bill Graham, David Joki, Tim Austin, George Winters, Chris Corey, David and Amy Fessenden, Jackie Barry, Peter Webb, Christine St. George. Everyone felt extremely put upon, incredibly busy people that we are, to be inconvenienced in such a manner for our governance. The righteous indignation was tempered a bit by the prospect of the snacks that would follow a motion to adjourn. Nevertheless, it was suggested that we appoint someone who in the future would simply take care of all this annoying meeting business for us. The idea was quickly dropped when the taker of the minutes volunteered to serve.

Last month’s minutes were acknowledged as having been taken. One disgruntled soul urged that they be returned to wherever it was from which they had been taken. Dirty looks were exchanged.

Our Treasurer, Chris Corey, advised us on our solvency. Revenues: Fidelity Charitable donation – $500, barn facility rental – $100, cigar box guitar raffle – $25, sale of history books – $75, calendar – $150, cribbage – $150, membership – $25; totaling $915. Expenses: 2 months of propane bills – $816, Eversource – $100.59, phone – $52.46; totaling $969.29. Despite being in the throes of the heating season, thanks to our supporters, we were in the red by only $54.19. The treasury stands proud at $35,258.12.

We all noted Loring Quimby’s passing with deep regret. His family has our sympathies. Loring was an early local historian and BHS member from an old Brookline family. He was a storyteller of the highest order. For an example of his prowess, read the “Intermission” section in the middle of Sid Hall’s Nestled Here. The BHS will miss him. We are grateful to Jeff Coon for the donation of a hand-made, antique “Rocky Pond Road” road sign. We are also grateful to Bill Graham for his donation and installation of a solar-powered, motion-activated exterior light at the front door. Thanks also to George Winters, who bought and installed a large retractable window shade, good insulation as well as protection for our collections from the harmful effects of sunlight.

For decades, a musket stamped “1863” and “Parkers, Now & CO, Meriden, Connecticut,” along with a matching bayonet with holster, cartridge bag, belt and “US” brass buckle has been gathering dust in the BHS attic. We aren’t sure who gave it to the BHS. Some materials with the items indicated that they had been the property of Joshua Lamb. They were precious, but of no known connection to Brookline. So there they sat, until Christine St. George got to work. Her research established that Mr. Lamb had served in the Civil War and was born in Phillipston, MA, and didn’t appear to have had anything to do with Brookline. So we figured Phillipston was probably the rightful home for these treasures. Right? Hold the presses! Mark Fessenden realized that the maiden name of the late Esther Joki of Brookline was Lamb. Lo and behold, after some further research, it was determined that Joshua Lamb was the great, great, great grandfather of Brookline native and interim Fire Chief, David Joki, Esther’s son. At this meeting, with David present, the membership voted unanimously to give the musket and paraphernalia to David Joki, restoring it to the possession of Mr. Lamb’s family after all these years.

We were pleased to have the company of Judy Cook. She spoke in her capacity as Cemetery Trustee. For the past several years, Judy and Ann Somers have been on a heroic mission to help Brookline’s cemeteries. It has involved researching old cemetery records, town reports, town histories, military records, photographing, physical repair, data entry. Thanks to their hard work, stones have been restored, burial sites identified and plotted, searchable information has been amassed and organized. Their work continues. Those who rest in our graveyards have not been forgotten. In the course of her work, Judy has obtained several old cemetery maps. She intends to have them receive proper conservation treatment and framing. She kindly donated copies for our collections.

We will get our order out to Weir Farms for 130 Christmas trees, along with the required down payment. Amy and David, bless them, have taken care of that.

Our next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, April 10, 7 PM at 17 Meetinghouse Hill Road. Both everyone and anyone are welcome. Especially welcome are folks who come armed with refreshments for our mostly over-nourished, but usually hungry, members.

Remember that our antiquarian work party putters every Wednesday morning, 9 AM to 12. Coffee, snacks and baseless opinions are free. Fellow putterers are always welcome. Complainers and grousers not so much.