November 11, 2020

Appearing live this evening at the House of Barnaby were Marcia and Clarence Farwell, Susan Laub, David Fessenden, Bob Canada, Peter Webb, Jim and Vicki Pope, Eric DiVirgilio, Del and Rogene Porter and George Winters. As always, the public was welcome but was apparently otherwise occupied. Minutes were approved and Treasurer’s report gratefully accepted.

The electrical work, thanks to Brian Fessenden, is proceeding. We now have a furnace room with a light (so we’ll know what really goes on down there), as well as an outlet on the outside of the furnace room wall. The stove needs to have a code-compliant cord. The shed for storing gasoline powered equipment and incidentals is on site. The work party is on the project like flies on shed. The mossy roof has been treated. Rotten clapboard removed. New clapboard milled. Windows have been removed and are being repaired. The structure has been buttoned up for the winter.Jim Pope in particular has done an impressive job replacing a muntin or mullion. No one is really sure which.

The presence of the York rake, thanks to the Conservation Commission, was noted with appreciation. For the present it will adorn the Springvale Avenue side of the lawn, as a relic of the town’s more agrarian past. Xmas trees are on their way. Delivery is Saturday, 11/21. ETA is 10:30 AM; although the delivery people have been a little squishy about the time. In any event, we will need sturdy lads and lasses to unload, unwrap and set up 105 trees. Santa will be taking notes. Selling begins the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27. Mulled cider and hot chocolate will be provided. Sandra Messore will have 35 hand-made locally-sourced wreaths for sale at $35.00, 10% to BHS. We will need volunteers to cover shifts for selling trees. A Boy Scout has offered to help us out. Thank you very much. If you can join in the fun, please let President Dave,, or his sidekick, Peter Webb,, know.

Conversation moved along to the recurring questions of when and how and should and could the BHS provide a meeting place for others or presentations of interest to the public. The COVID problem, of course, is a present obstacle, but there was general support for such outreach. The opinion was expressed that security of the collections and safety would require that someone on behalf of the BHS would have to be present with outside users. Webb volunteered to look into the availability of speakers. It was noted that the BFD hearse in the main floor of the barn is an impediment to such potential uses. Some interesting self-help proposals were floated on how we might successfully move the vehicle to its intended and agreed location, but discretion prevailed. We will instead remind the BFD that we continue to await their relocation of their hearse.

We were pleased to accept several new artifacts from the Farwells. One was a photo of Arthur Malloy, an interesting man, a WW I veteran, who it is said would have been quite a local character if he hadn’t been such a recluse. He lived in a tarpaper shack at the bottom of Cleveland Hill Road. A man of the spirit(s). It was recalled that he broke his leg during the clean up after the hurricane of 1938. The road down to Dr. Crocker’s in Pepperell had to be cleared so that Malloy could get the care he needed. One got the sense that there may be many Arthur Malloy stories out there. Bert Smith, a friend, is also depicted in the photograph. Another was a 1919 photo of the town cannon, on display during the 150th celebration, shortly after it was rediscovered.

The meeting then adjourned and quickly degraded into simple fellowship. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, December 9 at 7 PM. Eric kindly offered to bring the snacks.  We intend to hold him to it.