September 13th, 2023

We were blessed to have the company of Eric DiVirgilio, Diane Austin, Amy and David Fessenden, Chris Corey, Gina Bent, Christine St. George, Marcia and Clarence Farwell and George Winters. The public is always welcome to join us. Diane was once again kind enough to be responsible for the minutes. Last month’s minutes were approved.

Chris reported the sale of an engraved walkway brick. Virtual immortality still available at $50 a shot. Much less of a commitment than a headstone. If you’d like to let future generations know that you once passed this way, see our website, brooklinehistory.org, to buy a brick with your customized inscription. A copy of the 1969 bicentennial booklet was also sold. Plenty are still available. It’s full of interesting local history and memorable photos. 34 calendars have been sold. They are on sale at town hall and at the BHS. Tom Humphries has been doing a heroic job selling calendars at the transfer station. Thanks, Tom. The Mark Fountain mural project fund stands at $1,184.00, just $316 short of our goal. An open house for its unveiling is anticipated for late fall. Cribbage kicks in about $25 per week. Gross revenues appear to have been in the range of $680. Eversource dinged us for $80 and phone (alarm system) for $52. Balance carefully safeguarded and parsimoniously spent is $28,794.00. Barring any big surprises, we should be able to continue our mission to save Brookline’s heritage from oblivion for the immediate future.

The unusual rains this summer gave rise to a concern about humidity in the basement. Our irrepressible work party dug, lined, piped and rip-rapped sections of the foundation with great success. Nevertheless, given the treasures on display in the basement, we figured we should do whatever else we could. Marcia and Clarence Farwell came to the rescue by covering the considerable cost of a dehumidifier system. Absolute Mechanical installed the unit and generously gave the BHS a 50% discount. Thank you to the Farwells and the Gorgogliones.

The Brookline Lions Club is an important Brookline service organization that provides significant financial support to those in need in our area. They have also been supportive of the BHS. The Lions have their annual penny sale coming up, Saturday, November 4, 4 to 6 PM at RMMS. It is an important fund-raiser for them. Monetary donations, quality items for sale, as well as donations of gift cards for products or services are being solicited. The contact is Terri McGrew at terrimcgrew@charter.net. The BHS will support their diligent and important efforts.

A welcome new face at our meeting was Paul Vachon. His daughter was working with a crew cleaning out a local home when she uncovered an old Brookline artifact that she knew should be preserved. Paul kindly came to donate it to the BHS. The artifact is a bottle of prescription medicine with a paper a well-preserved label bearing the name: “C.Holcombe, MD., Brookline, NH.” Parker’s History tells the story in greater detail at pages 415 to 418, but Doc Holcombe was Brookline’s town doctor from about 1888 to 1921, an exceptional person, citizen, and physician whose professional reputation drew patients from a wide area. Thank you to the Vachons.

David Fessenden urged us to make some progress on organizing the surplus materials in the basement and suggested that the Wednesday AM work party would have fun doing so. It can be reported that they did and it was.

The next meeting of the Brookline Historical Society friends, fans, wannabees, neverbeens and mightsomedaybees will be October 11 at 7 PM at the Society’s secret headquarters. Refreshments will be potluck, so check expiration dates and bring something interesting.