Historical Commission meeting

Monday, April 8, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Online only: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
A meeting of the Historical Commission

Meeting of Historical Commission

Members: (Quorum)

  • Absent: Edie Field, Honorary
  • Absent: Eva Gibavic
  • Present: Ann Tweedy, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Sara Robinson, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Susan Mareneck, Chair, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Carole Desanti, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Susan Lynton, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Anne Schuyler, at 8:15 PM

Also Present:

  • Janet Pozar
  • Leighton LaClaire
  • Tod Loebel and Nancy
  • Pleun Bouricius

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:05 PM

Meeting closed: 9:04 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Preservation Planning for Historical Assets

    • HC Budget line proposal - Discuss presentation to Town Meeting on 4/27/24.

      General Discussion...
      Discussion of the presentation to advocate for the $4,500 to hire cemetery preservation professional to do conditions assessments in three of Leverett's historic cemeteries (North, Moore's Corner and Chestnut Hill/Mt. Hope) included:
      1. Reach out the Angela Glazier , Treas. of Leverett Cemetery Association. How to seek Cemetery Association approval?
      2. Hand-out for town meeting should include information to educate the town about CPA funds that have been spent on Historic Preservation. in Leverett. Sara Robinson will produce something to amplify the one page hand-out which Susan Mareneck created for the budget hearing with the Selectboard and Finance Committee.

    • HPR Monitoring - Archiving the annual monitoring reports on CPA funded historic preservation projects in Leverett.

      General Discussion...
      Should this archive of monitoring reports be available to the public through the Historical Commission or the Community Preservation Commission? More discussion needed.

    • Industrial History Programming - UPDATE - Scheduling CPA-funded programming: ASOWYA (''A Sense of Where You Are: Getting to Know Leverett's Industrial Past'') 1. Embodied History: Charcoal Talk presentation June 2024 (public); choose date/venue; Update on'Timber Industry' - February 10, 2024 conversation. 2. ''Signage'': Update - Pleun and others.

      General Discussion...
      Still looking for a date for the public program on the Leverett Charcoal Industry which might include excerpts from the two hour 'Charcoal Talk' in February 2023 as well as participation by those involved in the charcoal business in addition to the historical presentation produced by the Historical Commission (Eva). with our intrepid consultant and historian, Pleun Bouricius.

      The signage for historic industrial sites in Leverett is nearing completion. Pleun presented a sample sign. The test case will be the Chestnut Hill Brook Mill on property now owned by Ann Ferguson. Ann Tweedy will speak to her regarding a proposed text and a location for the sign.

    • LHS Collection Inventory - LHS Collection Inventory - Update on Moore's Corner Schoolhouse and Field Family Museum collections inventory and digitization. Example of ''Jan'', researcher who used the collections during the summer.

      General Discussion...
      The contract with UMASS Public history graduate students has ended. The budget, a grant from the Leverett CPA funds, is finished. Now making the digitized collections available is the next step: where they are stored and how they are catalogued should be on the agenda for May Historical Commission meeting.

    • Oversight of Historical Assets - Field Tavern (private ownership); North Leverett Sawmill and ''Heritage Site & Nature Trail''(FONLS) Field Family Museum Ad Hoc Committee; Moore's Corner School House (LHS).

      General Discussion...
      The Field Tavern condition was discussed at the Leverett Board of Health meeting attended by Carole DeSanti and Ann Tweedy. They reported that the BOH did not seem to think the condition of the Field Tavern was such that they needed to act on it, stating 'there was no present danger or health emergency'. It seemed that the BOH was in touch with the Field Family (owners) and reported that as of last summer they were 'in compliance' and unless there were 'new dangers' (such as the building collapsing into the road), since it is uninhabited at present, they did not perceive a role for them.

      The Attorney General's 'Neighborhood Renewal Program' may be of interest in relation to this and other endangered properties in town. The AGO has offered to present information about the program to any interested boards or officers in Leverett. The Historical Commission will pursue the possibility of bringing this information to the Selectboard, Board of Health, Planning Board, Historical Commission and other interested parties. The potential of the historic tavern to be adapted to a new use such as senior housing or a mix of restaurant w/ lodging and affordable housing as a central focus of Leverett Center, should be considered.

      Update from the Friends of the North Leverett Sawmill: there will be a perc test for water and sewer on 4/15; a first round of community outreach meetings to seek input on future uses for the sawmill property will happen on 4/20 at two times during the morning. They will be facilitated by the Architectural?Design firm Clark & Greene, hired through a grant from the MA Cultural Facilities Fund. They will be requesting $24,500 at Town Meeting from the town CPA funds. The Historical Commission has supported this request.

      Sara Robinson asked Ann Tweedy as the Historical Commission rep, to give an overview of the last CPC meeting. It was agreed that it would be good to have a monthly report from her on this topic. Ann shared that the Field Library/Museum ad hoc committee's request for additional funds for a professional conditions assessment were turned down; the Selectboard's painting of the Field. Library/Museum was turned down; Moore's Corner Schoolhouse refurbishing request by the Leverett historical Society was not approved in light of the impending professional conditions assessment made possible through a MA Cultural Facilities grant. the possibility of re-review at a fall town meeting was discussed. At that point the assessment by the state engineers will be back and a match could be requested from the Leverett CPA funds. The LHS will be submitting a new grant proposal to MA Cultural Facilities Fund for renovation as well. Ann spoke briefly about the CPC's intention to require an 'operational plan' for all properties requesting funds for historic preservation which would include both preservation/rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance capabilities.

      Tod and Nancy Loebel, new owners of one of Leverett's historic houses attended the meeting to share their plans for small changes to the historic house on Long Plain Road, none of which seemed to trigger concern about the Demolition Delay Bylaw. It was suggested that they loopk at the presentation on the Secretary of the Interior Standards by Jenn Doherty of MA Historical Commission; a link to it is on the Historical Commission's page on the town website.

  3. LHC Business

    • Leverett 250th in 2024 - Leverett 250th Anniversary update: May events: 5/25 - Antique Vehicle Show at LES. Historical Commission float in 250th parade?

      General Discussion...
      Is anyone interested in the idea of a 'Historic House Tour' - maybe houses decorated for Christmas as a finale for the 250th Anniversary?

  4. Access to Historical Commission meetings -

    • LHC Meeting format - Do we want to return to in-person meetings at Town Hall in the warmer months?

  5. New Business

    • National 250th Anniversary - Begin discussion of LHC interest/involvement in national semiquincentennial in 2026. Leverett has several 'witness properties' (Field Tavern, Slarrow Sawmill and Hubbard Tavern?).

  6. Meeting Wrap-up

    • Next Meetings:
      1. Mon, May 13, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission meeting" -- Online only: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      2. Mon, Jun 10, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission Meeting" -- Online only: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      3. Mon, Jul 8, at 6:00 PM "Historical Commission Annual CPA Monitoring " -- Online only: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
      4. Mon, Aug 12, at 7:00 PM "Historical Commission meeting" -- Online only: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86125147556
    • Published! Meeting Closed at 9:04 PM.

The listing of matters is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.

Minutes prepared by SM

Minutes approved on Tuesday, Jun 4, 2024