The SHS is delighted to announce that we will be hosting a Fancy Flea and Tag Sale on Heritage Day at the Museum this October, and we are looking for items to sell. So now’s the time to sort through that basement and overstuffed garage you’ve been meaning to clean out, and donate unwanted items to the Society. If you don’t use that old clock, send it to us. Grandma’s china not your favorite pattern? We’ll take it! Have a nice old table or two you don’t need? Donate it! You’ll feel better, and receive a valuable tax deduction to boot. We are looking for both genuine antiques and vintage collectibles.* Items can be dropped off at the Museum most Sunday’s between 12-2; or, for larger items, you can email email@example.com and we can arrange for pickup.
Plus, we are in discussions with a local antique car club to organize a Classic Automobile Show at the Museum as well!
So as you can see, we are pulling out all the stops this Heritage Day, and we need your help. It’s time to start that spring cleaning!
*Items we cannot except: clothing, computers, non-vintage electronics, large furniture. Any items we can not use/sell will be sent to the Town Swap Shop
The Southborough Historical Society is excited to bring Sheryl Faye’s performance of “Sally Ride – America’s First Woman Astronaut” to the Museum and Archives on Saturday, March 9 at 2 pm. Sheryl Faye brings a powerful and inspiring message to anyone interested in space exploration and science.
Since 2003, Sheryl Faye has masterfully brought to life important historical women to both children and adults. In her one-woman shows, she immerses the audience in a multimedia learning experience that captivates viewers and sparks their interested to explore more.
This event is especially suitable for children, but people of all ages will enjoy the show! Sally Ride’s story is the second in a series of three performances the SHS is offering this spring.
As many of you know, our Lyscom Apple, the oldest living tree in Southborough, is in very rough shape. So this spring we’ve decided to do something about it. The Society has ordered 20 semi-dwarf apple root stocks, and we’re going to graft 20 new Lyscom apple trees on Saturday, April 6th at the museum during our heirloom master class. If you’ve ever wondered how grafting works, or wanted to produce your own custom apple tree with multiple varieties on a single tree, now’s your chance. After a half-hour introductory seminar inside the museum, we’ll go out in the parking lot and actually produce the trees. (Note for safety’s sake, unless you are an old hand, I’ll be doing the cutting, as the grafting knives are razor sharp; the rest is very kid friendly.) You’ll help gather and prune the scion wood, plant the root stock in a pot, bind the graft together, and seal it. Plus, if you want, you can buy a tree, take it home, and plant it!
Class only $35/adult; $20/senior
Families with children $65
Add tree $75 (18 available)
Where SHS Archives and Museum 25 Common Street
When: Saturday, April 6th, Noon
NOTE: WHAT TO EXPECT & DISCLAIMER
Trees are grafted onto 1-2′ single bare root stems. Your grafted tree will be about 1.5′ tall, but should grow 2-3′ a year and produce apples or two in three years, a few at first, then in increasing amounts. Not all grafts take; there will be no refunds for failed trees, however the tree amount may then be deducted as a charitable donation. Apples require a site with good soil and 8 hour/day of sun. Young trees must be protected from gnawing rodents and staked. Care instructions will be covered in the seminar.
Sign up required HERE
The Southborough Historical Society is pleased to bring an “Immersive Living History” experience to the Museum and Archives on Thursday, February 28th.
Judith Kalaora, will portray Deborah Sampson, the first woman to fight in and be honorably discharged from the American Military. Deborah enlisted in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army as “Robert Shurtlieff.” Come and learn how and why she disguised herself and fought alongside male soldiers.
Sampson’s story is the first in a series of three performances the SHS is offering this spring. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Click HERE to hold your place. Limited to 30.
It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Kate Matison, a longtime member of the Southborough Historical Society, the Southborough Historical Commission, and one of our most civic-minded citizens.
Born in Australia in 1948, Kate and her husband Peter Quirk immigrated to the United States in 1988. They settled in Southborough in 1993 with their two sons.
An exceptionally skilled and enthusiastic photographer, Kate lived in London for a period and worked at the renowned Photographer’s Gallery.
Her interest in preservation sprang from her studies in art history, and she went on to combine talent as a photographer with her preservation studies, which eventually included two Masters degrees from Boston University. Kate spent countless hours meticulously photographing historical structures, often providing a complete record of buildings that were later demolished. She was actively engaged in the Vernacular Architecture Forum, and she implemented and moderated their widely followed Facebook page.
A life-time member of the SHS, Kate brought her boundless energy and commitment to the Southborough Historical Commission in 2007. It is impossible to overstate her impact on the Commission and the Town of Southborough. In 2012, she became the Vice Chair, and she held that position until she was unanimously voted Chair this past January to honor her decades-long commitment to preserving our shared past. Kate never recovered sufficiently to wield the actual gavel, but in truth she never had to—Kate had long ago commanded our respect through a staunch belief that there was indeed a right way and a wrong way, and that we owed it to our fellow citizens to follow the correct path.
It is extremely rare to find an individual who is willing to work tirelessly for the good of her community for so many years. Kate was that person in spades. We have no doubt that future residents of Southborough will benefit from her dedication as they experience the historical character of the adopted town Kate worked so arduously to preserve.
It is our hope that the public Kate Matison will be remembered as fondly as the charming Aussie we knew up close: dedicated, tireless, witty, wise, and, above all, a loyal friend.
She was truly one of a kind.
Fare thee well, dear Kate.
We will miss you.
The Southborough Historical Society will host a memorial reception honoring Kate in the spring. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.
We have also just received the news that former SHS Treasurer and renowned Town Moderator John Wilson died yesterday. We’ll be commemorating John in a separate post.
A quick update on Lost Southborough: We had a last-minute chance to include 8 never before published pictures, and took it. To accommodate these extra illustrations, publication date has been pushed back until next week, 2/18. For those of you who ordered mailed copies, the book will hit the post office 2/20. For those who requested a copy to pick up, we’re hoping to arrange a Town House location so you don’t have to find a narrow slot at the museum. As soon as we receive delivery from the publisher, we’ll let you know. The proofs are in, and the book is looking fantastic.!
For the first posting of 2019, I thought it would be fun to share this newspaper clipping from a scrapbook once owned by Mrs. Arlene Morrison, who ran the general store in the Sealey Block on Main Street across from the old train station. (Older residents will remember the Gulf station on the corner of Main and Newton street that replaced the block. Both buildings are now gone.)
As you can see, the article reveals that the Flagg school, which is now home to the Southborough Historical Society, and where I now sit writing this, was scheduled to be torn down for timber— a fate suffered by all the other clapboard one-room school houses in town about the same time. What saved the building is unclear. But for whatever reason, calmer minds (or more than likely, continued economic downturn) saved the structure for us to enjoy today.
Which brings me to my main point. Every time we allow pieces of our historic fabric to be destroyed, it has a ripple effect of unintended consequences. In this case, a precious part of our educational history would have been lost forever, and the Museum would be homeless. Think about the other missing buildings mentioned here, and what they might have been: the Sealey block converted into retail and living space on Main Street; the old train station made into a great pub; the Cordaville mills as condo and restaurant space. Loss is just that, loss, especially when these wonderful old buildings are torn down just to sit as vacant lots or parking spaces.
Finally, a quick reminder to those of you who haven’t sent in order forms for our new book, Lost Southborough or haven’t mailed your year-end contribution to the Society. Please do! Or even easier, donate online! Contributions so far are lagging last year’s tally and we’ve way too much programmed this year to slow down now!
Happy New Year Everyone!
On behalf of the Board of the Southborough Historical Society, we wish you the Merriest of Merries and healthy and prosperous New Year.
Lost Southborough: Views into a Forgotten Past is the first ever large-format illustrated volume uniting rare period photos with an easy-to-read history of Southborough. Featuring more than 120 pages of black & white and color images from the archives of the Southborough Historical Society, complete with extended captions and detailed chapter narratives describing the 300-year evolution of our town.
Lost Southborough: Views into a Forgotten Past details the changing face of many of Southborough’s neighborhoods and well-known homes and estates, including:
• The Burnett Mansion
• Deerfoot Farms, mills, and more!
Available January 30 2019. 8.5″x 8.5″ 120 pp softcover; b/w color photos
Advance order now and your receive a signed first edition 30 January 2019.
Click the button below to order safely and securely online
We are DEE-lighted, as Teddy Roosevelt would have said, to announce that the Society has received a 10K grant from the Southborough Community Fund. As in previous years, this contribution is intended to be both an end and a means—that is, to fund crucial work at the Society, as well as to challenge other donors to join our preservation efforts. We’ll be starting our annual fund raising campaign shortly, and hope this will be the first of many generous contributions towards preserving Southborough’s history. Thank you again SCF!