After the flood at the museum in 2014, things seemed quite dire at the Southborough Historical Society. The building was soaked and moldy; the collections were damaged and scattered; and much of the electronic cataloging effort done in the early 2000s was lost. The easiest thing to do might have been to lock the door and throw away the key. But instead, a dedicated group of volunteers decided on rebirth. The building was gutted. The collections were stored offsite for a year, and then arduously rehoused in a completely rebuilt interior. And, to bring the museum into the 21st century, an entirely new visitor experience was put into place, along with state-of-the-art cataloging and museum practice. While founded in 1965, the Society was effectively re-founded in 2015, and is now a youngster barely four years old.
And boy, how that baby has grown!
Membership is up 350%. Volunteerism up 500%. Cataloged inventory has increased by 2000 items. After a year-long $25K conservation effort provided by CPA funds, our Civil-War burial flag will be returned and displayed for the first time. Items donated to the Society have risen by a spectacular 3000%, thanks largely to a huge gift of Deerfoot Farm material from the late Paul Doucette. And perhaps most heartening of all, our Winter Speaker’s Series, Heritage Day Fancy Flea, and our Holiday House Ideas Tour have all proven to be hugely successful, and will become annual events. (To that end, please remember to save your unwanted antique and collectible items for us—we can even pick them up and store them for you until the October sale. Or, if you might consider opening your home for next year’s tour, let us know!)
But just like any child, our Society requires expensive, loving care, and that’s where you come in. I hope you’ll consider helping this extraordinary youngster grow and mature through a generous donation. The Society does, after all, hold the key to our Town’s precious past, and with your help, shows the promise of many wonderful things to come as we enter the new decade.
Our best to you and yours this holiday season.