2019 Annual Appeal

Dear Friends

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.

 

 

 

To support the Historical Society safely and quickly online, just click the button below:


Our mailing address is 25 Common Street, Southborough, Massachusetts 01772

Last Call for Southborough’s Holiday House Idea Tour Tickets!

just a reminder that the number of available tickets for the Holiday House Ideas Tour on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM  is dwindling rapidly.

Do you want to  peek behind the magical holiday curtain and be inspired for your own holiday decorating?

Have you purchased your ticket for the Holiday House Ideas Tour on  Saturday, Nov. 30? We have had an overwhelming response and expect to sell out sometime next week (11/18+). Don’t be shut out!!

Heather McDougall, owner of local shop At Number 10 and SHS’s Board Member Kate Battles have arranged a fantastic lineup of homes that will be dressed to the nines for the holidays, providing you with plenty of inspiration. One of the stops will be the recently completed chapel at the Burnett House! Plus, there will be live demonstrations throughout the day of essential holiday skills such as making your own deluxe ribbons for pennies, and the Museum will be decorated and serving refreshments.

Make sure to follow the House Tour page @southboroughhousetour to keep up with the planning. Tickets are $30* and are available at Heather’s shop, At Number 10 (3 East Main Street, Southborough) or at the Museum on Sundays 12-2pm.

The official PASSBOOK will be available At Number 10 a few days before the event or at the Museum the day of the event. This will give you descriptions of all the stops on the tour and your options for the day’s activities.

LIMITED tickets remain. Please stop by At Number 10, 3 East Main Street, Southborough, to purchase a ticket.

Note: ticket sales are non-refundable except in case of cancellation of the event. Due to the quirky historic nature of some of the private homes on the tour, that portion of the event is not handicap accessible due to potential stairs and uneven surfaces is not recommended with those with mobility issues. Children under 8 are discouraged, due to the fragile nature of some of the displays.

Come to the First Annual Holiday House Ideas Tour, 11/30

The Southborough Historical Society is pleased to announce  our next event: the Southborough Holiday House Ideas Tour on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, in cooperation with Heather McDougall of @atnumber10.

Heather and SHS’s Board Member Kate Battles have arranged a fantastic lineup of homes that will be dressed to the nines for the holidays, providing you with plenty of inspiration. One of the stops will be the recently completed chapel at the Burnett House!  Plus, there will be live demonstrations throughout the day of essential holiday skills such as making your own deluxe ribbons for pennies, and the Museum will be decorated and serving refreshments.

Make sure to follow the House Tour page @southboroughhousetour to keep up with the planning and houses you will have a chance to tour.

Tickets can be purchased at At Number 10 during regular store hours or at the Museum on Sundays 12-2pm. Tickets are $30 in advance and all money goes to the Southborough Historical Society. Cash or credit is accepted. The official PASSBOOK will be available At Number 10 a few days before the event or at the Museum the day of the event. This will give you descriptions of all the stops on the tour and your options for the day’s activities.

LIMITED tickets remain.

Note: ticket sales are non-refundable except in case of cancellation of the event. Due to the quirky historic nature of some of the private homes on the tour, that portion of the event is not handicap accessible due to potential stairs and uneven surfaces  is not recommended with those with mobility issues. Children under 8 are discouraged, due to the fragile

Join Us on Heritage Day for Four Fun Events!

Dear Friends,

Just a reminder that we’ll be hosting a whole series of fun events on Heritage Day Monday, October 14th.

Fancy Flea from 9-3 at the Pilgrim Church Hall! 

Come hunt down your own private treasure from items donated to the Southborough Historical Society!  We’ve received hundreds of fascinating objects, from lovely lamps to rare kitchen items, Limoge plates, Robert Shaw prints, you name it, and priced to move. In fact, so successful has the process been that the Museum will be open one last time this Sunday, October 6th from 11-2 to accept last minute donations.  Clean out your attic and come on down or we can arrange to come to you!

Plus the museum will be selling rare duplicates from our Deerfoot Farms collections, not to mention we’ll have numerous private vendors on hand selling their own vintage and antique items!

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Classic Car Shown from 10-3  American Muscle vs British Brawn

In a Heritage Day first, we’ve organized 10 or so proud owners of classic British and American automobiles. After participating in the parade, these automotive gems will be parked outside the museum for viewing. It’s the battle of the Brits vs the Americans! Who will win?

 

 

 

Museum Open House 10-3 and New Exhibit:  Southborough Through Time
The museum will be open showcasing its new exhibit: Southborough Through Time. Follow the changes of Southborough from 1830-1964 in a serious of spectacular maps.
Plus, don’t forget our friends at the Southborough Arts Council will be hosting an Arts Fair at the Community House with number local artists and craftspeople showing their wares! Visit the field, the Community House and then up the hill!

Southborough Holiday House Tour

In support of the Southborough Historical Society

Saturday, November 30, 2019
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This year, the Southborough Historical Society is partnering with Heather McDougall, owner of local shop At Number 10, 3 East Main Street, Southborough, to kick off the holiday season in Southborough.

This self-guided  tour will feature beautifully decorated homes, along with a couple of special additional stops, to inspire your holiday decorating. A few spectacular houses are already lined up for the first annual tour.

Tickets can be purchased at @atnumber10 during regular store hours. Tickets are $30 in advance and all money goes to the Southborough Historical Society. Cash or credit is accepted.


Sponsors:

Andrew Abu Realtors       


kate eckstein design 
          Renew Aesthetics

Renewal by Anderson     Tempting Interiors 

Southborough Living

Heritage Day Fancy Flea

Southborough Historical Society Fancy Flea

Pilgrim Church Hall
15 Common St., Southborough, MA
Oct. 14, 2019
9 AM – 3 PM

Stop by on Heritage Day and find some new treasures!

Our vendors will have tables full of antiques, vintage clothing, jewelry, china and beautiful crafts. SHS will be taking part as well and we have searched our collections for duplicates and extras for our tables.
This is an INDOOR sale and will take place rain or shine. Be sure to stop by the museum next door as well.

For question or vendor application email info@southboroughhistory.org


 

De-clutter Your Life and Help the Society! Contribute to the Fancy Flea on Heritage Day

Stuff here, stuff there, stuff everywhere! If you need to de-clutter your house, or are downsizing, we have a perfect opportunity for you! Contribute your unwanted possessions to the Southborough Historical Society Fancy Flea on Heritage Day 10/14.  We’ll be inside at the Pilgrim Church Hall, selling away., from kitsch to classic!

You have three ways to help the Society: the easiest is to drop off your stuff at the Museum Saturday 9/21 or Sunday 9/29, 10-1.

If you have a lot of material, we’ll also offer free pickups that week. Everything you donate to the society is tax deductible.

Thirdly, if you’d like to pocket the money yourself, we are offering booth space at the church hall for $25. Bring your table, your goods and your sales-craft. We’ll be open 9-3 PM. Application required.

 

Please note here are some goods we cannot accept:

TV’s, computer monitors or other electronics, unless pre-1950
clothing
large furniture
CD’s or DVD’s

We are particularly interested in vintage material relating to Southborough.

For more information, info@southboroughhistory.org

Under Pressure from Residents, St. Mark’s Withdraws Light Plans

I am extremely pleased to be able to share with you the news that the Planning Board has received a letter from St. Mark’s withdrawing their application to install night lighting on the historic Clark field.  The letter went on to state that St Mark’s would take a look at the project over the next several years with an eye to addressing residents concerns.  So for now, blessed darkness reigns, thanks again to citizenry advocacy. Next step, getting some hoods on the lights at Woodward and putting a “use only” policy in place that turns off the current automatic timer that illuminates the fields (at taxpayer expense) regardless of whether anyone actually IS on the field, and replacing it with a simple on off switch for use during official activities.

Congratulations to all the residents of Southborough on this one!

Two Victories, And a New Challenge—Clark Field at St. Mark’s Moves to Southborough’s Most Endangered List

We are deeeee-lighted to remove two buildings from Southborough’s Most Endangered List, Fayville Village Hall and the barn at 135 Deerfoot!

Fayville Village hall was purchased by Mr. John Delli Priscolli (who also bought and renovated 84 Main Street). He plans to preserve the facade, and renovate the interior as an antiques mart and auction house. This building had been subject to tremendous debate, with previous BOS members arguing that the town should simply sell the property and let the historic hall be torn down. Thanks to public pressure, and excellent work by members of the Southborough Historical Commission, a conservation plan was conceived, and now the Village Hall looks to be headed for another century of active use!

We are also delighted to announced that the barn at 135 Deerfoot Road has been carefully disassembled and is undergoing restoration in Vermont. There are some plans, yet to be confirmed, that it will reappear as part of Chestnut Hill farm. Regardless, it is not in a thousand splinters in some landfill, and that success can be entirely credited to you, my friends, members of the Southborough Historical Society! The Society kept up constant pressure on the developer to salvage the building, and at the very last minute, I was able to locate several parties interested in preserving the structure. Literally days before the lot was schedule to be cleared, they carefully labelled and stored every beam and rafter, so that this wonderful piece of Southborough’s rural history will live on. So if anyone tries to tell you that public advocacy for preservation doesn’t make a difference, you point them to this barn and advise them to think again.

Unfortunately, this good news is tempered by the arrival of bad. I’ll let my letter  to John Warren, the headmaster of St. Mark’s school, speak for itself:

It has come to the attention of the Southborough Historical Society that St. Mark’s has requested permission to install 70’ light pylons to illuminate the field directly behind the historic Burnett Burial Park* and the Southborough Museum. We are heartily opposed to this request and ask you to reconsider it. We have already seen the disastrous results of putting these monstrous light towers in front of the Woodward School: they make the area look like a K-Mart parking lot and completely destroy the approach to the historic town center. I highly doubt that is the effect you wish to create at bucolic St. Mark’s, especially as this field has huge historical significance: it is, in fact, the former colonial muster-grounds, where the militia practiced for over a hundred years, and where our valiant residents gathered before they marched off to fight the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

In addition, there is the environmental damage these lights cause. Let’s forget for a moment the tremendous carbon cost of installing and running night lighting. All over the world, night skies are disappearing, and a majority of the inhabitants of North America can no longer look up from their homes and see the stars. Additionally, this light pollution is adversely affecting numerous species already stressed by the climate crisis.

For hundreds of years, our children, and your students, have grown and matured into productive, hard-working citizens without the nebulous benefit of illuminated playing fields. Given there is no apparent advantage to the human species, and clearly documented harm to many other species caused by these installations—not to mention the aesthetic destruction to our town fabric—I would ask St Mark’s not to make the same mistake the residents of Southborough made in approving the lighting for these fields. Few of us had any idea how ugly and destructive they would be. And since we can’t undo our mistake, why not use our town fields for the occasional night game? I’m sure St Mark’s and the town could come to some agreement. But if, after weighing the environmental damage, you MUST light yet another a field, perhaps the one closest to your solar array and out of public view might be an option.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration,

Michael Weishan
President, Southborough Historical Society

Please consider writing Mr. Warren directly to express your concern at yet another attempt at destroying what remains of our downtown. Also, please comment  on My Southborough and help muster support to defeat this proposal. Finally, there will be meetings to determine the status of St Mark’s request on June 17 (ZBA, write here to express your objections to the chair) and June 22 at the Planning Board (write here for the same)

We’ve already seen how public advocacy for preservation works! Once more unto the breach, dear friends!

And thanks, as ever, for your continuing support.

 

* An earlier edition identified the Burnett Burial Park as St. Mark’s Cemetery. It is in fact the private cemetery of Joseph Burnett’s and his descendants.

GO VOTE TOMORROW 5/14!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Tomorrow is our Town election. We have four candidates on the ballot for two open Selectman slots. Each has distinct views. Read about them here, and GO VOTE! The election will depend on a handful of ballots, truly! Southborough is at a tipping point in terms of historic preservation,  open space and our quality of life. If you care, lend your voice! YOUR VOTE WILL COUNT!

Our thanks to all four candidates for running, and god bless us all, everyone!