Minutes of October 17, 2017 historic commission meeting

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Minutes of October 17, 2017 historic commission meeting

Postby DawnF » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:27 am

Committee Members Attending:
David Kmetz
Dawn Fontaine
Sean Aldrich
Betsy Youngsma
Rebecca Lavallee

7:04PM meeting called to order

The group reviewed and accepted minutes of the June 10, 2016 meeting. Welcome new members Betsy Youngsma and Rebecca Lavallee.

Betsy talked about the documentation that is going at at the E. N. Jenckes store for the Historic Society for which she is on the Curatorial Committee.

Rebecca has her Master’s in Archive Management and a Bachelor’s in History. She has been volunteering at the town library as well as acting as a docent at the Historic Society.

David discussed progress on Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) historic district on the east side of town, which has approximately 270 properties. Discussed completing the remaining 30-40 properties in correct format. Perhaps use Google Docs? Discussed benefits of historic district: civic pride, abating federal or municipal building threats, and taking advantage of state & federal funding.

Discussed properties in town that are at risk. Especially the Pastime Club in the center of time for which Boy Scout Troop 134 has been doing significant work: upgraded electrical with Blackstone Valley Tech students, kitchen coming in as well as handicapped bathroom, and new stage. They also need $20,000 in roofing and once done a company will donate new solar panels. Discussed doing outreach across town to complete further work. Tony St. Pierre in charge of this.

Other threatened properties include Fire Station, Masonic Hall, and Douglas Center School. House adjacent to Cemetery in the center of town – hopefully can be used by the Cemetery Commission to house tools, etc.

The Town of Douglas is updating the website and discussed best format/information for the Historical Commission to add a page. Wordpress has benefits because it can host a blog as well. There should be ‘templates’ from Douglas Historic Society and/or library to use.

Discussed how various historical and related groups in town should pool some efforts. For example, DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), historic society, cemetery commission, library, Grammar School Committee, Farmers Market, etc.

The town library has a great list of information on their website linking to town archives. Boston Public Library is also willing to digitize items for free. Currently all the town annual reports have been digitized.

David discussed various Schuster mansions changing hands for Real Estate.

Possibility of sharing space at the new Blackstone Valley Corridor office in the Linwood Mill. Run by Jeannie Hebert. Lots of new buildings in the complex and they could potentially host events at the site.

Discussed purpose and mission statement of the Historical Commission, which is basically to review any potential building in town and push for history preservation where possible.

All members discussed becoming more involved in related groups such as the Historic Society. Sean will also do some outreach with the Cemetery Commission.

Discussed working group with David to button up remaining 30-40 MHC properties. David to find out from MHC if Google Doc format will work.


Next Meeting:
Wednesday September 27, 2017 at 6PM.
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