Our Home’s History Is Our History
We have two direct connections to history: our family and our home. Family members pass and leave us with cherished memories, but our beloved homes tend to outlive us. They are what remain of those who lived there long ago.
Whose hands slid down the stair rail and spun around the newel post at the bottom? How many faces have gazed at winter storms held back by rippled glass in the window, and welcomed fresh breezes in the spring? American history can be studied in books, but houses have personal histories you can touch and feel. Small homes harbor the warmth and simplicity that most early American families shared. Those families made the glass, tilled the soil, built the schools, and filled the churches. Kitchen fires filled the air with the fragrance of meats, fruit pies, and home made breads. Their lives were full of the experience of everything they beheld.
Our historic houses are a vital connection to our heritage. Their preservation continues that connection to our descendents and becomes one of the few tangible bonds to our ancestors.
Terry Blake, Chair
Open House and Forum March 24, 2012
at Sand Hill School, 16 Dewey Ave, Sandwich, MA
UPDATE – March 24, 2012 Many thanks to everyone who attended the events yesterday. Because of you, the day was a success. Please check back for further updates.
I want to thank the members of the commission responsible for helping to pull this together: Ellen Carlson, Jonathan Shaw, Don Bayley, Carolyn Crowell, and Jennifer Madden.
Any time a new plan in Sandwich is developed and future land use is changed every neighbor’s property is impacted. Some residents accept that the impacts on their property or their neighborhood may have long range benefits to the community as a whole; others will see any impact as a direct threat to their rights as landowners. Both sides are equal parts of the planning debate.
The Sandwich Historical Commission is very fortunate to have as facilitator, co-vice chair, Ellen Carlson. The duties of her full-time career as community planner with the National Park Service make her uniquely qualified to coordinate the Sand Hill School community visioning event.
I hope you will have the opportunity to tour the building and participate in the public forum that follows. See our NEWS page for more details.
If you are not able to attend the forum please send an email to Ellen Carlson at ecarlson[at]sandwichhistory.org with your comments and we will incorporate them into the discussion.
Terry Blake, Chair
Moving into mid-winter, with several feet of snow on the ground and only the heartiest of travelers on the roads, being pulled along in open sleighs while wrapped in thick woolen blankets. The only sounds are the soft clop of horse hooves in the snow and church bells in the distance.
Traveling west along the Old King’s Highway – you haven’t had a King on earth in over 70 years – you descend Sand Hill and cross Ford Swamp where the road curves inland toward the village. The road is known as Main Street here, and you pass the modest glass workers’ houses before you reach the Methodist Church, the Unitarian Church, larger houses, then the Central Hotel and the First Parish Church. Every church is ringing it’s bells and every respected citizen of the town is filing into one or the other – or perhaps the Catholic Church, down on James Street, near the glass factory.
There’s one more church up ahead. You round the corner toward the mill pond and SCREEEECH!! A policeman has traffic stopped as a large dump truck is directed Continue reading A View From The Chair – February 2012
As 2011 draws to a close the Sandwich Historical Commission finds itself weighing the merits of two controversial issues and pursuing another that few people considered an issue at all.
The request from the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce for the town to give them the Sand Hill School/Clark-Haddad building for use as a visitor’s center is the most difficult problem the SHC has faced in its forty years of existence. At the core of the problem is the question of the best way to preserve one of only two remaining historic school buildings in Sandwich. Continue reading A View From The Chair – December 2011
The Sandwich Historical Commission welcomes its newest member, Don Bayley. His appointment to the commission was approved by the Sandwich Board of Selectmen on Thursday, October 20 for a term of (almost) three years. Don has been doing several projects for us since joining as a volunteer in April of this year and we’re sure he will be a great asset for years to come.
Our call for new volunteers has not gone unanswered. I have another fish taking a nibble at the bait right now and hope to have him on the hook and landed on the deck before the next meeting. So if you’re considering joining us, or just interested in what we do, please drop me an email. You will be in good company. My address is tblake[at]sandwichhistory.org
Of course, you will replace [at] with @.
Terry Blake, Chair
The Sandwich Historical Commission is entering an exciting phase. Thanks to the contributions of our members and volunteers, we have recently achieved some notable steps in our mission to document the town’s historical assets.
Just in the last few months we have seen the following accomplishments:
There are important projects in work as well, including a vital headstone restoration project and an archival documentation project. Continue reading A View From the Chair – September 2011