Several private individuals, who have graciously been storing some Medfield’s largest historic artifacts, need their space and are – or will be – pressing the historical society to take these significant pieces of Medfield’s past.
Examples include the Lord’s sign (27 feet long), exterior doors with stained glass from the Harwood mansion, the Medfield Junction sign (10 feet long), the old Post Office sign, the state hospital sign, the 18th century fireplace surround from a large Pine Street house that was demolished 15 years ago, etc.
Do you know of space to accommodate large artifacts like these? If not, who do you know that could help us find it? Please feel free to forward this email.
To store and exhibit these…and who knows how many other large artifacts yet to come?… we need an historical society annex, ideally over 500 square feet and within easy walking distance from the society. (Other than being a little small, our society building/museum is extremely well suited to our needs – convenient, rock-solid construction, new roof, and an impregnable vault for more valuable items.)
The historical society doesn’t have money to buy or rent or rehab an annex. It would have to be a space in a building owned by the town, or (long shot) owned by a generous private individual with a large barn willing to allow occasional access by historic researchers and other members of the public. Possibilities suggested include something on the campus of the former state hospital or an unused section of a school.
The historical society has gone through some very serious downsizing and decluttering this year to provide order and working room– but we still have too little space.
What’s enabled us to declutter is the collection policy we adopted a few years ago. Basically, if something isn’t relevant to the history of Medfield, its people, businesses, organizations, or buildings – we don’t keep it in the collection. If there are multiple copies of something we want, we keep just two and sell or recycle the rest. This practice is consistent with that of other historical societies.
I found this tremendously liberating, and it enabled us with a clear conscience to clear out a large amount of detritus that was old but irrelevant. It is now becoming possible to walk around the basement and use it as a research facility!
Without added storage/exhibit space, I’m afraid we’ll start backsliding. That’s why we need your help.
In your reply, please include my original message.
David F. Temple, Inc.
300 South Street
Medfield, MA 02052