BoS 2/19 & Peak House’s sign


I posted the agenda for the Tuesday meeting already.  I will insert the agendas again at the end of this post.

The agenda and informational materials for the Tuesday meeting of the select board are available here – 20190219-agenda and materials

Peak House sign

Peak House sign

My favorite part of the materials is the letter to Senator Feeney, from the MassDOT Administrator, about the request from the Peak House Heritage Center to correct the factual errors in the MassDOT sign at the Peak House.

First, it is instructive as to what matters most in state government, since MassDOT gotthe letter about the issue from the Peak House Heritage Center, with letters of support from both the Board of Selectmen and Senator Feeney.  MassDOT opted to address its response to the writer who had the least to do with the matter and the Town of Medfield, our State Senator, rather than to the person who addressed the issue to them.

Second, I was fascinated to learn where and why the sign originated, as it is certainly substantially nicer than most state signs.

Third, I was amused by the language MassDOT used to deny the request:  “MassDOT would be reluctant to deface the marker because of minor factual
errors that have come to light after such a long period of time.”

MassDOT’s letter does propose a “compromise” solution, a new MassDOT sign to be added that notes the error in the original sign:

Please be aware that the Peak House marker is one of 275 cast iron roadside historical markers that were erected throughout the Commonwealth in 1930 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, MassDOT’s predecessor agency, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission designed the markers, chose the historical subjects, and prepared the text under the guidance of Samuel Eliot Morison, eminent author and Professor of History at Harvard University. Approximately 170 of these markers still exist. 

Mr. Robert Gregg of the Peak House Heritage Center has notified MassDOT that the text on the Peak House marker contains three factual errors. Mr. Gregg has suggested to Mary Rafferty of the MassDOT Environmental Services staff that MassDOT should remove the errors by grinding off certain raised cast iron letters and numbers from the marker and then applying new letters and numbers to provide the correct information. The Medfield Board of Selectmen has endorsed Mr. Gregg’s proposal in a letter to MassDOT dated January 15, 2019.

MassDOT considers the Tercentenary Markers to have historical significance in their own right, above and beyond the text conveyed on each marker. The original markers are nearly 90 years old and they interpret history as it was understood at the time of the Tercentenary commemoration. MassDOT would be reluctant to deface the marker because of minor factual errors that. have come to light after such a long period of time.

TOWN OF MEDFIELD MEETING NOTICE I POSTED: , TOWNCLERK 1 L f..i[i ,) tet , ifot> UF MEDF IELD. HASS Z0!9 H:.5 l Lt P lf: OC POSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF M.G.L. CHAPTER 39 SECTION 23A AS AMENDED. "' f-~· 1'' t- ·; tvt:. 0F THE·. Board of Selectmen T("11.,.!/ l;l CL. ERK Board or Committee PLACE OF MEETING DAY, DATE, AND TIME Town Hall, Warrant Committee Room, I st floor Tuesday February 19, 2019 @6:30 PM Town Hall, Chenery Meeting Room, 211 d floor Tuesday February 19, 2019 @ 7:00 PM AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) 6:30 PM Declare meeting open 6:30 PM Vote to go into Executive Session to consider the lease or value ofreal property with respect to Town property currently leased to the Kingsbury Club 7:00 PM Call to order Disclosure of video recording We want to take a moment of appreciation for our Troops serving in the Middle East and around the world Appointments 7:05 PM Presentation Mayrock Development LLC; proposing Chapter 40B project under the Local Initiative Program for 56 non-aged restricted rental units located at 50 Peter Kristof Way 7:30 PM Darci Schofield, MAPC Present Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan 7:50 PM Resident Andrea Costello Discuss Medfield Plastic Reduction Initiative and Annual Town Meeting Article 8:05 PM Medfield Historical Commission Discussion of Warrant Article I Demolition Delay Bylaw Citizen Comment Action Items Vote to appoint Richard Hooker and George Darrell to the Conservation Commission Vote to appoint Cynthia Greene and Matthew Triest to the Town Wide Master Planning Committee Ongoing FY2020 Budget Review and Discussion Town Finance Discussion Vote to approve preliminary Town Budgets Licenses and Permits (consent agenda) ,,c_1, L / C:.U , Medfield High School Theater Society requests permission to~post s:il~W.§ lMJA~~o 1 7 advertising their spring show the musical 13~ F0Jv l1Ji9 Fltl I Lt P ~: 020190219-agenda_Page_2

2 responses to “BoS 2/19 & Peak House’s sign

  1. I like MassDOT’s suggested solution for correcting the marker. It allows us to preserve the existing marker which is itself a historical artifact while also providing visitors with the correct information about the Peak House.

    Like

    • Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson

      Chris, I agree. I thought it was a pretty elegant solution to what was a thorny problem for them, and categorizing the marker as historic in its own right gets them there.

      Like

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