Category Archives: History

Peak House – transformed

First the emailed newsletter from the Peak House Heritage Society, and below that photos from the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund board self-guided tour this week. The Peak House Heritage Society was the recipient of a Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund grant this year. Lots more improvements are reportedly in the works per Rob Gregg. –

  A Quick Peek at Our June Feature  

Announcing Our 2022 Visitor Season – the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of July, August, September and October Delivering New Self-Guided Displays Featuring Intriguing Artifacts, Interactive Exhibits, Authentic Colonial Gardens 

Paid admission is by tickets available only through our website. You first choose a date for your visit and then select a time slot from the six available on those Saturdays.Covid-related restrictions limit six (6) visitors at a time for a suggested visit duration of thirty (30) minutes. You are welcome to tour the outdoor gardens for as long as you wish.



For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. 


Our Discovery Contest Finishes and a Grand Prize   

Winner Announced May’s contest question: This plant found in our kitchen garden was a most important dye plant both in England and the Colonies.  Its leaves produced an intense blue-colored dye but it also developed a most disgusting aroma during processing. Its pigment was frequently found on the faces of warriors. What is the name of this plant? 

Answer: Woad 

Congratulations to our May winners who became Peak Performers:             

Sandy Frigon             
Katherine Munz             
Jeanette Ruyle 

After the contest’s duration of six months during which there 18 winners, a grand prize winner’s name was selected to receive a $50 gift certificate from Brothers Marketplace. Seen below is Jeanette Ruyle receiving her prize from PHHC Director Rob Babson. Congratulations to Jeanette and every Peak Performer!

 

The Piggery Becomes a Colonial Vegetable  Garden 

With special thanks to our neighbors to the east, Matt and Emily Seminerio, and their willingness to share their corner land which was a piggery at their historic Morse homestead, a colonial vegetable garden will take shape over the summer and fall.



To further extend the Seminerio’s offer, foundation stones from the former Clark Tavern to the west will be used to build the borders of the new beds.



Keep your eyes on this area in the coming months to see a Colonial Vegetable Garden taking shape.



 Photograph Credits PHHC 
Our Contact Information
Peak House Heritage Center
52 South Street
Medfield, MA 02052-2616
508-505-7742
http://www.peakhouseheritagecenter.org

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𝙼𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚎𝚛, 𝙼𝚢𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚢, 𝙸𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚞𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚂𝚌𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚊𝚕: 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙳𝚊𝚛𝚔 𝚂𝚒𝚍𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝙼𝚎𝚍𝚏𝚒𝚎𝚕𝚍

From Liz Whitcher for the Medfield Coalition for Public Education –

𝙼𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚎𝚛, 𝙼𝚢𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚢, 𝙸𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚞𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚂𝚌𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚊𝚕:
𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙳𝚊𝚛𝚔 𝚂𝚒𝚍𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝙼𝚎𝚍𝚏𝚒𝚎𝚕𝚍

Yes, even Medfield has some scandalous history! Tickets include your choice of 3 entrees from Basil and access to a live virtual history talk with Richard DeSorgher! 
Optional add-ons include our signature cocktail-the Dark and Stormy and 2 of Richard’s books on the history of Medfield! #OneMedfield 

For more information and to sign up: https://www.medfieldcoalition.org/medfield-history-night

MHS 1887 aerial view

This 1887 aerial view of the downtown is another one of the Medfield Historical Society’s on-line maps.

The only familiar buildings to me are the Ord Building, the Unitarian Church, and the town house (and only sort of for the town house – it is in the right place).

MHS 1852 map of the downtown

Medfield Historical Society website has a collection of its artifacts, which include an 1852 map. This part of that map shows what buildings existed then in the downtown – https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3764m.ct002329/?r=0.49,0.428,0.162,0.119,0.

MHC allows for demolition of Clark Tavern

1740 Clark Tavern

Medfield Historical Commission – Release for demolition – 1740 Clark tavern, 353-355 Main Street

Release for demolition – 1740 Clark tavern, 353-355 Main Street
From: David Temple
To: Gary Pelletier 
Cc:
Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2021 10:59 am

After more than two hours of testimony and debate last night, with over 30 people in Zoom attendance, the Medfield Historical Commission voted 3-2 to allow the MacCreadys (Open Space Developers) to proceed with their replication plan for the Clark tavern, which had been outlined in the ZBA decision. The plan calls for them to disassemble the tavern, recreate its exterior appearance, and, where possible, reuse elements such as wide plank flooring, timbers, wainscoting, and the arched carved beams in the ballroom.
As a condition, the MacCreadys must arrange for an archaeological site examination survey to be done before ground is broken for construction, similar to the survey done in 2017 by The Public Archaeology Laboratory on land surrounding the tavern. 
The Clark tavern is one of Medfield’s most important historical assets. The commission had no trouble determining the obvious: (1) the Clark tavern is historically significant, and (2) it should be designated “preferably preserved.”  The latter required the commission to impose, under the bylaw, an 18-month delay on the demolition. The bylaw also allows the commission to lift the delay if certain conditions are met, such as there being little or no likelihood of anyone else stepping in to save the structure.    
No one on the commission wanted to demolish it, but in view of its poor and rapidly deteriorating condition (including a big hole in the roof) and the 14 years of unsuccessful attempts to get it restored, this was the best option, so we lifted the delay.  The MacCreadys have a long history in Medfield and did a great job on the 1880 Ord block, and the commission is deeply respectful and grateful to them for undertaking the Clark tavern project.

In your reply, please include my original message.

David F. Temple
President, Medfield Historical Society
https://medfieldhistoricalsociety.org/
Chair, Medfield Historical Commission
300 South Street
Medfield, MA 02052

Friends of the Dwight-Derby House Announce New Website

From Laurel Scotti, President, Friends of the Dwight-Derby House –

Date: January 14, 2020

Friends of the Dwight-Derby House Announce New Website

The Friends of the Dwight-Derby House announces the launching of a new website at dwightderbyhouse.org.

The Dwight-Derby House is the story of two Medfield families who lived in the house that still stands at 7 Frairy Street dating back to 1651.

Some of the new features of this new site include George Horatio Derby Artifacts and Satirical Writing collections. George Horatio Derby was America’s first satirical writer, an explorer and a Captain who served in the U.S. Army of Topographical Engineers. His childhood home was the Dwight-Derby House, of Medfield.

Added to the site are a family timeline, restoration photos from the 1996 renovation when the house was purchased by the town of Medfield, online events, site rental information, and online shopping at The 1651 Shoppe.

A special thanks to Medfield Photographer Mark Hickey for his time and talent invested in the must-see interior room photography shown on the new website as well as editors Claire Shaw and Jo Ellen Heck.

For the safety of our visitors the museum is currently closed due to COVID-19. We look forward to seeing you as soon as we reopen.

We welcome feedback after you tour the upstairs rooms for the first time!


Sincerely,

Laurel Scotti
President
Friends of the Dwight-Derby House
ddhfriends@gmail.com

CPA base state match at 28.6%

The Division of Local Services (DLS) newsletter had the following article about the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) base state matching monies coming in this year at 28.6% for the 3% CPA communities.

Medfield residents continue to pay in to fund the state payments to other towns, because Medfield has not adopted the CPA – i.e Medfield is leaving free state monies on the table. See https://www.communitypreservation.org/ for information.

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The map below shows all the communities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act, including those recently adopted.

FY2021 Community Preservation State Match Distributed
Donnette Benvenuto and Lisa Krzywicki – Data Analytics and Resources Bureau

On November 13th, the Data Analytics and Resources Bureau (DARB) distributed the FY2021 state match of Community Preservation (CPA) funds. The CPA trust fund receives revenues from surcharges on documents filed at the Registry of Deeds.  Effective January 1, 2020 the registry of deeds increased fees on most documents from $20 to $50 and on municipal lien certificates from $10 to $25. In FY2021, there are 176 communities eligible for the CPA state match and as of November, the CPA state trust fund recorded revenues totaling $61.1 million.

Of the 176 communities eligible, 76 have adopted the surcharge at the maximum 3% making them eligible for base distribution match of 28.6% of the local CPA surcharge committed.  They are also eligible for the 2nd round distribution (equity) and 3rd round distribution (surplus), which can result in an increased percentage match, up to 100%.  The remaining 100 communities that did not adopt the CPA at 3% are only eligible for the first-round match of 28.6% of the local CPA surcharge committed.

Number of communities eligible for the FY2021 state match by percentage adopted:

The full distribution breakdown and decile ranking by community can be found here on the DLS website.

On the November 3rd ballot an additional 9 communities voted and approved the CPA and West Stockbridge adopted it earlier in the year.  Municipal Clerks in these communities are reminded to send in the Specimen ballot, results and notification of acceptance form to DARB at databank@dor.state.ma.us as soon as possible.

List of additional communities and percentage adopted eligible for the FY2022 CPA state match in November of 2022:

For questions about the distribution or to notify us of local adoption, please email databank@dor.state.ma.us.

Barbara Leighton, and her legacy

From the Medfield Patch –

A 100 Year Life Well-Lived, Extraordinary Woman, Barbara Leighton

Leighton left a legacy of service to Medfield over her 100-year life, but also ensured her legacy will live on through her planned gift…

By Colleen M. Sullivan, Patch MayorVerified User Badge
Jul 22, 2020 11:00 pm ET|Updated Jul 22, 2020 11:02 pm ET
  • Barbara Leighton (2016)Barbara Leighton (2016) (Courtesty Photo)

The following provided by the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee and MFi.

Barbara Leighton: A 100 Year Life Well-Lived…One Extraordinary Woman

Medfield native Barbara Leighton was a woman before her time due to her interests and achievements over her long life. As reported last July when she celebrated her 100th birthday, Ms. Leighton grew up in Medfield doing the physical work of men such as chopping wood, tapping maple trees and clearing brush, plus she was an outdoors person who enjoyed fishing and hunting! In addition, Barbara’s love of Medfield and history collided to make her an unofficial historian for our town, holding archeological digs for middle school children at town historical sites for decades, donating 7.4 acres of conservation land in 1989, serving for years as both the curator of the Medfield Historical Society and caretaker of the Peak Househttps://4900f88a3514d9e2f0df188d4d007260.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

But Barbara really put her Medfield history interests and out-sized skills together at the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill where she worked for decades doing everything from scrambling up ladders to hammer roof shingles, to replacing and renovating windows and other elements, helping to make it another Medfield historical gem. Dick Judge, Chair of the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee relayed, “As an original member of the Gristmill Committee, just one of the many projects Barbara undertook was about thirty or so years ago. She took apart a ruined fireplace brick by brick, cleaned the bricks, and then used them to build a brick floor in the Gristmill…that still exists today!”

Dick Judge further noted, “Without Barbara’s incredible decades of dedication to our circa 1718 grist mill, I fear not only would it literally have fallen to pieces, but she served as a constant reminder of how one person’s conviction and example can motivate so many of us to save and preserve such an important and beautiful Medfield historic site.”

Kingsbury Pond GristmillKingsbury Pond Gristmill (Courtesy Photo)

The Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee (KPGC), a Medfield Foundation Initiative, is a group of adult volunteers dedicated to preserving, maintaining and improving one of Medfield’s most visible historic buildings built around 1718 by Captain Joseph Clark. Located on Spring Street (Rt. 27S) at the serene Kingsbury Pond. The committee hopes to reopen the mill for people to see how milling has progressed through the years.

After Ms. Leighton passed away last August, she ensured her life’s work will continue because in her estate she left a significant planned gift to the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill Committee, through the Medfield Foundation, for the amazing work the team has done on the facility. Thus, Barbara Leighton’s unique legacy as an extraordinary woman whose influence and service-oriented life’s-work over an impressive 100 years in Medfield will extend for many years beyond what would have been her 101st year.

Medfield High School Class of 1936 in front of what is now the Pfaff Center. Barbara Leighton is the second from the left in the front row!Medfield High School Class of 1936 in front of what is now the Pfaff Center. Barbara Leighton is the second from the left in the front row! (Courtesy Photo)

Evan Weisenfeld, President of the Medfield Foundation, said, “This large planned gift from the estate of Barbara Leighton means generations of people in Medfield will continue to enjoy the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill, and volunteers now can continue its preservation.”

He continued, “Furthermore, the Medfield Foundation urges you to thoughtfully consider making gifts in your estate plans to support our town through the Medfield Foundation and its signature programs and community initiatives such as the Gristmill and other town landmark preservation efforts, the Legacy Fund, Public Need Fund, and many others, to ensure your unique legacy continues the work of ensuring Medfield is a great place to live now and in the future.”

In this time of change, when many people are revisiting their wills, please consider making provisions to better our town via planned giving to the Medfield Foundation, Inc. Residents considering planned donations in their estates to MFi can designate a specific initiative or sector of interest, or the Legacy Fund, an endowment fund that leaves a lasting legacy for our town’s future needs.

Barbara Leighton left a legacy of countless examples of service to Medfield over her 100-year life, but also ensured her legacy will live on through her planned gift to the Kingsbury Pond Gristmill through the Medfield Foundation.

Would you please consider leaving a lasting gift in your estate planning?

There are many ways to donate today, too! Just check out the website: https://www.medfieldfoundation.org. You will find a complete list of current campaigns such as the COVID-19 Support Fund and Summer Camp Fund, plus information about MFi, signature programs, community initiatives, and much more.Ring  |  Featured AdvertiserMichael Wondered How a Tree Got in His Yard, Ring Video Had the ClueWhen a downpour took his neighborhood by surprise, Michael was happy to have the Ring Video Doorbell in the eye of the storm.Watch Now

For information about Medfield Foundation planned gifts and more please email info@medfieldfoundation.org, phone (774) 469-0260, or mail Medfield Foundation, c/o Medfield Townhouse, 459 Main Street, Medfield, MA 02052.

The Medfield Foundation (MFi) is a 100% volunteer run 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation whose mission is to enrich the lives of Medfield residents, build a stronger community, and facilitate the raising and allocation of private funds for public needs in the town of Medfield.

Medfield Planning Board Vacancy – Associate Member

planning

Medfield Planning Board Vacancy – Associate Member

Released June 30, 2020

The Town of Medfield Planning Board is seeking to fill 1-2 vacant Associate Member positions.  Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Sarah Raposa at sraposa@medfield.net by September 1, 2020.

The Planning Board is an elected town board of five members, each with a five-year term. The purpose of the Planning Board is to guide the development of the Town in the best interests of all its residents. The Board has very specific responsibilities and authorities as granted by Massachusetts General Laws and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Planning Board generally meets in the evening 2-3 times per month. Regular meetings are scheduled for the first and third Monday and there is often an additional work session scheduled.  Associate member attend and participate in all meetings though are not considered voting members of the Board. This allows Associates to learn about the intricacies of the Planning Board in preparation for running in the local election.

The Planning Board is responsible for the review and approval of all subdivisions (the division of a tract of land into two or more lots) through a comprehensive process prescribed by MGL Chapter 41 Sections 81L-GG and Town Code Article 310 involving review by relevant regulatory agencies, public hearings, covenants with developers, performance bonding, and ongoing compliance monitoring.

Under “Site Plan Approval” and “Special Permits” in the Zoning By-Laws (MGL Chapter 40A and Town Code Article 300), the Board also has the responsibility to assure that prior to any new construction or significant changes to an existing structure, other than single family dwellings, such factors as community needs, abutters’ concerns, visual amenities, safety issues, and environmental and historic features on the site and in adjacent areas are considered.

Any requests for Zoning By-Law changes or amendments are also reviewed by the Board. Public hearings are held to allow input from any abutters or other interested citizens. The Board is required to provide a recommendation on any Zoning By-Law amendment at Town Meeting, where a two-thirds vote is required to approve the change.

The Planning Board serves as a resource to assist interested individuals with the process of proposing plans or projects under the Zoning By-Laws. Communications are maintained on an ongoing basis with related Town agencies including the Zoning Board of Appeals and other planning interests within the Town such as the historical entities, Medfield State Hospital, and affordable housing.

Letters should describe your interest in the Planning Board as well as any professional experience or other qualifications that will complement the Board. Relevant experience includes land use law, real estate, engineering, and construction however; planning board members come from a broad spectrum of life. Ideal candidates must be open-minded, willing to learn and put time in between meetings, and be capable of reading and understanding the Medfield Zoning Bylaws. Accordingly, please contemplate the following in your letter of interest:

  • Do you have ideas about the direction the Board should be headed? If so, have you thought about integration of those ideas (meaning how the idea coalesces into existing regulations or whether new regulations would need to be created)?

 

  • Land use boards such as the Planning Board, do not always have the kind of discretion to approve or deny a specific project that residents often think they have. It is important to recognize and avoid any conflict of interest; not to pursue special privileges, and maintain confidentiality. Are you prepared for being thought of as a villain by some and a hero by others?

 

  • Planning Boards wear two hats, proactive and reactive, and the schedule is robust. The proactive hat is devoted to long-range planning and is often difficult to quantify as the effects aren’t recognized for several years, if at all. The reactive hat focuses on subdivisions and site plan review and the effects are more immediately seen and felt in the community. How would you rationalize your reactive hat with your proactive hat? Do you see an overlap?

 

For questions regarding the Planning Board or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

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Volunteer to Serve on a Committee

Volunteer on a Committee Image

PS: other vacancies here

Affordable Housing Trust: Click Here for Announcement

Medfield State Hospital Development Committee: Click Here for MSHDC Announcement

Medfield Historical Commission: Click Here for MHC Announcement

Planning Board: Click HERE for PB Announcement

 

Clark Tavern 5 condo proposal

Clark Tavern Proposal

The application to turn the Clark Tavern into a five unit condominium development (two in the renovated/expanded existing structure and three all new behind) has been filed and the plans are now available on-line at the town website.

 

Posted on: June 1, 2020

Clark Tavern – Historic Property Reuse

rendering crop 353-355 MAIN ST. UNIT 1 and 2 copy

The project requires the following approvals under the Medfield Zoning Bylaw:

Section 5.6 (ZBA Special permit for historic properties, adaptive reuse) 14.10 (ZBA special permit criteria), and 14.12 (PB site plan approval). The Medfield Board of Health will also review the stormwater component of the application per their more stringent rules and regulations.

ZBA Application HERE

Planning Board Application HERE

Preliminary schedule via Zoom:

  • July 8 – Joint Planning Board and ZBA meeting scheduled to kick-off the application (open PB & ZBA public hearings, present concepts, identify issues, continue as needed)
  • August – Board continuances as needed

More information will be posted as it is received.