REPORT OF THE HISTORICAL COMMISSION 2009
The Sturbridge Historical Commission is charged by statute as the local authority to determine the significance of local historic assets. Its goal to assist in the preservation of those assets, including but not limited to individual buildings, historic sites, open areas, artifacts, documents, and other real and personal property. The Commission serves as a resource for other town boards and departments, and frequently assists citizens and researchers.
Several years ago, the Commission created bronze signs explaining the historic significance of the Town Common, the North Cemetery, the Center School and Old Burying Ground, and the Snellville School, now the Senior Center. As a result of a Town Meeting vote, in 2009 three additional signs were approved and two have been erected. The first, in front of the Publick House, commemorates 19th-century “downtown Sturbridge”, and the second, on the former Heins property, highlights the influence of the Worcester-Stafford Turnpike on the town’s development. Upon completion of the Town Hall renovation, the third marker will be placed there, interpreting the evolution of the building as the first secular center of Sturbridge government.
Funding for the sign project came from Community Preservation Act monies designated specifically for historic preservation. We deeply appreciate the support of both the Sturbridge Community Preservation Committee and the town’s voters in this endeavor. The Commission works closely with the Board of Selectmen, the Joshua Hyde Library, the offices of the Town Clerk and the Town Planner, the Department of Public Works, and other elements of town government. Over the past year, particular note should be taken of Blake Duzak’s service with the Town Hall/Center School Building Committee, and Joe Ouellette’s continuing contributions as the Commission’s representative to the Community Preservation Committee.
The town may be unaware of former administrator James J. Malloy’s constant and effective efforts on behalf of Sturbridge history and historic preservation. Literally, without his initiative and encouragement, the current active Commission would not exist. Any Commission accomplishments of the last six years, including the unique 5,500-page town meeting document preservation project, could not have happened without his guidance and support.
Pending conclusion of the Town Hall/Center School project, the Sturbridge Historical Commission will continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Joshua Hyde Library and thereafter at the same time at a location to be posted.
Respectfully submitted, HISTORICAL COMMISSION
Brian Burns, Chair Blake Duzak Diane Trapasso Joseph Ouellette Douglas Quigley