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Clarksburg Historical Commission Seeking Info on Student Quilt / iBerkshires.com

Sixth-graders at Clarksburg School created this quilt more than 20 years ago for the town’s 200th anniversary.

The commission is hoping to confirm these names and make sure no one was left out.

Clarksburg, Mass. — The Historical Commission is seeking more information on a quilt made by Clarksburg School sixth-graders for the town’s bicentennial.

The quilt, featuring what appear to be buildings and scenes from around the town, was probably made in 1997 or 1998 for the 1998 anniversary. There’s a list of students who are identified as making the squares but nothing else, including who sewed the quilt together. A newspaper article at the time only mentions it was made.

“We’d like to make sure that everyone who worked on the quilt is mentioned,” said Commissioner Jeanne Moulthrop at Monday’s meeting.

Commissioners have tried to track down who was the art teacher at the time, but she moved away and is thought to be in a nursing home.

The commission is hoping to verify the list of students, identify who put the quilt together and identify the scenes in the blocks for the town’s 225th anniversary next year.

Anyone with more information on the quilt can contact Moulthrop at 413-663-3630.

The commission has a lot on its plate after being revived just two years ago. In addition to planning for the 225th anniversary, it’s working on a demolition delay bylaw and town preserving documents.

The commissioners were reviewing demolition delays used by other communities after attending a virtual workshop earlier Monday. The delays are used by historical societies to prevent the loss of significant natural and manmade structures.

Most of the delays range from three months to a year, encouraging the property owners to find alternatives to razing a building. North Adams put in an ordinance a number of years ago, largely in response to proposals to tear down St. Francis’ Church (which came down anyways).

The commission was looking at similar local bylaws that would be suitable for the town’s small workforce in terms of timing and notifications.

“I was trying to find something that wasn’t too detailed for what we need,” said Commissioner Susan Brandon. “We should have a meeting with [the building inspector] just to talk about it.”

Moulthrop agreed that it would take time for the building inspector to notify the commission, and then get the information together, and to talk with the owners or contractor to see they could be helped in finding an alternative.

“We’ve already lost a lot of historical buildings here,” she said.

A stumbling block is not having an updated list of historical properties. There are 51 identifications for Clarksburg on the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System.

Some, like the Mellis-Hosley House on Middle Road, and the Briggs mill have already been demolished. Most of the listings appear to have been made in the 1980s and largely cover 19th-century structures, with the newest being the 1950 River Road Bridge and the 1959 Hairpin Turn gift shop (Golden Eagle). It doesn’t include the former North Adams Country Club lodge.

The commissioners are also hoping to ask the town for $500 to buy steel shelling, acid-free boxes and protective covers for documents. They have been working to properly store records, including old selectmen’s minutes, that had been kept in the back room by the boiler.

The commission has moved into the south front room at Town Hall and has requested the use of the old town clerk’s office next door for storage of historical artifacts. The town clerk now works on the ground floor to be more accessible to residents.

Tags: anniversary, historical commission,

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