Weiss said they included
materials about the police and fire departments, Stone Zoo, town
celebrations and World War II. She said the society usually holds an
open house at least once a year.
Looking at the artifacts
shows “what was important, what the rules were” at a particular
time, Weiss noted.“Archaeology above the ground” is how
Joan Quigley, a member of the town’s Historical Commission,
described the displays.
Quigley came to the open
house to learn more about the town and the “minutia” of people’s
lives, the details of how they lived. She said she has used the
society’s archives to research past town resident Jonathan Green –
for whom Green Street is named – for a film to be made by the
Stephen Rotondi, another
member of the commission, came to the open house as well. He said
the Historical Commission and Historical Society usually meet
together in May, Preservation Month in the commonwealth.
The Historical Society is a
private organization; the Historical Commission, a town
Another display included
articles and photographs from the town’s 200th anniversary in 1925
and its 250th in 1950. For the 200th, residents put on a play, with
performers in costume, recounting the town’s history, according to
“I doubt we could do that
today,” Weiss said, referring to the number of people involved in
the anniversary activities.
Marchant, who has been
curator at the museum for many years, said the group of
“archaeologists” that put last Sunday’s displays together had a ball
examining and choosing materials. She said she didn’t realize how
much local history materials the society had in storage.
Marchant added every time
items get brought out, she learns something more.
While society members who
staffed the displays were enthusiastic, public turnout was low, even
though the group had advertised it in a modern medium: the Internet.
Maybe it was the weather, ideal this weekend after much rain, to
rake leaves, or sports events, several suggested.
Among those that stopped by
was Lynn Hildenbrand, coordinator of the Botume House Visitor Center
at the Middlesex Fells Reservation. She said she came for a very
specific purpose — looking for a visual image of Stone Zoo for a
permanent exhibit at the Botume House.
“A postcard on display has
potential,” said Hildenbrand, adding she’s been dying to get into
Curt Nitsche came to the open
house Sunday from Reading. He said he has his own collection of
artifacts including shoe-making tools, handed down through his
Nitsche said his wife, Sally
Lord, a former Stoneham resident, has done exhibits on shoe making,
while his son built him an old-style shoe shop at his home.