Historical Commission minutes for October 7, 2019
Present: Sonia Morrison, Diane Provenz, Celeste Watman, Judi Mabee, Thom Garvey, Tom Ragusa
Guests: Lauretta Harris, Geoff Pigman
Called to order at 4:35 pm
Minutes of September 18, 2019 approved
East Otis Schoolhouse – Sonia has spoken to Town Administrator and she will advise us on the RFP issue sometime during the week of November 14th. We need to get it rolling in order to meet the deadline for grant proposal with disbursement in January 2021
St. Paul’s – Nothing new that Diane is aware of. We will need to be ready with place to store any of the property we get from the diocese. Geoff advised he has list of inventory and photos of pieces originally contained in the church. Some of the items we hope to receive are quite large such as the chandelier, pulpit, and organ.
Storage: We will also need to store furniture, papers, photos etc. donated for use in the East Otis Schoolhouse together with various books in the Town Hall appropriate to the history of the town and this area.
Diane reported on the meeting she and Judi had with Larry Gould regarding the transfer of title to St. Paul’s to the Town. There will be certain costs involved including insurance and safety. Larry has been invited to join us in our November meeting to discuss how to proceed.
Knox Trail Presentation – Celeste told us that she is sending in the application to the Cultural Council for a grant to cover the videotaping
Harmony Hall – Sonia described a Survey and Planning Grant from MA Historical that we might be eligible for. They are offering $10K-$20K but we would need matching funds. Would the emergency funds being held for the roof be used for it? Geoff wondered if grant could be used in conjunction with St. Paul’s as a variation on a “campus” with parking and facilities for the church. Agreed by all that we need a concrete idea of what the best use would be for both buildings and how that would translate to increasing public support and interest. Diane advised that Preservation MA will help us to evaluate the best and highest use in possibly combining both buildings. Sonia said we need Letters of Intent by the 18th for survey and planning grant.
St. Paul’s – We would like to put aside some money for an artists rendition of the interior of St. Paul’s and how it can accommodate various public uses. Diane will contact Karen Amonti to see if she is interested. Diane would like to take her on a tour of a couple of churches and nearby town art centers to see how they have been transformed for public use. For a vision of future use, perhaps a 4×6 format in color depicting ideas such as musicians, art, stage productions, ceremonies, meetings, and performances etc could be displayed on an easel in town hall. It would create interest and hopefully more input from the public. Tom said he would like to join in on that trip.
OPT – Do we need more people to join the commission or would it be better to increase membership on the Otis Preservation Trust.
Tom thanked Diane for introducing him to a family with long Otis roots. He was able to give them a lot of information. He also told us he would like to be able to buy some vintage aerial photos (circa1959) of the Knox Trail that he needs for his research.
Next meeting Tuesday November 12 at 4:30 pm
Adjourned 5:45 pm