Otis Historical Commission August 2, 2022 Minutes

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Otis Historical Commission

August 2, 2022 Minutes

Meeting called to order at 11:08 AM

Those in attendance:  Gail, Diane, Joel, Stephanie, Lynne, Geoff, Hilary, Celeste, Melva, Tricia,

Approval of Minutes from July 5, 2022 – A motion was made, seconded to accept the minutes of the July 5th meeting. Passed

Budget (Gail) Review of Procedures:A Direct payment vs Reimbursement through Gail.  Brandi prefers direct payment instead of reimbursements. Send the bills/invoices to Gail for payment. If they are not a known entity, please fill out a W9

Town Center Historic Registry Promotion- Remember wherever we are showing the town landscape, it is specifically to promote the nomination of our town center.

Final budget numbers for all projects are not available yet. Gail has sent emails and has spoken to Brandi about it but they just aren’t ready yet.

St Paul’s Update

RFP Meeting with Steve McAllister Lynn, Joel and Gail are making a list of the most important things to accomplish. Working on RFP.

New Name: Otis Cultural Center at Historic Saint Paul’s: Selectmen’s meeting. Went well. Selectmen approved.

Paul Holtz update (Joel) We are getting concerned. Paul said done by 9/1.

Land Survey (Diane) Pat submitted the survey to the PB. He will be before the PB at the next meeting re: the land locked property.

East Otis School House Update (Joel) Paul Holtz gave Brandi post dated checks for $50,000 and $51,000. Waiting for the building to be moved onto the foundation

Knox Trail (Tom) Plans to map out the rest of the Knox Trail in the month of August.

Video update (Diane) Trying to schedule the filming in the month of Aug.

Gail met with the Chair of the History Dept at Westfield State.  He suggests that he contact the Geology Dept to create maps and the History Dept to help with the research. Money for the Knox Trail is still available.


Museum (Celeste) Gail met with Terry Gould and Brandi. She was told about the fire escape coming off the building.

The water pump is broken at Harmony Hall. The Selectman have not made a decision for where the Historical Commission will be able to meet.

The commission is trying very hard to find a place to meet. If they meet upstairs from the Library, the books etc must be boxed up to make room for them.

Celeste: there are many book selections by Dickens, classics etc. These books are readily available everywhere and she feels that they should not be stored anymore.

Jeff: for the St. Paul’s project to work we must keep the town from demolishing Harmony Hall in order for it to be the historic district.

He feels that we should keep a presence at Harmony Hall.

Gail: The selectmen said that we can store materials at Harmony Hall.

A motion was made by Celeste to temporarily move our collection and some materials and meet at the library to work on their current projects, Gail Seconded.

The vote was: Celeste Yes, Diane Yes, Joel Yes, Tricia Yes.

The motion passed.


Diane suggested to send a letter to selectmen stating it has been requested to continue the work at Harmony Hall

Motion made by Celeste to have a separate discussion regarding where to meet.

Gail seconded, motion passed unanimously.

Genealogy of Town Residents Project

Collection : Diane went to see Kathy Stevens, prints by Wallace Noel

Gail and Celeste will find the time to check them out.

Printer:  A printer was donated by Gail’s son.


Diane made a motion to approve the expenditure of $250 for Noel the prints.

No second to this motion. Motion is tabled.

Special Events: Diane


Library Fair (Diane) Charles Flint was a big hit. 21 people there for appraisals. Some very interesting things were brought there.

Spirit of the day was very positive.  We raised $640 with the sale of the Weber prints and the appraisals.

Lynn makes some great contacts through the Farmers Market.

On average we raise $150 at the Farmers market per week.

Marionettes (Gail) Very successful. About 65 people there as well as all of the selectmen- Marionettes paid by the Otis Cultural Council and there is $200 left.

Notice Otis Events-Funding Remaining ($200)

Notice Otis Future Events (Hilary)


New Business  Pomeroy Grant – has the letter signed by Larry Southard. The DOT has to get involved in putting signs up designating a historical district if on a St rd. If the signs are placed on private property DOT doesn’t have to be involved.

Diane said to draft a letter to political dignitaries

PM Circuit Riders Meeting Advice: They came and they left. Very impressed with the interior of the church. Photo op at the Knox Trail Marker. East Otis School House. Very impressed.  They are an arm of MA Historical.

Motion made to adjourn- Gail, Diane Seconded. Passed.

Meeting ended at 1:24PM


Respectfully Submitted


Donna Thomas