Many thanks also to Town Crew members William Young, James Lavallee, and Mark Hebert for doing all the heavy lifting of the shelving units, including moving them from SA. And while I’m at it, let’s not forget Historical Society Secretary Amy Hahn and Town Hall employee Cheri Hardy for help in cleaning and prepping the space, Roy Omasta for making the balcony secure, DPW Director Phil Genovese for his support and workers, and our three Selectmen (Ed Lesko, Darryl Williams and Jeff Boyle) for granting us the space in the first place. Phew! I’m tired just recounting the work.
What is shows, more than anything, is how many people (both town employees and volunteers) are necessary to make something good happen. And of course it’s not done yet. Next we have to re-assemble the shelves with their brackets, and either figure out how to lock the wheels more securely and/or add a strip of wood molding to the front of several risers so the shelves don’t travel. Then we have to pack up artifacts from the museum and move them over. But bird by bird, it will happen.
Something else we discovered today as our cleaning enterprise was splayed across the central foyer was that Town Hall is a happenin’ place! Patrons dropped off their census forms in the Town Clerk’s office, their tax bills in the tax collector’s office, visited the Building Inspector’s office downstairs, stopped in to see Town Administrator Jeff Ritter and afore-mentioned DPW Director, arrived for 11 am lunch in the Senior Center downstairs and of course stopped in to fulfill various and sundry needs with the secretaries in the front offices. If the Town Hall Renovation Plan passes in the spring and the Historical Museum gets to move into the second floor of Town Hall (occupying both the parlor and large meeting room), we will be in a great location to get lots of traffic – both with Town Hall employees and its myriad daily visitors.
The idea is that the permanent collection would be housed in the large meeting room, open when the museum is staffed, at least once a week from spring through fall as it is now (but hopefully bumped up to two or three times a week), but that the parlor would house changing exhibits in display cases so that this room could be securely open when the Town Hall is open. As Linda Golash and I walked through those rooms today, with their high ceilings and 1930s period feel, we marveled at how great the space would be to house an expanded Historical Museum. A dream for a new museum space – begun 40 years ago when the Historical Society was founded – may finally come to fruition!