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What the Judges Saw in Holliston - part 6

by The Publisher
November 3, 2018

Upon driving into Holliston on Main Street, one becomes immediately aware that history, heritage and culture are respected. Century and half old buildings mark the center of town like sentinels from the past. Town Hall and the Congregational Church rise up against the skyline of Holliston with beauty and dignity. A visit to Town Hall reveals that the local records have been proudly restored and cared for. First settled in 1659, it was incorporated as a Town in 1724.

Holliston boasts the Holliston Historical Society which eagerly helps residents and visitors with genealogical research. The Historical Society now even hosts wedding and party events on the grounds as a means of raising money for the society, while helping to create memories for future generations.

Adjacent to Town Hall is situated the Central Burying Ground where memorials to Revolutionary and Civil War veterans are lovingly cared for. One can sense the pride that the residents of Holliston take in caring for their cultural heritage. The judges were pleased to learn that the town has a “Demolition Delay By-Law” which requires a 75 day wait for any demolition request of a historic building. The “Circa” sign project that Holliston in Bloom started has ensured that 75 signs have been erected on historic homes. We recommend that the Town of Holliston develop a walking tour of historic homes for homes that display the circa signs, with information about the history of each home or building. A smart phone application could be developed for visitors to access the walking tour. The town could work with the Holliston Historical Society on the project accessibility for visitors. Information about “Mudville” and the town’s connection to baseball would be especially interesting. The judges enjoyed having lunch at the Holliston Historical Society. The Society is housed and situated on the grounds of the Asa Whiting House built in 1812. Because the house and grounds are rented out for events and weddings there are no permanent displays mounted at the Historical Society. The judges encourage the curators at the Historical Society to develop wall mounted glass fronted locked displays for permanent displays. Use of the building should not deter the Historical Society from having and maintaining permanent displays which should be prominently displayed. The judges learned that the Holliston Historical Society has been storing records and artifacts in the attic which is not climate controlled. We urge the Historical Society to cease storing objects there without proper climate control. At the very least records, artifacts and objects should be stored in acid free containers where the climate is kept at an appropriate temperature. Some guidelines may be found here: https://www.archives.gov/preservation/environmental-control/realistic-preservation-environmen

 

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