Along with its ongoing work in care of both the artifacts in our collection and the historic buildings that serve as the Society's museums several special projects are underway. These include...
Old Town House Window Restoration
In January of 2019, with support of the Dickinson Family Fund, three windows in the Old Town House received a much needed restoration. A bright red sign has appeared in the Town Center, which tells of the next phase in the Window Restoration project. This year, the Society applied for and received an $8,000 matching grant from the Massachusetts Historic Commission to restore the remaining seven windows. Generous donors have raised the $8,000 match, and we are currently seeking bids for this project.
Historic Marker Signs
You may have noticed some of the ten newly restored historic marker signs around town. A grant from the Dickinson Family Fund and money raised by the Society made this restoration possible as well as the addition of a new marker for Whittemore Spring. Plans are underway to add two more signs at the sites of Hitchcock Mills and Maple Grove (the North Cemetery) in the near future. Similar funding has made possible the building of a new picket fence around Anna Norton’s grave at Fort Shirley.
Climate Controlled Storage Building
Since none of our buildings are heated, we continue to explore possibilities for construction of a climate-controlled storage space which will increase our ability to safeguard and preserve our extensive collection of documents and textiles.
Other Special Projects
Currently a number of actions aimed at improving the storage capabilities for artifacts are taking place, with new archival-safe shelving and packaging materials. This fall another major project receiving funding from the Dickinson Family Fund (and help from a volunteer!) was the purchase and installation of a chain hoist which will expand our available storage space.
Maintaining Ft. Shirley
Building maintenance and repair
Maintaining collections database
Receiving and cataloguing new items
Conducting periodic inventories
Public outreach, including creating new displays and holding open houses for our museums, hosting the Solomon Temple Barn during the Annual Heath Fair, and holding "Dining With History" events throughout the year
Seeking grant support and other fundraising activities
Restoring artifacts (e.g., our new buggy)
Maintaining/updating the HHS website
The Heath Historical Society is very proud of the three main buildings under our direction. We have the Old Schoolhouse and the Old Town House in the center of Town, and we have the historic Solomon Temple Barn situated on the Heath Fairgrounds. These buildings, each filled with Heath memorabilia, are open periodically throughout the year, as well as by appointment with the Society.
The Solomon Temple Barn barn is open to the public during the Fair, and a Historical Society member is on hand at that time to assist people who have questions.