Skip Navigation
Town of Norfolk Massachusetts
This table is used for column layout.
Town Calendar

Blackboard Connect
NHC Minutes and Ongoing Projects
Norfolk Historical Commission -  Wednesday – Nov. 30, 2016
The meeting was called to order at 7 p. m. by Betsy Pyne;  also in attendance were Marcia  Johnston, Barbara Bartholomew, Gail Sullivan, Betsey Whitney and Geri Tasker.
Agenda Items:
Minutes:  Geri read the meeting minutes from October 18, 2016.  The minutes were accepted as read.      
Treasurer’s Rpt:   Marcia reported no change in our account balances:  $250.00 in the regular fund and $5480.00 in the Gift Fund.   Betsy P has money for Sandra from the sale of books and pre-sale of sweatshirts.
Valley Street:  Pictures were taken of 29 Valley Street; we have shots of the three stoves.  Betsy P. recommends that we no longer go inside houses applying for demolition.  There  are risks not only of falling but for breathing as well.
Sweatshirts:  Betsy P. has orders for 6 more red ones; we'd like to order 12 red Tramp House sweatshirts and 12 Norfolk Anniversary blue ones.  Betsy collected money for some of the orders and suggests that Sandra go to the Treasurer’s to establish a special fund just for the sweatshirts. Both she and Sandra will keep track of the inventory and sales.   Betsy P made a motion to order 12 red Tramp House sweatshirts and 12 blue Norfolk Anniversary  sweatshirts.  The motion seconded by Barbara B and passed unanimously.  
 Next Meeting:  It was agreed that we would not schedule a formal December meeting, and meet only as needed.
Our Town Publishing:  Barbara has edited and revised the original Norfolk Revisited.   The cost to  publish the revised edition is approximately $2000.00.  Betsy P made a motion to approve an expenditure of $2200.00 to hire Our Town Publishing to print the second edition of  the centennial book, “Norfolk Revisited.” The motion seconded by Betsey W and approved unanimously.
Silas Fales House:   The current owner of 31 Campbell Street, Matthew Awad,  lives there and  would like an historical sign to display on his house.   Betsy P ordered a sign for the  Silas Fales House  ca 1850.  Betsy also sent Matt pictures the original owner; Silas Fales was a town clerk for 40 years from 1870 - 1910 and held other positions in town; his daughter, Bertha, wrote the History of Norfolk.
The meeting was adjourned at 8 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted,

Geraldine A. Tasker
Recording Secretary

Norfolk Historical Commission
Meeting Minutes - February 16, 2016

The meeting was called to order at 7 pm by Betsy Pyne.  Also in attendance were Barbara Bartholomew, Gail Sullivan, Betsey Whitney, Sandra Pacquette and Geri Tasker

Treasurer's Report - Betsy P. reported for Marcia:  The Regular Fund totals $250.00 and the Gift Fund totals $5396.00.  

Minutes:  Geri read the minutes from November 17, 2015; these were approved.

Town Reports:  Barbara ordered cardboard holders for old town reports until the wooden ones are ready and plastic for the newer reports.

Scholarship:  Members discussed the criteria for scholarship applicants. Betsey W. put forth a motion to approve the awarding of a $500.00 scholarship program as outlined in the application; this award will be funded by the NHC Gift Fund.   The program will be reviewed next fall.  The motion was given a Second by Gail Sullivan. There was no further discussion and a vote was taken; the motion passed unanimously.  Next steps include putting the package together which includes: the application, writing to high school guidance counselors, college/university history department heads, press releases, making up a flyer for bulletin boards, posting on  and asking the Town Clerk to keep a folder of applications in the office.  Geri has agreed to take the lead on this project.
Note Cards:   Betsy P. displayed several photo cards of historic places in town made up by Charles; they are beautiful, but we'd like to see a front view of the Federated Church which includes the steeple instead of a side view.

Anniversary Book:  Barbara B found a picture of  civil war veterans in front of the Norfolk Meeting House on town hill.  It's a great photo, but we may have to pay to have it enhanced.  She met with Donna Shackley of Our Town Publishing in Medway, MA to discuss binding options for the book. We discussed the pros/cons of a perfect binding like Norfolk Stories-Vol.2 versus a spiral binding like the Pondville History Book.  A motion was made to use the perfect binding; Sandy P  seconded the motion.  There was no further discussion, and the motion carried unanimously.
Roundabouts:  Betsy P called Bob Leonard in Maine to inquire about changing the color from white to light blue with black letters; she is waiting to hear from him.

Walking Tour:  Betsey W  displayed the final pamphlet for the history walking tour; the new version is still a trifold, but measures 11x17 and includes a numbered map. The printing cost is $1.00 with $3000.00 available from CPC.   The pamphlet will be printed by Our Town Publishing  in Medway,  Dawna Shackley is the graphics layout person.   May 1 is the launch date, and an announcement will be featured in the spring recreation booklet.  Betsey is planning a display in the library.  Walking Tour information will also be available on the website; a QR (Quick Response) code may be available at some point in the future giving access on smart phones.  A motion was put forth to accept Betsey W’s printout design.  The motion was seconded by Betsy P and was passed unanimously.

Stoneybrook Panel:  Betsy P talked to Donna Jones about adding the Stoneybrook Historic Panel to our website.

New Computer:  Several members met with Mike Yang on Tuesday 1/26 to learn the aspects of using our new Dell computer.  The workshop was most helpful; we appreciate Mike's time and expertise.  He offered additional help whenever we feel the need; he can be reached via email at

Civil War Book:  Members noted that Barbara's book on local Civil War heroes is wonderful.
A motion was made to adjourn at 9:01 pm; it was seconded and passed.

Respectfully submitted,

Geraldine A. Tasker
Recording Secretary

Norfolk Historical Commission
Meeting Minutes April 15, 2014

The meeting was called to order at 7 pm by Betsy Pyne. Members in attendance included: Marcia Johnston, Betsey Whitney, Gail Sullivan, and Geri Tasker.  Guests included Heidi Lang Cronin, Peter Diamond, Donna Jones, and Laurence Magner.

Minutes:  Geri read the minutes from the March meeting. A motion was made to accept the minutes as read with one minor change.  The motion was seconded and approved.

Treasurer's Report:  There is a balance of $54.15 in the General Fund and $6263.92 in the Gift Fund.  Marcias financial report includes a $200 donation to Gift Fund by Betsey Whitney.

Stories:  NHC has a copy of Norfolk Stories, Vol. 2 from Tri County for final review; the book will be published as soon as we approve the copy.  A motion was made to buy 300 copies; the motion was seconded and approved.  

Tramp House:  The Lions Club has taken on the project of painting the Tramp House.    Betsy P. spent $150.00 on paint which includes a $75.00 discount from Lowes.  She purchased 3 gallons of Arroyo Red and 1 gallon of Shaker Cream.  Sam Zeigler donated 1 quart of Tudor Brown for the door.

Panels:  The sign panel for Highland Lake has arrived at the Department of Public Works.   The City Mills sign panel is still at the printers.  Betsey W. is putting the final touches on the sign panel for Pondville.  She spoke with the printer at Tri County about the process; the panel will be completed in the Fall and then sent out for framing.  Betsey is meeting with Bob McGee about final placement.  She wants to erect the completed panel on the triangle along Valley and Old Pond, an area of about 20' x 30'.

Circles:  A letter was sent to the Selectmen requesting the roundabouts in the center of town to be designated as "Ware Circle" and "Avery Circle".  They have accepted our proposal and the circles will be so named.  Barbara is working on signs with the DPW.

Colony Books: Dan and Susan Winslow have donated the rest of his Grandfather's collection of  "Colony" books of the newspapers from Norfolk Prison.  A motion was made stating that the NHC would like to donate these books to the Norfolk Public Library and placed in the History Room (Old Schoolhouse).  The motion was seconded and passed.

Weber Duck Inn:  On Wednesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Ross Pini will present a talk on the life and times of his grandfather, Leon Pini, who was the chef and manager of the Weber Duck Inn.  Betsey W. found a sheet of music, The Ducks on Parade, and contacted Todor Stoinnoy, director of the Ivy Music Academy, who agreed to play and record the original score.  Artifacts owned by the Pini Family will be on display, and the music will debut.
Biography:  The Life and Times of Bertha Fales will soon be catalogued and placed in the History Room on a shelf in the Biography section.  

Request:  Laurence Magner from the Cactus and Succulent Society of  Massachusetts  (CSSM), an organization that loves succulent plants, would like to story their library cart in the Tramp House.  Traditionally, they have held their monthly meetings in Central Massachusetts at the Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston.  Use of the premises is changing focus to special events such as weddings and banquets.   CSSM is planning to move into Elm Bank in Wellesley, but not until next year as they are renovating the premises.  Starting in September the group will hold their monthly meetings of about 30 people at the Norfolk Library.  They have a library of about 100 books that are stored in a locked wooden cabinet and would like to store the cabinet in the History Room of the Library, but there may be a conflict because the Library is a public building, and the books are a private collection.  If  this plan is not possible, they request permission to store the cart in the Tramp House from September 2014 to May 2015.   Issues discussed include: no ramp for easy access, no heat,  and limited security.  CSSM would require a key and assume responsibility for moving the cabinet back and forth for the meetings and providing a ramp for easier access.  A Motion was made to allow CSSM to use the Tramp House to store their book library.  The motion was seconded and approved.

NCTV:    Donna Jones, representing NCTV, asked if NHC would support a designation of historic significance of the Old Town Hall in order to apply for a CPC grant to renovate the building for use as the station for NCTV.  The structure was built as a Fire House in 1926; there was some discussion, but no vote was taken at this time

Print:  Geri returned the print of NHC reading in the History Room at the Norfolk Library, which was matted and framed by Bob Tasker.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m. The motion was seconded and passed.

Respectfully submitted,

Geraldine A. Tasker
Recording Secretary

Norfolk Historical Commission
Meeting Minutes March 18, 2014

Betsy Pyne called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.  Board members present included Barbara Bartholomew, Marsha Johnston, Gail Sullivan, Betsey Whitney, Sandra Paquette, Geri Tasker and associate member Thelma Ravinski

Guest:  Eagle Scout John Gage

Treasurers Report:  Marcia reported that the General Fund totals $54.13 and
                                    the Gift Fund totals $5853.92.
Minutes:  Geri read the minutes from the February meeting.
                A motion was made to approve the minutes as read.
                The motion was seconded and approved.

Eagle Scout Project:  John Gage brought a rough draft of his proposed project:  NCTV Historic House Tour.  He is working with the local cable station to produce a documentary of Norfolks historic places and consulting with Barbara and Betsy P. regarding his research.

Weber Duck Inn:  Betsey Whitney met with Ross Pini to discuss his slide presentation on The Weber Duck Inn at the Norfolk Library on April 16th.  Betsey is working with the NPL to plan the event, and she has created a flyer for distribution around town.  Sandy  contacted newspapers of surrounding towns to promote the event.  NHC will provide refreshments and arrive early to set up.

Historic Sign of Pondville:  Betsey W displayed the rough draft of the Pondville historic sign to be placed in the heart of Old Pondville.  She will add a compass rose to indicate North, and a shaded legend to differentiate between the buildings still standing (black) and those that have been demolished (gray).
Roundabouts:  Betsy and Barbara collaborated on letters to name the traffic circles in the center of town.  The  Rockwood Road/Route 115 and Main Street roundabout will be named Ware Circle.  The roundabout at the intersection of North Street, Union Street, and Liberty Lane will be called Avery Circle.

Norfolk Stories:  A manuscript of volume 2 was distributed for members to review.  There is a good chance the book could be published in time to sell at the Weber Duck Inn presentation.  Barbara has ordered 200 copies, and will look into the cost of  printing additional copies at this time. Tri County has the digital formatting and will keep it on file as well as provide NHC with a copy should we want to order additional copies at a later date.  The book will be a softbound edition with a dark blue cover and gold lettering.  We discussed a price of $15.00 each.  Purchasing volumes 1 and 2 at the same time, the cost will be $25.00.

Highland Lake Sign:   Barbara displayed a rough draft of the Highland Lake sign.  This has  been sent to the printer and should arrive by end of April.  She has arranged for the sign to be delivered to Department of Public Works.

City Mills Sign:  Barbara is working on the rough draft of the historic sign for City Mills and has a copy of the original approval form for the original post office on the site, The Franklin City Post Office.  

Lock:  Thelma donated a partial lock that goes to the crypt in Pondville.

Norfolk Cane:  This special cane, made of black wood with a silver handle, will be awarded to the oldest resident of Norfolk; it is a copy of the famous Boston Post Cane, which was made of ebony with a silver handle.  The cane will be displayed in the Norfolk Senior Center with a plaque honoring the recipient.

Tramp House:  Scout Master, Davis Lutes said the boy scouts will take on the project of painting  the Tramp House.  Lowe's in Plainville donated the paint the last time the Tramp House was painted; however, when Betsey contacted them this time, they will only provide a $50.00 gift certificate.  She will contact Lowes in Milford and Home Depot in Bellingham to see if they would be willing to fund the project.

Pharmacy Renovation:  Betsy P wrote a letter to the planning board and other town boards stating that there was a lunch counter at Norfolk Drug Store prior to it becoming the Norfolk Pharmacy.  This effort supports Brie Hall's attempt to turn the vacant storefronts in the center of town into a restaurant.

Sunshine Fund:  Sandy P. has agreed to handle NHCs Sunshine Fund.  

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded and passed.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Geraldine A. Tasker
Recording Secretary

Norfolk Historical Commission
Meeting Minutes February 18, 2014

Betsy P. called the meeting to order at 7 pm.  Board members present included Betsey Whitney, Sandy Paquette, Gail Sullivan and Geri Tasker.

Guests:  Peter Diamond, John Gage (Eagle Scout proposal)

The minutes from the last meeting on Nov. 2013 were read; a motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes as read.

89 Seekonk Street:  An application to demolish the existing structures located at 89 Seekonk St. has been received; Tony LaRusso submitted pictures of two old cottage type structures on the land along with plans for a new one family 3 bedroom home.  A discussion determined that the buildings were not historically significant.  A motion  was made to allow the demolition without exercising a delay; the motion was seconded and approved.  Betsy P. will notify Mr. LaRusso.

96 Grove Street:  demo delay well approve  ???

Norfolk Stories:  The manuscript including all text and pictures have been sent to Tri County for formatting.  The cost of 200 soft bound copies is estimated at $1600.00   A second estimate from Richard Denzer of Puritan Capital totaled $1400 - $2200.00 for 250 copies.

Panel Layouts:  Barbara's proposal for three historic panels of City Mills and Highland Lake were unanimously approved at the Town Meeting.   Betsey W. has proposed a panel for Pondville and is working with Katy Woodhams at NCTV to put the photos and text on a flash drive.  She will bring all of the plans to Fran Williams at Tri- County for the printing estimate.  Betsey will work with Barbara to finalize the project and will get in touch with board members if she needs help editing.

Highland Lake Access Road:  The access road for Highland Lake is now officially known as Fales Park Road.

Postcard History Presentation:   Mr. Tedesco, one of the authors of the Postcard History of Norfolk County, will discuss his work  at the Norfolk Public Library on Feb. 24, 2014 at 7 pm.  The presentation is sponsored by the NPL.

Ware Circle:  Barbara B. has proposed that the roundabout by gas station at the intersection of Rockwood Road and Main Street be named Ware Circle.  

New Historic District:  The application of Rockwood Road's Historic District has been approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Betsy P. has an application to the CPC for $10,000 to hire Kathy Broomer to survey the 17 properties involved.

Eagle Scout Project Proposal:  Local teenager, John Gage, has proposed an Eagle Scout Project to make a documentary of historical sites around town.  He would take pictures of historical sites around town and work with NCTV, the local cable station, to produce  the documentary.  Barbara B. will consult with him to suggest possible historic sites; he can be contacted at 508-541-8399.  We suggested he use the inventory of historic places that is in the library.  We suggested he also research his family home, located at 15 Lake Street, which was built in the 1870s.

List of Project Proposals:  Barbara has submitted a list of possible Eagle Scout projects to David Lutes, Boy Scout Master.  The list is attached.

Pondville Cemetery:   The application to include Pondville Cemetery in the National Register of Historic Places has been approved by MHC and has been submitted to the Department of Interior for final approval.

Ornament Donation:   Barbara B. has donated a framed display of pewter ornaments created by Norfolk resident, Sandra Myatt, depicting historic sites of Norfolk; the ornaments were created annually from 1996 to 2001.  They were sold at the Norfolk Pharmacy and the Village Flower Shop with a portion of the proceeds going to the Norfolk Food Pantry.  

Pharmacy Renovation:  Brie Hall (Norman Brierly Hall) called Betsey regarding a project;  he wants to combine the vacant premises of the pharmacy and the village flower shop  and renovate them into a restaurant.  The Planning Board and the Board of Health need a statement from NHC regarding the history of the building to include site use in particular regarding the existence of a  restaurant or a coffee shop on the premises. Some long time residents recall that prior to the Norfolk Pharmacy, the premises housed the Norfolk Drug Store which included a food counter that sold sandwiches and ice cream. NHC board member Gail Sullivan remembers a soda fountain at the drug store from her childhood. Mr. Hall would like us to write a letter on his behalf  confirming that there was a food counter located in the drug store.

A motion was made, seconded and passed to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Geraldine A. Tasker
NHC Recording Secretary

Norfolk Historical Commission Meeting - Minutes of  November 26, 2013

Betsy Pyne called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.  Also in attendance Gail Sullivan, Betsey Whitney, Marcia Johnston, Barbara Bartholomew, Marilyn Bourque, and Geri Tasker.

Treasurers Report:  Marcia Johnston reported that the Gift Fund balance totals $5833.92, and the General Fund has a balance of $54.13.

Mann Genealogy:  Betsy Pyne read a memo from Kathy Helland of Shoreline, WA which included an extensive genealogy of the Mann Family and a flash drive with pictures related to Norfolk.  Her great-grandmother was a servant in the Mann house before going west, and she is interested in Norfolk history.

Norfolk Stories:  The latest edition of Norfolk Stories is in manuscript form; final editing has been done and photos will be inserted.  Barbara is working with Tri County regarding the printing.  We would like to include colored pictures and the price differential is estimated at additional $200.00.  We would also like to include additional photos of historical sites mentioned in the stories.

Thank you notes:
A message of thanks was received from Freeman - Kennedy School for the book we donated of the postcard history of Norfolk county towns by James and Paul Tedesco.
Thelma sent a lovely message of thanks for her NHC retirement party and gifts.   

Renovations:  The Tramp House has a new door which has white primer on it now.  David Lutes, the head of the Boy Scouts has offered to head a team to paint the door in the Spring.  Betsy P. will check out Lowes for paint donations.  Sam Zeigler did the renovations and has submitted a bill to the CPC.  

Town Meeting Report:  Three Historical items were passed at the recent Town Meeting.  
Highland Grove Park was approved.
We can use the access road to Fales Park.       
Three historical information panels will be installed
                -  Highland Grove SW corner of CPC property
                -  Mills on conservation prop Main
                -  The triangle of land at the intersection of Old Pond & Valley Streets.
Books:  We have receive the payment from the Freeman-Kennedy School for the History on the Hill books they ordered.

Next Meeting: The January meeting has been posted for Tuesday, January 21, 2014.

There was a motion to adjourn which was seconded and passed.  The meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm.
Respectfully submitted,

Geraldine A. Tasker
Recording Secretary

Norfolk Historical Commission Minutes
October 15, 2013

The meeting was called to order by Betsy Pyne at 7:10 pm. Members present included Barbara Bartholomew, Marcia Johnston, Gail Sullivan, Sandra Paquette, Geri Tasker, and associate member Thelma Ravinski,

Guests: Marilyn Bourque and Suzanne Shea

Treasurers Report:  General Fund balance totals $54.13.   Gift Fund totals $ 6095.92.

Minutes from Sept. 18, 2013 were read.  A motion to accept was made, seconded and passed with minor addition relating to the demo delay hearing.

Library Display:  Congratulations to Betsey Whitney for a wonderful display at the library honoring  Chauncey Eisner.  His son, Ron met Betsey so that he could view the display, and they were able to visit the old homestead.  

Weber Duck Inn:  Betsey W. has booked the Community Room in the library on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 for Ross Pini to give his presentation on the Weber Duck Inn.  Refreshments will be provided by NHC.

Post Card History:  Thelma, Gail, and Betsy P. attended the presentation of the book of postcards from the towns in Norfolk County written by the late James B. Tedesco and his father Paul H. Tedesco.  Sandy made a motion for the commission to purchase two books at $26.00 each. The motion was seconded, and passed.   One book will be presented to the elementary school, and NHC will keep one for our archives.  Betsy P. presented the invoice for $52.00 to Marcia; money from the gift fund will be used to pay for these books.

Sullivan Sign:  The sign for the Sullivan's Corner Historic District has been installed on the corner of Main and Seekonk Streets.  Betsy P. took pictures and sent them with a write up to two newspapers, the Gazette and Sun Chronicle.

Associate Members:  Betsy P. called Chris Cleverdon and the Keenans inviting them to become associate members of NHC; they are interested, but our meetings schedule may be an issue with their attendance.

Kingsbury Pond/Airport Land:  Instead of dropping the eligibility issue of the airport land, Betsy P. would like the Mass Historical Commission to notify us if they would like the airport land included in the Kingsbury Pond National Register application.

Oral History Updates:  18 stories have been transcribed, 4 are in the proofing stage, and 2 are pending.  Tri County does have the new digital press and would like to print the stories; Barbara is working out the details for publishing.

Donations to the School:  An itemized inventory of documents NHC has donated to the Freeman-Kennedy school library are listed in the Bartholomew Report which is attached to these  minutes.

Fales History:  Barbara found a copy of the history written by Bertha Fales; she has copied the document and donated one copy to the Walpole Historical Society as well as one to the Freeman-Kennedy School.

Order Outstanding:  The FK School ordered 6 copies of History on the Hill, but have not been paid for them; Barbara is pursuing the payment.

Quilt:  Betsy P. emailed Mary Noonan at FK School the pictures of quilt squares on the Centennial Quilt and the key to identify each one.

Next Meeting:  Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Dec. Gathering:  In December, NHC will host a Holiday Gathering on 12/10 at The Steven Turner House (Betsys) at 6 pm.

Marilyn Bourque brought an old photo collection of Mr. Washburn, Miss Day and several others from the 1950s.  Barbara will digitize the photos and return originals to Marilyn.  
Barbara found notes, drawings and photos from Emilys collection.

A Motion to Adjourn at 8:15 was made, seconded, and passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

Geraldine A. Tasker
Recording Secretary

Norfolk Town Hall, One Liberty Lane, Norfolk MA 02056  Phone: 508-528-1408
Website Disclaimer | A Virtual Town Hall and Schools Website