Lost For 50 Years, Historic Marker Will Return
A historical marker that mysteriously disappeared in the 1960s will soon be reinstated on Ocean Avenue.
The theft of the tercentenary marker on Ocean Avenue was one that Selectmen Harry C. Christensen Jr. referred to as "one of the great Marblehead mysteries."
How did a 400-pound cast-iron marker simply disappear overnight in the 1960s? Better yet - why would anyone want to steal it? And how is it that the original has never been recovered?
The missing historical marker, one of four erected in Marblehead in 1930, will soon be reinstated on Ocean Avenue, thanks to the efforts of the Marblehead Historical Commission.
At Wednesday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen,members unanimously approved placing a recently-procured aluminum replica of the marker at the traffic island near the intersection of Beach Street and Ocean Avenue.
The motion passed on the condition that the marker not interfere with two nearby traffic signs.
The sign is meant to indicate the location of a former Native American village. It was originally located near the intersection of Ocean Avenue and East Orchard Street but that space is no longer suitable for the sign.
The commission's Collections Manager, Wayne Butler, was happy to show off the new sign and was quick to point out that the original would have been much heavier.
"In the 1930s they put up four of these. One is at Fort Sewall, another is at The Agnes Surriage Well and the third is at Old Burial Hill. This last one was on Ocean Avenue and no one seems to know what happened to it," he said.
Based on the size and weight of the aluminum replica, someone would have had to go to great lengths to steal the original, he said.
Following the vote, Christensen said he was "glad to see it back."
The Historic Marker Reads:
"One of the largest Indian Villages in Essex county stood on this tract, which was owned by Winepoykin. Son of Nanepashemet. Sachem of The Nipmuc Indians." Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission.
It is unclear exactly when residents can expect to see the sign replaced.