Selectmen Updated on Old Burial Hill
Committee members are seeking $60,000 toward an ongoing restoration project at Old Burial Hill.
Members of the Old Burial Hill Restoration Committee appeared before the Board of Selectmen Wednesday night to provide an update regarding the group's ongoing conservation project and to call upon the public to donate toward their cause.
Town Planner Rebecca Curran said she was pleased to report that workers from the Connecticut-based Monument Conservation Collaborative recently completed the first phase of the project, which is aimed at repairing and restoring damaged headstones and memorial markers at Old Burial Hill.
"The first phase, which we just completed, concentrated on the priority one stones, which are the markers that needed the most urgent care," Curran said.
The first phase, which Curran said cost $22,500, was paid for with grant funding from the Massachusetts Historical Commission's Preservation Fund, the Shattuck Fund and donations from local residents.
Over the last three months, Curran said 40 "priority one" stones have been repaired and committee members are now setting their sights on 42 "priority two stones."
"We feel like this was a really successful first phase, but there is a lot more work still to be done," Curran said.
In addition to the 42 priority two stones, Curran pointed out that more than 150 stones in the Orne Street cemetery still need to be re-set, meaning they're in good condition - they're just tilting or have become partially buried.
"The primary focus now is fundraising. We need to raise $60,000 in matching funds for this between now and the end of February," Curran said. "In the end of February is when we will be applying for our third grant from the Mass Historical Commission and they love this project so we think we will be successful."
Also speaking at Abbot Hall Wednesday night was committee member Betty Hunt, who said she is thrilled with the amount of work that has already been completed.
"It is amazing just to go up there and see what has been done so far," Hunt said. "There is still a lot to be done, but it is really remarkable."
Residents interested in contributing to the restoration project are encouraged to contact the Selectmen's office at 781-631-0000.