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Historical Society receives bank gift, will buy utensils

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TOWNSEND — Every year, the Townsend Historical Society opens the doors of the Reed Homestead for tours, including hands-on demonstrations of tools and processes used by the house’s original inhabitants, long before the modern appliances were even a scribble on a sketchpad.

One of the stops on the tour is the “keeping room,” better known today as a kitchen. In the Reed House, the keeping room comes complete with its original cooking hearth and beehive oven. The society uses loaner utensils to help bring the past alive when tourists reach that stop. Until recently, however, the society could not afford its own utensils.

Now, thanks to a donation of $1,000 from North Middlesex Savings Bank, the Reed Homestead will finally have its own set and perhaps expand its programs beyond the open-house tours and Hearth Cooking classes.

The check was presented by Bill Marshall, president and CEO of the bank, early on Friday morning, Aug. 15 and accepted on behalf of the society by Jeanne Bartovics, site administrator for the homestead.

“This sort of all fell in together,” Marshall admitted, explaining that the money was collected for a donation to the 275th Anniversary committee, but it ended up not being needed “when all was said and done.”

When the opportunity to help the Historical Society came up, Marshall thought it would be just as good a use of the funds.

“We cannot thank you enough,” Bartovics said, with her sentiments echoed by society members Ed West and Bill Wikinson, who were also present.

“We will send you photos of the kids using the equipment,” Bartovics promised.

“Getting them young is an important part of the process,” Marshall agreed. “The more history you can bring alive, the better.”

He added that he had taken the tour himself and knew first-hand how much history was in every room. He and the bank were more than happy to help in the Historical Society’s mission.

“It’s our pleasure to give,” Marshall said.

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