Lanesborough to Celebrate 250th Birthday

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Volunteers met on Thursday to brainstorm ways to celebrate the town's history.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Volunteers are organizing more than a half-dozen events to celebrate the town's 250th anniversary.
In 2015 it will be 250 years since the town incorporated and a dozen or so volunteers are preparing to launch a series of events to celebrate the milestone.
"This might develop a life on its own," said Mary Reilly, who headed Thursday's meeting to brainstorm different ways to celebrate. 
The participants jumped through an array of ideas spanning from a Valentine's Day Ball to a Firemen's Muster to an ice cream social. 
The leading ideas were a hike up Constitution Hill followed by an ice cream social; a tour of historic properties; an old-fashioned Valentine's Day ball; a display of old photos and mementos and a muster and parade. The events are eyed to be scattered throughout the year.
Meanwhile, the group is looking to update a book on the history of Lanesborough. The book published for the 200th anniversary needs to catch up with the last 50 years.
"We've been thinking we might add the Fire Department history to what Frances [Martin] did and then add the next 50 years," said Robert Barton.
Barton said book has already been digitized so adding to it should be easy. But, the town needs volunteers to help with the research of various topics and to secure the rights to republish the rest of the book. Fire Department Deputy Chief Butch Garrity has already written the history of the Fire Department to be included in the book. Reilly said she will do a history of the cemeteries.
Barton is looking for volunteers to research and write the recent history of topics such as the churches, recreation, the Berkshire Mall and the schools.
"The historical committee doesn't meet a lot. There are some friends of the historical committee that would like to jump in and help," Reilly said. "The book, it will take a little time, but at least we've got it out there."
Coupled with the reprinting of the book, Stephanie Abrams said she will work on an oral history that can be included as a disc with it. The group gathered names of knowledgeable people in town on various topics and will forward that to Abrams.
On Thursday, the group members wondered if they should do a weeklong series of events like the town did during the 200th celebration or spread them out throughout the year. The group opted for a series throughout the year.
"I don't want to bite off more than we can chew and then fall flat," Reilly said, as volunteers were sorted out to head a few of the events.
The group will also be piggy-backing on already existing events such as the town picnic and adding a 250th celebration aspect to them.
The group also discussed making commemorative items such as T-shirts, coffee mugs and the library offered to make bookmarks. Another idea was to hold a trivia contest about the town.
After a nearly two-hour brainstorming session, members of the volunteer group left with tasks on their plate. The full group will meet again in August to discuss the process.

Tags: anniversary,   bicenquinquagenary,   birthday,   

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