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The Historical Commission will review a request to install a lightning rod on the 1782 Friends Meetinghouse.

Adams Historical Commission Talks Susan B. Anthony Signage

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Historical Commission is hoping to raise Susan B. Anthony's profile with better signage.

ADAMS, Mass. — Susan B. Anthony may be getting more visibility in the town of her birth.

The Historical Commission met Wednesday afternoon with commission liaison Selectman Joseph Nowak to discuss signage that would make tourists more aware of the civil rights activist.

"I just think Susan B. Anthony being so prominent in our history, there should be a little more focus put on her in this community," Nowak said.

Anthony was born at the family home on East Road in 1820; her family later moved but the house was converted into a museum about her a number of years ago.

Nowak said there has been additions to the "Welcome to Adams" signs that notify people driving through that Adams is the birthplace of Anthony, but Nowak advocated for something with more information on it that is "historic looking in nature."

"I'd like to see some really classy signs when you come into Adams saying 'This is The Birthplace of Susan B. Anthony,' " Nowak said. "It would be nice to have a plaque with a picture of her that tells a little bit of history because it is certainly a drawing card."

Commissioner Eugene Michalenko said the birthplace museum has been pushing for more signage and he attributed much of the neglect of Anthony to conflict between the town and past managers of the museum.

Nowak said he thinks a lot of the conflict came from the strong pro-life stance the museum's organizers felt was representative of Anthony, a newspaper editor and women's suffrage advocate.

Chairman Ryan Biros said this perspective has diminished with new management.

"They are trying to, not bury it, but get a little bit away from it," he said.

The commission agreed with a new town administrator they may be able to rekindle the conversation.

Nowak also asked the commission if they would be opposed to installing a lightning rod on the 1782 Quaker Meeting House (which Anthony attended) in the Maple Street Cemetery to prevent any damage to the building.

"It would just be a shame if it ever got hit by lightning, and … it's out there in the open," Nowak said. "I don't think it would be anything too intrusive that would diminish the character of the house."

The commissioners agreed it was a good idea and said they would look into it.

Tags: historical building,   historical commission,   Susan B. Anthony,   

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Suffrage Centennial Committee Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Cassandra Peltier as Alva Belmont Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in the suffrage movement.
ADAMS, Mass. — About 75 people filled The Manor on Saturday afternoon for the kickoff event of a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
The event at St. John Paul II Parish's Italianate mansion was organized by the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen. 
Anthony was born in Adams and was a social reformer best known for spearheading the women's suffrage movement. She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement, collecting signatures for petitions as a teen, the temperance (prohibition of alcohol) movement, and women's financial rights.
Retired school teacher Mary Whitman, committee member and host for the day, shared why Anthony's work was so important. 
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