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The masonry trough was damaged some 60 years ago.
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Flowers are regularly planted in the former horse trough.

Cheshire to Fix Historic Fountain

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The plaque on the trough.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — There is more to the stone memorial in front of Town Hall than meets the eye.
 
What now holds flowers during the summer once used to provide water to horses, people and even dogs. The town hopes to restore to at least its original condition. 
 
"It is a memorial for yeoman and it has the horse trough in the front and a fountain for a person and a dog on the other side," Town Clerk Christine Emerson said last week.
 
Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said the Historical Society approached the selectmen at a meeting earlier this month and asked if they would fund the repair of the monument that is on the historic registry.
 
Francesconi had a letter from Brazeau Masonry outlining the repair: she read first that the stone needs to be reset because it is off 1.5 inches.
 
Once re-centered it will be power washed, the cracks will be filled and likely pulverized stone will be used to achieve a similar color and texture.
 
The repair is estimated to cost $2,200.
 
"I think we need to go for it. We have been talking about fixing that horse trough forever and it should be fixed," Francesconi said. "The horses are lined up and waiting."
 
Brazeau Masonry also thought there may be a time capsule underneath the fountain and if there isn’t, suggested the town should place one.
 
Francesconi said there is a water line underneath the stone but was unsure if they would be able to get the fountains back in working order.
 
The fountain was damaged in the 1950s during Cabbage Stalk Night, the night before Halloween that was once marked by vandalism and pranks.
 
"Halloween kids dumped tires in the center of it and set it on fire," she said. "That is what happened to it."
 
The rest of the board agreed the town should expend the money to repair a piece of town history.
 
"You would expect this from a town that has a memorial to cheese press," Selectman Robert Ciskowski said. "We are going to restore it because it is important."

Tags: historic structure,   

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Father Tom Tent Site Becoming a Reality in Cheshire

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Father Tom Tent Site is inching closer to its "official" opening. 
 
Named after the former pastor of St. Mary's Church, the Rev. Thomas Begley, the site will serve through-hikers of the Appalachian Trail and give them a place to regroup for a night or two while charging electronics, replenishing their water supply, and getting rid of refuse
 
Highway Superintendent Robert Navin said he hopes to have the water line completed this week, which would leave just a few loose ends to tie up before making the official announcement. One very loose end is the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique safety concerns that constantly arise from the virus. 
 
"I've liked this idea a lot and I'm glad to see everything moving forward. With that being said I guess I just have reservations in the climate we find ourselves in making sure that everything is being cleaned as often as possible," said Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV. "I think we need adequate signage saying, to some extent, campers are using these facilities at their own risk. Whether or not it's a valid concern it's just a concern that I have." 
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