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The 120-year-old chairs still used in the GAR hall are being tightened and reglued by the Historical Society.
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The receipt shows that the GAR Hall was furnished for $498.88 back in January 1899.

Adams Historical Society Repairs Historic Chairs

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The trustees also got an update on the progress on changing administrative control of the Miller Fund, discovered last year. 
ADAMS, Mass. — Furniture can get a little worn after 120 years. So members of the Adams Historical Society members have been tightening up the historic chairs still in use in Memorial Hall.
 
Library Director Holli Jayko told the trustees Thursday that volunteers are making their way through the dozens of antique chairs dating back to the 19th century and that are original to the building.
 
"They have been lovingly putting them back together and they are finding the ones that are kind of loose or coming apart," she said. "They are just going through and making them safe to sit in."
 
The library was completed in 1899 and the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall — one of the few left in the state — is located on the second floor. Trustees and Historical Society member Eugene Michalenko noted the chairs, that are still in use today, were once occupied by Civil War veterans at their GAR meetings. 
 
So they are quite old and Michalenko noted that some have not survived the hundred-plus years. He said one "casualty" is displayed in the hall warning visitors not to lean back too far.
 
The 50 armchairs with their embellished backs were purchased on Jan. 3, 1899, about 15 months after President McKinley laid the cornerstone for the library, for the sum of $3.50 a piece. The library has the original receipt for all the hall's furnishings on display.
 
Jayko said the Historical Society is taking on a few chairs at a time and moving through them slowly. She said they are tinkering and gluing them back together the best they can.
 
"They have been doing a great job and it is very tedious work," she said. "We love having them in Memorial Hall. They are historic and they are part of the building … we still need to be gentle with them but they are part of our history."
 
In other business, the library trustees are making progress on naming the Berkshire Taconic Foundation as the trustee of the Miller Fund.
 
"Just keep going," Trustee Virginia Duval said.
 
Last year, the trustees found a stray account left by a Columbus Miller that contains just over $90,000 in Bank of America stocks. The trustees plan to take control of the fund and take it out of a single stock and put the proceeds into a new account.
 
In the interim, Michalenko has acted as trustee while they sort out tax issues.
 
The trustees have hired a certified public accountant to catch up on tax returns and so far have submitted returns for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
 
Trustee James Loughman said after they get the blessing of the Internal Revenue Service and the state Department of Revenue, they can file taxes for 2019 in 2020.
 
He did note that there is a March deadline that the trustees may ask for an extension on.
 
"That is the only nuts and bolts issues I don't want to trip up on," he said.
 
The hope would be Berkshire Taconic, which administers a number of local charitable funds, would be the steward of the account by this time.
 
Loughman said they still have to appeal to a judge and asked Trustee Karen Kettles if it was fair to say it would be near impossible to go back another 40 years.
 
Kettle, however, said it is possible and that CPA could sort things out with a few hours of research. 
 
"In theory yes," she said. "We will never be able to get right to the penny but we can get close." 
 
In Jayko's report, she said they have spent nearly 40 percent of the fiscal 2020 budget, which is normal for this time of year.
 
"Right now we are in a good place," she said. "I am not worried. We will spend accordingly."
 
She did add that they are trying to run down about $19,000 from trust funds. She said they have to purchase books and other materials to hit marks mandated by the state to receive state aid.
 
"We are more than halfway there and we are not spending more than we normally do," she said. "We are just making sure what we need to spend is spent."
 
The library will only be open from 2 to 8 on Thursday, Dec. 12.

Tags: adams library,   historical,   memorial building,   

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Adams' Fallen Heroes Project Finds A Sponsor

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The "Banners for Fallen Heroes" project has found a sponsor. 
 
The project, which will honor Adams' servicemen and -women killed while serving the country with a banner hanging from utility poles through downtown, caught the eye of Adams Community Bank and it has stepped up to cover the associated costs.
 
"This is a no-brainer for our hometown. We know there will be some press obviously but we're not looking for that. This was something that was just right to do," said President and CEO Charlie O'Brien at this week's Fallen Heroes committee meeting. "These people have served our country so well, so nobly. Once we got some of the details everything just fell into place. It was something we had to do. We're happy and honored to be part of this project."
 
Selectman James Bush is part of the group and had trouble believing what he was hearing when he got the call from Senior Vice President of Lending Maureen Baran.
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