In the beginning…
On Monday, March 12, 1973 — on the very same night that the final episode of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In aired on TV — Richmond voted to accept the provision of M.G.L. Ch.40 Sect.8D which provides that a town “may establish an historical commission… for the preservation, protection and development of the historical or archeological assets of such city or town.
“Such commission shall conduct researches for places of historic or archeological value, shall cooperate with the state archeologist in conducting such researches or other surveys, and shall seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which it deems necessary for its work. For the purpose of protecting and preserving such places, it may make such recommendations as it deems necessary to the city council or the selectmen and, subject to the approval of the city council or the selectmen, to the Massachusetts historical commission, that any such place be certified as an historical or archeological landmark. It shall report to the state archeologist the existence of any archeological, paleontological or historical site or object discovered.”
The founding members of the Historical Commission:
Katharine H. Annin, David R. Dalzell Sr., Joanne Denny, Leslie C. Clark, and Roberta G. Cunningham.
In 1974, they filed the following report:
REPORT OF HISTORICAL COMMISSION
In cooperation with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, we are continuing to inventory those buildings and sites that are historically, architecturally, archaeologically or culturally significant to Richmond, to Massachusetts or to the United States. The primary purpose of the inventory is to record with the MHC buildings and areas that may become endangered by state or federally funded projects. They cannot defend what they don’t know about. It is the first step towards placement on the National Register of Historic Places and becomes a tool for local planning agencies. Merely being placed on inventory does not put any restrictions on property owners.
With the idea of continuing the “living history” tapes started by the Richmond Civic Association for Richmond’s bicentennial in 1965, the Commission has spent an evening with Richard and Simon Malumphy viewing the iron mine site and observations. recording their observations.
Although we do not at this time own any buildings or items of local interest, the Commission is empowered, upon approval by the Selectmen, to receive in the town’s name, real and personal property, gifts, contributions and bequests of funds, all of which are tax deductible.
The Historical Commission is in its infancy. There are many possible projects– all of which cannot, of course, be undertaken at once. We would appreciate the ideas suggestions of townspeople. It’s your commission.