Push for Historic Places in the Tri-Town

The lighthouses at Ned’s Point and Bird Island are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), something that takes lots of time and effort to achieve. Currently, the Marion Historical Commission is working on adding three more places in town to the NRHP. Those include Minister’s Rock, the First Congregational Church of Marion, and its chapel on Main Street (home to Penny Pincher’s Exchange).

In Rochester, an application is in the works to place East Over Farm on the federal registry. Currently, Rochester has two other sites listed on the NRHP, one being the Old East Rochester Church and adjoining Woodside Cemetery, which is home to the Rochester Historical Society, and the North Rochester Church on North Street.

Mattapoisett has, aside from the lighthouse, the Old Grange Hall located on Route 6. There are no current plans for additional sites in Mattapoisett.

“This is a multiyear project,” said Robert Jones, who is spearheading the Marion effort. “The application is very thorough and detailed, and it is a back and forth discussion with the commission.”

After the original application was filed, Jones heard back from the NRHP, which asked additional questions. In the case of the First Congregational Church of Marion, they asked how many churches were in the town in 1841 and how many cemeteries are in the town.

“They want to get to know about us before they make a decision,” said Jones.

According to Jones, the applicant works with the state historical commission, which approves it prior to submission to the federal level. Many towns are submitting more and more applications, which creates a backlog. Jones is hoping that final approval will happen next year, and plans are underway for a town-wide celebration of the event.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry

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