History By Hand

Discover History by Doing with the Mattapoisett Historical Society. This second part of a two-part series will allow children ages 8 and up to explore what it was like to work in Mattapoisett long ago. Join us on Wednesday, July 23 at 1:00 pm. Write with pen and ink in store ledger books, twist fibers to make ropes, learn knots used in the shipyards, and plant seeds for your own “farm.” Registration is encouraged. The program is free, but donations are always welcome. For more information or to register, please visit www.mattapoisetthistoricalsociety.org or call 508-758-2844.

Elizabeth Taber Annual Book Sale

The Elizabeth Taber Library annual book sale will take place at the Marion Music Hall on Friday, August 8 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm and Saturday, August 9 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Both dates are now open to the public! Please come and support your local library. The cost for items is $3 for a hardcover, $2 for a large paperback, $1 for a small paperback, $1 for three children’s books, audio books are $3, DVDs are $1, and CDs are 3 for a $1. All funds raised from the book sale are spent on enhancing our programs and services. Gently-used book donations will be collected at the library until August 7. For more information on the book sale, call the library at 508-748-1252.

A Visual History of Tabor Academy

On Thursday, July 24 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall, you can see Tabor and Marion as they were in the late 1800s as David Pierce presents “A Visual History of Tabor Academy.” Mr. Pierce, a faculty member at Tabor, will share a series of photographs – taken from yearbooks and other school publications – representing Tabor’s earliest days. The Academy’s story begins with its founding by Elizabeth Taber in 1876, in its original location at the corner of Main and Spring Streets. The tale then continues with the steps taken by Headmaster Lillard in the early 1900s to move Tabor to the sea, a change that made it unique among New England schools. The final photographs in the series show how, after years of hurricanes, Tabor’s latest buildings move back to higher ground.

A question-and-answer period will follow the PowerPoint presentation, which is free and open to the public, with no registration required. Ample parking is available across from the Music Hall (164 Front Street) at Island Wharf Park. For more information, call SHS at 508-748-1116.

New Tabor Dorm OK’d by BOS

The Marion Board of Selectmen unanimously approved an application for Tabor Academy to build a new 15,160 square-foot two-story dormitory on the old TenBrook property across from the Marion Fire Department on Spring Street.

The curved, winged dorm would be situated in the middle of the lot, which stretches from Front Street to Spring Street.

A team from Tabor Academy came before the Planning Board back on July 7 and presented the proposal. The Planning Board referred the issue to the Board of Selectmen due to the sewer expansion issue.

The primary issue with the project was the expansion of the existing sewer connection, which serviced a single-family dwelling. Due to state regulations, if there is a sewer connection available, an upgrade can be applied, regardless of the size.

“We are so grateful to the Town of Marion in working with us on this,” said John Quirk, head of school at Tabor Academy. “We are excited to move forward and are so very grateful,” said Quirk.

The proposed building will house from 24 to 26 students and three faculty members and their families. Of the three faculty residences, one would have a two-bedroom unit, another a three-bedroom unit, and another a four-bedroom unit. Parking for various vehicles around the faculty areas was presented. A looped driveway in front of the facility, which faces the campus, would be for parents to drop off and pick up students.

Quirk and said the intention is to take students from three residential units and get them into a dormitory-style complex. The three residential units that house both students and faculty are New House, Wee House, and the Sail Loft, which would become faculty-only housing.

“We are not growing the student body,” said Quirk. “Our hope is to improve the quality of life of students.”

In other business, the board approved the installation of a bench at Old Landing/Veteran’s Memorial Park in honor of Janet Barnes, the retired owner of Seaside School.

The board also approved the closure of Main Street to Front Street on July 26 for the First Congregational Church of Marion for their annual Summer Fair.

The board discussed the newly formed Fire Engine Review Committee and appointed two members of the Fire Department, which include Fire Chief Thomas Joyce and Assistant Chief Joseph Dayton, Finance Committee member Alan Minard, Steve Cushing who will represent the BOS, and Chris MacDougall as the Citizen-at-Large.

“We want to thank those who applied to serve our town on this committee,” said Jon Henry.

Town Administrator Paul Dawson noted that a recently approved SRPEDD grant would allow the town to purchase four bicycle racks. One large “wave” rack will be placed outside the library and another at Washburn Park. Two smaller racks will be placed outside the Town House.

The board approved a Cable Television Advisory Committee, which will consist of BOS member Jody Dickerson and resident Andrew Jeffreys representing Marion residents. Another representative from the board of ORCTV, not yet appointed, will also serve.

Lastly, the board tackled an email from the Town House Building Committee asking the BOS to clarify the board’s charge. In the email, the committee asked the BOS if they should consider an expansion of the library in their considerations and if they should consider a senior center in the discussion.

“ This challenge regarding our aging Town House is big enough without involving all these other complex considerations,” said Jon Henry. “My feeling is that the committee should focus on the issue at hand — the Town House size and utilization of the building.”

The board agreed that the Town House Committee should focus only on the existing building, and that future issues regarding other needs should not be considered. Paul Dawson agreed to draft a letter to the committee, which will be discussed at the next BOS meeting to be held on August 5 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Police Station.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


Levinsons Love the BB Music Fest

This week, I had the rare opportunity of hosting world-renowned musicians in my home in Marion. Gary Levinson plays a Stradivari violin and serves as concertmaster for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. His wife, Baya Kakouberi, is a recording artist and classical pianist trained in Russia. In preparation for this year’s Buzzards Bay Music Festival, the Levinsons visited my house to use the piano and rehearse for their upcoming shows.

As they played for hours each day in the living room, I sat in the next room and listened while the couple worked through incredibly complicated pieces of music. They were focused and calm as they played together, stopping every once in a while to try something over again or make a note.

At the end of the day, the couple kindly agreed to sit down with me to talk about music. They looked excited when they spoke about the upcoming week and the Buzzards Bay Music Festival – they were truly delighted to be here.

The family spends about a week in July each year in the Buzzards Bay area, graciously hosted by local music lovers. This year marks the Levinsons’ second year at the Music Festival, an event the family looks forward to all year round. Mr. Levinson said that this year, they were excited to reconnect with the people who frequent the Buzzards Bay Music Festival. He explained that there is a certain level of camaraderie amongst musicians and attendees, and the small setting creates an “intimate medium” for performers.

Having moved to the United States from Russia, the couple has experienced firsthand the way that music can translate across cultures. They agreed that classical music has the ability to transcend boundaries and allow people to connect with one another on a really meaningful level.

In the past, this family of musicians has traveled on tours across America, Canada, and on to Europe as well. According to the couple, the summer season is packed full of interesting festivals for classical musicians. The artists refer to the summer months – June through August – as “festival season.” During this time of the year, the couple has the chance to travel to different locations around the country and perform casual concerts with old friends and new ones, too. The Levinsons have traveled the globe performing beautiful music, but they have a soft spot for our quiet little corner of the world. Their two children, who are also musically inclined, wait in anticipation of the time of year they get to return to Marion, Massachusetts.

Mr. Levinson called the Music Festival “a hidden gem,” and expressed his gratitude for the passionate group of people who return each year to support the event. The Buzzards Bay Music Festival is a non-profit event that is open to the public and anyone can attend, regardless of knowledge or musical background.

By Jacqueline Hatch


Helen Louise (Lake) DeCosta

Helen Louise (Lake) DeCosta, 96, a resident of Mattapoisett, passed away on July 19, 2014 at Alden Court in Fairhaven after a brief illness. She was surrounded by her family.

Helen was born in New Bedford on November 6, 1917. She was the daughter of the late George Lester Lake and Sarah Louise (McKenzie) Lake. As a child she was a summer resident of Brandt Island in Mattapoisett. She married her late husband, Edward W. DeCosta, Sr., in 1938 and together they raised their seven children in their home on Pearl Street in Mattapoisett where she resided for 70 years.

She is survived by her children: Edward W. Jr. and his wife, Denise, of Fairhaven; Anna Anderson and her husband, Stephen, of Carnelian Bay, CA; James of North Richland Hills, TX; Thomas and his wife, Patricia, of Marion; Deborah Fahey and her husband, Roger, of Fairhaven; and Margaret Alves and her companion, Thomas O’Neil, of Mattapoisett and New Bedford; her daughter-in-law, Christie DeCosta, of Mattapoisett; 17 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren; her sister, Mary Mendell of Indiana; and her sister-in-law, Lorraine Lake of Mattapoisett.

She was the mother of the late George DeCosta, and sister of the late Annabelle Scott, George Lake, Calvin Lake and Donald Lake.

Helen enjoyed spending time with her family. She loved cooking and hosting family parties, playing board games with her grandchildren, gardening, playing Bingo, doing word puzzles and watching the Patriots and Red Sox.

Her strong will and independent spirit will continue to be an inspiration to all who loved her and she will be greatly missed and fondly remembered!

Visiting hours will be from 6 PM to 8 PM on Tuesday July 22, 2014 at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Road, Route 6, Mattapoisett. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mercy Meals and More, P. O. Box 40515, New Bedford, MA 02744.

Anthony J. “Jerry” DuPont

Anthony J. “Jerry” DuPont, 84, of Mattapoisett died Friday July 18, 2014 at home. He was the husband of Phyllis M. (Bryant) DuPont; they had been married for 62 years.

Born and raised in New Bedford, the son of the late Louise E. (Brannelly) and Anthony J. DuPont, Sr., he lived in Mattapoisett for most of his life.

Jerry was formerly employed by the New England Telephone Company as an equipment installer, craftsman foreman, and assistant manager, until retiring after 33 years of service.

He was a graduate of Holy Family High School, where he was President of the Class of 1947. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve and was called to active duty for two years during the Korean War. He served aboard the U.S.S. Daly and the U.S.S. Yosemite, and was a member of the Tin Can Sailors.

Jerry was a 47 year member and Past President of the Mattapoisett Lions Club, where he was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. He loved to travel, spend time with his family, and watch his beloved Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics.

He is survived by his wife; his children, Jeffrey J. DuPont and his wife Nora of Rochester, Jay A. DuPont and his wife Lori of Mattapoisett, and Jayne M. Mello and her husband Kevin of Orlando, Florida; seven grandchildren, Jennifer, Abby, Justin, Kevin, Tyler, Nikkole, and Hannah; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was the brother of the late Louise M. Gaudreau.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday July 25, 2014 from 4-8 PM at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. A private family burial service will be held. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Mattapoisett Lions Club, P.O. Box 1022, Mattapoisett, MA 02739. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com..

FISH – Friends In Service Helping

Friends In Service Helping has been in operation in Mattapoisett since 1969. We provide rides to medical appointments for elderly residents who cannot drive anymore. We service Mattapoisett residents with transportation from their homes to Wareham, Marion, Fairhaven, New Bedford, and Dartmouth, as well as right here in Mattapoisett. Last year alone, we transported 301 residents!

Our town does not have public transportation. Our elderly residents are counting on FISH to get them to their medical appointments. We need more volunteer callers and drivers. We always work around your schedule when it is convenient for you! To find out more about your opportunity to be a FISH volunteer, please call FISH Coordinator Jacquie McGraw at 508-758-9278.

The Tantalizing Tastes of Mattapoisett

It is one of the most important fundraising events for the Mattapoisett Women’s Club, and just the sort of exemplary event one would expect to see on a summer evening on the seaside of Mattapoisett.

July 15 was the time for the annual Taste of the Town beneath the great white canopy tent at Shipyard Park.

Lois Ennis of the Women’s Club was delighted that all the tables beneath the big tent were filled, as well as the 48 seats at the al fresco dining tables.

There were some tropical-like winds blowing the skirts on the tablecloths, but the weather was nothing like last year, said Ennis.

“It was so hot,” said Ennis. She recalled another year when the skies opened up an hour into the event raining buckets on all of the people. “We are always at the mercy of the weather,” said Ennis.

The was the 11th year for the annual event, which has become a tradition for many who came out to sample the different flavors Mattapoisett has to offer.

Mouthwatering aromas of seafood, pizza, and Asian cuisine merged perfectly with the salty sea air blown ashore by the wind, and everywhere you looked people were eating and laughing.

The Showstoppers, a singing group of local boys and girls, provided the entertainment for the hundreds of guests that kept pouring into the park in a steady stream.

Ennis said the proceeds go toward granting scholarships to local students, upwards to $4,000 when the event is a success. Ennis pointed to a stack of white paper event guides, saying it had originally contained a count of 500. It was roughly about a half hour into the event and already there were only about 100 left.

“It’s a lot a lot of work,” said Ennis. “But the people are here.” It looks like this year will be a generous year for scholarships in Mattapoisett.

By Jean Perry

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Maintenance of Bogs Discussed

An anticipated ten minute public hearing lasted almost an hour on a Request for Determination of Applicability for maintenance mowing of the pathway around the perimeter of the Goldovitz Bogs and the side slopes of the dikes. The property is located just off Old Indian Trail. This request was discussed by the Marion Conservation Commission at their Wednesday evening meeting at the Town House.

John Rockwell of the Buzzards Bay Estuary Program, representing the Board of Selectmen, addressed the board. Rockwell gave a brief history of the various dikes, of which only one is structural. He said the request to mow was primarily to maintain access to the bogs for residents, but would have the additional benefit of keeping turtles from being mowed over if the vegetation grows too high.“ Turtles can be seen by a mowing operator if the vegetation is controlled … they are about four inches high … if the grass is higher, they would be mowed over … the intent is for the operator to see them,” said Rockwell.

Board members visited the area recently and asked Rockwell about some cuttings and chipping debris put into the bogs. The board also asked who was currently mowing the pathways around the bogs. Rockwell did not know if the Department of Public Works or a local resident was currently mowing the area and that he would personally remove the cuttings and chips to avoid a delay in getting it done. The pathways are approximately ten feet wide.

The board agreed that the pathways could be mowed in accordance with the approved management plan, but that a Notice of Intent would be needed to mow the slopes or to work on or within the bogs.

An appointment with Thomas Stemberg of 114 Point Road for a Notice of Intent to demolish the structures on the lot and construct a single family dwelling, a pool, a pool house, a tennis court, a driveway and walkways was continued until 7:00 pm on August 19.

The board briefly discussed a draft of their response to the Board of Selectmen regarding the ongoing controversy regarding the management of the Spragues Cove storm water basin at Silvershell Beach. The BOS requested the Conservation Commission’s input on the issue. The draft was approved unanimously and will be given to the BOS.

The board circulated a thank you note from long-time secretary of the Conservation Commission, Diane Drake, who recently retired.

The next meeting of the Conservation Commission will be on Wednesday, July 23.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry