ORR Class of 1966

The ORR Class of 1966 will be holding a 50th Reunion on the Weekend September 30 to October 2. Contact Donna Lee Tufts at 774-553-5242 for more info. We are looking for missing classmates Susan Brinkema, Jane Brisson, Cecil Corriveau, Beverly Fernandes, Thalia Gronblom, Warren Hastings, Enis Krol, Ann Parkinson, Sandra Poirier, Cynthia Reed, Paula Robinson, Terry Roedl, Peter Turcotte, and Sandra Viera.

Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing

The Evangelical Zion Church at 2239 Cranberry Highway( Route 28/Carver Road) will host a community hymn sing on Sunday, September 25 at 6:00 pm. Come and enjoy your favorite requested hymns. Free admission, but a free offering will be taken. Come one, come all, and listen to Ms. Sheila Perry play the piano, enjoy a few selections from local singers, and enjoy the evening’s fellowship with Pastor John King.

Tour of Historic Radio Tower Property

The Sippican Lands Trust invites you and your family to join us for a guided tour of our historic Radio Tower Property on Saturday, September 24 at 10:00 am (Rain date is Saturday, October 1, 10:00 am). The property was acquired by the SLT in 1986 and is the actual site of the once-active Marconi wireless telegraph station around the time of World War II. Local resident and Radio Tower steward Richard Evans will lead participants through the trails and remnants of this historic property. Evans, an amateur radio operator, has been interested in this property since he walked through the transmitter building and tower field in the early 1950s before the towers were dropped.

The tour is free to the public. The Radio Tower Trail is accessible from Benson Brook Road, past the Marion Transfer Station. Parking is available in that area, and participants should gather to the right near the SLT kiosk at the head of the trail.

Founded in 1974, the Sippican Lands Trust strives to acquire, protect and maintain natural areas in Marion. Its purpose is to conserve land, protect habitat and offer public access to the beautiful, protected lands of our town. Currently, its main focus is to develop more events and educational programs for nature lovers of all ages.

Please call the Sippican Lands Trust at 508-748-3080 or email info@sippicanlandstrust.org for more information. Thanks and we hope to see you out on our trails.

Abutters Angry Over Wellspring Permit

Wellspring Farm, located on Hiller and Walnut Plain Roads, has been working through a number of local regulatory issues for many months.

Jim and Holly Vogel, owners and operators of the experiential therapeutic riding center, have had to reconfigure the use of the property as abutters have fumed over what they perceive to be the loss of peaceful use of their homes due to traffic, noise, and animal waste associated with the Vogels’ business.

Wellspring recently reached a consensus with the Rochester Conservation Commission regarding the systematic removal of animal waste from the property versus storing it on site and the delineation of wetlands to ensure protection of all jurisdictional areas.

On September 8, the Vogels, in a continuation of their special permit hearing, were once again before the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals to learn the fate of that application. This was the last in a series of ZBA hearings that were sometimes punctuated by emotionally charged testimony for and against the business from abutters and clients. After a site visit to Wellspring Farm by several ZBA members, the verdict was in: a special permit was granted with a list of conditions.

Chairman Richard Cutler read each condition, allowing additional input from board members to ensure consensus. Public comment had been closed at the August 25 hearing.

The first condition placed on the special permit prohibits the transferring of the permit to operate a commercial enterprise on the property. This is a standard condition placed on most special permits in the town.

Attorney George Boerger, representing the Vogels, asked the board to consider allowing a transfer if it involved family members such as the Vogels’ children who are part of the management team for the business.

Mr. Vogel was asked if children were members of the limited liability corporation, to which he answered ‘no.’ He was asked if the property was presently being marketed for sale. His response was no. However, Cathy Mendoza, 32 Hiller Road, piped up saying that it was, in fact, for sale and pointed to her cell phone. Cutler dismissed her comment.

After some discussion and debate between the board members, Davis Sullivan and Jeffrey Costa felt strongly that transferring of the special permit should not be allowed, even to family members. Kirby Gilmore and David Arancio were ambivalent on the matter. The non-transfer statue remained.

The second condition dealt with parking on public roadways, one of the primary concerns aired by abutters. A parking plan was offered by the Vogels and accepted, pending any modification by the Planning Board who will be reviewing an updated site plan in the coming weeks. The ZBA members also added that vehicles should not be left idling for more than five minutes to avoid annoying the neighbors.

While abutters sought to limit the hours of operation, the ZBA granted Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, except for one-hour occasional emergency consultations outside normal hours of operation.

Fencing and screening was another condition the ZBA required. Any new stockade fencing will be 8-feet high versus the 6-foot high fence currently in place and vegetated screening will be maintained. New plantings shall be of an evergreen variety.

Vogel asked why the abutters who complained about the height of the fencing didn’t erect a higher fence on their property. Cutler replied, “Because you’re requesting the permit.”

Animal waste removal was another condition to the special permit – it must be contained and removed every 60 days.

And lastly, the Vogels must submit an updated site plan to the Planning Board within 90 days.

In closing, Cutler said that the abutters’ request that treatment activities at Wellspring Farm take place at least 80 feet from the property line was “not practical.” He also said that appeals to the ZBA decision would be open for 20 days.

Mendoza wished to raise the issue of whether or not Wellspring was for sale. Cutler said, “It doesn’t matter,” as it was not germane to the ZBA decision.

After the meeting had adjourned, Cutler stated, “We’re hoping we’ve set some ground rules … but, I expect appeals on both sides.”

As abutters left the building, Mendoza exclaimed, “They got everything they wanted.”

In a follow-up interview outside the meeting venue, Boerger said, “We are pleased that the ZBA has allowed the very worthwhile work for the children.” He also said, “Abutters’ complaints about traffic were blown out of proportion [and are] primarily a result from growth in the community.”

When Mendoza descended from the town hall building, she headed towards the Vogels hollering, “You are a liar!” and “It is for sale!”

No date yet has been set for the Vogels’ appearance before the Planning Board.

The next meeting of the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for September 22 at 7:00 pm in the Rochester Town Hall meeting room.

By Marilou Newell


Anonymous Complaints Debunked

David McIntire, 18 Main Street, came before the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission on September 12 to secure extensions for orders of conditions on 11 lots in the Bay Club sub-division. Four of those were granted after Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold confirmed wetland delineation flagging that had recently been re-established. The remaining lots are pending wetland flagging confirmation.

After completing that business, McIntire addressed a Massachusetts DEP complaint that had recently been lodged with the commission for farmlands he owns along Long Plain Road.

Leidhold said that the DEP contacted her office stating that tree removal and earth movement activities, of which the commission was unaware, were taking place on that property.

McIntire said that Richard Winterbottom farms the agricultural property. He said Winterbottom had been performing maintenance on the parcels, removing trees that were shading cornfields, and repairing an old drainage system.

“I’m getting tired of the complaints,” McIntire told the commissioners. “I’d like to know who called,” McIntire said, regarding the complaint that had most recently been lodged with the DEP.

Leidhold told him that the DEP did not disclose names.

McIntire said that, in the recent past, farming activities had caused neighbor(s) to complain about noise from tractors on Sunday mornings.

McIntire told the commission that he had applied for assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Services to develop a documented farm plan.

Chairman Bob Rogers said that a farm plan kept on file at the Conservation Commission office would help in advising the DEP of legal farming activities should more complaints arise. Although many agricultural activities on or near wetlands are permissible without prior consent from the commission, Rogers said that the farm plan would be beneficial for all concerned.

Commission member Mike King offered assistance with farm planning. King and fellow commissioner Mike Dubuc also sit on the Agricultural Commission.

McIntire thanked the commissioners for their assistance.

A septic system installation at 6 Aucoot Road did not receive the requested certificate of compliance as requested by David Moura of MSMF Property Group. Leidhold reported to the commission that clearing of vegetation within the buffer zone had taken place.

The commission had received a letter from Collins Civil Engineering Group written by George Collins indicating that the septic construction had been completed and was in compliance with approved plans. However, Rogers questioned if the letter had been written before or after the improper clearing had taken place.

Rogers ordered that a letter be sent to Collins requesting his attendance at the next meeting of the commission to discuss remediation of the affected bordering vegetated wetland.

A request for extension of order of conditions from two adjoining lots on Pine Island Road owned by Greta and Timothy Fox was approved for three years.

A negative determination was given for the Request of Determination of Applicability filed by Robert Nichols, 31 Angelica Avenue, for the construction of a 24- by 24-foot addition within jurisdictional zones.

Bart O’Brien, 6 Beech Tree Lane, received approval for his Notice of Intent application for the construction of a single-family home within a 100-foot buffer zone.

And last but not least, Boy Scout Matthew Kiernan received permission for the construction of ‘bog boards’ for the purpose of improving trails on or near Old Slough Road. In partnership with the Mattapoisett Land Trust, this will be Kiernan’s Eagle Scout project.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for September 26 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room. It was further decided that the October 10 meeting be rescheduled until October 12 due to state-mandated early voting rules.

By Marilou Newell


Dawn Tripp to Speak at the Mattapoisett Library

Dawn Tripp, author of the award-winning book Georgia: a Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe, will be speaking at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library as part of its Purrington Series on Sunday, October 2 at 2:00 pm. Books will be available for purchase and signing, and a reception sponsored by the Library Trust will follow the presentation.

Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, Tripp is the author of three previous novels: Moon Tide; The Season of Open Water; and Game of Secrets, a Boston Globe bestseller. Her essays have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, The Rumpus, Psychology Today, and NPR. She graduated from Harvard and lives on the south coast with her family.

Georgia, a national bestseller, has been described as “magical and provocative” by USA Today and was characterized as “complex and original” by the New York Times Book Review. The novel is also a finalist for the New England Book Award.

Please make a reservation for the free event by calling the library at 508-758-4171 or emailing spizzolo@sailsinc.org.

The Mattapoisett Library is located at 7 Barstow Street and is handicapped accessible.

Marion Art Center Opening

The Marion Art Center is pleased to announce the upcoming opening of an exhibition of coastal landscapes by Peggy Call-Conley and Deidre Tao. From Friday, September 30 to Friday, November 11, both of the Art Center’s galleries will be filled with paintings by two talented artists. A reception in their honor will be held on Friday, September 30 at the Marion Art Center from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The Marion Art Center is a not-for-profit organization located at 80 Pleasant Street, Marion. The reception is free and open to the public, as is admission to the exhibit during regular gallery hours (Tuesday – Friday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm and Saturday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm).

Gateway Youth Hockey

Gateway Gladiator Squirts opened the season with a 14-0 win over Hanover. The offense started off strong and never let up. Brayden Cannon, Tom Clavell and Ben Hebbel led the offensive attack with three goals each. Brayden Hathon (2), John Goll (1), Bree Killion (1) and Elizabeth Kilpatrick (1) all contributed to the scoring attack as well. Assists were plentiful as the team came out with a great passing offense led by Hathon (4) and Kilpatrick (2). In net, Ryan Killion played strong, stopping both shots he faced.

The Gladiator Squirts followed up on their Saturday season opening win with an 11-0 win on Sunday morning. In net, Ryan Killion stopped all six shots he faced including a late game onslaught to record his second straight shutout. The offensive attack was led by Clavell’s four goals. Also contributing to the offense were Patrick Tripp (2), Hathon (2), Kilpatrick (2) and Patrick Duggan (1). The entire team contributed with assists and another strong passing attack.

Huybertie Hamlin: A Witness To History

He hands me the fragile envelopes containing letters between two women – women whose half-century of friendship, of fond regard for one another, is documented through written words.

David Anderson, a Mattapoisett resident, has once again invited me to peek into the past – a past preserved in his family’s letters that he so graciously hands to me. He is especially keen to show me a letter sent to his grandmother, Mary B. H. Ransom, from her friend Huybertie Pruyn Hamlin (1873-1964). Hamlin, I would learn, had a relationship with the Roosevelts and often spent time at the White House.

I slip the letter from the tiny, slim envelope. It seems too small to contain important historical references as promised by Anderson. But then I read, “It has been a wonderful six weeks here full of historic events. I saw the ‘Union of Nations’ agreement signed in the President’s study Friday evening. I stood by the desk, he signed first, then Churchill then Litvinoff and finally Soong for China. It is a great paper. I also went with the President and Mrs. R and Mr. Churchill and his party to New Year Service at Christ Church in Alexandria and then to Mt. Vernon where Mr. Churchill placed a wreath on the tomb. Best wishes, H.P. Hamlin.” The letter was written on January 5, 1942.

            Hamlin was a summer resident in Mattapoisett for many decades. As a frequent guest of the Roosevelts, with whom her family was well acquainted, she had occasions to meet many of the international movers and shakers of those bygone days.

As the wife of Charles Hamlin, the first governor of the Federal Reserve Board, the White House was a familiar place to her. Several Hamlin letters were written on White House stationary.

Anderson tells me that the document Hamlin spoke of was the precursor to the creation of the United Nations that will celebrate its 75th anniversary in January 2017. He feels it is timely to share Hamlin’s letter describing her firsthand account of the historic signing.

As we read passages from the letters Ransom received from Hamlin, Anderson passes along bits of family folklore and historical facts.

Anderson believes that his grandmother’s membership in the Women’s Democratic Club, as well as her prominent position as postmistress, aided in bringing the two women close. In spite of that shared connection, Anderson doubts they would have socialized.

“My grandmother was a commoner. Mrs. Hamlin was a Brahmin,” Anderson said. “That’s the way it was back then,” he added.

He speculates that maybe Ransom’s securing of the esteemed position of postmistress was influenced by Hamlin’s connections in Washington. It’s not so far-fetched. Regardless, the two women remained close via letters for five decades.

The letters are like time capsules that intrigue and conspire, pushing Anderson to continue his research and investigations looking into the past and preserving it for the future.

He points to a set of letters from Hamlin with thick, black borders. Anderson said, “I think she was in mourning.” He says the Hamlins had only one child, Anna, who perished in her early twenties. One can’t help but be touched, even now, by this mother’s sorrow.

Another missive from Hamlin dated November 28, 1941 is precious for how it allows her personality to come through. She wrote to Ransom, “I am sleeping in Lincoln’s huge walnut bed. The back reaches up about ten feet and is all carved with fruit and birds, a really hideous Victorian product.” You can almost hear her chuckling.

In that same letter Hamlin laments, “But I miss my dear Mattapoisett terribly. I find it hard to walk or ride, walk again after seventeen months of sand and woods. I love the peace and quiet and my lovely glassed in piazza … and the dear dogs.” Hamlin’s summer home was located on Ned’s Point at the very end facing the harbor. It was known as the Shattuck house in her day. The Hamlins also owned a large farm estate across the road.

Anderson has not confined his research solely to the family letters. On his desk is a copy of Old Mattapoisett: A Summer Portrait by Edward Wood. (A volume is available for check-out at the library.) The book is an authoritative collection of facts and pictures well worth the reading for those interested in local history.

Anderson’s joy in studying the family letters and sharing them comes shining through as he says with a broad smile, “Isn’t it wonderful!” Yes, it most certainly is.

To learn more about Huybertie Hamlin visit http://melvilliana.blogspot.com/2016/04/huybertie-lansing-pruyn-hamlin-1873.html or check out Wood’s book where Mattapoisett summers are forever captured within its pages.

By Marilou Newell


Bird Island Restoration Changes Approved

The Marion Conservation Commission on September 8 approved some modifications in the Bird Island restoration project plan during a special meeting held specifically for this one agenda item.

Carolyn Mostello of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife and Adam Burnett from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District described some of the grading changes in the plan, mostly in relation to the historic lighthouse located on the island.

Mostello explained that a “small bump of material” consisting of coarse sand and gravel, which is only 6 inches higher than the base of the lighthouse, would drain stormwater rapidly, circumventing any stormwater flow towards the lighthouse base.

“I don’t think there’s any cause for concern over any changes,” Mostello said. “That ‘bump’ really is just going to occur to the southeast and it’s only six inches.”

Burnett reiterated that the grade of the land, relative to the lighthouse, slopes outward. From the lighthouse, over the course of 50 feet, the grading increase to the southeast would be gradual, saying, “To someone’s eye … it’s going to be essentially flat.”

“There won’t be any issues regarding drainage,” Burnett said. He added that the finest materials used for fill at the site would be a medium-sized sand with course gravel. “No fine material around the base of the lighthouse.”

Mostello said that the project to restore the nesting habitat of the common tern and roseate tern is on-track for completion by April 7; however, if there is a need to delay the completion of the project, workers would have until early May before terns begin the nesting season.

The commission approved the changes to the project’s original Order of Conditions.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, September 14 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry