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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Historical Commission Minutes 09/14/17
Present for the Historical Commission and attending the meeting were:  Jane Slater, Chair,    Lenny Jason, Jim Malkin, Steve Flanders and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Duncan Caldwell also attended.  Barbara Armstrong, John Flender and Steve McGhee did not attend.

The meeting came to order at 4:08 PM.

Duncan Caldwell Discussion:  The Commission welcomed Mr. Caldwell and invited him to briefly elaborate on the two subjects he would like to discuss.

The first involves the historic cape c. 1712 on Preston Harris’s property located on Map 9        Lot 2.4 that was sold to New Property MV, LLC in 2014.  Mr. Caldwell explained that            Mr. Harris told him several murals were drawn on the walls and covered with plaster.  They were described as sea and land animals.  Mr. Caldwell believed they could date back to the first Christian segment of the Wampanoag Tribe.  He explained it is his understanding the architects who designed the restoration of the original cape took photos of the house before work began.  Mr. Jason handed several color prints of photos of drawings on wooden boards he was able to obtain through the contractor.  Mr. Caldwell was very appreciative and said he did not know if these are the ones described to him by Mr. Preston.  

Mr. Caldwell further explained neighbors claimed to have seen the sketches.  The Commission asked if they would try and sketch their recollection of what they had seen.  Mr. Caldwell added this is not possible because they saw the drawings long ago and their memory of the detail is too vague.

Mr. Caldwell asked if the Commission would send a letter to the owner asking for additional photos.  The Commission suggested showing the photos Mr. Jason provided to the neighbors to see if they represent what they saw.  They also agreed that Mr. Jason would send a letter to the owner thanking him for the provided photos and asking if they would provide copies of any additional photos they may come across in the future.

Mr. Caldwell’s second topic involves the construction going on at 387 Middle Rd.  He believes the large rock piles on this property and across the island may have been used for ancient ceremonial purposes.  He added he thinks he found two points that may be quite rare.  He said he phoned the new owners seeking permission to dig a small trench and perform an archaeological assessment on the site near Middle Road to find further evidence.  The Commission asked how his request was received by the owners.  At first they expressed concern that he was on their property without permission and during the conversation researched his background and determined his request was genuine.

The Commission suggested since Mr. Caldwell has already established contact with the owners he should send a private letter seeking permission for his work.  

Mr. Caldwell thanked the Commission for its time.

Time will be reserved for topics the Chair did not reasonably anticipate:  Chuck H. explained Warren Kantrowitz submitted a request to restore the small section of stone wall (approximately 160 feet) that runs down island from Wooten Bassett Rd. on the north side of South Rd.  Mr. Jason pointed out this land is owned by someone else.  The Commission asked Chuck H. to let Mr. Kantrowitz know he first needed to obtain a letter of consent from the property owner before they would consider the request.

Administration:  The April 18, 2017 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 4:00 PM.  It was unanimously agreed Steve McGhee should chair the meeting.

With no further business the meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.  

Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, CAS.

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Chilmark Town Offices: Chilmark Town Offices: 401 Middle Road, P.O. Box 119 02535-0119