These past two Saturdays, October 19th and 26th, over two dozen volunteers, ranging in age from 16 to 82, helped prepare the Lowell Mason House at Hinkley Park on Green Street for winter. Projects included clearing weeds and other debris around the outside of the house, weatherproofing and cleaning the interior, painting parts of the exterior and window trim, and installing siding.
Volunteers included lifelong residents of Medfield and relative newcomers, all of whom helped preserve the birthplace of one of Medfield’s favorite sons and the man considered to be the Father of Music Education in America’s schools, Lowell Mason. The house, which dates from the mid 1700’s, also has two reused beams in the attic which testing has shown date from 1651, the year of Medfield’s incorporation, making the structure historically significant in its own right. Many thanks are extended to the volunteers for all of their hard work.
Had it not been the grassroots efforts of Medfield residents and music educators, this historic house might have been lost. Back in 2010 the house, located on Adams Street, was sold to a developer with plans to tear it down in order to build a two-family home. Medfield’s Historic Commission approved a demolition delay which enabled sufficient time to successfully fundraise and move the house to safety at Hinkley Park.
Many people stopped by to talk to the volunteers about the work, and a number of them took the opportunity to tour the house. When restoration is complete, part of the house will be opened as a Lowell Mason museum, with artifacts donated by the Mason family, including Lowell Mason’s personal Bible, family portraits, handwritten manuscripts and his passport from his 1852 European tour. Continued financial support is critical to make this a reality. Prior fundraising efforts will enable permanent structural supports to be installed in the basement before year end; future efforts will be used for preservation and restoration work.
The Lowell Mason House will conduct its 2013 Annual Appeal this holiday season. Medfield residents and businesses should expect to receive the appeal card in the mail the first week of December and all support will be much appreciated. For questions on the continued work on the Lowell Mason House, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.