Letter from the Kingsbury Pond Committee about the progress volunteers are making at the Grist Mill – great news -
Ann E. Krawec
Kingsbury Pond Committee
402 Main Street
Medfield, MA 02052
December 12, 2012
To the Board of Selectmen,
On behalf of our colleagues on the Grist Mill Committee, Dick Judge, Garrett Graham, Andy Spencer and Ann Krawec, I am writing to thank you for your support of the Clark Kingsbury Grist Mill restoration effort, by reinstating the Kingsbury Pond Committee at your August 7,2012 meeting. The Committee has held its first two meetings, made some interior and exterior improvements, and completed a fact finding field trip to Slater Mill in nearby Pawtuxet, RI. The purpose of this letter is to keep you apprised of our progress on what we consider to be one of Medfield’s most visible historic landmarks on the Rt. 27 gateway into Medfield.
First and foremost, an effort was undertaken to shore up and rebuild the rotted and unsafe decking in front of the mill. We are very grateful for the contributions of time and materials supplied by the Medfield Highway Department in their efforts of reconstruction to the deck and their installation of new sluiceway boards. These two projects alone have provided stability and security for us to lay the foundation to begin our quest to make the mill operational again. The Kingsbury Pond Committee has a goal, to recreate the transitional phases of mill operation through the centuries- from the early Clark Mill circa 1718 or earlier, to today’s present structure circa 1819, with the addition of the sawmill in 1889. Our historical research leads us to conclude that these progressions included a waterwheel, and a turbine as Significant historical features, which we plan to combine with an educational museum component for the students and community, while providing an aesthetically pleasing scenic destination for fish ing, picnicking, hiking and bird-watching.
Since early spring of 2012, volunteer citizens, too many to mention by name, have contributed by painting the mill, completing small repairs of railings and stairway safety concerns, cleaning the 15 years of powder-post beetle sawdust and accumulated dirt in the interior, repairing the picnic table, broken windowpanes, and adding to the on- site artifacts. Vegetation management volunteers have worked on the exterior surrounding the building, to trim back and control thorny or poisonous overgrowth, improved the driveway with gravel to control dust, and participated in regular mowing and planting of bulbs and herbs and adorned the facade with seasonal decor of pumpkins, Indian corn and, at present, holiday greens and roping. Several organizations have contributed their time and talent and we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the Medfield Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and offer our sincerest appreciation for additional contributions from our local contractors including APC Pest Control, Hurley-Testa Construction, and Needham Garden Center to help preserve the structure and the landscape. Medfield’s Highway Department also did a great job installing the new split rail fence along the pond and behind the mill building as was required by the town’s insurance company.
Additional valuable assistance to note with our great appreciation, has been made by Barbara Leighton, Richard DeSorgher, our Town Historian and Curator of the Medfield Historical Society, and David Temple, President of the Historical Society and Historic District Commission member, as well as the Estate of Mike Cronin, and we would like to thank them for their support, insight, historical narrative and contributions of documents, photos and notes of previous mill restoration efforts.
In closing, we would also like to thank our Town Administrator, Mike Sullivan, and you, the Board of Selectmen, for your continued support of our efforts. We will update you periodically on our progress as we move forward to our goal of a fully operational and historic Clark Kingsbury Grist Mill, the next historic jewel in Medfield.
Ann E. Krawec
Kingsbury Pond Committee