Historical Commission

The Heath Historical Commission in Franklin County, Massachusetts serves to identify, preserve, and protect the historic resources of our community. We will strive to work with other town boards, committees and organizations whose interests involve community planning, preservation, and education.

Margaret Freeman (Chair)
Heather Hathwell
Scott Peterson


Update 2011-2012

“The Future of Historic Preservation: Saving the Places that Matter,” Free Public Lecture, October 6

Presented by David J. Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Preservation Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC

Deerfield, Mass. (September 23, 2016)—David J. Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Preservation Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC, will present a free public lecture, “The Future of Historic Preservation: Saving the Places that Matter,” on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in the 1824 “Brick Church,” (The First Church of Deerfield), 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Historic places create connections to our heritage that help us understand our past, appreciate our triumphs, and learn from our mistakes. Historic places help define and distinguish our communities by building a strong sense of identity. Deerfield is one of these great places in the American landscape: a Native homeland for twelve thousand years and a community of craftsmen, farmers, educators, and business people from the 17th century to the present. What’s different about Deerfield is that the scale of the 17th-century community survives intact with 26 18th-century houses and another 14 that predate 1850 along with important archeological evidence in a beautiful agricultural landscape.

Why are places like Deerfield important in America? And why should their preservation be prioritized? To ensure that their stories remain a part of our lives today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation protects and promotes historic places and maintains their own diverse collection of 27 sites. When you visit a historic site, you learn from their stories and help keep history alive.

The public lecture is part of the Think Tank sponsored by Historic Deerfield and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association with funding from The Chipstone Foundation, Milwuakee, WI, to study how local cultural organizations can work together to better benefit the American public.

David J. Brown leads the National Trust’s comprehensive preservation efforts, with four decades of experience in saving historic places and building thriving, livable communities. He oversees the Trust’s National Treasure campaigns which help protect some of the country’s most significant and threatened historic places.  David also guides the Trust’s advocacy work, oversees support for local preservation leadership, promotes preservation’s role in environmental sustainability through the Preservation Green Lab, and is leading the exploration and adaptation of new models of preservation at National Trust historic sites. From 1999-2003, David successfully led the organization’s $135 million Campaign for America’s Historic Places.

Prior to joining the National Trust, David served as the founding executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Virginia, where he produced one of the nation’s first studies on the economic impact of preservation. The study allowed the Alliance to successfully campaign for state rehabilitation tax credits, eventually leading to nearly $1 billion in credits, $3 billion in private investment, and the rehabilitation of more than 2,300 buildings since 1997.

David served as chairman of the Governor’s Commission to Study Historic Preservation in Virginia and on the board of The Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. Today, he serves on the executive committee of the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) and represents the National Trust on the Board of Trustees of the National Main Street Center.

About Historic Deerfield, Inc.

Historic Deerfield, Inc., is dedicated to the heritage and preservation of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the Connecticut River Valley. Its museums and programs provide today’s audiences with experiences that create an understanding and appreciation of New England’s historic villages and countryside.


The Heath Historic District was celebrated with an Ice Cream Social on the Common in 2008

A 2008 Ice Cream Social celebrated the creation of the Historic District

The Heath Historic District was named to the National Register in 2008 after completion and publication in 2007 of the initial survey plan of Heath’s historic features, including all buildings over 50 years old.  Heathan members of the Commission engaged in this arduous but rewarding work included Del Viarengo (the Commission chair at the time), Janis Carr, Carol-Anne Eldridge, Donald C. Freeman, Eric Grinnell, Pegge Howland and Ned Wolf. Their work is documented in the Town of Heath Historic Properties Survey Plan of 2007, prepared by the Massachusetts Historical Commission with data provided by the Heath Commissioners.

The Historical Commission is pleased to note that, just in time for the 2013 Heath Fair, six signs appeared on the main roads leading into Heath that mark the boundaries of the Heath Historic District.  We express our appreciation and gratitude to all who have worked on or with the Commission in making the posting of these signs possible, and for otherwise assisting the Commission in fulfilling its state mandate to identify, preserve, and protect the historic resources of our town.

The Commission’s current objectives are to organize the Commission’s public records in the Town Hall and to complete a history of the Heath Historical Commission, formally established by a town vote on November 3, 1975, which will also serve as orientation materials for new members. Once we complete these tasks, we will be actively seeking new members to serve on the Commission. The work is engaging and rewarding, and we hope you will consider joining us as we continue our efforts to document the history and life of Heath.

Sawyer Hall 1899

Sawyer Hall 1899


Email: historicalcommission@townofheath.org
1 East Main St Heath, MA 01346
Phone: 413-337-4934 Fax: 413-337-8542

Historical Commission meeting dates will be announced in advance of meetings
on this website and on the Heath public notification bulletin board in Sawyer Hall.


Massachusetts Historical Commission

MHC State Register of Historic Places

National Register of Historic Places - Franklin County, Massachusetts

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