Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And, The Walls Came A-Tumblin' Down

It seems that recently I have re-visited somethings I have written about in the past. Not sure why exactly. Maybe its trying to tidy up, and finish something left undone.

I am going in that direction again today.

This time, it is a matter of public safety.

There is a house on Main Street in Fiskdale, beside the Blackington Building, that is abandoned, and not only an eyesore for the town, but a tinderbox. From the outside, it looks that a lot of work was being done on the house many years ago, but abruptly stopped. There is still construction material surrounding the property, ladders, and more. The shrubbery is of control, and what work was initially done on the property has been destroyed by the elements.

At one time the grand old house was a fine structure. Overlooking the Mill Pond on the Quinebaug River, it stood proudly for many, many years till it fell into disrepair. Now, I am only surmisin', but if there is a listed owner, and the property is uninhabitable, isn't there a way for the Town of Sturbridge demand that the property be brought up to code, or condemn it?

Of course there is. Just look what the Inspector is set to do with the abandoned properties over in Southbridge.

I also wonder that if this abandoned property is current with its taxes? Maybe it is, but given the extent of disrepair of the house, and land, I imagine it is not. If so, then the town should take the property, and either restore it, and sell the property for a profit, or tear it down.

Recently a home sat empty for a long time just to the left of the abandoned property sold, and the new owners have been working hard to rehab that old house. All their work would be lost if the other abandoned house fell on top of it, or worse. Or, the neglected property could fall the other way onto the little wooden building nestled beside the Blacking Building.

Either way, it would be a disaster.

This is a matter of public safety. The towns selectmen, Fire Department, and Building Inspector must address the issue today.

Not only is it an issue of public safety, but the building gives the entirely wrong impression to our visitors that come to Sturbridge through our "western gateway".

However, if the building continues to stand there, untouched over the summer, then it may be giving just the right impression.

Recently, there was a meeting to brainstorm ideas to enliven the downtown of Sturbridge. Hey! I have an idea, let's start by cleaning up what has been neglected for years.

If you feel the same, please forward this post to those in power that are able to do something. The Building Inspector would be a could start. Let's see how quickly the town responds. My bet is that the Selectmen will move quickly.

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