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Nichewaug Video Tour 1993

Community Garden Plots Available

Wondering where to plant those tomatoes? There will be up to five free plots available this spring in the community garden behind the library. The plots arecomputer repair approximately 40 feet by 50 feet and fertile. They may be rototilled as the growing season begins. More info: fridaymarket@petershamcommon.com

UU Mass Action Presentation

Laura Wagner, executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network will be the guest speaker on Sunday, March 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Congregational Parish Unitarian, Petersham. The presentation will be held at the Davis Memorial Hall, 3 West Street in Petersham, MA.

Montessori School Bingo

The Petersham Montessori School will host Family Book Bingo at 4 p.m. March 23 in Town Hall. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Pizza, snacks and cupcakes will be for sale.

Let's Go for a Walk

Gather with the Council on Aging on the common at 11:30 a.m. on March 6 for the first healthy walkgodin program around the common. Contact Sandy Page 978-724-3273 for more information.

Go HERE for a permit to burn brush.

Classes at the Art Center

The Petersham Art Center has several spring classesrices roots farm coming up. All classes are held at the Petersham Art Center, 8 North Street, Petersham. Call 978-724-3415 for more information and to register.Sat, March 23, 1-4PM Pysanky egg decorating in time for Easter. Mark Hamel and Ed LeSage are stained glass and tapestry artists who have been teaching traditional Ukrainian Pysanky egg decorating at PAC for many years. Well over 2,000 years ago, people were carrying on the custom of decoratingsolar installations eggs. Learn the techniques to create treasures, using wax and dye. Ages: 8 & up Cost: $15 members/ $35 non-member/$3  materials.

Sat, April 13, 10AM-4PM. “From Capture to Display” Ron Rosenstock, internationally known photographer, will conduct a one-day workshop on how to prepare photographs for an exhibition. Learn how to cut mats and frame your photographs to museum standards. Everyone will have a hands-on experience with a 32-inch, classic Logan mat cutter. All materials needed will be supplied. Topics to be covered include:atholhospital choosing a theme for your exhibit, effective editing, pricing your work, and finding a venue in which to exhibit. Cost: $65 members/$85 non-members (includes $25 material fee)

Sue Morello of Sheldon Farm baskets will return for a basket weaving class on Sat, March 30, from 9AM-12Noon. Participants will make a pie basket to
hold culinary treasures. The basket may be woven with a colorful pattern to use it for Easter or woven plain for everyday enjoyment. The cost is $15 for
members/$35 non-members/$18 material fee.


Wednesdays, March 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24, and May 1, 6-8PM. Learn the art of fly tying from Bill Manser, member of Trout Unlimited, Millers River Chapter, and instructor for fly quabbin retreat fishing with Veterans Outreach. You will learn fly tying techniques for capturing northeast trout and others. Get ready for the spring fishing season! $60 members/$80 non-members/$20 materials fee.

Petersham Partners Is Forming

Petersham Partners, a new membership-based volunteer service, is currently working on a membership fee structure and what services it will be providing. The group will keep the community updated monthly on its progress. A committee hopes to be up and running in approximately eight months. It is compiling a list of service providers that Town Seniors use on a regular basis. The goal is to provide a vetted list of professionals, with references, for use by seniors. Examples of service providers would be electricians, plumbers, carpenters, home handy people, tech services, yard work or landscapers. If you have reliable professionals you have used that you would like to add to our list please contact: Sandy Page at 978-724-3273 or sandypage@gmail.com.

robinson lumber

Dump Stickers Available

Resident stickers for the transfer station are available at the Selectboard office. The cost is $25.00 cash or check made out to Town of Petersham for 2 stickers only. The new stickers are yellow.

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Send it here: info@petershamcommon,com

Petershamcommon.com has been putting local Petersham news and information online since 1996. This website averages 10,000 page views each month - more than anystone harvest farm other source of local Petersham news. It is a good place to spread the word about community events so all can see. There is an Opinion Page open for  thoughts and comments from everyone -- just like Letters to the Editor in a newspaper.

This website is NOT an official outlet for town government. It presents fact-basedasdf reporting about town government and news about local events. The site is updated nearly every day, so please put us on your list when sending out your news. Simple text e-mails listing who, what, when, where and why do nicely - no PDFs and no posters please.
Send it here: info@petershamcommon,com

Friday Market Totes Are Here

Sturdy and stylish, reusable Friday Market shopping tote bags that can be used on any shopping trip are now available at The Country Store, at Quabbin Woods and at the Memorial Library. Or request a bag by e-mail to fridaymarket@petershamcommon.com.earthlands

These commodious totes are available for a donation of $10 or more to support the 20-week Friday Market music program on the common. The market opens again on June 8 and each Friday through October.small tote

Get Some Free Stuff
You Can't Beat These Prices
At the Dump

Transfer Station (DUMP) Fees

Calendar of Town Committee Meetings

what's open

Free Property Valuation Booklet

The Valuation and Taxes of the Town of Petersham for the Year 2016 booklet is available at the Petersham Town Offices at the Board of Assessors Office, the Selectboard Office and the Petersham Memorial Library during regular business hours. Interested Petersham taxpayers are invited to pick up a free copy.

February Selectboard Office Hours

Monday 8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Tuesday 8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday
8  a.m. – 4  p.m.
Friday Closed

Selectboard Meeting Dates 2019

Petersham Selectboard Regular Meeting Dates
January 2019–April 2019
Regular start time at 6:30 p.m. unless determined otherwise for circumstances.
Additional meetings may be scheduled as the need arises.

March 2019
Tuesday March 12 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday March 19 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday March 26 6:30 p.m.

April 2019
Tuesday April 9 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday April 16 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday April 23 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday April 30 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Anne Gobi

Petersham Town Offices,
March 26  1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Rep. Susannah Whipps

 our hisory

Official Town Website -

Committee meeting notices are posted at  www.mytowngovernment.org

Colorful Fish

If only the river were this blue...
Photos from Petersham, Surrey, England

and A Place to Stay the Night


eddies wheels


Harvard Forest - Fisher Museum

"Great Plates, Eat Out."




Sherry Berube Picked as Selectboard Aide

Selectmen Tuesday Mar 12 voted to offer Sherry Berube of West Street the part-time position of Administrative Coordinator and to advertise to find another person to replace Sherry as part-time assistant in the office. The board said the move will allow thehardwick coop Selectboard office to be open four days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Fridays.

Berube was the first runner  up in 2012 when the late Steve Boudreau of Barre took over the job and more recently served as Boudreau's part time asistant.

The board met with Fire Chief Dana Robinson and Town Clerk Diana Cooley to discuss upcoming budget requests. Cooley said the elections budget will go down slightly because 2019 is "a light year." She said the low turnout of six percent of voters for town elections althea bramhallon March 4 "...probably cost us $30 per vote." The total town clerk expense budget will fall from  $17,640 to $16,485. Final totals are pending a determination of cost of living adjustments.

Fire Chief and Town Treasurer Dana Robinson said he will be seeking a new fire truck this year to replace a 40-year-old pumper. He projected the cost at $280,000 if approved. The fire department budget will rise from $30,725 to $31,126 in fiscal 2020. The 2020 budget year begins July 1.

The board learned that Petersham will be receiving up to $250,869 in state Chapter 90 highway construction funds in fiscal 2020.

Three Historic District Projects Are in the Works

The Historic District Commission Feb. 21 approved changes to an exit door from The Country Store's rear seating area intended to improve fire safety. The Commission also scheduled a public hearing  for March 18 (7 p.m. at the library) on plans to re-work an exterior door at the town hall to make way for a handicap lift system that will serve both berube real estateupper and lower halls.

The Town Hall Handicap Access Committee recently got notice that the state will fund $70,000 of the $80,000 estimated project cost.

The committee has received a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Disability to install a lift system inside the building that will connect the upper and lower halls and provide access from outside the building as well. An existing door on the south front side of the building will be moved lower but no major exterior change is planned. Terms of the  grant require the project to be completed by June 30.

The East Quabbin Land Trust, which owns the Coutry Store building, filed the application. Cynthia Henshaw, the trust's executive director, said the goal is to increase the store's safety." The re-made door will fit in with the store building's current look, she said. well domes

The commission also scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. March 21 on the trust's application to install 86 solar panels on the building's south-facing main roof and ell that could reduce the store's electric consumption by 62 percent. Henshaw said the project is intended to "keep the store sustainable."

Henshaw and Ann Lewis, a member of the trust Administration and Finance committee, said the plan is to install a total of 86 black solar panels on the two roofs. Lewis said the cost of the project, "... is not for publication." But she said the estimated cost of the solar panels has jumped 25 percent recently, "...probably because of tariffs."

Nichewaug Community Conversation on Hold Until April

The continuing informal conversation about the future of the Nichewaug property on the common will pause until April. Twenty seven residents attended a sixth two-hour session Feb. 20 without finding a compromise between those who want the property demolished and those who favor renovations that would meet town needs for senior housing and more. WATERWHEEL

Several residents said demolition would leave a gaping hole in the historic common. Others said renovation for new uses would harm the town center by adding too much new activity. Those who favor demolition say the vacant property is a safety hazard and a liability. The town is now paying about $54,000 a year for a loan that was used to remove asbestos floor and ceiling tiles from the 100,000 square foot complex. Demolition estimates range upwards of another $500,000. The town pays to mow lawns, for insurance and for an intrusion alarm system, but has deferred other spending for maintenance for a decade.

Others have offered a detailed plan for partial demolition and construction of senior housing but no plans for funding such a project.witty funeral home

Town Moderator Bart Wendell, who has led the informal Nichewaug meetings, has said a third option could be to take no action now. Several residents suggested that the town could seek a Community Development Block Grant of $20,000 to $40,000 to evaluate the condition of the buildings and propose a way forward. The town owns the property which comprises a large historic former inn and a 1950s-era brick-faced high school classroom building. The conversation will resume in April.

Roy Nilson, publisher of this website, is an immediate Nichewaug abutter.

A Warm Snack Often Does the Trick on a Cold Day

Petersham Animal Control Log
January 2019


01/07 @9:15a Resident called to state cat has been missing for 5 days and she believes it is now in tree near home and will not come down. Gave advice re: warming food, other smells, etc. Owner able to coax cat down with warmed food.original tire co

01/08 @7:15a Cat in shelter brought to Second Chance for neuter, vaccinations, and vet check.

@4p Pick up cat from Second Chance and return to shelter

01/09@4p Resident called to state there is a porcupine in barn that will not go out and it is time to feed animals in barn. Assisted in encouraging the healthy porcupine to move on.

01/13@12p Cat in shelter off to his new home.

01/20@11a Assist Hardwick ACO with situation regarding several dogs running at large.

01/24@4:15p Accompany Animal Inspector during visit after a complaint regarding animal welfare was received.

01/24@7:45p Resident called to report skunk in enclosed dog pen; unable to dig under fence. Gave advice to resident to entice skunk to climb over fence. Resident called back 15 minutes later to report the attempt was successful. Skunk ran off.

01/25@10:30a Resident reports dog running at large. After given a description of dog, suggested an owner very near where dog was found. Caller returned dog to address given. Discussion with owners.

01/26@9a Resident reports seeing a cat crossing 122; has seen in the past. Contact made with potential owner of cat.

01/26@11a Resident reports very large dog in North Common Meadow. Owner of dog contacted and dog restrained.

01/27@8p Contact from resident regarding the re-homing of two cats. Advice given.

01/28@9a Call from local medical office (human) regarding a dog bite to human. Records for dog obtained from veterinary office, spoke with owner, dog under home quarantine for 10 days.

01/28@12p Call from New Salem ACO regarding lost dog and need for possible short term housing. ACO feels the dog is aggressive; will contact when ready to transport.

01/28@1p Assist Athol ACO for afternoon.

01/29@3p Assist Athol ACO.

01/31@4:30p Spoke with resident regarding care of dogs in winter. Follow up planned.



winter tea

Greater Petersham Community Chorus Planned


Do you love to sing? Are you interested in joining your voice with those of others to create music under the direction of a talented and energetic director?caledonia

A group of residents from Petersham and Barre met recently with Nym Cooke, a choral director and teacher at the Eagle Hill School in Hardwick. He has experience directing choruses and an interest in bringing a community chorus to the Petersham area. He is looking for a critical number of committed people (at least 20 – 30 singers, with 8 – 12 men) to sing music of all genres in four-part harmony.

The group would expect members to pay some dues, to be willing to work pretty hard, to attend rehearsals regularly, and to perform in at least 2 concerts per year. The plan is to have a musician to accompany rehearsals and at performances. Young people are welcome to join if they love music and the chance to share their voices. Rehearsals will be at the UU church in Petersham and chorus members are welcome to join from all of the local towns.

The group plans to get together with Nym in early Spring of 2019 to let him know about the level of interest in the greater Petersham community and make further plans.
If you or your friends and family would like to participate or even just express  interest, get in touch with Diane Nassif at dianenassif@gmail.com or 978-724-3436.

Broadband Project Timeline Detailed

The Broadband committee said Feb. 1 that the state has signed an agreement that guarantees an $880,000 reimbursement for Petersham's local broadband system.

Broadband chairman Chip Bull said, "The state has (now) guaranteed Broadband reimbursement in the amount of $880,000 even though our borrowing amount was voted for $800,000. This will provide a final reduction to the previously approved $560,000 making our out-of-pocket cost $480,000 -- by far the lowest cost among the state's 40 plus "unserved communities."

The payment will be made after the system is up and running.  Town meeting voters agreed to borrow $800,000 for the work only after the state agreed to reimburse the money after the system is installed. 

Chairman Chip Bull said some homes could be connected to the planned new system in time for the June town meeting. Chris Lynch from Matrix Design said 75 percent of town will be hooked up by the time school opens in the fall. He said the system will serve nearly all properties in town and could be fully operational by Christmas.

Utility company "make-ready work" is scheduled to start in early March and be done by the end of May, he said. Bull said the town may decide not to connect to the state's "middle-mile" fiber cables because the cost is prohibitive but will still bear the expense of relocating those cables on utility poles to make room for the town's high-speed cables.

OPINION: Send Us Your Opinions About the Nichewaug MORE

State Certifies 2019 Local Tax Rate

Mass Department of Revenue has certified the town's fiscal year 2019 Tax Rate at $16.93 per thousand. The 2018 rate was $16.37 per thousand of assessed value. The increase is .56 cents per thousand of value.

property tax chart

The Friday Market  -- MORE


Town Hall Access Committee Report

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