May 8, 2020
Dear Friend of the Swift River Valley Historical Society,
Thank you for helping us have one of the most successful seasons yet at the Society. The quilt exhibit in June brought in scores of new people to visit and learn about the four lost towns. Our attendance over the summer far exceeded that of the last few years and our docents continue to lead tours and do an excellent job of explaining life in the Swift River Valley before it was flooded. Our successful year ended with an exhibit at the Big E, where over 600,000 people visited “The Lost Towns of the Quabbin” and learned about the Swift River Valley Historical Society. Several exhibits migrated from the museum to the Big E; all made it back in good condition.
To build on our success, the Society has identified some projects that need to be completed around the museum. The most pressing is the repair of the steeple on the Pres-cott church. The church, built in 1837, spent its first 100 years on the Prescott Peninsula. In the 1930’s, at the crea-tion of the Quabbin Reservoir, it was moved to South Main Street in Orange and be-came the Prescott Historical Society. In 1986, it was moved again to the present loca-tion at the SRVHS. It is, arguably, the best travelled church in the country.
The church and its steeple have undergone changes over the years. It was originally a “double steeple” but survives today as a single cupola. Rain, storms, wind, and vermin have taken their toll and the steeple needs to be repaired.
Yes, this letter is an appeal for funds to help us repair the church to its former glory. But the first part of this letter, the church’s journey and uses, was included so that you can see both the historical and the architectural necessity of the restoration. Please consider all the church has already gone through and contribute gener-ously to its next 150 years.
President, Board of Directors
Swift River Valley Historical Society, Inc.