Gill, Massachusetts Slate Memorial Library - Gill, Massachusetts


Commission Members:
Ivan Ussach, Chair, 413-773-3830
Kit Carpenter, 413-863-2505
Bev Demars, 413-863-4792
Stuart Elliott, 413-863-9708
Lynda Hodsdon Mayo, 413-863-8103
Pam Shoemaker
Lynn Stowe Tomb, 413-863-2475

Mailing Address: 325 Main Road, Gill, MA 01354-9758

Meeting schedule: The Commission generally meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Riverside Municipal Building, 54 French King Highway, Gill. Please contact the Chair to confirm the meeting time and to be included on the agenda.

Riverside Village Historic District - Information Meeting 2/21/2017

The Gill Historical Commission (GHC) is pleased to announce a public information meeting to discuss the proposed nomination to the National Register of Historic Places of the "Riverside Village Historic District."

The meeting will take place Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7 PM at the Riverside Municipal Building, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), Gill. In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 7 PM at the same location.

Owners of property within the proposed Riverside Village Historic District recently received a letter from the Massachusetts Historical Commission announcing the February 21st meeting, providing information about what it means to have a property listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and outlining the process to file comments or objections about the nomination. The Town of Gill, which owns three properties within the proposed District, received the letter and notices, which can be viewed here: Property owner letter and notices

The February 21 informational meeting was also advertised in the Legal Notices section of the 2/6/2017 issue of The Recorder. The text of the legal notice appears below, and a copy of the ad from The Recorder can be viewed here: Legal Notice for 2/21 meeting

BOSTON, MA 02125

NOTICE OF NOMINATION TO THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES, Gill, Massachusetts: Proposed Riverside Village Historic District.
Proposed district includes properties on French King Highway, Grove Street, Meadow Street, Myrtle Street, Oak Street, Pine Street, Riverview Drive, Walnut Street

A public information meeting at which the proposed nomination will be discussed will be held at the Riverside Municipal Building, 54 French King Highway, Gill, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at 7 P.M. In the event of inclement weather the meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 22 at 7 P.M.

The nomination will be considered by the State Review Board of the Massachusetts Historical Commission on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at the Massachusetts State Archives, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston (Dorchester), MA.

The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government's official list of historic properties worthy of preservation.

*consideration in the planning for federally assisted projects
*eligibility for certain Federal tax benefits
*consideration of historic values in the decision to issue a surface coal mining permit where coal is located
*qualification for federal grants for historic preservation when funds are available

Owners of private properties nominated to the National Register of Historic Places must be given an opportunity to concur in or object to listing in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980 and federal regulations 36 CFR Part 60. An owner or partial owner of private property who chooses to object to listing is required to submit to the State Historic Preservation Office a notarized statement certifying that the party is the sole or partial owner of the private property, as appropriate, and objects to the listing. For a single privately owned property with one owner, the property will not be listed if the owner objects. For a district with multiple ownership, or for a single property with multiple owners, the district or property will not be listed if a majority of the owners objects. Each owner or partial owner of private property has one vote regardless of how many properties or what part of the property that party owns. If the property cannot be listed because the owner or majority of owners objects prior to the submission of a nomination to the Keeper of the National Register by the State, the State Historic Preservation Officer may submit the nomination to the Keeper for a determination of the eligibility of the property for inclusion in the National Register. If the property is then determined eligible for listing although not formally listed, federal agencies will be required to allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment before the agency may fund, license, or assist a project that will affect the property.

Listing in the National Register, or the determination of a property's eligibility by the keeper of the National Register, automatically brings with it inclusion in the State Register of Historic Places. The State Register provides for review of state funded, licensed, or permitted projects. If a property is listed in the National and State Registers, the owner may do anything with it that he/she wishes, unless state or federal funds, permits, or licensing are used, or unless some other regional and/or local ordinance or policy is in effect.

If an owner wishes to object to the listing of a property, a notarized objection must be submitted to Brona Simon, State Historic Preservation Officer, Massachusetts Historic Commission, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, Massachusetts, 02125, by March 8, 2017.

Inclusion in the National and State Registers of Historic Places does not guarantee that cultural resources will be preserved. Rather, it ensures that the historic value of listed properties will be considered during the planning stages of any federally or state sponsored project.

The Massachusetts Historical Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at the Massachusetts State Archives, Dorchester, MA. A copy of the nomination, and the criteria under which properties are evaluated are available from the State Historic Preservation Officer, upon request, and at the Slate Memorial Library.

If you have special needs and would like to attend the meeting, please contact the Massachusetts Historical Commission at (617) 727-8470 and staff will make any arrangements that are necessary.


Riverside, Life Along the Connecticut River in Gill, Massachusetts - a new book

Edited by Pam Shoemaker and Lynn Stowe Tomb. Designed and compiled by Lynn Stowe Tomb.

For an order form, click the link to open/download (PDF file): ORDER FORM

To receive a book, please bring your completed order form and a check or cash for a minimum donation of $42.00 to the town treasurer, Ronnie LaChance, at the Gill Town Hall. Order forms are also available at Town Hall. Town Hall is open Mon.-Thurs.

Riverside's history includes archaeological significance, some of the town's oldest homes and families, the early 1800s discovery of dinosaur tracks and visits from renowned scientists of the day, the development of water power for manufacturing at the Falls, growth of the logging industry on the River, experimental farming, and 19th-century immigration and residential settlement. Ephemera and pictures in the town's historical collection, interviews with life-long Riverside residents, and daily diaries from 1872 to 1905 have informed the text. Riverside creates a detailed and compelling account that deserves to be preserved and shared.

The study of the 1676 Battle of Great Falls, recently completed with a National Park Service grant, adds another dimension to understanding the place of the battle on the Gill shore and the massacre of hundreds of Native American refugees from King Philip's War. For the first time, native stories of the period of the war by present-day tribal members are included in the research.

Riverside has been researched and written by the members of the Gill Historical Commission: Pam Shoemaker, Lynn Stowe Tomb, Ivan Ussach, Lynda Hodsdon Mayo, Bev Demars, Kit Carpenter, and Stuart Elliot. Other contributors are: David Brule, Erving writer and teacher; Sarah Doyle, expert on the discovery of dinosaur footprints and director of Jurassic Roadshow for PVMA; Gary Sanderson, Greenfield Recorder reporter and editor; Peter Thomas, archaeologist; and Bonnie Parsons, architectural historian.

ISBN: 978-0-692-70578-0
Size: 10" x 8" -- Binding: Laminated hardcover -- Pages: 184
Available: September 2016 -- Minimum Donation: $42.00 per book
Printing: On-demand, digital printing in full color. Subsequent books printed as demand dictates.
Questions? Email:; Call: 413-863-4170 or 413-863-4792


Great Falls Battlefield Project - Next Step

The Gill Historical Commission (GHC) is pleased to invite all Gill landowners from the Riverside and Factory Hollow areas to an educational presentation about Phase II of the Great Falls Battlefield Project. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, from 7:00 - 8:30 PM at the Riverside Municipal Building (54 French King Highway). Light refreshments will be served.

For more information about the event, please view the complete flyer: "Click to open flyer"

Historical Research on Roswell Field, Gill Farmer (1804-1882)

Robert Herbert's recent paper on Roswell Field has been published on line by Mount Holyoke College. Most of you know who Roswell Field is, even if the rest of the world has yet to find out! He had a farm in Gill that included what is now Barton Cove. The old Lily Pond Quarry there was one of the most productive 19th-century sites for finding dinosaur footprints and other Early Jurassic ichnofossils.

Although obscure now, Field was quite the man about town in Gill and Greenfield and well known to prominent scientists of the day. Serendipitously, a few letters to him from those scientists still exist, giving us a glimpse into his trade in the "fossil bird tracks" and other ichnofossils when they were still great news to science and provoked considerable excitement.

View the complete paper here: "Click to open" (Used by permission of, and many thanks to Robert Herbert.