The Sangerville Historical Society can overcome challenges with the help of the community
For the editor; This week has been difficult for the Société historique de Sangerville. We learned a few days ago that the select committee voted unanimously to eliminate the traditional request for SHS funding from the city’s annual term.
For the editor;
This week has been difficult for the Société historique de Sangerville. We learned a few days ago that the select committee voted unanimously to eliminate the traditional request for SHS funding from the city’s annual term. At a restricted meeting of the Board of Directors on Wednesday, February 2, we learned that the Board considers the Society to be a “social service”. We do not share their point of view.
The SHS is a preservation group that helps the town protect its identity as a community with a rich past. The select committee will no longer examine any request for financing from the Company. This means that there will no longer be an article on the city’s annual meeting mandate that would allow citizens to determine whether they think the Society deserves a small part of the city’s budget.
We explored the possibility of circulating a petition to introduce an article about the upcoming term that would ask for continued financial support from the city. Unfortunately, such a method requires submitting the petition 45 days before the municipal assembly. The select committee is working hard to organize the 2022 municipal assembly this month. This makes it impossible for the SHS to submit an article for inclusion in the terms of reference.
For the past few years, SHS has requested $800 from the city each year to pay the liability insurance premium ($706) for our museum, but this year requested $1,000 due to rising costs. The balance of our expenses (water, sewer, electricity) are covered by membership dues and the money we can raise through fundraising. We straddle a thin financial line. Efforts to maintain/improve the museum building, create artifact exhibits, and publish newsletters are constrained by our financial limitations.
So what does this unexpected financial dilemma mean for SHS? Above all, this does not mean that the Société historique de Sangerville has been dissolved. We are still a viable group dedicated to serving our community. The SHS will continue its mission to collect, catalog, preserve, restore and display artifacts and memorabilia that paint a picture of the remarkable history of our city and its citizens.
Our accomplishments, other than archiving, fundraising, and maintaining the museum, include the following: took over temporary ownership of the former Abbie Fowler School so the city could obtain state and federal grants for the removal of hazardous materials; provided funds to repair some registers in the old town; sponsored and organized the Sangerville Days; took care of the flower boxes of the welcome panel until two years ago; organized and raised funds for the old Battle Honor Roll and helped raise funds for its later replacement; held public presentations, including on Maine’s historic preservation and genealogy; organized an economic development committee with the aim of attracting businesses to the community, welcoming those who have settled in the city; and to improve internet service – this effort failed when little guidance was provided by city officials during a transition period for city managers; and the SHS spent time researching ancestral information requests that freed office workers. We have and continue to work for the betterment of Sangerville, which includes the preservation of its rich history.
How can I help you? First of all, we hope you will continue your membership. Your annual dues and moral support are invaluable. Consider becoming more active in the Society by:
• attend our monthly meetings and share your ideas,
• donate your time and talents (more on this will be shared in future emails/
• promote the Société historique de Sangerville. The more people who
know the Society, the more support we will receive.
The Sangerville Historical Society is only as strong as its members. Let’s work together to overcome this challenge and become a strong and optimistic society that reflects our common values to preserve our city’s past for present and future generations!
Officers of the Sangerville Historical Society
Diana Bowley, President
Tom Carone, Vice President
Dyan McCarthy Clark, Secretary
Jane Boutilier, Treasurer