REALIZATION OF GILBERT l. BEAN AND MARY BEAN CUNNINGHAM'S DREAMA presentation made by past president Ronald Forrest Frazier. FULL TEXT
Posted Oct 19, 2018 at 12:10 AM Updated Oct 19, 2018 at 11:06 AM
Re-opening of museum and resource center result of a revitalized Braintree Historical Society.
BRAINTREE − With an eye towards better displaying and preserving the history of the town and the world, the Braintree Historical Society rededicated the Gilbert L. Bean Barn and Mary Bean Cunningham Resource Center Thursday night.
The barn displays a variety of artifacts, including ceramics collected by the Beans.“They traveled all over the world, and they picked up a number of things wherever they went,” said Ron Frazier, a former society president who was given a number of the items now on display by Bean Cunningham on her death. He loaned them to the society.
Gilbert Bean raised the money to build the barn behind the Thayer House, which opened in 1976. Mary Bean Cunningham, who remarried following Gilbert Bean’s death, raised the money for the addition, dedicated in 1995, which was intended to house a library and research facility.
Bob Harris said much of the society’s collection was stored in an attic which was not climate controlled and left the items vulnerable to damage. The files were very disorganized, he said. Over the past two years, volunteers including members of the society and high school interns took on the task of moving items from the attic into the climate-controlled basement and organizing the society’s files and library. The job is ongoing.
Braintree High School Social Studies Department/Braintree Historical Society Partnership 2018/2019
The Braintree Historical Society is happy to have the opportunity to partner with Braintree High School in support of this year’s History of Braintree course. Students enrolled in this semester-long, research-based course will research and examine the history, geography, economy, government, and politics of the Town of Braintree, Massachusetts, from its founding in 1625 to the present day. Beginning with discussions in the 2017/2018 school year, Gorman Lee, Director of Social Studies for Braintree High School is partnering with Braintree Historical Society as a part of this year’s class.
On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, students in the History of Braintree course, Mr. Lee and Bob Harris of the Society’s Board of Directors, met at the Civil War Monument on the Town Green. After a brief discussion of the monument, Dr. Harris reviewed the Society’s three homes on Washington Street in a short walk to the Society’s Gilbert L. Barn Museum and Mary Bean Cunningham Historical Resource Center at 31 Tenney Road.
Students had an opportunity to tour the Society’s newly relocated historical library and genealogical resource center, to look at historical items on exhibit on the building’s ground level, including a Roman oil lamp, circa 70 – 100 AD (currently on loan to the Society), and to look at some of the items in storage in the building’s newly restored lower level climate-controlled collections storage area and lower level library.
Students will be exploring, investigating, and analyzing various primary source documents and artifacts that collectively tell the story of their hometown, including items in the Society’s collection. Students will contribute in developing the primary text for this course and will also complete a culminating final research project (or paper).
The Braintree Historical Society is pleased to support Dr. Lee, his students and Braintree High School in this initiative and in collaborative efforts in future years.
CATS Academy/Braintree Historical Society Partnership
The Braintree Historical Society is excited to partner with students from CATS Academy in their year-long initiative to support the Braintree Historical Society with community service.
CATS Academy, an international boarding school with locations in Great Britain and Braintree, MA provides a college preparatory curriculum with an emphasis on academic rigor and English proficiency, drawing students from across the world. (See July 2019 Lantern Online Then & Now article.)
The Academy, located in the newly-renovated former Norfolk County Hospital for the Treatment of Tuberculosis, has reached out to the Braintree Historical Society with an offer to volunteer time and effort in all areas of the Society’s needs for volunteers.
Ms. Darcy Daniels, of the CATS Academy History Department, met initially with Society Board Members, Bob Harris and Aziz Karsan to explore the opportunity for CATS students to volunteer at least one afternoon a month over the course of the 2018/2019 school year. Ms. Daniels offered to support a group of 10 to 12 students to assist the Society in tasks varying from electronically documenting collection items, to tech and social media support, to events preparation and to grounds maintenance – an offer that is welcomed with open arms!
Twelve students, Ms. Daniels, Mr. Karsan and Dr. Harris met for the first time on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 26, 2018, for the students to receive the Society’s recently-developed Volunteer Orientation presentation, to answer student questions and to tour the Society’s collection displays on the Barn’s ground level. The students, from Asia, Mexico and South America, had many questions and ideas, including how to “hook us (BHS) up” with an Instagram account with which each of the students will share their 1000 followers (a potential total of 12,000 contacts for a BHS social media Instagram account).
The CATS students and Ms. Daniels will be volunteering once weekly to help prepare for the Society’s Grand Reopening of the Gilbert L Bean Barn and Mary Bean Cunningham Historical Resource Center. The Society looks forward to energetic and enthusiastic contribution of these young volunteers.
HS - Thayer Academy - 2018 Intern Program:
BHS was pleased to host Senior Max Wagner from Thayer Academy during the month of May 2018 for a student internship as a part of his year-end senior project.
Max toured the Society’s General Sylvanus Thayer House & Museum and the Gallivan House, had the opportunity to view many of the Society’s collection items and had the opportunity to learn about both famous and infamous aspects of Braintree’s history. In addition to working to relocate and restore the Society’s computer and internet systems, Max played a major role in moving collection items stored in the Barn loft and the attic, in reorganizing spaces on the first and basement floors of the building and in repairing parts of the building and collection items.
Girl Scouts Program
Boy Scouts Program
In collaboration with the Braintree Historical Society and the Braintree Public Schools 3rd and 5th grade students will visit the General Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace during the first two weeks of June 2018 for their annual "Braintree, Our Town" field trip.
Through guided talks by volunteers and demonstrations of the crafts and chores necessary for everyday living, they will experience what life was like for Sylvanus as a little boy growing up in Braintree at that time.
What is it? October
What was it ? September
Go to Curator's Corner to see more of our collection:SEE MORE
Over the last month, BHS launched a new Volunteer Initiative. We hosted two very successful Volunteer Orientation sessions. We had a full house of Volunteers bringing new energy, ideas, enthusiasm, and learning about the incredible history and legacy of the Braintree Historical Society, founded in 1930. Our goal for this Initiative is to increase our volunteers to 100 over the course of the coming year. Won't you join us? Volunteer
Appointments should be made at least two days in advance
by emailing BHS at email@example.com to confirm availability. Group Tours are encouraged.