This ‘n’ That: New blurbs about recent GB Historical Society doings . . .

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Eagle Scout Project Benefits the Museum

Eagle Scouts working on the Museum lawn with Scoutmaster Chris Sweet

Our thanks go out to Eagle Scout Aleksander Kay for organizing a work party to beautify the front yard of the Museum after the large tulip tree was removed and its stump ground.

This effort served as his community service project, an important criterion for earning Eagle Scout Status. Topsoil was spread and grass planted all along the front sidewalk area, and the trunks of all newly planted trees were mulched.

Many thanks also to Scoutmaster Chris Sweet for help to facilitate the project.


¬†What’s with the vase?

Cenotaph, or ceremonial urn, commemorating the death of George Washington

Many new people moving into our community, and even our long-time residents often ask “what’s the significance of the ‘vase’ pictured on your road sign?” It’s actually not a vase, but a cenotaph.

The church elders of Saint James Parish (Christ Church until 1804) commissioned the construction of a cenotaph, or ceremonial urn, as a memorial to honor and represent the remains of our first president, soon after George Washington passed away on December 14, 1799. An unknown artisan constructed this 36″ high cenotaph from a solid piece of wood, which was hand carved on a turned lathe.

In November, 1991, the GBHS was made aware that the cenotaph was to be auctioned. After a failed attempt to purchase it before the auction, Israel Sack, Inc. of New York bought it at the auction for $25,300.

After many calls from Society members and the local newspapers, Israel Sack agreed to let the Society buy it for the same price and gave the Society four months to raise the money. Although the fundraising fell a bit short, the following year Sack generously allowed the purcase for less than what they paid for it. It was placed on public display for the first time in May, 2006.


New Board of Directors members and Volunteers needed!

The GBHS is on the hunt for new members of the Board of Directors, and also for volunteers to be part of our Society and the Museum’s continued growth and service to the community.

If you’re looking for a creative outlet for your energies, please consider joining our Board. There’s no money or length of residency requirement, just a desire to donate your time and energy to a worthy cause.

Volunteers are needed to help give tours at the Museum, help create displays and exhibits, assist at tag sales, with letter writing, etc. We can put your talent to good use. For more information on how you can get involved, give Bob Krol a call at 413-591-8702, email him at, or stop in on Saturdays or Sundays from 10am to 2pm.