Decorative posts, chamfered columns, hand-hewn beams, etched glass panels. Elements of Sudbury’s historic homes reveal its rich history, and the town’s Home and Hearth Tour held on Saturday, May 16th, showcased that history perfectly.
“We are very grateful to the homeowners who opened their homes for the event, the Sudbury Historical Commission, the Goodnow Library, and the Sudbury business community for helping to make this first time event such a success,” said Sudbury Historical Society Executive Director Sally Purrington Hild.
The Historical Society sponsored the tour which featured historic homes on Lower Concord Road from Town Center to Mill Village including seven private homes, the Hosmer House, and the History Room at the Goodnow Library. Lower Sudbury Road features varied architecture which is protected by two historic districts. The neighborhood has evolved from a Puritan Village to a true hub of the town bracketed by two lively commercial districts. Shopping and dining in Mill Village along with booths and exhibitors selling antiques and crafts were also part of the tour event.“One of the biggest benefits of the tour was the way it brought the entire community together,” Sally stressed. “The Historical Society, the Sudbury Historical Commission, and the Library all worked together to make this happen, and the homeowners were phenomenal; they told stories about their home’s history as well as about projects they had completed in their homes. They even prepared food with one homeowner offering visitors to her home warm scones fresh from her oven!
“Our business community also really stepped up to engage the public,” she continued. “For example, Louise Mawhinney, owner of Duck Soup, a specialty foods and housewares store in Mill Village, presented a display of town history in her shop along with an array of refreshments.”
At first, Sally pointed out that the Society didn’t realize how much people in the community would welcome this idea. “However, their enthusiasm really energized us!” she said. Everyone came together to pull off the event in just three months including the publication of an informative tour booklet handed out to tour goers which described each featured home in depth as well as other historic spots in Sudbury.” The booklet itself is considered a teaching tool on Sudbury history.
“One of the main reasons for doing this tour was to let people know just how historic a town Sudbury is,” Sally explained. “We were very pleased with the turnout with almost 150 people attending. A lot of non-members of the Society took part as well as people from other parts of Massachusetts and from out of state – the bigger the reach the better for Sudbury!
“The fact that we were able to tell people about our history makes us believe that they will come back again next year to tour another neighborhood in Sudbury,” she said. “For this tour, people could walk to most of the homes; for next year’s tour, we want to highlight another neighborhood where people can walk easily from house to house.”
The Sudbury Historical Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, and promote Sudbury’s exceptional history. Proceeds from the tour will go toward enhancing this mission. The Society also presents a full slate of programs during the year. “Our goal is to present programs that will reach all members of our community,” Sally noted.