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About Us

Board Members

Joan Russell Osgood, President

John Walker, Vice President

Susan Driscoll, Treasurer

Jean Bondarek, Secretary

Kathy Ellis

Heidi MacDonald Arnold

Barbara Bangs MacNeil

June Anderson Murphy

Deborah Rich, Sandwich Town Archivist

Taylor White, Sandwich Town Clerk

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​Board Meetings 

The board meets monthly at 1pm on the third Tuesday of each month. Meetings are held in the MacKnight Room of the Sandwich Public Library.

​FOSTA Membership 

Support FOSTA and become a member by making a $25 donation. Additional information is available here.

​Contact Us

We would love to know what you think and suggestions are always welcome. Email FostaSandwich9@gmail.com.

The Founding of FOSTA

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Richard J. Connor, 

former Sandwich Library Director

Richard J. Connor: His Role in Founding the Friends of the Sandwich Town Archives

Until the founding of FOSTA, the Town Archives were a department of the Town Clerk at the time, Barbara George Walling. The archives department was located in the attic of the Town Hall Annex across the street from the library and Barbara Luksanen Gill was the part-time Town Archivist.

 

In 2003, the Town Select Board, Finance Committee and Town Administrator decided to withdraw funding for the town Archives. It was then that Sandwich Public Library Director at the time, Richard J. Connor, gathered stake holders in a meeting in the Dodge MacKnight room of the library to discuss his proposal to create a "Friends Of" group to save the Town Archives.

 

After the meeting, Richard immediately applied for the needed 501C3 tax exempt status so that FOSTA could begin requesting donations, and a committee was formed, the make-up of which was based on the former “Archives Committee” that had been in existence in the 1970s and thereon for some years.

The first task of the committee was to raise funds to pay the small salary of Barbara Gill since the town was no longer a support system for the Archives. Another important task was to address the desperate need to find proper storage for the archival materials on hand.

 

This is where Richard Connor came to the rescue once again by providing a new home for the Archives in the library's Dodge MacKnight Room.

Groups of volunteers physically moving all the materials out of the attic space and into the Macknight Room was a mammoth task. Committee member Kaethe Maguire vividly recalls Russell Lovell, the Town's first Archivist and already a senior citizen, carrying box after box of books down flights of stairs from the attic and across the street into the library.

 

Months of cleaning and organization followed. Members of FOSTA spent days and weeks, scrubbing, painting and organizing to try and make some semblance of order of materials that had never been allowed the space to be properly stored. The second room of the attic in the Town Hall Annex was always referred to as the ‘dark hole of Calcutta” by everyone. One bare light bulb hung from the ceiling as books were piled everywhere and some not even on shelves. Climatic control was completely absent.

 

By 2006 the Library Trustees voted to adopt the Sandwich Town Archives as part of the Sandwich Public Library. 

 

Barbara Luksanen Gill, Town Archivist

 In Memoriam

Barbara Luksanen Gill was born on November 8, 1932 in Forestdale, the farming portion of Sandwich, to a Sandwich woman, Mabel Fish, with roots traced back to the founder of Sandwich, Edmund Freeman, and to a John Luksanen, whose ancestry was all Finish.

 

Barbara gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Simmons College in Boston and worked in the science community of Woods Hole before she settled into the preservation, recording and keeping the family histories of all the founding and early families of Sandwich, which today serves not only our community but that of the greater nation as descendants swarm to our archives all year to learn of their past. What a gift to all of us!

 

Barbara served as our second Town Archivist for 28 years before retiring in 2016. Her mind was like an accurate computer of all things historic right up to her passing. Barbara’s many other interests included gardening, birding, and the long list of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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The late Barbara Gill, Sandwich Town Archivist  until 2016. Photo courtesy of The Sandwich Enterprise.

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The late Russell A. Lovell, Jr., taken at 100 years of age. Mr. Russell helped establish the Sandwich Town Archives.

Russell A. Lovell, Jr., Town Archivist

 In Memoriam 

Almost as soon as Russell A. Lovell Jr. arrived in Sandwich he and his wife, Penelope, began the preservation of historic assets for our ancient American town. The Smith-Hoxie House and the Grist Mill had already been restored (1959-60), but there was much to do especially with regard Written word of the history of our Town founded in 1637.

 

In 1971 he was one of the founders of the Sandwich Historical Commission, which is the local arm of the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

 

In 1973 He was one of the movers to establish a Town Archive for Sandwich. He thus worked tirelessly not only as our first Archivist, but as the author of "Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town," first published in 1984. He held the post as Town Archivist until 1988 when Barbara Luksanen Gill took over for the next 28 years. 

Julia Claire "Judy" Hendy

 In Memoriam 

Sandwich born and raised, Julia Claire "Judy" Hendy, was a friend, a member and contributor to FOSTA, sharing her knowledge of the town and it's history.

Her relationship with FOSTA began when Judy was the assistant town clerk, and attend meetings when the town clerk couldn't.
 

Judy continued to serve FOSTA after retiring and she created the Barbara Lukansen Gill scholarship which she coordinated each year with Sandwich High School.

 

Judy kept active with FOSTA until her death in May of 2021.

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Judy Hendy remained a board member of FOSTA until her death in May 2021.

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