~ Gordon Peery
When my kids were young, I remember thinking that if for some reason they suddenly found themselves all alone in the village, they would be alright. Marc and Nancy Stretch in the former May Sarton house, Dutch Gerbis out tending his lawn, Donna Kidd being mindful of her own children, Patty Packard looking out from the (now old) library, Dottie Warner in her school bus. Many watchful and caring eyes. (Memories circa 1990).
These days the village is even busier, with the new library having more hours (excluding the current Covid hiatus), the town office being staffed more. Still, the Village is usually a quiet place: unlike most small towns we have no store or post office, no in-the-village fire or police department. It’s interesting to look back and see how things have evolved since the settlement of the town, in 1750s.
The village was originally established up the hill from its current location, where the Nelson Cemetery is now. It included a small meetinghouse, a tavern and store, and a cobbler’s shop. We can speculate that there was a lot of activity with people seeing each other on a daily basis (perhaps even to the point of social exhaustion). The first “through” road went from Roxbury, coming onto what is now Lead Mine Road, through the current village, and out the Old Stoddard Road where it cut over to Stoddard. That last segment was discontinued in 1839, and the Roxbury link to Lead Mine Road was given up in the 1890’s.