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A look back at Octobers past

compiled by Betsy Fell

The following items were extracted from old issues of the Mosquito. Some things evolve or disappear entirely, like the Thunderbridge Muster and the Pig & Pepper, and some things stay the same: 

Five years ago – 2013

• Several months after a plan for a four-home conservation cluster development met with resistance, the owner of 100 Long Ridge Road proposed to instead build a 20-unit 40B development on 9. 84 acres. Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40B, projects can bypass most local zoning if at least a quarter of the units qualify as affordable housing. The project’s permitting and legal challenges stretched over several years, until a compromise was reached in January, 2018, whereby the Zoning Board of Appeals allowed five single-family homes on the site.

• Benfield Farms construction had begun, with roofing and windows installed. 

• The Selectmen decided to sell the former Blue Jay Recording Studio property at 669 Bedford Road at public auction on Halloween. The town acquired the property the previous year through tax foreclosure. The 0. 6-acre lot and 2,655-square-foot building was assessed at a little over $500K. The high bid was $275K. According to Town Finance Director Larry Barton, the town’s costs, including back taxes, legal fees and auction expenses totaled $65K to $70K.

• The town held a public forum as part of the process to draw up a Master Plan of possible uses for the town’s five-acre Moseley land (a.k.a. Goff property) at 338 Bedford Road. A portion of the land was later used for a nine bedroom supported group housing facility for the developmentally disabled.

Ten years ago  – 2008

• The Historical Commission approved plans to expand Ferns Country Store, connecting the existing building with the adjacent garage.

• The Carlisle School Building Committee voted to ask for a Special Town Meeting to approve funds for a schematic design to replace the 50-year-old Spalding School Building.

• Local officials considered how the economic recession might affect the town’s finances, noting that falling home prices would trigger a tax rate hike and that there might be cuts in state aid as the state faced falling tax revenue. On the plus side, interest rates dropped, lowering the total cost of the Spalding School Building project.

Fifteen years ago – 2003

• New state law required those interested in volunteering to obtain a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check for any “organization primarily engaged in providing activities or programs to children.” Schools and local organizations had to solve data storage and confidentiality issues with the new mandate.

• The town issued its first comprehensive permit for the Rocky Point (aka Laurel Hollow) 40B development of eight housing units on a four-acre lot at 302 Lowell Road.

Twenty years ago – 1998

• A Day of Caring was held at the Malcolm Meadows property on Stearns Street, where scouts and other volunteers, Carlisle Conservation Foundation members and Trustees of Reservations worked together on the handicapped-accessible stone dust nature trail. It was the fourth annual Day of Caring hosted by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest. 

• The eighth annual Pig and Pepper barbecue/music festival was held over Columbus Day weekend. It was the Carlisle School’s largest fundraiser. 

• Trees were cleared as construction got underway for new athletic fields on the Banta-Davis Land.

• Plans were discussed for a revitalized Tot Lot at Diment Park being organized by the Carlisle Parents Connection. Fundraising was underway with the hope to begin construction in the spring of 1999.

• A bear was photographed in the woods near Curve Street.

Thirty years ago – 1988

• A moose sighting was reporting in the woods off Partridge Lane. 

• Nashoba Cable responded to complaints about its cable installation process. About 65% of the homes in town had been connected so far. 

• In response to a question about possible uses for the town’s Highland Building, Carlisle’s Town Counsel suggested using the building for day care, a youth center, senior programs or as a backup site for town committee meetings.

• Selectmen reviewed a preliminary design for the municipal parking lot next to the Town Center gas station to expand it from 12 parking spaces to 21 spaces.  The expansion was not built and Center Park stands on the site today.

Forty years ago – 1978

• Carlisle’s first Fire Chief, Waldo Wilson, announced that he would retire at the end of the year. He became Chief when the town created the Fire Department in 1927, a year after a severe fire in the Town Center.

• The then-annual Thunderbridge Muster brought the 18th-century to Foss Farm, with Minuteman groups from throughout New England, Connecticut and Rhode Island camping at Foss during the colonial re-enactment event on Columbus Weekend. According to the press release, the free event included mock battles of American and British soldiers, musket, pistol and cannon firings and tomahawk and knife throwing competitions, fife and drum concerts, blacksmith and cooper demonstrations as well as art and craft vendors.  ∆