The long road to National Historic District designation

The Sandisfield village of New Boston has been approved for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sandisfield– The Sandisfield village of New Boston, at the intersection of Routes 8 and 57, has been approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the U.S. Department of the Interior for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

A dedication ceremony takes place on Saturday, September 17 at 11 a.m. at Wilber Park in Sandisfield, located at the junction of Routes 8 and 57. Brief remarks will be made by State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, Sandisfield Historical Commission Chair Ron Bernard, Sandisfield Town Manager Jonathan Sylbert, and preservationist and architectural historian, Bonnie Parsons.

An interpretive sign will be unveiled, excerpts of which read, “The town of Sandisfield, incorporated in 1762, was settled at this place by the Daniel Brown family of Boston in 1750-1751. The district retains considerable architectural fabric from the mid-18th century to about 1880 including Federal, Greek Revival and Gothic Revival styles. As farms were established throughout Sandisfield, New Boston in the 19th century became the town’s commercial center, at one point boasting three general stores, several mills and a variety of shops. For a time in the 1930s, patrons included crowds of ski-jumping enthusiasts who flocked here to see professional jumpers perform at Suicide Hill in the heart of the district. The New Boston Inn’s restaurant and tavern offers such hospitality to this day.”

The first step of the long process was completed in 2015 by the Sandisfield Historical Commission which prepared an inventory of the Town’s historically significant architectural assets. The State later agreed to hire a consultant to prepare the application. From there several years of planning and intensive research, including rounds of challenges and verification, led to a determination by the Massachusetts Historic Commission that New Boston village meets criteria for listing. The National Register of Historic Places is the list of individual buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts, deemed important in American history, culture, architecture, or archaeology.

Sandisfield Historical Commission Chair Ron Bernard said, “National Historic Districts serve to promote the benefits of preservation and are prestigious. Of the 75 buildings or structures in the New Boston Village, 49 are contributing elements to the character of the district.”