On Wednesday, March 11, The Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) approved the application of the Old Groton Meetinghouse (and the adjacent Parish House) for listing on the U.S. National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.
Lynn Smiledge of Spencer, Sullivan and Vogt, presented the application to the Mass Historic Commissioners. Steve Lieman, member of the Old Groton Meetinghouse Advisory Committee said, “Lynn Smiledge and Barbara Murray, First Parish Historian, deserve special thanks for preparing and updating the application to meet the exacting standards of the MHC.”
In support of the application before the Massachusetts Historical Commission were, Michael Laterz representing the Groton Historical Commission, Rick Muehlke representing First Parish Buildings and Grounds Committee, Louis DiMola representing the Old Groton Meetinghouse Preservation Fund, and Steve Lieman represented the Old Groton Meetinghouse Advisory Committee.
The Groton Historical Commission and Groton First Parish congregation sponsored the Community Preservation Act (CPA) request for $7,800 to defray the cost of preparing the detailed and lengthy application. Steve Lieman, member of the Old Groton Meetinghouse Advisory Committee said, “The Groton CPA Board and the Citizens of Groton deserve special thanks for approving that grant request. This was a strong team effort.”
The Old Groton Meeting House came to national attention 77 years ago when it appeared on the November 1942 issue of LIFE magazine. [See image below.] At long last, 77 years after gaining national attention via that cover, the Old Groton Meetinghouse will now receive the full recognition it deserves.
Once the U.S. National Park Service finalizes approval and enters these properties into their database, plaques will be affixed to the Meeting House and Parish House to commemorate this honor. This step is estimated to take 3-4 months.