Lee Historical Society Newsletter
Vol. 13, No. 6
June 2016
Our unique history and blend of people defines the foundation of our town.
Crossway Tower
P. O. Box 170
Lee, MA 01238
Visit us: www.leehistoricsociety.homestead.com
Contact us: Lee.Historical@hotmail.com

June Meeting:

The June meeting was a regular business meeting of the society and was held on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Hyde Meeting Room at Crossway Towers. The next meeting will be held on July 14th at the same location and time and will include discussions on upcoming society events and programs. All members are invited and are encouraged to attend.

We will start sending out emails and letters to society members who have not yet sent in their yearly dues. If you are one of these people, please don’t wait for a reminder. Thanks.


We can now be found on Facebook at: LEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC. LEE, MA. Give it a try and sign on.


On Saturday, May 28th, we held a “cemetery walk” to honor our veterans in Fairmount Cemetery. We were pleased at the attendance but also somewhat disappointed that more people did not attend. The committee did a great job in finding graves and doing write-ups for twenty veterans. The weather was threating so the walk was held to a limited cemetery area. The committee is planning another walk for the Founders Day Week and will travel into the older section of the cemetery and hope that more people will join us. We thank, Bambi, Brenda, Belinda for the great job and also thank Samantha, who played Taps at the event.

Below is this month’s photo sent to us from the Lee Library’s Historical Collection of Lee Photographs. This collection has been digitalized for the Lee Library by the Boston Public Library. We thank the Lee Library for making this possible for our readers. If any of our readers would like to comment or add additional information, please contact Mary Philpott at maryphilpott@mindspring.com

June is a popular wedding month, so this month we have a wedding photo given to the library by Carol Morehouse Wilson. Her father was Harley F. Morehouse and her grandfather was Harry A. Morehouse who worked in the local paper mills. The photo is the July 4, 1939 wedding of Evelyne Wilhelmina Farnham to George Jerome McClelland and taken by D. A. Tassone of Great Barrington. Harley Morehouse is on the right of the bride, Mrs. McClelland and was a life-long friend of Mr. McClelland, who worked with his father at the McCelland Drug Store on Main Street. Mr. and Mrs. McClelland later purchased and operated the Lee Newsroom, now Paperdilly, also on Main Street. If anyone can recognize any of the other people in the photo, please contact Mary Philpott the above email address.


The Summer Reading Program

The 2016 Summer Reading Program begins on June 27 and will run for 6 weeks ending on August 6th. Each group will have weekly book prizes and special events through the summer. Please check the calendar and email notices.

Children’s theme is “On your Mark, Get Set…Read!” Wednesday. 6/29 from 11 to noon, the children’s kick off program, a magic show with Presto Pete & Incredible Pete.

Teens/Tweens theme is “Get in the Game. Read!” The kick off program is “Swords through the Ages” on Thursday, 6/30 from 3:30 to 4:30. This is a chronological presentation of several different eras of sword use. The presenters will use choregraphed sword fights and some will include audience members. Blunt swords only! A question and answer session will include “myth busters”, addressing common misconceptions about swords.

The funding for the Teen Space and programs comes from a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant administered by the Board of Library Commissioners.

Adults theme is “Exercise your Mind. Read!” Read a book and submit the title to be elegible for the week’s book prize.


FamiLee Library Movie: The Lion King, Saturday, 6/11 at 11 am. The movie runs 88 minutes and is rated G. Please join is.

Berkshire Gateway Jazz Movie, KEEP ON KEEPIN’N ON, 6/16 at 6 pm. The story of jazz legend Clark Terry, Terry, mentor to Miles Davis, continues to cultivate budding talent as he sparks a deep friendship with gifted musician Justin Kauflin, a blind, 23 year old piano prodigy, as the young man prepares to compete in an elite, international competition. This move runs 85 minutes.


Tuesday, 6/14 from 2 to 4 pm. Reading Dogs @ the Lee Library. Our beloved Toby will be joined by 2 other reading dogs from Tufts Paws for People. Rhino the boxer and Samantha a black lab, for one-on-one reading sessions. Children will have scheduled 12 minute sessions to read in private to one of the dogs. Registration is highly recommended but walk-ins are welcome if space is availbale.
NOTE; There will be no regular Toby from 4-5 in the Children’s Reading Romm afterwards.

Toby on Tuesdays. Toby, our reading dog, will be here on Tuesdays at 4 pm except 6/14 (See above.)

Saturday, 6/25 from 11 to noon. The Lee Library will be participating at the Children’s Day at the Lee Farmers Market. Please stop by.

Pre-school Story Time Thursday morning, 10:30 am. Ages 2 ½ to 5 with caregivers at 10:30-11:00 am in the Children’s Room. There will be no Story Time on Thursday, 6/16 due to an out of town library conference.


Teen Chess. Wednesdays, 6/15, 6/22 and 6/29 from 3 to 4 pm.

Comic Social. Thursdays, 6/23 from 3 to 4 pm.

Wii Gaming, Fridays, 6/19, 6/17 and 6/24 from 3 to 4 pm.

The funding for the Teen Space and programs comes from a federal Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant administered by the  Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Email List for Adult and Children’s Programs

If you would like to be added to our email list and receive notices for either adult or children’s programs or both, please send your name to lee@cwmars.org.


The J. Peter Scolforo Gallery is availbale to artists for one month at no cost. Please check the Calendar for availability. Please call the library at 413-243-0385 to reserve the space or if you have any questions.
From the Springfield Republican of May 20, 1868:

Lee, May 13, 1868

                                       TO HOTEL-KEEPERS AND BUILDERS

Some of the leading citizens of Lee own a valuable Corner Lot in the village of North Lee, on which the Housatonic House was burned in December 1866. The size of the lot is about seven by eleven rods, and is valued with the outbuildings at $7000. There are upon it new and well arranged barns, sheds and carriage rooms. A first-class Hotel is greatly needed in the place, and the owners of the property have instructed a committee to solicite proposals for the same. 1st. From any responsible party who will errect upon it a first-class brick Hotel, worth with the lot som $20,000. 2nd. From any one, for the land and buildings, for any purpose.
The citizens are desirous of having a good Hotel errected upon the lot as soon as possible, and are willing to contribute towards the enterprise. Any person desiring to negioate for the lot or to put up a Hotel, are requested to address immediately either of the undersigned committee.

William Taylor,                  Wellington Smith
Josiah A. Royce

Apparently there were no interested parties to errect a hotel because this is the location on which Memorial stands, which was built as a memorial for the Civil War soldiers from our town.

From the Springfield Republican of Sunday. April 3, 1927:

Lee – April 1 seems to be a redletter day for several Lee residents. Who on that date, years ago, began the activities with which they have been identified down through  the intervening years. As each April 1 rolls around, they naturally indulge in reminisences of the early days. Last week we mentioned Atty. Albert B. Clark, who came to Lee 18 years ago.

Dean among these individuals is Thomas Nortin, one of the most prominent residents of this town, and its oldest merchant in the point of years in business. For 55 years he has been engaged in business, all that time at his present location. On April 1, 1872, he came to Lee from Williamsville. He was born December 8, 1848 at Boston, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Norton. With his parents, he went to West Stockbridge and resided at that town for 20 years. He attended the Williamsville school and Marshall Warner’s private school at Glendale. He worked at the Berkshire mills under Platt & Barnes. He left that mill one night at 6 and began working in the Lee Bakery at 4 a.m. the following day. He hired the hotel and bakery where his business is now located.

The following year he bought the hotel building and the bakery building and business. He ran the hotel successfully for 36 years. He served Lee as a member of the board of selectmen in 1896. The other membes of the board were the late Osaac H. Pixley of South Lee and the late Alonzo Bradley of Bradley Street. He also served the town for six years as a member of the board of assessors. For years he was a member of the Democratic town and stae committees. For 19 years he has been a trustee of the Lee Savings Bank. He is a member of St. Mary’s Church. His great hobby and relaxation is work. The only timehe ever gets tired is when there is nothing for him to do. For years he opened his bakery at 3 a.m. and worked until 11 p.m.. He is a man of unusual mathematical ability and he loves to figure abstruse problems in arithmetic with any and all contenders. He is a man noted for his charity, unfailing good nature, knowledge of the history and the people of the Berkshire and his wonderful fund of aneedotes with reference to places and people. He has one son. Dr. Thomas J. Norton of Pittsfield, and three daughters, Mrs. Edward J. Maloney and Mrs. James Marte of Lee, and Sister Eugenie of Hartford. He has never taken a vacation and never lost a day through illness in his business career, with the exception of 13 days five years ago. His wife, formerly Miss Bridget Farrell of Housatonic, died some years ago.

The hotel and bakery business that Mr. Norton operated were located when Joes’ Diner now stands and was known as the Norton Block.


Student Membership - $5.00 Senior Membership (one person over the age of 65) - $5.00
Business Membership - $25.00Individual Membership (one person under the age of 65) - $10.00
Family Membership (all members of one family living at home) - $15.00

Name: __________________________________________________________Mail to:

Address: ________________________________________________________Lee Historical
City/Town: _________________________State:_____________Zip:________P. O. Box 170,
Lee, MA 01238
Telephone: ______________________Email:__________________

Officers  of the Lee Historical Society for the year

President – Stephen Cozzaglio – 413-243-3204 or scozzaglio@roadrunner.com
Vice- President – Gary W. Allen – 413-2543-2140 or garywallen@earthlink.net
Treasurer – Mal Eckert – 413-243-1797 or MalEckert@msn.com
Secretary – Bambi Johndrow – 413-243-2845 or disdeer62@netzero.net
Board of Directors of the Lee Historical Society

Mary MorrisseyEthel NoonanPeg Biron
Alan BuckesJoAnn ZarnochBrenda Liebenow
Adele HawleyEd Forfa

                                                  Society Historian – Open Position
                                                                Collection Chairman – Open Position
                                                                Newsletter Editor – Mal Eckert

Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month (unless otherwise noted) starting at 6:30 pm.

The Lee Historical Society is looking for items of Lee that may be donated to the society or simply scanned by us or used in displays. We are open for any type of item as Lee has had a unique history. We are interested in old photos, post cards, books, letters, bottles, yearbooks and town reports. If you are cleaning out or just come across an item, please think of the Lee Historical Society.
“Every moment one lives is different from the other, the good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And perhaps there is no need to do so, either.”

A quote from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994)


The following is a list of the area businesses that are currently “Business Members” of the Lee Historical Society for this year. If you would like your business or company listed here, please fill out the membership application below and send it to us with a check for $25.00.

Bartini Roofing CompanyBen’s ShopCharles Flint Antiques
290 Pleasant Street68 Main Street52 Housatonic Street
Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238Lenox, MA 01240

Lee Audio ‘N Security, Inc.Zabian’s IncorporatedLocker Room Sports Pub
65 Fairview Street15-19 Main Street232 Main Street
Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238

Frank Consolati Ins. AgencyPaperdilly, Inc.Dresser Hull Company
71 Main Street        74 Main Street60 Railroad Street
Lee, MA 01238                Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238
413-243-0105           413-243-1928  413-243-4545
Robert M. Kelly, PaperhangingJonathon Foote 1778 HouseMill Renaissance LLC
65 South Prospect Street  1 East Street          55 Hurlburt Road
Lee, MA 01238             Lee, MA 01238        Gt. Barrington, MA 01230
413-243-3489               413-243-4545          651-492-5766

Monk’s Professional Barber ShopLee Bank       Devonfield Inn
91 Main Street          75 Park Street85 Stockbridge Road
Lee, MA 01238          Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238
413-243-3341            413-243-0117   413-243-3298

Hunter & Graziano P. C.Terrace Hair StudioWilcox Plumbing & Heating
10 Park Place          135 Housatonic Street  P. O. Box 561
Lee, MA 01238         Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238
413-243-0789           413-243-1799   413-243-2494

Lee Hardware Store, Inc.NBT Bank of LeeConsidine & Leary, Attorneys
221 Main Street76 Park Street    49 Main Street
Lee, MA 01238  Lee, MA 01238     Lee, MA 01238
413-243-0786    413-243-1800413-243-4900

A. F. Viale Insurance Agency        Greylock Federal Credit UnionPumpkin Patch Quilts
75 Main Street 47 Main Street             58 West Center Street
Lee, MA 01238 Lee, MA 01238             Lee, MA 01238
413-243-0347   413-243-2121               413-243-1635

MacCaro  Real Estate   Grasshopper’s Lawn CareHannon Lerner P. C.
51 Main Street560 Fairview Street    184 Main Street
Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238     Lee, MA 01238
413-243-4647   413-243-4020       413-243-3311

Henry Holt ArtKevin J. O’Neil, Electrician
P. O. Box 699  225 East Street
Lee, MA 01238Lee, MA 01238
413-243-9918  413-329-7306

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present.” – Joan Rivers (1933-2014)