Let’s Support Creative Use of Prescott School
As the town considers the benefits and drawbacks of maintaining the Prescott School, it seems that many people are focused on the immediate, one-time repair bill. This is completely understandable, considering the financial situation of the town. But I think we need to look at this as a long-term investment in two ways. First, it allows the building to continue to be used as a community center, which is an investment in the town’s future. Second, it is an investment in preserving the historic character of the town, a fact which is hardly ever mentioned. This is symptomatic of a greater issue in this town.
I met recently with a descendent of Groton resident and Revolutionary War soldier Zachariah Fitch, who currently lives in Virginia. After being told her whole life about the history of this town, and her family's piece of it, she was utterly shocked to find out how little we honor, or even recognize, the rich history we have.
When looking back, there are too many pieces of the town’s history to count. From the early battles with Native Americans in the town’s first century, including when it was burned in 1676; to the role that Groton men played in the Revolution and Shays’ Rebellion; to Groton’s role as a stop on the most important stagecoach route from Boston; to the town's dedication to education; to the Millerite Community of the mid-1800s; to the blossoming of an estate section of town along Farmers Row in the Gilded Age. The list goes on. Groton’s history even rivals, in some respects, the history of such well known towns as Concord.
We have an opportunity to remake Groton into an historic destination. Supporting the creative reuse of Prescott is an important piece of this. If we let the building fall apart by not paying for maintenance, we all lose in the end, as a part of our history is destroyed. Once this history is gone, it doesn't come back.