Historical Commission


Claire Lavin
Florence Bryan
Sally Bauman


The Historical Commission is responsible for the preservation, protection and enhancement of the histoirc and archeological resources of the town of Ashby.

The Historical Commission is a 5 member Commuission. If you are interested in becoming a member call Claire Lavin at 978-386-5509.



Help Save the Old Engine House on Main St.!

The Historical Commission and the Historical Society are beginning a campaign to raise funds for the stabilization and repair of the Old Engine House. Built in 1899, it housed the horse drawn fire engines of the Watatic Engine Company. These hand pumped fire engines have returned and can be seen there today. We must save the building from further deterioration to keep it open to the public.

We need your help to make this project work!


As you know, the Historical Commission and the Historical Society have launched a campaign to save the Old Engine House from total collapse. Built in 1899 to house the old fire engines of the Watatic Engine Company, these hand pumped engines are housed there along with memorabilia, photographs, and records from Ashby’s history.

We are pleased to announce that Secretary of State William F. Galvin has awarded a Massachusetts Preservation Projects Emergency Grant in the amount of $20,000.00 to the Town of Ashby for the purpose of stabilizing the Old Engine House in the Ashby Historic District. We are also grateful that at the May town meeting, Ashby voters authorized a transfer of $10,000.00 from free cash to be used for repairs to the Old Engine House. Ashby citizens have been generous in donating a total of $3400.00; and the Ashby Historical Society has contributed $1600.00 to the Old Engine House Fund – over and above what individual members have contributed. This total of $5,000.00 plus the $10,000.00 from the town was to have been the matching funds for what we all believed would be a grant from the Commonwealth of $15,000.00. However, the grant amount was increased to $20,000.00 and we have now set about raising the extra $5,000.00 of matching funds required.

If you have not yet made a donation but wish to do so, you may send a check made out to the TOWN OF ASHBY OLD ENGINE HOUSE FUND and send it to the Ashby Historical Commission, 895 Main Street, Ashby, MA 01431. (Be sure to include “Old Engine House Fund” on your check.

Questions? call:

Claire Lavin 386-5509
Florence Bryan 386-2319

History of the Old Engine House

Old Engine House photo


detail of Old Engine House

The east wall of the Engine House has a substantial sag. Over the years soil has washed in around the clapboard wall in the basement of the building. This has caused the sill and posts to decay to the point that they no longer support the east wall.

Temporary posts have been put in place to prevent structural failure of the wall but a permanent repair is needed. This will involve removing the soil from the area, removing the decayed beams, stabilizing the top of the stone foundation and replacing the lowest portion of the wall.

To see why the wall is sagging click here