Sudbury's Board of Selectmen granted a request for support from the Sudbury Historical Society to conduct a feasibility study at the Loring Parsonage to see if the historic property would be an ideal spot to relocate in.
Ruth Griesel, president of the society, told the Board during its Dec. 3 meeting the SHS would come up with the funds for the study.
"We’re going to have to raise a lot of money if we go forward with this," she said. "We need to know how much to raise before we go for any grants. It’s going to be a long process."
Built in 1730, the Loring Parsonage was the homestead of Reverend Israel Loring, the first minister to serve in the territory west of the Sudbury River. According to town documents, it was built in 1730.
"Our immediate reaction is this is a good thing," Town Manager Maureen Valente said. "It keeps the concept of a museum in Town Center. It would allow us to have reason to invest in the parsonage."
Should the relocation plan go through, the SHS would have to receive a grant for the project. The Town of Sudbury would still own the property.
The Board agreed the town-owned parsonage would be ideal for the society, given its location in Town Center and its history.
"The Loring Parsonage is a walk back in time," Selectmen Len Simon said. "It looks like it has good bones. The basement is dry. The house is a piece of living history. Having the museum there would be a big plus for the town."
Valente said the relocation of the SHS into the parsonage ideally needs to be long term, preferably 10 years or longer. That would mean a vote at Annual Town Meeting to approve the plan.
"We don’t want to sell it," she said. "I do think it's in everyone’s best interest it’s for a finite amount of time."
Currently, the parsonage, located behind Town Hall, houses the Lincoln-Sudbury Town Employees Federal Credit Union.
Whether the study shows the parsonage as a good spot for the SHS, members will likely have to relocate in the next few years as Sudbury plans to renovate Town Hall for full use as a municipal building.
In anticipation of a possible move into the parsonage, SHS members visited 18 other historical societies around the state that have their own exhibit spaces."The society for a long time has been looking for a home," Drobinski said. "It would be great that you do have a home. Most historical societies are in historical buildings in downtown commons. I think it's a great idea."