By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Fifteen-year-old Carter Brannon is sharing Northborough’s history with the community in an innovative way that also helps him work toward his Eagle Scout badge. The Eagle Scout is the highest achievement to earn as a Boy Scout.
Anyone driving or walking around town probably has seen a few of the handmade, wooden historical markers. There are 50 of them placed at historic sites around town including familiar sites such as the Gale Library, Chet’s Diner, the Aqueduct, Unitarian Universalist First Parish Church, and First Burial Ground on Brigham Street.
Members of Northborough’s 250th Anniversary Historical Subcommittee Dave Carlson, Bob Marchetta and Norm Corbin approached Boy Scout Troop 1 with the idea of placing temporary markers around town at different locations. The idea was inspired by what was done in 1976 for Northborough’s 200th celebration.
Brannon, who will be a high school sophomore at Algonquin Regional High School, is a bit of a history buff so the project appealed to him and he began the process of submitting the idea and receiving approval by the Boy Scout Council to use the project as his Eagle Scout project.
“It’s been interesting to look at old photos of the town and see what buildings looked like before, what used to be in town and how the town has changed,” said Brannon.
With input from the Department of Public Works, Brannon designed and built the 4-foot-high markers and was responsible for purchasing all the necessary materials. He also had to request permission from property owners so that the markers could be installed on their land. Under Brannon’s leadership, other Scouts from his troop assisted him with the installation process and will be responsible for removing them after Applefest weekend.
Each marker identifies the site and includes a description about its history in Northborough and a photo. Corbin, Carlson and Marchetta were responsible for the historical information included on each marker, much of which was available through the Northborough Historical Society.
In addition, Algonquin Regional High School technology instructor Julie Doyle supported the technology team to develop quick response codes for many of the markers so additional information can be accessed at the marker using a smartphone or tablet.
Brannon was excited that permission was granted by so many property owners to place the markers and to already hear such positive feedback.
“I have heard a lot of people who are interested in the project and want to know more, which was the goal of this project – to get people interested in Northborough history,” said Brannon.
To add to the historical fun, the 250th Committee has announced a fun challenge.
“The first 25 people who visit all 50 sites can pick up a commemorative 250th anniversary pin or mug at the Town Clerk’s Office in Town Hall,” said Corbin. “People just need to bring in their completed form showing the dates each site was visited.”
A list of all 50 marker locations and maps can be found at www.northborough250.org, Northborough Town Hall outside the Administration Office at 63 Main St., the Northborough Free Library at 34 Main St., or Lowe’s Variety and Meat Shop at 255 W. Main St.