SOUTHBOROUGH – For decades, the Southborough Community House has served as a gathering point for the community — teas, visits from Santa Claus and weddings.
As part of Heritage Day, the Southborough Village Society celebrated its 100th birthday with recognition by both the Select Board and Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton).
Southborough Village Society President Dan Donahue calls it “the gift that keeps on giving.”
“I just think about of how much of a difference one person — Charles Francis Choate — has given to this community,” Eldridge said.
History of the Community House
The house was built in 1906 for William White, who was a lawyer in Boston. Charles Francis Choate Jr., who was a Boston lawyer and Southborough resident, bought the house in 1922.
According to the house’s website, he donated it to the newly-formed Village Society as a location to support their goals while also providing a location to support veterans after World War I.
Over the years, the Southborough community has used the house as a community gathering point.
“It’s quite a thing to have the society running it for 100 years,” said Caretaker Bea Ginga.
Ginga has served as the caretaker for 55 years.
Her father had served as the custodian at the house. When she was young, her father used to bring her over to help clean the house.
After Gina and her husband moved in, they loved serving as its caretakers. Now, 55 years later, Ginga said she still loves every minute as caretaker.
“I love the place. I love the people that use the place. I love all the people that help me in so many ways,” she said.
Donahue lives across the street from the house and enjoys watching the parking lot of the house fill up with people coming for birthdays and wedding showers.
Every Christmas, his family puts out their Christmas cards from over the years, many of which feature his kids with Santa Claus at the Community House.
“You can map their age through their childhood from the pictures in the Community House,” Donahue said.
He said it felt good to see the Southborough Community House reach this milestone.
“It’s been super solid over the years,” Donahue said. “To start out with such a head start to be given the building for nothing basically, have no mortgage … has made it possible for it to solidly exist. It’s a feature that will hopefully be here for 100 years or more.”
As part of the anniversary, the Southborough Village Society is offering a brick that can be engraved for the donation of $100 or more.
Ginga said they’re anticipating that the bricks will be installed along the walkway in May 2023.
For more information, contact Ginga at 508-485-4887.