Lee Historical Society



Vol. 16, No. 6

June 2019

 Our unique history and blend of people defines the foundation of our town.

Crossway Tower

120 High Street

P. O. Box 170

Lee, MA 01238

Website: LeeHistoricSociety.Homestead.com

Contact us: Lee.Historical@hotmail.com






Our regular May meeting for officers, board members and interested members will be held on Thursday evening, June 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the Hyde Meeting Room at Crossway Tower. Guests are welcome!   Hope to see you there.




The Lee Historical Society is proud to announce that Mass Humanities Board of Directors has voted to award us a $2000.00 grant to create a comprehensive inventory and finding aid for our collection. This grant will allow us to hire a part time Archives Assistant for the summer months of July and August which will allow the public to make research use of our materials. We thank Mass Humanities for this grant and especially thank Board Member Bill Mathews for all the time and hard work he put it applying for our first time try at a grant.





As the morning of Saturday, May 25th approached, the Fountain Committee hoped that we would get some decent and dry weather for the re-dedication for the Kilbon Memorial Fountain and that maybe we would get a decent audience to witness the ceremony. We were totally in awe when Mother Nature blessed us with a gorgeous sunny day and the audience grew to about 200 people before the 10:00 am starting time.

Garth Story, President of the Berkshire Gateway Preservation addressed the audience and introduced the cast of people that were in attendance. The program began with Marytheresa Valleri directing the St. Mary’s School Chorus in singing “America the Beautiful” and a second singing with the audience all joining in.  Emma Puntin, a 9th grade student from the Lee Middle and High School read excerpts from the first fountain dedication in 1899.


Mr. Story gave a brief history of the fountain and the process of the restoration and by the introduction and recognition of Verne Tower of Tower Stone for his time and effort on this project, much of which was donated.  The Town of Lee & Lenox Town Administrator, Christopher Ketchem and Massachusetts State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli both spoke to the audience and various people in attendance were recognized such as the family of the local stone carver Dante Baccolini, who carved the fountain. The outdoor part of the ceremony concluded with JoAnn Schedler, a direct descendant of Chief John Konkapot, along with her granddaughter and others from the Stockbridge Munsee Community of Wisconsin Native Americans blessed the fountain with a tribal ceremony.


The program was then moved to the Congregational Church where refreshments were served and a short video was continuously run showing the process of the renovation of the fountain and a great many photos were displayed showing the fountain in various stages if the renovation and repair.


The following organizations were involved with the renovation and repair of the fountain: Berkshire Gateway Preservation, Garth Story, President; Lee Chamber of Commerce, Colleen A. Henry, Executive Director;  The Lee Historical Commission, Susan Stone, Chairman; Lee Historical Society, Mal Eckert, President and the Town of Lee.


The Fountain Restoration Committee consisted of: Peg Biron, Sandy Cozzaglio, Mal Eckert, Colleen A. Henry, Ellen Krupka, David Markham, William Mathews, Mary M. Morrissey, Mary Philpott, Phil Smith, Susan Stone, Garth Story, Madeline Tremblay, Rich Vinette and Caroline Young.


The Committee would like to thank the many people who donated both money and time to this worthy project and a big thank you goes out to Garth Story for chairing the committee and his tireless work to see it through.  Jim Leahey and Henry’s Electric also did great and timely work in keeping with our schedule………but the man, Verne Tower, who did the incredible work on this town treasure. Most of all the committee thanks the many, many people who recognized  the meaning of this fountain to the history and future of Lee and dug deeply into their pockets to help raise the sum of over $45,000.00 for this project. You are the best!!! There is still more landscaping to be done and the fountain will now be covered every winter, Thanks again to all who participated. 


The pictures that follow were taken by David Simmons, who along with Bill Mathews followed the complete project from beginning to end with countless photos and videos. We thank these two gentlemen for their outstanding photographic work.



This photo captures JoAnn Schedler, a direct descendant of Chief John Konkapot addressing the audience while Patricia Murphy, granddaughter of Dante Baccolini along with her husband standing in the background.








Above: JoAnn Schedler, a direct descendant to Chief John Konkapot, her granddaughter and other Native American tribe members perform a blessing to the rededication of the Kilbon Memorial Fountain. In the background it looks like Abraham Lincoln also decided to attend.




Below: The crowd looks on and the water flows from Chief Konkapot’s face as the ceremonial blessing continues.





 The June photo supplied by the Lee Library. It is a mounted souvenir photo taken on September 27, 1887 by amateur photographer Joseph A Wilson titled “On the Housatonic, Lee, Massachusetts. If anyone has any idea

Where this location might be, please let us know.








The June exhibit is: Sharon Siter Photography in the J. Peter Scolforo Gallery for the month of June.


Monday, 6/24 from 6:30 to 8pm. Pay Attention, Be Astonished, Tell About It – The Poetry and Life of Mary Oliver, a poetry reading and talk presented by Jose Garcia.


Thursday, 6/27 at 6pm. Linking Emotion and Composition in Photography, a lecture by Thad Kubis. Join Thad and explore the interrelated workings of emotional based photography and advanced composition.






The Lee Historical Society will be displaying a collection called “Rocks Stars and Paper Tigers” for the month of October in the Lee Library Gallery. It will be the kick off to our “Pop-Up” Museum. We will also be display some of the other pieces in our collection. Again next July we will be using the gallery foe another collection display. We thank the Lee Library for the opportunity to use the gallery. We planned to have our “Pop-Up” Museum up and running for the summer months but due to not being able to find available space it will not happen but we are still looking for pictures, stories and memorabilia about the local quarries and paper mills  in Lee.








The Lee Historical Society is proud to announce the winners of our 2019 Annual Scholarships. A scholarship in the Memory of Stephen A. Cozzaglio was awarded to William Consolati and a matching scholarship in Memory of Dolores I. Eckert and Marion M. Leach was awarded to Carrie Conklin. We congratulate our two 2019 scholarship winners and wish them the best of luck in their future studies and lives.











Individual - $10.00     Family - $25.00     Business - $35.00

Supporting Membership -$50.00 or more     Sponsor Membership - $100.00 or more

Name: __________________________________________________________                          

                                                                                                Mail to:

Address: ________________________________________________________                          Lee Historical Society

                                                                                                                                 P. O. Box 170

                                                                                                                                    Lee, MA 01238

City/Town: _________________________State:_____________Zip:________                          


Telephone: ______________________Email:__________________


                                NEW__________                                   RENEWAL___________






The Lee Historical Society is always looking for memorabilia of the history of Lee as well as pictures, books and postcards. Please, before you toss anything out that pertains to the history of our town, think of the Lee Historical Society.


We would also be interested in any stories about Lee history or old Lee families. If you have any stories to share, please let us know.


We are trying to have programs and lectures that townspeople will enjoy. Hopefully in the next few months we will have a program that tells about the old railroads that served Lee and the ones that were scheduled to be built but for some reason never happened. We are also trying to have a complete program about the renovation of the Kilbon Memorial Fountain.


If anyone has an idea of an interesting subject that might be turned into a program, drop us a note or better yet, come to a meeting and see what we are all about.












These local businesses support us – Please support them



            Bartini Roofing Company                                Charles Flint Antiques                      M. J. Kelly, Inc.

                290 Pleasant Street                                           52 Housatonic Street                        3 Main Street

               Lee, MA 01238                                                    Lenox, MA 01240                               Lee, MA 01238

                413-243-0570                                                      413-637-1634                                      413-243-0204



                Chambery Inn                                                      Locker Room Sports Pub                High Lawn Farm

                109 Main Street                                                  232 Main Street                                  535 Summer Street

                Lee, MA 01238                                                    Lee, MA 01238                                    Lee, MA 01238

                413-243-2221                                                      413-243-2662                                      413-243-0672



                Frank Consolati Ins. Agency                           Paperdilly, Inc.                                    Dresser Hull Co.

                71 Main Street                                                     74 Main Street                                     60 Railroad Street

                Lee, MA 01238                                                    Lee, MA 01238                                    Lee, MA 01238

                413-243-0105                                                      413-243-1928                                      413-243-1400



                Robert M. Kelly, Paperhanging                      Henry Holt Art                                     Lee Bank

                65 South Prospect Street                                P. O. Box 699                                      75 Park Street

                Lee, MA 01238                                                    Lee, MA 01238                                    Lee, MA 01238

                413-243-3489                                                      413-243-9918                                      413-243-0117



                Devonfield Inn                                                     Hunter & Graziano P.C.                    Henry’s Electric

                85 Stockbridge Road                                        10 Park Place                                      252 Main Street

                Lee, MA 01238                                                    Lee, MA 01238                                    Lee, MA 01238

                413-243-3298                                                      413-243-0789                                      413-243-0690



                Wilcox Plumbing & Heating                            Lee Hardware Store, Inc.                  NBT Bank of Lee

                P. O. Box 561                                                      221 Main Street                                  76 Park Street

                Lee, MA 01238                                                    Lee, MA 01238                                    Lee, MA 01238

                413-243-2494                                                      413-243-0786                                      413-243-1800



                Considine & Leary, Attorneys                        A. F. Viale Ins. Agency                      Route 102 Trading Post

                49 Main Street                                                     75 Main Street                                     905 Pleasant Street

                Lee, MA 01238                                                    Lee, MA 01238                                    Lee, MA 01238

                413-243-4900                                                      413-243-0347                                     



                Ta-Ga-Soke  Campgrounds                             Cottage Care Inc.                               RW’s Incorporated

                7820 Higginsville Road                                    230 Stockbridge Rd. Box 753         35 Runway

                Blossvale, NY 13028                                         Lee, MA 01238                                    Lee, MA 01238

                1-800-831-1744                                                   413-243-4257                                      413243-0946



                Eagle Mill Redevelopment                              Carriage House Real Estate           Greylock Credit Union

                P. O. Box 777                                                      Janice Castegnaro Braim                47 Main Street

                South Egremont, MA 01258                            35 Church Street                                Lee, MA 01238

                413-425-4850                                                      Lee, MA 01238                                    413-243-2121



“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that is why we call it the present.”

(Bill Keane, 1922- 2011)