The Lancaster Historical Commission
Currently Located at 131 Main Street
The Lancaster Historical Commission is a town appointed body whose purpose is to preserve historic materials and to survey and identify historic sites in the town. Organized in 1964, it was one of the first such historical commissions set up under the Massachusetts Acts of 1963. The Commission consists of seven members, one of whom serves as the chairman. Monthly meetings are held the last Monday of each month (unless otherwise posted) at 6:30 p.m. at the Commission Office located at 94 Main Street, Lancaster, MA (rear door on the south side of building next to the Sewer Commission office). The Commission is currently staffed solely by volunteers and is open most Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Otherwise, those interested in doing research should call 978-365-3326 EXT 1057 to make an appointment.
The Commission maintains archives of historical materials consisting primarily of documents, letters, written records, and photographs. Some of the oldest photographs are from The Alice Greene Chandler collection (approximately 1860-1900). As well as being an early photographer Miss Chandler was town librarian. The James Macdonald collection (approximately 1900-1930) along with a variety of photographs from many sources further document the town's history.
For many years the Commission has been actively surveying historic properties in Lancaster. All nominations for both the Massachusetts Historical Commission Register and the National Historic Register must go through the Commission. Files on historic properties are available for research.