Chief Jason Gilliland announced on Monday, November 23, 2015 that firefighters Eric Ridge and Mark Borowski, along with Acting Lieutenant Grant Glavin, were given the Medal of Valor for an incident that occurred in March.

The three members of the Marblehead Fire Department were in the first fire engine to arrive at a fire scene on Sewall Street. The crew went into the burning building and rescued a resident.

Governor Baker made the award to forty-three firefighters around the state and praised the men and women as examples of all firefighters’ commitment to saving the public and for their “instinct” to help others,” often at great risk to themselves.”1

  1. Salem Evening News, November 30, 2015, page 2. []


On Monday night, April 27, the two current school committee candidates, Kate Lipsitz and Jonathan Lederman, met in a “Candidate Night” forum. The format was: one question, which was sent to the candidates ahead of time, and two that required a more spontaneous response. The candidates were also given three minutes to make a prepared introductory comment about their candidacy. As a public service, here is the link to the unedited video (11:38 minutes) on YouTube, supplied to us, unrequested, by “Marblehead Musings.” Click here.

imagesAfter 138 years, a better light is finally shining on Archibald MacNeal Willard’s world famous and American iconic painting, The Spirit of ’76. Far from revolutionary, Marblehead’s late adoption of the cooler and clearer lighting system has been preceded as standard in museums for almost a decade.  The Salem News article((Saturday October 25, 2014)) referred to this new step as a “modern lighting system.” Well, as many Marbleheaders know, “new” means new to the Town, not new in the real sense of the word. But, anyway, lighting focused on the painting has long been a concern of informed historians and archivists. Only ten years ago the painting was enclosed in a plexiglass protection box and while hardly “protective” in the sense of vandals or terrorists, it does protect the work from the tactile explorations of Marblehead School children visiting the Selectmen’s room on class trips.

The new lighting will extend the life of the paint used in the classic work. Willard’s opus magnum is considered “priceless” and an irreplaceable national treasure by the United States government.

Now thanks to the intrepid and fearless board of Selectmen, it will finally be protected from the Town’s own lights.


When Ben Abbot, who made his money making barrels, gave Marblehead its signature building he didn’t ask for much. “Name it after me.”  That was it. But the hall that is visible all over town also shows up on the tax bills pretty regularly too. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s a great building with a fabulous history in a town that cherishes Abbot Hall’s bells and the shadow it casts over our town. But still, the scaffolding around the clock tower is something some of us have seen several times, and it’s not that pretty. Some of us have even climbed up there and stood on the wind vane just to see what it’s like to be the tallest thing in town for a few moments. But that’s another story. There will also be a staging area fenced off in the parking area. The project will start in April and be completed in November.AbbotBellFromAbove

Built in 1877 to replace the little yellow Town House (1727), Abbot Hall still houses the Board of Selectmen and the Town Clerk, plus Marblehead’s museum, not to mention one of the most famous painting in the world, “The Spirit of ’76.”

This renovation project which began in 2012 and the funding was generously supported by Town Meeting and the voters. It will include some structural reinforcements in the bell tower, doors and windows upgrades, and securing the brick work in the tower. The four clockfaces will be removed during construction and restored to their original beauty offsite. The weathervane will also return in due course, also restored. The National Registry lists Abbot Hall as a historic site in the U.S. and the building is currently appraised at $3.3 million.

Photos by Bill Purdin

It was one of those stores that you knew if you walked into it, you would be soon be buying something. Sacks Antiques had that feeling: quality, price and then there was Stan. Like the other fixtures in the store, Stan Sacks was always there. He could be standing in the door, he would be hiding in the back. But he was there.

Sacks Antigues will be holding a “Retirement Sale,” during Marblehead’s Annual Christmas Walk. Frank Kaminski of Kaminski Auction of Beverly, an old friend, will assist with the sale. As reported in the Salem News1 “Stan’s grandfather, Hyman, an immigrant from Odessa, Russia, first opened an antique shop in Boston in 1899.”

The history of Marblehead began with small merchants and businessmen, and continues in the same way to this day. The health of Marblehead’s business community is a testament, through good times and bad, that Marblehead is a town that supports its businesses. Sadly, though, now there will be one less well-loved business that opens its doors after the New Year rings in.

  1. Business Section, p. 9, 11/27/13 []

Shalane is eighth in World’s at Moscow

August 12, 2013

Running on an indoor track is quite different from runing a marathon in Boston’s spring weather. Shalane Flanagan placed eighth in the world in the women’s 10,000 meter in Moscow. Her time was 31:34:83. She holds the American national title in the event. The winning time in Moscow was 30:43:35. Shalane’s Olympic Bronze medal time more »

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Man found motionless in Van Otterloo YMCA

June 7, 2013

He was face down and motionless. The lifeguards pulled him out and performed lifesaving measures, awaiting police and ambulance services’ arrival. Initial reports stated that resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. The 47-year-old man was transfered to Salem Hospital. More information to follow. Share on Facebook

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EuRim Chun and Kathy Leonardson rush to Maass’ defense … after he resigns

March 31, 2013

As though the resignation that shocked the town didn’t really happen, Chairman EuRim Chun and member Kathy Leonardson made emotional pleas in a MHTV interview (both reading carefully prepared statements) for Marbleheaders to join in their support of the superintendent who resigned with no one calling for his resignation and, to the town at large, more »

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Bad Crash at Tedesco and Humphrey Street

March 31, 2013

A 22-year-old male driver was seriously hurt when his car smashed into a tree at 2:33 a.m. There were at least two other men in the car with the driver, Cameron J. Sylvester of 49 Village Street. He was taken to Mass General. He was semi-conscious and unresponsive at the scene prior to evacuation. The more »

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Superintendent quits over inability to control elected officials

March 22, 2013

NEWS and ANALYSIS: “Due to personal circumstances, I can no longer commit the time and energy to be successful at the job.” Superintendent Gregory Maass went on, as reported on wicked, to elaborate: “I step away from a tense environment. In my opinion, the majority of the school committee has recently moved away from more »

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