Village Green Fence Restoration
Location: 68 Main Street, Falmouth
Applicant: Falmouth Department of Public Works
Year/Article: November 2014, A38
The Falmouth Village Green, an important symbol of Falmouth’s heritage and an active and important community gathering spot, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. The triangular one-acre space served as the common for the early Falmouth village, providing forage for sheep and cattle in addition to a gathering place for Falmouth residents. In the mid-19th century the First Congregational Church was rebuilt on the north side of the Green, and it is believed that the church’s original foundation still lies beneath the Green. Today the Green serves as the locus of significant Falmouth events. The annual lighting of the Village Green during the holiday season is a frequent subject for painters and photographers.
The original fence around the Green, of which a small portion remains, was constructed in 1832. It was replicated in 1956 with fence timbers milled from black locust trees felled during the Hurricane of 1954. A native Massachusetts species, Black Locust is unparalleled with respect to rot and insect resistance, a national alternative to pressure treated lumber. But when the fence was repaired and replaced in some sections in 1998, less durable yellow pine posts were used. By 2014 the fence was again deteriorating and most of it was in need of replacement.
In 2014 the Parks Department applied for and received $100,000 from the CPFund for rehabilitation of the fence, planning to contribute $75,000 for in-kind materials and labor for a total cost of $175,000 for the work. Installation of the new fence was completed in December 2015. The Parks Department provides ongoing maintenance of the Green.