PATCH – Marlborough is on its way to becoming the first city in the Commonwealth with a Museum in the Streets. Downtown Marlborough will soon house a trail of outdoor panels, detailing the city’s history and fun facts about residents and life in Marlborough over the decades. The project has been over a year in the making and officials hope to have it ready for a ribbon cutting ceremony by Memorial Day.
Museum in the Streets is a program that helps municipalities showcase their local history through an outdoor walking museum led by informative panels. Marlborough will have 24 panels starting at the library on West Main Street and looping all the way to the intersection of Hildreth Street and Maple Street. Two separate larger panels will be located in front of the library and City Hall as a map to guide pedestrians through the museum.
Bob Fagone, Chair of the Marlborough Historical Commission is excited to shed some light on the history of the city, especially the downtown. “There’s just so much history in Marlborough,” he said. The idea to bring Museum in the Streets to the city was proposed by a member of the Historical Society who had seen a version of the museum in Maine. The project here in Marlborough is sponsored by the Marlborough Historical Society, the Marlborough Historical Commission, Marlborough Downtown Village Association, Marlborough Economic Development and the City of Marlborough.
Museum in the Streets has locations in Europe, mainly France, and in the U.S. including Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Virginia and Minnesota.
Panels are permanent and guaranteed to last ten years under normal wear and tear and could last longer with proper care. Some of Marlborough’s panels expect to showcase the history of the show industry in the city and impressive people such as William Dawes. “Not many know the name William Dawes but he was an important part of history,” Fagone said.
Dawes was one of the other riders during the revolutionary war who rode in the night to warn minutemen of the British arrival. He moved to Marlborough after the war and built a home where the Verizon building is, at the intersection of Hildreth Street and Maple Street.
The project not only shines a light on city history, Fagone said, but could be a big benefit to downtown businesses. “We have so many hotels downtown, so now tourists can take a nice walking tour, get a bite at one of the great restaurants,” Fagone said. The project started as a downtown initiative and blossomed into an attraction for the whole city.
“It may be an economic boom for the city but its a historical boom too,” Fagone said.
This article by Samantha Mercado originally appeared here.