Historical Commission

Welcome to the Barre Historical Commission website! This website has been created for the citizens of Barre to better understand the role, mission, and activities of the Commission, which hopefully leads to less confusion about the Commission’s role versus that of the Barre Historical Society.  Citizens who have an interest in history or historic preservation, or simply would like more information about the activities of the Commission may find the information provided by this website helpful as well as interesting.


In the years since 1973, when the voters of the town established the Barre Historical Commission, the group has continued its mission of taking stock of Barre’s historical assets and continuing its important advisory and advocacy function for those assets.


 Current Activities


Given that 2024 is the town’s 250th Anniversary, the Commission is focusing on activities that will help highlight Barre’s historical sites for the anniversary celebration. We are creating an inventory of all historical markers and signs and will decide which need repair or replacement.


New historical markers will be considered for places such as the Town Pound, on the site of the Brunswick Hotel in Barre Plains, and on the site of the Poor Farm/Town Farm on Town Farm Road. Barre Common, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will be marked appropriately at the major approaches to the Common. A suitable replacement for the Quock Walker marker, which was destroyed by a skidding automobile, will be developed.


We hope to survey and inventory historic stone tri-town border markers and two-town line markers, and add them to MACRIS (Massachusetts Cultural Resource Inventory System) maintained by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. The Massachusetts Historical Commission is the state entity charged with historic preservation, and which provides training and guidance to the Barre Historical Commission.


We are taking steps to safeguard our town’s Black History. Much of this history happened on lands within the Ware River Watershed, and access is controlled by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Serious consideration is being given to applying for National Register of Historic Places status for Prince Walker Burial Ground (a cemetery created by an African-American family that was once enslaved) and which is located on Town land within the Watershed.