Historical Commission

ChairmanMalcolm Donald
LocationTown Hall
59 Town Hall Square
Falmouth, MA 02540
E-Mail Address
Meeting Schedule3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall (Old Water Dept. Room, 1st floor)
Agenda from 03/15/2016
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Mission Statement:

The Historical Commission works to preserve historic resources in the entire town. It nominates buildings and sites to the National Register of Historic Places, administers the demolition delay bylaw on about 350 historic properties outside of historic districts, advises selectmen on preservation issues, reviews proposals involving federal or state funding that would affect historic buildings, and maintains an inventory of information on more than 500 historic properties. The Commission was established by vote of the Falmouth Town Meeting under Chapter 40, section 8D of the General Laws of Massachusetts. Its five members are appointed by the Selectmen. It published The Book of Falmouth, a history of the town that may be obtained at Falmouth bookstores.

The Town of Falmouth traces its roots to 1660, the time of its first settlement. Early residents were farmers. Many of them served in the militia and defended the town from British attacks in the Revolution and in the War of 1812. In the 19th century Falmouth residents prospered from coastal trading and whaling. The railroad reached Falmouth in 1872 and transformed the town and its dying maritime economy into a summer resort community. Summer residents built stylish homes along the coast and sought to preserve the community as a small town. The town has taken several steps to protect and preserve the homes and farms of these earlier residents because they symbolize the history and character of the community.

The town protects this evidence of its history through three government agencies: the Historical Commission and the Historic Districts Commission, which were established by Town Meeting in the 1970's to work directly with historic resources, and the Design Review Committee, created in the 1990's to advise on the design of new commercial development and signage.

Malcolm Donald, Chairman
Lee Drescher
Scott Ramsey