Southborough Historical Commission remembers Kate Matison

by beth on February 7, 2019

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The Southborough Historical Commission issued an announcement last night mourning longtime member Kate Matison.

The statement includes news that they will be holding a reception in her honor. And an obituary from her family has yet to be issued. So stay tuned for future posts.:

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Kate Matison, a longtime member of the Southborough Historical Commission and highly regarded member of the community.

Born in Australia in 1948, Kate immigrated to the United States in 1988 and settled in Southborough in 1993. She completed two Master’s degrees from Boston University: one in Art History and one in Preservation Studies.

Always an exceptionally skilled and enthusiastic photographer, Kate lived in London for a period and worked at the renowned Photographer’s Gallery.
Her interest in preservation sprang from her studies in art history, and she went on to combine talent as a photographer with her preservation work. Kate spent countless hours meticulously photographing historical structures, often providing a complete record of buildings that were later demolished. She was actively engaged in the Vernacular Architecture Forum, and she implemented and moderated their widely followed Facebook page.

Kate brought her boundless energy and commitment to the Southborough Historical Commission in 2007. It is impossible to overstate her impact on the Commission and the Town of Southborough. In 2012, she became the Vice Chair, and she held that position until she was recently voted Chair. 

Some of Kate’s accomplishments include South Union School’s addition to the National Historic Register, updating the Historical Properties Survey, the Preservation Restriction for 84 Main Street with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the application for Southborough’s National Register Historic District, the recent preservation of the Old Burial Ground, advocacy for Fayville Hall and Peter’s Annex preservation, and documenting numerous buildings since demolished or renovated.

Since 2015, Kate served as the CPC representative for the Historical Commission, Members of both groups relied upon her expertise and greatly appreciated her contributions.

It is rare to find an individual who is willing to work so tirelessly for the growing good of a community for so many years. Future residents of Southborough will benefit from her talents and expertise as they are able to appreciate the historical character she strived to preserve. It is our hope that she will be remembered as fondly as we remember Kate Matison: dedicated, tireless, witty, wise, and above all, a dear friend.

The Southborough Historical Society will host a reception honoring Kate in the coming weeks. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly Roney February 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

I’ll miss her architectural knowledge but even more her sense of humor and delight.

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2 Jessica Devine February 8, 2019 at 8:31 AM

I’m sorry to hear about Kate’s passing. I didn’t know her, but she was obviously a treasure for our town.

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3 Freddie Gillespie February 8, 2019 at 10:07 AM

Kate was a friend and a huge asset to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC). The CPC started our last meeting with a moment of silence to honor her. All the members are deeply saddened. I have already greatly missed her expertise and wise advice on two Historical project the CPC is bringing forth to Town Meeting. We benifited so much from her participation, even before she sat on the CPC she was a resource to the Committee and helped with many projects. Most recently she single-handedly oversaw and managed the restoration of the gravestones at Sothborough’s Old Burial Ground. The town owes her ongoing thanks for the historical assets she has helped preserve throughout town, helping to preserve the character of the town that makes Southborough the special place that we value.

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4 Tim Martel February 8, 2019 at 10:38 AM

Kate was a truly wonderful person. Kind, inspiring, and incredibly dedicated to her community. She will be so greatly missed.

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5 Tom McCarthy February 8, 2019 at 2:35 PM

Kate: Was a wonderful person, kind, calm and commited to her interests. I worked with Kate for several years on the Historic Commision and always loved her kind focused approach to problems. She will be missed.

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6 Margarite Landry February 8, 2019 at 2:58 PM

Kate was a gracious, kind person who worked hard for this town. My warmest and most heartfelt sympathies to Peter and her wonderful family. She will be remembered as a caring, delightful friend, who will leave a legacy of Southborough’s past for us all to enjoy.
Thank you, Kate. Godspeed.

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