Reminder: Tomorrow is Southborough’s Vanilla Day

Above: The community is invited to enjoy the the legacy of Southborough’s Joseph Burnett. (Images left posted to flickr by stu_spivack, center from Southborough Historical Society, and right by Kate Matison)

A friendly reminder about a new event in town this Saturday. It’s related to the history of the Burnett-Garfield House at 84 Main Street. If you are looking for more background on that, click here for past blog coverage. 

Now, here’s a re-post of the story I ran last week on the event featuring free ice cream, jazz, and a historical tour:

The Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House are encouraging Southborough’s to celebrate one of our historical claims to fame.

In 1847, resident and innovator Joseph Burnett successfully produced the first premium vanilla extract in the U.S. Now, as the volunteer group seeks support for preserving Burnett’s historic estate, they are capitalizing on that fact.

Southborough’s VANILLA DAY!

On Saturday, August 29th from 1:30-3 pm, The Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House invite townspeople to attend Vanilla Day on St. Mark’s Field at the corner of Rt. 85 and Main Street.

Come to enjoy:

Free Ice Cream (Vanilla, of course!) donated by Cold Stone Creamery, Southborough

Live Jazz

A Burnett Legacy Walking Tour (for those interested), 2:00-3:00 pm 
Description: The Burnett Family of Southborough contributed a great deal to the citizens of our town, far more than the elegant Stone Mansion at 84 Main. You are invited to take a walking tour to learn more about the remarkable legacy of this civic-minded family and how we continue to benefit to this day. The tour is approximately 1 mile and takes a little more than an hour.

An Update on the status of one of Southborough’s most significant and historic landmarks

Vanilla Day celebrates our own Joseph Burnett’s ingenuity in making the FIRST Vanilla extract ever sold in this country back in 1850. From this brilliant enterprise and subsequent philanthropy, Joseph Burnett and his family built a legacy all of Southborough continues to enjoy today.

One year ago, a handful of Southborough teens, moved by this legacy and the beauty of the Burnett Family’s home at 84 Main, stood roadside to protect the stone house’s imminent demolition. Their grassroots efforts garnered over 2,000 signatures through an on-line petition and the attention of local and national media, including an interview by The National Trust for Preservation in Washington, DC. 

Fortunately, Jon Delli Priscoli, the current owner, appreciated its significance to our town and began collaborating with our selectmen on ways to establish permanent protection for the house and property established by Joseph Burnett and Family.

Most recently, Jon Delli Priscolli sought and received approval from Southborough’s Zoning Board of Appeals to use the stone mansion and property for an 11-Bedroom Bed and Breakfast. A copy of Delli Priscolli’s plans will be available for residents to view at Vanilla Day.

In the year since The Friends of the Burnett-Garfield House took up our teen’s rally call to help advocate for the preservation of the Burnett-Garfield House, our membership has learned countless ways that the Burnett Legacy has influenced the shape of our town and country. In conversations with our friends, families, and neighbors in Southborough, we’ve discovered that too many of us remain unaware of our own history and why it matters to preserve it for future generations.

Learn more at Southborough’s Vanilla Day while enjoying some delicious vanilla ice cream! Bring your children and grandchildren. Then, head over to Neary Field to continue the celebration at Southborough’s Summer Nights. Southborough has a lot to feel grateful for.

*(According to Wikipedia, vanilla extract was “previously imported from France and made by processes which were proprietary secrets.”)

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