The Sanford-Springvale Historical Society had a beautiful sunny day for the dedication of the adjoining park on Saturday, September 17, 2022.
A large crowd assembled to hear brief remarks. SSHS President Harland Eastman welcomed everyone to the Park, which was dedicated to the memory of his son Stephen, who passed away this past spring after a battle with cancer.
Stephen Emery Eastman was a member of the Historical Society’s Board of Directors, and a generous benefactor to the SSHS. He was instrumental in helping to purchase the property for the Park, which was at that time the site of an abandoned 19th century home that had fallen into disrepair.
Thom Gagne, also a SSHS Board Member, recalled bonding with Stephen over their shared interest in motorcycles. He said the Park was envisioned as an outdoor classroom, with granite benches made from the foundation of the building that once stood there. He thanked all those who worked to bring the project to fruition, especially Joe Sevigny of 7e Properties, who demolished the building, designed the lay out of the park and created the lawns.
Others who worked on the project include Brian Richards of Richards Electric, who floodlit the south side of the Museum and brought electricity to the historic garage. Charles Plante and Sons did the paving, and Steve Vincent restored the garage, which was painted to match the Museum.
Cristi Eastman, Stephen’s widow, spoke of helping him publicize and support the concerts held at the Historical Museum. Stephen’s nephew, Jake Eastman, also shared memories of his uncle.
Mayor Anne-Marie Mastraccio officially opened the Park to the public. To close the ceremony, a recording of Ave Verum by Mozart sung by the King’s College Choir, Cambridge, England at Easter 2022 was played. Stephen sang the same work at Easter in the early 1970s while a choir boy in Liverpool, England. Afterward, attendees were invited to come inside the museum for refreshments.
The lovely new Park is the latest improvement to downtown Springvale made possible by funding from the William Oscar Emery Trust.