“She was not doing it all for ego; she truly cared about this community,” said Pollis. “She obviously believed in future generations.”
Although she never had children of her own, she adored them, Chick said, and understood, despite the fact that she was a lover of fine things, “that children needed to be children.”
Many now mourn the fate of her former property. “It’s a tragedy . . . that’s an overwrought word, but it’s a great loss to what has been targeted as a scenic byway in our town,” said Purinton.
But despite what has been lost, members of the community are grateful they have been able to make some conservation strides, such as the $500,000 purchase that buffered the Lower Green.
“We wish we could’ve raised more money, but that simply was not possible,” said Edward Becker, executive director of the Essex County Greenbelt Association, which worked with the Save the Lower Green group to secure that property. “The core backdrop to the lower green has been conserved.”
Still, Newbury residents are ever more wary that their town’s pastoral quality is slowly eroding.
“This town is one of the earliest settlements, and it’s maintained that character for an awfully long time,” said Pollis. “It would really be a shame if [the historic properties] all got torn down and there was nothing left of Newbury’s history.”
Taryn Plumb can be reached at email@example.com.