The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of September 17 to September 24, 2020
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Board of Selectmen Substantially Amend Mellen Road Warrant Article 15

Board Votes Not to Recommend Accepting Town Way by Prescription

A week after the Finance Committee held their public hearing on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant and voted on their recommendations for the Articles, the Board of Selectmen amended an Article asking voters to approve funding for repair work on Mellen Road. The final Warrant, which had to be officially posted by September 14 to meet timeline requirements for a September 28 Town Meeting, was posted as amended immediately after the September 14 Board of Selectmen meeting adjourned.

When Article 15 came up for discussion by the Board, Town Manager Keith Hickey stated that he would like to make a proposal, as it had become clear over several past meetings that the residents of Mellen Road did not want the remedy Article 15 was drafted to fund: reverting the middle section of Mellon Road to an unpaved way.

"The Public Works Director working with our paving contractor...spent some time looking at, if some type of middle ground could occur with the laying of asphalt," Mr. Hickey said. "What we're laying down a two inch layer of asphalt. Typically a town road has four inches...We are proposing the Board consider spending $76,125 on paving Mellen Road with two inches of asphalt. The Public Works Director feels that this will be very similar to what was laid down twenty or thirty years ago when the road was first built and should last at least ten years, with proper maintenance. And if the Board, or future Boards or the residents of Winchendon wanted to expand and increase the depth of the asphalt in the future to a more typical four inches, they could certainly do that."

Some of the funds requested in Article 15 as originally written covered surveying the metes and bounds of the road in order to prepare a layout for accepting the road as a town way. Mr. Hickey said that he contacted the surveyor who did the plans for the road in the 1990s and negotiated a reduction of $20,000 in that amount, making the total requested in the amended Article $106,125.

Selectman Rick Ward said he was against the proposal, saying that paving an unaccepted road goes far beyond the intent of the General Bylaws section 7.15 allowing the town to make emergency repairs to private ways.

Selectman Barbara Anderson stated that the Board of Selectmen can vote to accept the road as a town way by prescription, but this can be challenged.

Mr. Hickey said that while the Board of Selectmen does have the legal authority to accept a road as a town way by prescription, the town counsel has recommended against this. The town could be open to liability exceeding the $5,000 which the town's liability is currently capped at.

Selectman Amy Salter asked how much the town has in Free Cash and how the amended Article 15 would impact that.

Mr. Hickey replied, "We have $687,680 certified in Free Cash right now, available to us. The Town Accountant closed the books on Friday. We're waiting to have Free Cash certified for fiscal 20. We anticipate Free Cash just for fiscal 20 to be 1.2 million dollars. So we'll have available to us 1.87 million dollars." If several Warrant articles requesting funds from Free Cash were approved, Mr. Hickey said, "that would leave us with just over 1.6 million dollars."

Board Chair Mike Barbaro asked Town Counsel Jon Eichman to "walk us through the pros and cons" of taking a road by prescription.

Mr. Eichman explained that prescription generally applies when the public has been using a road in a way "adverse to the rights of the property owners," for so long without objection, that the property owners can be said to have waived their right for lack of defending it. This can be challenged in court, however, and if it is, the burden of proof falls on the party claiming right of way, which would be the town, and could be difficult and costly. Mr. Eichman stated that Mellen Road didn't meet the criteria for adverse use because the road has not been a through way, and all traffic on the road has been for the benefit of abuttors on the road, including the State Forest. Prescription would apply if traffic with no business on Mellen Road simply used the road as a through way to other roads or other towns, but that has not been the case.

Mr. Barbaro stated that it seemed to him that the best thing to do was pave the road, do the surveying and bring the road up to grade so it could be properly accepted as a town road at a future Town Meeting.

Ms. Anderson asked whether the potholes in the road would have to be filled and repaired anyway, before the road could be paved. DPW Director Al Gallant assured her that the potholes would be cleared of loose debris and filled as part of the paving process. The road surface would be completely level.

Responding to a question from Ms. Salter, Mr. Hickey stated that once the town has accepted Mellen Road, the town would be able to use Chapter 90 funding from the state for future repairs and maintenance of the road. Winchendon's Chapter 90 funding would increase slightly with the additional miles of town road. In response to a question from Ms. Anderson, Mr. Hickey stated that the paving would be completed before this winter.

The Board voted to amend Article 15 to request $106,125 to pave the road and survey the metes and bounds. They voted 4-1 to recommend the Article as amended, with Mr. Ward voting nay. The Board voted unanimously to recommend Article 16, which requests $4,200 to make repairs to the existing pavement and will be passed over if Article 15 is approved by voters.

The Board voted 4-1 not to recommend Article 27, the citizen's petition to recognize Mellen Road as a town way by prescription. All except Ms. Anderson felt that it was more appropriate to upgrade the road and ask voters to approve accepting Mellen Road at a future Town Meeting.

Master Plan Committee Opens Public Comment Period for Draft Master Plan

The Master Plan Committee is pleased to offer a proposed Master Plan for our town of Winchendon. The plan is based on the desires and expectations of the many citizens who expressed their views during the public planning process over the last several years. The Master Plan lays out goals and strategies which provide guidance to all people who love the Town and are willing to work together for its future.

We live in uncertain times, with rapid change. As our town departments, boards, committees and citizens use this plan to guide their work, they will surely find a need for new or changed strategies and goals. This means the plan must be a living document. It must be modified from time to time to reflect how well we are doing, what is and isn’t working and what we are learning about opportunities and challenges.

This Master Plan is ambitious and groundbreaking. Past plans have focused primarily on places and properties in town. This plan brings new emphasis on the people of Winchendon. Many of the Master Plan’s strategies require new cooperation across town employees, boards and committee members. Many of its strategies require public participation and support. Achieving these goals requires us all to be committed, persistent and patient. It requires us all to listen, ask questions, assess, learn, grow and adapt - together. It requires us to bring new meaning to “Winchendon Working Together”.

It’s clear Winchendon can’t achieve the goals of this Master Plan unless we change what we work on and how we get work done. This is an exciting opportunity for change. Change can be viewed as an opportunity or a threat; the choice is ours. But doing things the way we’ve always done them won’t accomplish what our community asks for in this Master Plan. Every board, committee and department is called on to review current priorities, take on new challenges, and identify existing activities that can be adjusted or discontinued. The people of Winchendon are called on to find time in their lives to participate in this work to create the change they ask for.

We encourage you to read this plan and consider how you can work to help make it a reality. Consider how this plan helps build the community you want as a home, as a place to do business, as a place to raise a family, as a place to grow up, as a place to grow old. Then, most importantly, find the parts of the plan that mean the most to you, and volunteer to help by contacting Tracy Murphy, Director of Planning and Development via email at or call 1-978-297-3537. Although boards always need new members, you do not need to be an official member to make a contribution. No effort is too small.

If you are already a town employee or volunteer on a town board, commission or committee, you are in a special position to help the community move this work ahead. This document lists which position or group has the initial responsibility to work on each strategy. To help move this work forward, the Master Plan calls on the Board of Selectmen to establish an Implementation Committee who will help each responsible group set priorities, review and modify roles and responsibilities, coordinate work with other committees, and get public engagement.

The people of Winchendon have developed many Master Plans in the past, often repeating goals identified in earlier plans but never accomplished. This time can be different. If we work together in new ways with new public engagement there is no limit on what we can accomplish.

The Master Plan Committee
September 2020

Master Plan Draft (PDF)

Central Mass Tree

YOU Inc. sells Cottage Hill Academy to Florida Rehab Company

Worcester-based YOU Inc. (now a part of the non-profit Seven Hills Foundation) has sold the facility housing Cottage Hill Academy, which straddles the Winchendon/Templeton town line, to Banyan Treatment Centers, an addictions services company based in Florida. Banyan will be opening a mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment center for adults in the facility next spring.

Cottage Hill Academy provided residential, educational and therapeutic services for children and young adults aged 6 through 20. YOU Inc. stated that its program will be relocated after the sale of the Winchendon/Templeton site, but has not yet announced where.

Banyan operates programs in 11 locations nation-wide, including one in Winchester, MA. It expects to employ around 125 people at the 17-acre facility, which includes a 31,000-square-foot main building, six 12-bedroom residences, outbuildings and outdoor recreational space.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Brandywine to Begin Breaching Dam by Former White Mill

Brandywine Farms has received Department of Environmental Protection approval to begin breaching the dam above the former White Mill/Ray Plastics property, Winchendon Town Manager Keith Hickey told the Board of Selectmen at their September 14 meeting. This corresponds with the timeline mentioned to the Courier this summer by Brandywine Farms co-owner Amelia Giavanoni.

Mr. Hickey stated that Brandywine's engineering firm has been working with DPW Director Al Gallant to coordinate the dam breach with the annual lowering of Lake Monomonac, which will help reduce the volume of water behind the dam. The Lake Monomonac draw-down will begin on October 15 and run until December 3, lowering the level of the lake by approximately three feet.

In response to a question, Mr. Hickey told the Board that Brandywine has not yet settled its delinquent tax payments to the town. Mr. Hickey has been talking with their attorney, and Brandywine will be coming before the Board in the future to discuss a payment arrangement and their ongoing plans for the mill property.

November General Election

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Polling Place: Old Murdock Senior Center
Second Floor Auditorium
52 Murdock Ave.
8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Wear Mask or Face Covering
Follow Signs for Entering and Exiting

Saturday, October 24, 2020
2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m., Town Hall 2nd Floor Auditorium
7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m., Police Station, 80 Central St.

Early Voting will be held at Town Hall, 109 Front St, Pleasant Street Entrance, 2nd Floor Auditorium, from October 17 to October 29, during the following times:

Saturday, October 17 & 24--12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 18 & 25--8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Monday, October 19 & 26--8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 20 & 27--8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 21 & 28--8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 22 & 29--8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Gov. Baker Extends Eased Rules for Outdoor Dining as MA numbers Stay Steady

Concerns Raised About Safety of Winchendon Town Meeting Plans

No surge of new COVID cases has yet appeared in Massachusetts, two weeks after many colleges and universities welcomed students back to classes and dorms (or hotels). Public school in most towns and cities started this week, many sticking to all-remote learning, some beginning "hybrid" classes with reduced numbers of students in classrooms. The rate of confirmed new cases and reported deaths continues at a steady level, neither dropping significantly nor rising.

Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker, as he promised, signed an executive order extending the time frame allowing expanded outdoor dining at restaurants still unable to host indoor dining at their usual capacity. The administration is strongly urging Massachusetts residents to get seasonal flu shots, especially in the highest-risk communities, to prevent health care facilities from potentially being overwhelmed by both COVID and severe flu cases.

As Winchendon plans to hold its delayed Annual Town Meeting on Monday, September 28, residents have raised concerns about the safety of meeting indoors. Town Meeting will convene in the Murdock Middle High School gymnasium, where about 150 seats will be arranged six feet apart. Additional seating can be made available in the bleachers, and an "overflow" space can be set up in the cafeteria next door. Masks or face coverings will be required.

Although Winchendon's incidence of COVID remains very low, some residents question the safety of Town Meeting plans. Selectman Barbara Anderson, at the September 14 Board of Selectmen meeting, brought up the fact that the gymasium is located in the center of the building without doors or windows that open directly to the outside (unlike the auditorium which has exterior exits). She questioned whether this allowed for enough ventilation. Resident Marc Dorwart, posting in social media, asks why Town Meeting couldn't be held outdoors as several other towns are doing, or remotely like town board meetings and school classes. (The Courier has participated in several large meetings which handled voting in different ways effectively, but these take time to set up properly.)

The Board of Selectmen discussed the possibility of holding Town Meeting in the football field, but felt that accessibility for residents with mobility restrictions would be an issue.

Town Manager Keith Hickey assured the Board of Selectmen that the gymnasium and cafeteria are safe. "I do have a letter from the company doing HVAC work in the school, it says the use of those two rooms for the purpose of Town Meeting is safe, and there's no issues with utilizing either one of those rooms for that short time," he stated.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Winchendon this week.The total number of cases in Winchendon stands at 91. (See updated town-by-town reports from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, including an interactive map, here.) All of the north Central Massachusetts and Quabbin regions remain at low or very low levels of COVID numbers.

Most Toy Town businesses are open, with safety protocols requiring masks, distancing, and caps on the number of people in a space. The Senior Center, Beals Memorial Library and Town Hall remain closed to the public.

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, September 17, there have been 123,720 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (2,324 more than the previous week), with 9,036 fatalities (99 in the previous week).

Massachusetts is requiring visitors from every state except Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Colorado to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Massachusetts, unless they have had a negative COVID test in the past 72 hours. Rhode Island has been added to the quarantine list due to an increase in cases in that state. The negative test or quarantine rule will apply to college and university students returning to Massachusetts campuses. Colleges welcoming students back in person are housing some of them in hotels to allow single-occupancy, socially distanced residences, and are cracking down hard on parties and risky gatherings among students.

For full details and updates on Massachusetts state-wide COVID-19 news and restrictions, see There is a new state webpage on stopping COVID, You Have the Power to Save a Life. The Montachusett Public Health Network COVID-19 Hotline number, answering questions about the COVID-19 situation, is 1-844-968-3323.

In the meantime, modified Phase 3 guidelines continue to be in effect, as follows:

All residents are required to wear face masks when in proximity to other people, in private or public settings, indoors and outdoors, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people. Those at high risk should continue taking additional precautions to avoid infection by the virus. Face coverings must be worn by everyone over the age of 2 years who does not have a legitimate health exemption from wearing a mask. A fine of $500 may be imposed on persons not wearing masks when and where required.

Outdoor gatherings in a single space are limited to a maximum number of 50 persons. Any gathering, indoors or outdoors, where the space does not allow individuals to maintain six feet of social distance will be in violation of the rules, regardless of the number of persons present. This rule applies to programs, celebrations, social outings and "any other events that bring people together." It does not set limits on outdoor public spaces, political rallies or religious activities.

In any gathering of more than ten people who don't all live in the same household, every person over the age of 2 is required to wear a face covering. This applies to all venues and locations, public and private. Persons may be fined for not wearing a mask where required.

Alcoholic beverages may only be served in restaurants when accompanied by food prepared on site (not packaged snacks). Food must be ordered at the same time as an alcoholic beverage.

Retail stores may open with a maximum number of eight customers, or 40 percent of the building's occupancy limit, allowed inside at one time. Shoppers should wear face masks and maintain a six-foot distance from one another and from store employees. Fitting rooms are open by appointment. No sampling of personal products such as cosmetics will be allowed.

Restaurants will be open for indoor and outdoor dining, with tables six feet apart or separated by solid barriers. Parties will be capped at six persons, and menus must be disposable or electronic. Tables and chairs must be sanitized after each party leaves, and tables will have no place settings; tableware must be rolled or packaged. Employees must wear face masks, and diners should wear masks except when they are seated at the table. Self-serve stations are closed, no condiments will be left on tables, and no bar seating is allowed.

Hotels, inns, and other lodgings may open to general guests. Function rooms will remain closed, and all movable items (pens, directories, and so on) must be removed from rooms.

Day camps may open with safety guidelines, including temperature checks for children and staff, face masks, and a size limit of 10 campers on groups. Overnight camps may not open until Phase 4.

Libraries may open to patrons, with restrictions to be announced. Close-contact services such as nail salons, massage therapy, makeup salons, personal training, tattoo and piercing parlors, hair removal services, and tanning salons may open, with rules about sanitizing equipment and surfaces between clients. Funeral homes, warehouses, distribution centers, golf facilities, outdoor recreational facilities including pools, playgrounds and spray decks, and outdoor historical sites and spaces may open.

As of August 11, these rules may be enforced with a fine of up to $500 per violation, which may be imposed by the Department of Public Health, local boards of health, State Police and municipal police departments.

For complete details, see the overview on the website. Download the complete, 29-page report at Reopening Massachusetts (PDF).

Below is an updated list of the COVID-19 arrangements made by town community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, September 17. Changes have been happening very quickly and without notice, so call or check the websites or Facebook pages of a business or organization for the most up to date information. (Winchendon businesses or organizations who would like to be added to this list, or change their information, should email with details.)

Winchendon Public Schools
Remote classes began on September 14 for all students grades K-12. Murdock High School students will be on the remote learning plan for the entire school year (or until further notice). All elementary and middle school students will be on the remote learning plan until at least October 19, when hybrid plan students may return to school buildings for in-person classes. The school situation remains "fluid" and subject to changes, depending on guidelines from the state and whether COVID-19 cases surge or decrease.

Town Hall
During Phase 3, Town Hall remains closed to the public. Most staff will continue to work from home, but are responding to emails and phone calls (expect a delay). Most bills can be paid and applications submitted online, and payments can be dropped off in the dropbox by the Front Street entrance to the building. Board and committee meetings are rescheduled or meeting virtually (see individual pages for each Board or committee on the town website).

The transfer station is OPEN for regular extended hours (see "Toy Town FYIs, below). Residents using the transfer station should complete their visit quickly and maintain a six-foot distance from each other and from attendants.

Winchendon Fall Fest, originally scheduled for Saturday, October 10, has been cancelled.

The Police Station and Fire Station are fully staffed but closed to walk-in visits by the general public. Call 911 for emergencies only and the business numbers for general questions and calls (Police: 978-297-1212; Fire: 978-297-2324). See each department's Facebook page for ongoing updates and information.

The Winchendon Fire Department will hold its annual remembrance ceremony for those who perished on 9/11 on Friday, September 11, 2020 at 9:55 a.m. at the fire station, 405 Central Street. The public is welcome to attend. Please wear masks and maintain safe social distancing.

Old Murdock Senior Center
Closed to the public. Seniors may sign up for a grocery shopping trip on September 8th or September 29th--the van is limited to four persons each trip. There will be a pasta and sausage drive-through lunch on September 16, and Outdoor Bingo on September 30, weather permitting. Staff are at work and continue to deliver lunches to seniors, as well as bags of groceries. The Center is also delivering loaner books and jigsaw puzzles to seniors. Essential transportation offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact them if you're a senior and need groceries or medications. See their Facebook page for updates. 978-297-3155.

The Annual Wellness Day event scheduled for October has been cancelled.

Beals Memorial Library
Interlibrary Loan is now available. Copying and Fax service is available: make an appointment for dropping off and picking up materials. Payment due at drop-off (b/w copies $0.10 per side, color copies $0.25 per side, faxes $1.00 per page).
Building remains closed to the public, all programs, events and meetings suspended until further notice. Library materials may be borrowed via pickup in the library lobby or curbside. Patrons can reserve items over the phone (978-297-0300), by email or online. Pickup will be by appointment. Patrons must be wearing masks to enter the side door lobby, one at a time. Only physical items owned by Beals Memorial Library are available until further notice (no interlibrary loans). You can borrow library e-resources through the Beals website. (If you have a library card, you can use the Libby app to borrow ebooks via your cell phone.) Library materials can be returned in the outside drop box. Overdue fines are waived for the time being. Check the Beals Facebook page for video book readings by Library Director Manuel King.

Used book and media sale on Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:00 p.m. by appointment. Books and magazines by free donation, puzzles for $5, DVDs, music, video games and audio books $1. All proceeds go to future library programs and events. Call for an appointment.

The 2020 Toy Town Tree Festival will be run as an online virtual event. Watch the library Facebook page for updates.

BealsCon, originally scheduled for May 16, has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 5, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It will be held at the library as a scaled-back event.

Clark Memorial YMCA
Open under Phase 3 guidelines. Exercise classes have resumed in the gym (please bring your own water bottle and mat). Private and semi-private swim lessons beginning this fall. Youth fall soccer clinics have been scheduled. For full details and the new handbook for members, see their Facebook page or website.

Full day child care for school age children starting September 14, 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., $150 per week. Call 978-297-9622 or email Kyle Scrivines at with questions.

The Clark is hiring; see listing on "Your Town" page, with employment ads.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)
Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.

Tutoring/mentoring program for WPS students in conjunction with The Winchendon School. Limited space, call 978-297-1667 to get on the list.

NEW HOURS. CLOSED MONDAYS. Open Friday 8:00-3:00 with pantry 9:00-1:00. Public is allowed inside the building by appointment, three appointments per 30 minutes. NO ADMITTANCE WITHOUT MASK AND HANDS SANITIZED IN AND OUT WITH PROVIDED SANITIZER. CAC Haven of Hope is open to provide services during business hours, including showers, laundry, pre-made meals and relaxation area. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.

Winchendon American Legion Post 193
Outside Pavilion is open on weekends, Friday and Saturday. The monthly spaghetti dinner fundraiser is starting again as of July 9. See their Facebook page for updates.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center
Seppie's Ice Cream Parlor remains closed until further notice. Some fall activities are being planned including an escape room and a spooky tour of the Old Centre burial ground. See their Facebook page for updates and details. 978-297-2142.

The Dance Center
Studios re-open for in-person dance classes on September 14. Online virtual dance classes and activities continue. See their Facebook page for more information. 978-297-5678.


Carriage House Restaurant
Open for indoor dining starting June 24. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and specials. 978-297-1089.

Christo's Place
URGENTLY SEEKING delivery drivers, apply in person. Open for take-out only. Note temporary new hours: Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. & Fri-Sat-Sun 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Pay-by-phone, curbside pickup and free delivery available. Continuing to offer free bagged lunches to Winchendon public schools students who qualify for free or reduced school lunch--message them on Facebook in the morning to reserve a lunch. Christo's family and staff ask that as few people as possible come inside the store to pick up orders, to help keep everyone safer. 978-297-1142.

C & S Pizza
Open for take-out only. 978-297-2202.

Dunkin Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. Lobby was closed temporarily for extra cleaning and sanitizing.

Friends Garden
OPEN for take-out only as of May 1. 978-297-2277, 978-297-2278.

Gabby's Pizza
Back open for take-out only. Check their Facebook page for updates. New temporary hours, Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Occasionally close earlier. Offering "make your own pizza" kits: pound of fresh dough, pound of cheese and 1 oz of sauce, enjoy baking pizza with your kids! Note: customers MUST wear a mask to come inside to pick up orders. 978-297-3909.

The Glen Caffe
Open for dine-in and take-out as of Thursday, July 9, Thurs-Sat 4:00-8:00 p.m. 978-297-0800. Still preparing take-out meals for sale at Not Just Produced, 290 Central St.

Gourmet Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. No refills of reusable cups for sanitary reasons. You can call ahead with your order and it will be ready to pick up. 978-297-9700

The Harbour Sports Bar
Indoor seating for meals. Outdoor meals will be served Wed-Sat, 4:00-8:00 p.m. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Will be closed on July 4th. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
Limited indoor dining as of June 22. Outdoor seating for meals as of June 8. Menu, including daily specials, posted on their Facebook page. Customers are asked to wear masks when picking up orders, and to call in orders ahead if possible. 978-297-2233.

Lickity Splitz
Limited indoor seating, two tables available. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and information. Now open seven days a week.978-297-1777. September 27 will be last day of the season.
Special through September 18: Free Scoop and Topping for all teachers.

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
Outdoor dining in pavilion area as of June 10, full menu and beverages. No indoor seating yet. Open for take-out, pickup at Little Lizzie's ice cream window. Menu and online ordering may be done here. Beer and wine available for take-out. Local delivery available. Local ice cream now available. 978-297-2669, 978-297-1880.

Murdock Farm and Dairy Bar
Open for the season. Daily 1:00-9:00 p.m. Check their Facebook page for specials and updates. (Please keep your dog leashed so it won't chase the free-range chickens!) September 27 will be the last day of the season.

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
Closing at 11:00 a.m. this weekend, Sept. 19-20. Outdoor seating, limited indoor dining. Parties cannot be seated until everyone is present, due to space limitations. Customers are asked to respect protocols for sanitizing tables and keeping distance. Open for take-out. Will have some outside tables available. See their Facebook page for daily menus and specials. Grocery food (cheese, butter, bread, etc) available to order, cash only, delivery available. List with prices on their Facebook page. 978-616-8956.

Open for take-out only, see Facebook page for hours, weekly specials and ordering information. 978-297-0011.

Zoe's Restaurant and Pizzeria
Dining with outdoor seating. Open for take-out and delivery. Also offering take-out for beer and wine. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. Order on Wednesday and get a trivia question to answer! Hiring server/bartender, apply in person. 978-297-5200.


Beaman's Bait Shop
OPEN. Ring for admittance.

Belletetes Winchendon
Open to customers but asks that you place orders for curbside pickup, or delivery, if at all possible. The new email address for ordering is Reduced hours, closed Sundays. For details, see the most recent customer update (March 27) on their Facebook page.

Cumberland Farms


Deedee's Treasures
Store closed to walk-in customers for health reasons. Can arrange purchase and pickup of fabric by appointment. Customers are asked to wear masks and maintain distancing during appointments. Call 978-413-0415. See their Facebook page for further updates, including new stock and announcements.

Family Dollar

Horse & Buggy Feeds
Garden plants, supplies. See their Facebook page for news and specials. Only eight customers inside at a time, customers are asked to maintain social distancing.

Not Just Produced
New and additional inventory. Deli is now open. Locally grown produce and beef, local cheese. Hosting the Winchendon Mobile Market on Fridays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Packaged meals ready-to-go prepared by the Glen Caffe. Organic produce from Charlie's Redhouse Farm.Only ten customers can be inside the store at one time. New phone number: 978-297-7142. Call and order ahead for curbside pickup.

Pattie's Jewelry
Store open to the public, with limits on number of people inside at one time. See their Facebook page for daily specials and information. Hand delivery of local purchases, layaway available. 978-297-3536.

The Perennial Patch
Open for the season. 978-297-0604.

Powell Stone and Gravel
Buildings closed to public. Open for phone orders with curbside pickup or delivery. Order by phone, email or text. See complete information here (PDF). 978-297-5600.

Reflections Country Collections
OPEN. See their Facebook page for hours and updates. 978-297-2411.


Robin's Retro Dolls
Re-opening for appointments starting August 7. PM Robin for an appointment. Store currently closed to customers but Robin is buying and selling dolls by appointment, mail order, and on eBay. Contact her at 978-912-1688 with inquiries. If you have a doll to sell, text a photo to 978-912-1688 and she'll get back to you. Watch her Facebook page for updates.

Smith's Country Cheese
OPEN. Call for curbside pickup. 978-939-5738. (Please note that the CheeseFest and CheeseChase events planned for May 17 have been postponed to a later date TBD.)

Sunset View Farm
Open for the season. Only one family in the stand at a time, please wear face masks. 978-297-2305. See their Facebook page for hours and updates.

To Each His Own Design
Store is open to customers. Taking orders by phone or over the internet, delivering. See their Facebook page for news and specials. 978-297-3959.

Toy Town Treasures
Open with Phase 3 precautions. No more than eight customers inside at one time, face masks required. Closed on July 4th. See their Facebook page for updates and specials.

Winchendon Furniture
Winchendon and Keene showrooms now open. Customers asked to wear face masks. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the store. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and specials. 978-297-0131.


Athol Savings Bank
Building closed to walk-in customers. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. 978-249-3200.

Brooks Automotive
Open for Inspection stickers during business hours, no appointment needed. Open for repairs and towing services. Call or check their Facebook page for updates and hours. 978-297-2561.

Clifford P. Beauvais Insurance Agency
Open Mon-Thur 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Fri 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For emergencies outside these hours, email If possible, call or email before coming to the office. Must wear a face mask to come inside. 978-297-0472.

LaPoint Law Office
Office is closed to the public, but attorneys are responding to queries and serving existing clients. Contact them at 978-297-2390, 978-297-3673, or by fax at 978-616-8491, or by email at:,, or See their Facebook page for more information.

Tip Top Nails
Open as of June 22. 978-297-0400.

Toy Town Barber Shop
Open with precautions as of Tuesday, May 26. Customers are asked to wear masks and stay six feet apart while waiting. Advance appointments preferred. Call Sharon Esper at 603-554-2402 (cell) or 978-297-7354 (shop) to make an appointment.


The Chapel, The Chapel Downtown
Holding worship services in the chapel. Attendance limited, all attendees must follow guidelines. Services will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. See their Facebook page or website for more information.

Cornerstone Church
In-person Sunday worship services with a limit of 65 attendees. Online services will continue to be offered. Holding virtual prayer meetings online. See their Facebook page for more information.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
Open for mass at 6:30 p.m. Services will return to normal schedule with guidelines in place. Attendance will be limited and all attendees must wear masks. See the church Facebook page for more information. Contact the office at, Fr. Henry at, or call 978-297-0280.

Our Neighbor's Kitchen community suppers have resumed as take-out meals on first and third Thursdays of the month. Backpack program for students aged Pre-K though high school every Thursday 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the parking lot, no one turned away. Accepting donations of clean, good condition clothing, shoes, linens, blankets, accessories through October 22, drop-off container in church parking lot.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon
Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers are being distributed as “drive-through/take-out" from the church circular driveway every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. until further notice. AA Meeting has resumed on Monday nights at 7:45 p.m. in the church parish hall. For more information about these and other events, visit their Facebook page or website:

United Parish of Winchendon
In-person worship services resuming Sunday, June 28. Pre-registration required; check their Facebook page for registration form and further updates. Sunday worship being streamed online, see their Facebook page for information, as well as for daily videos, Bible readings and prayers.

Town [Still] Seeks Volunteers for Town Committees and Boards

If you'd like to be an active participant in decision-making and management for your community, consider joining a town committee or board. There are a number of vacancies currently open.

Communications Commission - 3 vacancies
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 10 vacancies (can have up to 19 members)
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Library Trustees - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 regular vacancy, 2 student vacancies
Toy Town Community Partnership - 2 vacancies
Winchendon Community Park Committee (formerly the Ingleside Utilization Committee) - 5 vacancies (can have up to 15 members)
Zoning Board of Appeals - 1 regular vacancy, 2 alternates vacancies

If you'd like more information about any of these positions or are interested in being considered for an appointment, contact the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085, or send a letter to Town Manager, 109 Front Street Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475.

A complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for July, 2020, may be found here (PDF).

Winchendon CVS One of 21 COVID-19 Test Locations in Massachusetts

Beginning Friday, May 22, the Winchendon CVS will be offering COVID-19 tests to residents who meet CDC criteria for testing and age requirements. The tests will use a self-swab system, and residents must register for an appointment in advance and drive to the drive-through window to be tested. No tests will be administered on a walk-in basis for safety reasons. The CVS store is located at 301 Central Street.

Patients should make an appointment at, and bring the appointment confirmation, proof of identity and date of birth, and an insurance card with them. Most patients will not have any out-of-pocket costs, as health insurance will cover the test, but patients can check with their insurer to confirm that the test is covered.

This test is for active COVID-19 infections. It is not an antibody test to discern a past infection.

Full details are on the CVS website.

CVS plans to open 1,000 test sites across the country.

Make DIY Cloth Face Masks

Many people are sewing cloth face masks for themselves and for health care workers. There is even a Facebook group supporting this effort, Mask Makers.

There are a number of patterns available on the Internet. The Courier is sharing the PDF pattern below, which includes templates and clear, photograph-illustrated sewing directions, for the convenience of our readers. The pattern is being distributed by Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, NH and may be copied and shared freely.

The CDC has issued a nationwide advisory asking people to wear face masks at all times when out in public. COVID-19 is spread primarily through the air, and infected persons are the most contagious before they have any symptoms. It's estimated that as many as 50 percent of infected persons may never show symptoms or get sick, but still are able to infect others. Wearing face masks will significantly reduce the chances of infected people spreading the virus.

Face Mask Pattern and Directions (PDF)

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Do You Have a Garden in Winchendon?

You can help the Winchendon HEAL Project bring affordable, whole food back to town by telling us about your garden! Fill out this online survey:

What is the HEAL Winchendon Food Project?

Toy Town FYIs

Special and Annual Town Meeting Scheduled for Monday, September 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Murdock Middle High School Gymnasium
3 Memorial Drive
Face masks/coverings REQUIRED
Social Distancing Guidelines will be adhered to

Final Warrant with BoS and FinCom Recommendations (PDF)

Is Your House Number Clearly Visible from the Street?
The Winchendon Fire Department reminds all residents to make sure their house number is clearly visible for first responders who may need to find you. Numbers should be at least four inches high and facing the street, with lighting if possible. Put numbers on a contrasting background so they will stand out. If your driveway is long, put the number on a mailbox or pole on the street or at the end of driveway, facing in both directions. (Reflective numbers are helpful.) Check your house numbers to make sure foliage has not grown up in front of them without your being aware of it.

The 2020 Town Street List is now available at Town Hall. Printed copies may be purchased for $8.00 ($5.00 for seniors). Call the Town Clerk's office at 978-297-2766 and one will be brought outside for you. The complete list may be downloaded as a PDF, here.

There will be a $20 late fee for unlicensed dogs beginning July 15.

The 2019 Annual Town Report may be downloaded as a PDF from the town website. Printed copies are available at Town Hall, and will be distributed at Annual Town Meeting as usual, when Town Meeting takes place (still to be determined).

Transfer Station Open Extended Hours

From June 1st to October 1st, the transfer station will be open as follows:

Thursday - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Water Conservation Restrictions in Place

Beginning on May 1st and ending October 1st, the Town will be under a mandatory even / odd water conservation schedule.

Outdoor watering by water users with odd numbered addresses is restricted to odd numbered days. Outdoor watering by water users with even numbered addresses is restricted to even numbered days. Watering is only permitted from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Please direct any questions to the DPW at 978-297-0170.

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