The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of November 12 to November 19, 2020
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Robinson Broadhurst Foundation and Abacus Architects Present Plans and Timeline for Performing Arts Center in Winchendon Community Park

At the Board of Selectmen meeting held in the Town Hall second floor auditorium on Monday, November 9, representatives from the Winchendon Community Park Infrastructure Committee, the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation and Abacus Architects and Planners presented details about the proposed Winchendon Community Park Performing Arts Center, which is on track to break ground next May and be ready for use by June, 2022. (For previous coverage of this project, see "Focus Group Offers Feedback on Plans for Amphitheatre in Winchendon Community Park" in the January 30-February 6 edition (scroll down to article) of the online Winchendon Courier.)

Winchendon Community Park Infrastructure Committee Chair Dave Romanowski began the presentation by introducing Don VanEtten, President of the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation, who described the overall history of the project. Mr. VanEtten explained that the Foundation began in 2009 with a community forum in Stamford, New York. Community members were asked five key questions, and the information gathered was given to a steering committee which developed a plan to restore and improve the Stamford Veterans Park, adding a gazebo and a new monument. "The project was a big success and a direct result of the 2009 forum held in Stamford," Mr. VanEtten said.

Mr. Van Etten explained that then-President of the Foundation, Charles Ladd MacKenzie, "thought it was only fair to do a similar project in Winchendon. So in September of 2013, the Foundation held a forum at the American Legion. There were approximately 75 in attendance at this forum, representing approximately 30 organizations. Local businesses, town government, schools, churches, veterans' groups, and service organizations all attended. Those in attendance were asked the same five questions as the Stamford group." These questions were:

List as many reasons as you can think of why people choose to live in the Winchendon community.
List what you think are some of the greatest needs of the Winchendon community.
List what you think the challenges are in meeting those needs.
What would bring everyone--government, businesses, not-for-profits, community organizations, and residents--in the community to the table to work at overcoming those challenges.
What resources could your organization contribute to this joint effort?

The Winchendon steering committee boiled down the responses into a list of priorities for the town: family connections; natural resources; activities for families and children; Whitney Pond; entertainment; business community development; group participation; develop more community investment; well-defined project with an end result; improved pride in the community; and common goal.

Mr. VanEtten stated that the Foundation sees the Ingleside property (now the Winchendon Community Park) as incorporating "each of these responses that have been given by members of this community. Activities for families and children, activities for teens, Whitney Pond, entertainment, group participation, community investment, well-defined project with an end result, and pride in the community."

"The intention of this project," Mr. Van Etten said, "was to get people from different organizations to all work together towards one common goal: a project that would be for the betterment of this community and its citizens and something that would benefit many. The project was to remain separate from the Foundation's regular grant cycle and is a gift from the Foundation to the community. Ingleside is a beautiful asset in the heart of Winchendon which will benefit the community for many years to come."

David Pollak of Abacus Architects and Planners then came forward to give a PowerPoint presentation of the project as it has been developed so far. A 24 by 38 foot stage will be built, roofed but open to the back and one side, on a concrete slab covered with bluestone. One side will comprise a storage area for equipment. The stage will face up the slope, which will be terraformed into a natural tiered amphitheatre with low stone walls and broad level turfed terraces, able to seat 300 people. Audiences can sit on the grass in lawn chairs or on blankets, or sit on the stone walls which will be seat-height. Two paved areas in the top and bottom tiers will accommodate wheelchairs. Audience members will be able to see Whitney Pond behind the stage, which is just outside the required 100-foot buffer for the wetlands zone.

The entire park will be improved as part of this project, with paths paved and made accessible, lighting installed, electrical and storm water drainage upgraded, and an enhanced security system put in place. Ingleside Road will be widened and improved, and a parking area with 56 spaces will be created, along with a smaller parking area for handicapped parking close to the stage. The decrepit house on the property will be demolished (some asbestos remediation is required). The barn and garage are in fairly good condition and will be retained, with plans to renovate them as part of future projects.

The total project cost is estimated to be $3,250,000, all of which is being covered by Robinson Broadhurst as a gift to the town. Construction is expected to begin in May, 2021. The estimated completion date is December, 2021. The amphitheatre will be opened in June, 2022 to allow the grass on the tiers at least two growing seasons to mature.

(Complete presentation may be viewed here. (PDF))

Selectman Rick Ward asked whether the short timeline was realistic, reminding the Board that the Beals Library addition, also designed by Abacus, ran into long delays due to issues with the contractors. Mr. Pollak replied, "The construction is really quite humble...I think the biggest variable in terms of time is going to be National Grid." He added, "it's mostly just a site improvement project, a backhoe project, most of it."

Selectman Audrey LaBrie noted, "I believe our Central Street Reconstruction is still on for next year. So you'll have to be coming in around the other way, perhaps, because Central Street is going to be...I don't know how it's going to be passable, I haven't seen all the details yet. But with the potential of this going through, next year is going to be a busy year in town."

Mr. Romanowski put in, "I don't even know how to express our gratitude to Robinson Broadhurst for what they've done for us...The trust they've put in us, to bring this project to fruition, this whole town, is amazing. I think we all owe an obligation to make sure that we do the best job that we absolutely can with this thing, because quite honestly, in my opinion, this could change the whole complexion of the town. We could put a new face on Winchendon and it could make Winchendon a destination community. So I think with that going forward, I think we all ought to just thank Robinson Broadhurst, and buckle up and get ready for the trip."

Board of Selectmen Chair Mike Barbaro said, "I think you, Dave, we owe you a debt of gratitude, because your work, along with your committees, to move this forward, has brought to where we are today, so not only do we thank Robinson Broadhurst, but we thank you and the committees that you formed, to bring this to this community, and it will be a game-changer, as far as bringing entertainment and people in, and then maybe it will help revitalize. And it's going to be perfect, because it's going to be in conjunction with our revitalization of Central Street, so we have two huge projects going on, but it will bring people in, and maybe we can revitalize our downtown, so, on behalf of myself I'd like to say thank you as a citizen of Winchendon, and as Board of Selectmen Chairman again I say thank you."

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to approve the project as presented.

sample of stage
Left: Architectural rendering of the proposed stage. Right: an example of the tiered natural seating for the amphitheatre.

Board of Selectmen Vote to Return to Remote Zoom Meetings

At their meeting on Monday, November 9, the Board of Selectmen voted to return to remote meetings via Zoom until further notice. The Board had resumed in-person meetings in the Town Hall 2nd Floor Auditorium as of Monday, October 5, but had only met there twice due to the auditorum being used for early voting for the last two weeks of October.

Both pros and cons of meeting remotely were considered. Board of Selectmen Chair Mike Barbaro introduced the question, saying, "with the surge that's coming, that's already underway in the state of Massachusetts, I think it would be advisable for us to go back to a Zoom meeting, because obviously we can't have that many people here and we've got some additional hearings coming up that there'll be more participation." At the November 9 meeting, it was necessary to swap out attendees to keep the room below its maximum limit, due to the large number of persons associated with various presentations or items on the agenda.

Selectman Audrey LaBrie said that she agreed with returning to remote meetings, but suggested that some protocols for managing the meetings needed to be tightened up. "It's very difficult to keep track of who is speaking at the time, and make sure you scroll back and forth on the screens, to make sure if somebody raises a hand. So maybe we can work on our protocol for handling the Zoom meetings, so we can get better at making sure that the people are heard. I know that it's very different people who have attended in-person meetings. They understand the Robert's Rules, one person at a time, you're recognized by the chair before you speak. It's great to see all the new people out there, getting interested in the town politics, or the town workings I should say, but they just don't understand the background of how the meetings are supposed to be run."

The Board agreed that citizens attending meetings remotely should log on with their real names and turn on their video "so we know who, in fact, we're talking with," as Ms. LaBrie said. The Board also agreed that asking attendees to familiarize themselves with Robert's Rules of Order and the protocols for meetings, and also to have read the agenda in advance, were reasonable requests.

(See this handy cheat sheet, Robert's Rules of Order Simplified (PDF). --Ed.)

Selectman Rick Ward suggested, "I would also like to let us think about, when this COVID pandemic is all over, and we go back to regularly scheduled meetings in this hall, that we also look at remote ways to get this out, whether it's Zoom or any other method, because that's also in keeping with the proposed Master Plan that we all looked at. So yes for Zoom now, and when we go back to non-Zoom, that we at least have some remote form from the meetings, as we do them live."

The Board voted unanimously to return to remote meetings via Zoom as of the November 23 meeting. Attendees will be asked to put their questions into the Zoom chat box, identifying themselves with their full name and street address for recording in the official minutes.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Clark YMCA November Special Offer

Subway Catering for Holidays ad

art installation
The first of a series of "Big Toy" art installations planned by the Toy Town Community Partnership has been installed in Grout Park at the junction of Spring and Glenallen Streets. This giant bicycle will greet visitors to town at the entrance to the Bike Path.
See "Toy Town Community Partnership Proposes 'Big Toy' Display for downtown Winchendon" in the February 13-20 edition (scroll down to article) of the online Winchendon Courier.
Photo credit: Jill Sackett

Central Mass Tree

State Changes "Metrics" for Reporting COVID Rates as MA Death Total Passes 10,000

On Friday, November 6, as new targeted restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 took effect, Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker announced in a press conference that the state was adopting new metrics for reporting case numbers and assigning risk to individual communities. This has made it difficult to compare previous history with the current numbers provided by the state. Far fewer cities and towns are now designated "red" or highest risk using the newer metrics.

Winchendon's official case count is now 132 (that's total confirmed cases since March). As of November 11, 796 tests had been done in Winchendon in the previous two weeks, and 30 tests returned a positive result. This represents a sharp increase in Winchendon's rate of new cases. However, according to the revised state "color coded" map, Winchendon is still yellow, or "moderate risk." (See updated town-by-town reports from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, including an interactive map, here.)

At the Friday press conference, Gov. Baker reiterated the importance of in-person learning for students, and emphasized that COVID transmission in schools remains very low. He cited Catholic schools in the state which have had full in-person classes since August and have reported very few cases.

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, November 12, there have been 174,953 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (16,016 more than the previous week), with 10,015 fatalities (179 in the previous week). New cases continue to surge across the state, with deaths and hospitalizations also increasing.

Nationwide, the COVID pandemic continues to increase, with more than 150,000 new cases now reported daily. A report in the Washington Post suggests that the current surge of cases is driven by small informal gatherings in homes--dinner parties, gaming nights, and so on--where people let their guard, and their masks, down because they feel safe with people they know. A single asymptomatic guest sharing a space for several hours can transmit the virus to everyone else present.

Gov. Baker continues to implore Massachusetts residents to comply with safety restrictions intended to stop the virus, including the new restrictions which went into effect on Friday, November 6.

Almost all businesses and public venues must cease operation by 9:30 p.m. All citizens are on a "stay at home advisory" between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. except for work, school, or essential errands such as buying food or medication. This is an advisory, not a formal curfew.

Face masks are required for anyone over the age of 5 in any public setting, indoors or outdoors, whether they are maintaining a six-foot distance or not. Anyone who steps outside their home anywhere must be wearing a mask. (Winchendon Town Manager Keith Hickey states that the Winchendon police will stop persons out in public without masks.)

The most drastic of the new rules addresses the problem of new COVID clusters originating in social gatherings at private homes, where people often feel they don't need to maintain social distancing or wear masks. Occupancy limits for gatherings in private homes have been reduced to 10 people indoors, 25 people outside, masks must be worn (unless everyone present lives together in that household) and gatherings must end by 9:30 p.m.

As with existing rules, fines of up to $500 may be imposed for failure to comply with these new protocols. Full details are available in the following documents:

Governor's Order Requiring Early Closing of Businesses and Gatherings (PDF)

Governor's Order Limiting Attendance in Public/Private Settings (PDF)

Revised Governor's Order Required Face Coverings (PDF)

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, Step 2 of Phase 3 guidelines continue to be in effect, as follows:

In any gathering of more than ten people who don't all live in the same household, every person over the age of 5 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 ten persons, and menus are preferably disposable or electronic. Laminated plastic menues must be sanitized after each use. 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 no more than fifty percent of maximum capacity. 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.

All states except Hawaii, Washington, California, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are considered "high risk states." Travelers from those states, or Massachusetts residents who visit those states and return, must quarantine for 14 days after they arrive in Massachusetts.

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 Winchendon community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, November 12. 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 until further notice, possibly returning to classrooms on January 4. All elementary and middle school students will be on the remote learning plan until at least November 2. Hybrid plan students are now slated to return to classrooms on a four-phase staggered schedule from November 2 to January 4, as work on the building HVAC and ventilation systems is completed. 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 for general business, except for some Boards and committees that have resumed in-person meetings which the public may attend (masks are required). 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. See agendas for Board and Committee meetings for detailed information on whether meetings will be in person or held remotely via Zoom, and how to attend.

The transfer station is OPEN for regular hours. Residents using the transfer station should complete their visit quickly and maintain a six-foot distance from each other and from attendants.

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.

Old Murdock Senior Center
Closed to the public. 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. On November 18, there will be a grab and go beef stew lunch--call to RSVP. See their Facebook page for updates. 978-297-3155.

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. The library is waiting for air quality tests and approval from the state and there is a long backlog of libraries and public buildings ahead of them. 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. See the library's Facebook page for Bealscon contests and challenges!

Clark Memorial YMCA
Open under Phase 3 guidelines. Registration open for second fall sessions of classes. 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. Fall gymnastics classes will start October 5. 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)
Construction has begun on the new walk-in food storage area.
Thanksgiving baskets will be distributed on November 18.
Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.
Accepting donations of non-perishable food for Thanksgiving dinner baskets.
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. Accepting donations, see new guidelines. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.

Winchendon American Legion Post 193
Building closed until further notice, due to COVID restrictions. See post on their Facebook page.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center
Seppie's Ice Cream Parlor remains closed until further notice. See their Facebook page for updates about future events. 978-297-2142.

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


Carriage House Restaurant
Open for indoor dining. 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. 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 Tues-Sat, 4:00-8:00 p.m. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. 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

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
Open for indoor dining. 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

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
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


Family Dollar

Horse & Buggy Feeds
Closed on Monday October 12. 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.

Sunset View Farm

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. 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
Branches are now open to customers as of October 5. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. All branches will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 26-27. 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. NOTE: some posts on this Facebook page contain false information and/or are shared from unreliable sources.

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.

Children's Religious Education classes will be resuming soon.

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. "Black Friday" Spirit of Christmas Toy Drive on Friday, November 27. Holiday Bazaar and cookie sale on Saturday, December 5. 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. Sunday School has resumed--pre-register on the church website. Zoom meetings and at-home study materials are also both available for Sunday School.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of November 9

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.

Recreation Commission - 3 regular vacancies, 2 student vacancies
VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED! The Recreation Commission does not have a quorum!

Conservation Commission - 1 vacancy
Communications Commission - 3 vacancies
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 9 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Library Trustees - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Redevelopment Authority - 1 vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 2 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 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

Sign up for Code Red Emergency Alerts
Sign up for our emergency notification program today! Receive up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency in your neighborhood. You can choose to be notified via voice, text and email notifications of emergency and inclement weather alerts.

Please Do Not Flush Sanitizing Wipes Down the Toilet
Wipes Clog Pipes!

The Department of Public Works is asking all users of the public sewer system to please be careful not to flush santizing wipes down the toilet. These wipes collect in the pumps and destroy them, causing the Town to be forced to replace two pumps just in the last month alone. If a pump at the wastewater treatment plant were to burn out from wipe accumulation, it would cost the Town $30,000 to replace it. Please throw these wipes into your rubbish instead.

The annual drawdown for Lake Monomonac will commence on October 15, 2020. It will be done slowly concluding by December 1, 2020.
The drawdown will begin on the West Monomonac Rd. spillway and conclude at the Great Dam on Beachview Drive.
This 3 foot drawdown has been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Winchendon’s Conservation Commission.

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.

The 2019 Annual Town Report may be downloaded as a PDF from the town website. Printed copies are available at Town Hall (call the Town Clerk's office and arrange a time for one to be brought out for you).

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