About The Sudbury History Center
The Loring Parsonage Today After RenovationSudbury Historical Society, Inc. Opening in Fall 2020, The Sudbury Historical Society is in the final phase of its most ambitious project to date, creating the Sudbury History Center and Museum in the town-owned c1730 Loring Parsonage in Sudbury’s Town Center. The project has revitalized an historic town asset and will allow us to safely store and exhibit the SHS’s collections, accommodate our growing membership and volunteer corps, facilitate scholarly research, and provide a fully accessible visitor’s center for Sudbury’s residents and tourists.
The nonprofit SHS is an active membership-based organization dedicated to collecting and preserving Sudbury’s historic records, promoting study of local history, and connecting people to Sudbury’s traditions through educational programming and community engagement. With a vibrant History Center we can now achieve our mission easier. Our vision for the town-owned Loring Parsonage was to create for an inclusive, active, multifunctional facility for all ages. We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to build something outstanding for Sudbury.
Why the Loring Parsonage?
The choice to establish the History Center in the heart of Sudbury was purposeful. SHS Trustees considered this decision carefully with extensive research over several years. A feasibility study proved that the Parsonage would not only accommodate SHS operations but also provide a focal point for the town's history.
The Loring Parsonage circa 1890Etching by J. S. Conant, from Alfred S. Hudson, History of Sudbury, 1889The Loring Parsonage, home of Sudbury’s first minister and later Wheeler and Haynes family descendants, is an important structure because of who lived there and because it is one of the few extant buildings of its type which, as a town resource, would be opened to the public with the SHS as the lessee. (See Sudbury History Virtual Tour for the history of the building.)
As the Town Center has just undergone infrastructure improvements the History Center will support the Town’s investment in this revitalization. The location will allow greater collaboration with other historic entities there. It will promote the use of the Town Hall, Grange Hall, and park lands. The tourism potential is great. With the Wayside Inn campus in South Sudbury and the Town Center historic resources as a draw, there is no need for out-of-town guests to go far afield to learn about local history. Sudbury has what is needed and tourism dollars spent in town are a win for Sudbury.
Beyond tourism and maintaining character, the History Center would also create a place for people to learn, to use their skills, to understand why Sudbury’s unique past is relevant to the present — why history is important for the future of our Town.
Where We Are Now
The Loring Parsonage Renovated Gallery SpaceSudbury Historical Society With the construction phase of the Loring Parsonage completed in October, 2019, the interior design needed to turn this newly rehabilitated building into a functioning museum and archive space was undertaken.
A permanent gallery featuring the history of Sudbury through time, two rotating galleries, a unique gift shop and welcome center are being designed and created. This will allow the residents of Sudbury access to our numerous collections of artifacts, photographs and documents.
Sketch of a display case in the Baggott Gallery
We can't wait to build out our future history center and offices into the gem of Sudbury Center and can't wait to share it with our members! Keep an eye out for updates though our social media platforms and direct mail/emails in 2020.
The Loring Parsonage Renovated StaircaseSudbury Historical Society