Lifetime Preservation Award to Barbara J. Maynard

OLD SAYBROOK — To recognize individuals who have made a difference, the Old Saybrook Historical Society is presenting its “Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation” to former eight-time First Selectwoman Barbara J. Maynard for her many achievements in historic preservation.

She becomes the third recipient of the Preservation Award and the first to receive it for her Lifetime Achievements.

In her honor the Historical Society is planting a Valley Forge Elm and placing a bench with a marker at Saybrook Fort Monument Park. Ceremonies will be conducted on Friday, July 12 at 4 p.m. The public is invited.

Ms. Maynard served as First Selectwoman from 1973 until 1989 and her love for the town and its history, plus a touch of political savvy, found expression in her signature campaign materials which were large size postcards of long-gone views of Old Saybrook.

More notably, she led efforts to obtain the town’s mini-golf course and the nearby Sandbar Restaurant, today’s Vicki Duffy Pavilion and arranged with the State of Connecticut for the purchase at $1 of what is today the Saybrook Fort Memorial Park. She also arranged for the purchase of Harvey’s Beach.

Long a lover of local history, she worked with Elaine Staplins to conceptualize the history of Old Saybrook for the tile wall in Acton Library.

She was a major contributor to the publication of “Faces and Places,” co-author of “Old Saybrook: Postcard History,” and instrumental in publishing “Glimpses of Saybrook in Colonial Days” by Harriet Chapman Chesebrough.

Her efforts have also extended to natural history and she has nurtured and planted seedlings from to town’s 1876 Centennial Elms. She almost single handedly saved the Centennial Elm in front of McDonald’s Restaurant when the Department of Transportation wanted to remove it to widen the Post Road.

“Planting an elm in her honor is most appropriate,” according to Historical Society president Marie McFarlin. “She has been a visionary for practical preservation and her lifetime achievements have defined our community and made it a unique and better place to live, work and play.”

By Tedd Levy
Connecticut Media Group

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