A Tale of Two Gavels
On January 29, 1971, the Millbury Town Hall was destroyed by fire.
Warren Baldwin, Chartering President of the Millbury Historical Society, and his
father, former Selectman and Town Moderator Fred Baldwin, received
permission from Fire Chief Kenneth Army to enter the building.
Knowing that the Town Hall was a total loss, the pair was determined to save a
part of the building for posterity. Fire hoses were still running as they used a
chainsaw to cut out a section of the beautiful mahogany handrail of the
staircase on the right side of the lobby.
Later, Fred Baldwin took the railing to his home in Sutton where he handcrafted
two identical gavels in his shop.
At the next Annual Town Meeting following the fire, Warren Baldwin, on behalf
of his father, presented the Town Moderator Paul Dempsey with one of the
historically-significant gavels to be used to conduct Millbury’s future Town Meetings.
The other gavel was just recently donated to the Millbury Historical Society by Warren Baldwin,
now a resident of Myrtle Beach, SC, for safe-keeping and preservation.