The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of May 6 to May 13, 2021
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Three Articles Concerning Mellen Road will be Presented to Voters at Annual Town Meeting

At Winchendon's 2021 Annual Town Meeting, slated to convene on Monday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Murdock Middle/High School, voters will consider three articles related to accepting Mellen Road as a town way.

Article 19 (page 17 of the final Warrant) asks voters "[t]o see if the Town will vote to accept Mellen Road as a public town way, for all purposes customary as a public way including maintenance and repair, in the location laid out by the Board of Selectmen, on plan noted as Mellen Road Roadway Acceptance Plan, dated April 23, 2021, and drawn by McCarty Engineering Inc., with reference points noted at southerly border at 565 Mellen Road, extending northerly to 215 Mellen Road..."

Article 20 (page 17 of the final Warrant) asks voters to "authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire, by purchase, gift, eminent domain or otherwise, for public way purposes, easements or other interests in land in the location more or less depicted as 'Mellen Road' on the plan entitled: 'Mellen Road Roadway Acceptance Plan, dated April 23, 2021'..." and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the Massachusetts General Court to pass a Special Act allowing the state to convey easements to the town.

Article 24 (page 19 of the final Warrant) was placed by Citizen Petition. It is the same as Article 19 with the addition of a waiver statement: "The residents of Mellen Road are not waiving: earlier public designations/recognitions, ANR, public nature by prescription, and/or other actions/omissions and/or statements that the road is a public way, and the residents of Mellen Road reserve all remedies for the Town of Winchendon attempting to change positions, including, but not limited to, damages and attorneys’ fees."

What Voters Need to Know
This situation has become so complex, members of the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee abstained from voting on recommending the Articles, saying they were too unclear on the issues. Following is a brief explanation.

The debate about Mellen Road began in the spring of 2020 when some residents of Mellen Road were informed by former Town Manager Keith Hickey that the town would no longer perform simple repairs or maintenance on the road, as it was a private way. Homeowners asserted that their deeds, and their understanding when they purchased their lots, was that Mellen Road was a town road and public way.

Since then, both sides have maintained their positions. Mellen Road residents have undertaken in-depth research at personal expense. Their arguments are:

  • Mellen Road is "an ancient road" (a legal designation), having existing within its present bounds for two centuries or more (it appears on a map published in 1868);
  • Mellen Road is "a road by prescription," a legal designation whereby a road that has been in common use for many years without being challenged or defended by a property owner may be claimed as a public way by a town;
  • The town has treated Mellen Road as a public way since the late 1980s by initially paving it, repairing it, plowing it, and granting Approval Not Required (ANR) plans to developers who sold lots on the road;
  • The homeowners' deeds do not indicate that the properties are located on a private way, as would be required by law if they were.
The town's arguments are:
  • Mellen Road was discontinued as a public way by a vote of Town Meeting in 1914;
  • There is, in the present day, a fixed set of procedures required to accept a road as a town way which include bringing the road up to a standard of repair, surveying the metes and bounds, acquiring easements from abuttors and finally presenting the road to Town Meeting. The voters ultimately decide whether to accept the road.
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts holds easements to Mellen Road because of the Winchendon State Forest on the east side of the road, which was deeded to the state in 1965.
The residents of Mellen Road ask the town to admit that it has been mistaken all along and designate Mellen Road a town way. The town does not admit that it was in error, and holds that Mellen Road has not been a public way since 1914.

Efforts by all parties to discover details about the ownership of the road, the easements and the State Forest have led to missing or obscure documents and more questions.

In the meantime, the town has proceeded to treat Mellen Road as an unaccepted road that it wants to accept. The road was repaired and repaved last fall, as approved by voters at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting on September 28, 2020. The metes and bounds have been surveyed and a layout plan prepared.

However, at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting, Mellen Road residents submitted a Citizen Petition (Article 27 on the 2020 ATM Warrant) demanding that the Board of Selectmen designate Mellen Road a town road and public way by prescription. Voters approved the article. The Board of Selectmen did not designate Mellen Road a public way by prescription in accordance with the decision of Winchendon voters.

The Warrant Articles
Article 20 was added to the Warrant by Interim Town Manager Steve Delaney. This article represented the next step in the town's procedure to accept Mellen Road, by acquiring easements for the road as laid out in the prepared Acceptance Plan. On a private way, property lines are considered to be the center of the road, and property owners also own their half of the road.

Residents of Mellen Road argued that the state had informed them, in writing, that it has no jurisdiction over Mellen Road. (The Courier has this document on file.) They predict that attempting to acquire easements from the state will be a dead end, as the state will deny having easements to grant and will hand back the issue to the town. Residents also assert that they themselves can't grant easements which their deeds say they don't own to grant.

Consequently, Mellen Road resident David Watkins asked Mr. Delaney if he could draft a Warrant article asking voters to simply accept Mellen Road as a public way, within a specified range of addresses on the road. Mr. Delaney told Mr. Watkins he could do so, and Mr. Watkins submitted the draft article to Mr. Delaney directly.

This became Article 19.

Residents of Mellen Road then became concerned about possible consequences to themselves if they conceded their position that Mellen Road had been a public way throughout the time they owned their properties. Assisted by Selectman Barbara Anderson, residents collected signatures to place Article 24 on the Warrant by Citizen Petition.

Article 24 asks voters to simply accept Mellen Road as a public way, like Article 19. But Article 24 includes a "statement of nonwaiver" that the residents of Mellen Road firmly hold to their position that Mellen Road is, de facto and in usage, a public way and has been all along, and they do not waive any of their rights as property owners on a public way in cooperating with the town's procedures to nominally accept the road.

It is unclear what, if any, actual risks accrue to the homeowners on Mellen Road by agreeing with the town's procedures. The residents of Mellen Road ask the voters of Winchendon to approve Article 24 rather than Article 19.

The Board of Selectmen voted to recommend Article 19 and Article 20, 3 in favor, 1 abstention, 1 opposed. The Board voted not to recommend Article 24, 3 in favor, 1 abstention and 1 opposed. The Finance Committee voted to recommend Articles 19, 20 and 24, 4 in favor, 1 abstention.

The Courier will review the remaining articles in the 2021 Annual Town Meeting Warrant next week. View the final Warrant with BoS and FinCom recommendations (PDF)

Winchendon Board Of Health Confirms Earth Day!

Dear residents and friends of Winchedon. Due to the global pandemic and public health crisis, the Town of Winchendon has not been capable of celebrating a town wide Earth Day cleanup for the last two years, with the previous event taking place in April, 2019.

As our elected state officials and the Mass D.P.H. have been slowly relaxing emergency regulations based on state and municipal 14 day positivity test rates, outdoor public gatherings have finally become adjusted to allow us to legally hold and physically celebrate Earth Day in our community.

Why have we delayed it you may ask. While there are many public health and safety reasons, most pressing and important were simply the following.

  1. The previous limitations on group size and public outdoor gatherings.
  2. The previous COVID-19 positivity rates relative to those previous rules.
  3. To show respect and understanding, and allow anybody who wanted to participate more adequate time to become fully vaccinated if desired so they could feel not only good about their contribution and efforts, but safe while volunteering their time.
On this upcoming Saturday, May 15, we are asking people of all ages to come out and join us in a town wide Earth Day celebration and cleanup of Winchendon, during the hours of 8:00 am - 2:00 pm. A 30 cubic yard dumpster will be awaiting your findings for disposal parked along Pleasant Street across from the Town Hall next to the public park. Gloves and trash bags will be available. There are sites in town we would really like people to help us with before others due to the amount of waste if you would consider. Also don't forget to think about doing your own street if time allows. Public reminders will soon be to come on our towns reverse call system for any persons signed up.

Please come out and show your Toy Town pride on Saturday, May 15. We look forward to seeing you there. Thank you all for all you have done, and all so many of you continue to do!

Yours truly,
Keith Kent
Chair, Board Of Health

Central Mass Tree

All Candidates on Town Election Ballot Elected

254 citizens, approximately 3.6 percent of Winchendon's registered voters, checked in at the polls at Old Murdock Senior Center to cast ballots for seven uncontested seats on Monday, May 3.

Barbara L. Anderson, who was running for reelection to the Board of Selectmen, received 168 votes. Danielle R. LaPointe, who was running for the seat which will be vacated by current Board of Selectmen Chair Michael Barbaro, received 201 votes.

Ryan G. Forsythe and Shauna B. Lapointe will join the School Committee with 194 and 168 votes respectively. Three write-in candidates received one vote each: Julia White Cardinal, Don Mason and Susan Antonellis. Mr. Forsythe and Ms. Lapointe will fill the seats vacated by retiring School Committee members Roann Demanche and Felicia Nurmsen.

Lionel C. Cloutier and Keith M. Kent were both reelected to the Board of Health for three-year terms, with 174 and 167 votes respectively.

Tina M. Santos received 180 votes for a two-year seat on the Board of Health. 65 voters did not cast a ballot for this position.

Nancy M. Romanowski received 220 votes for a seat on the Housing Authority board, with 34 voters leaving the ballot blank for this position.

Local Organic Farmers to Host Workshop: Starting Seeds and Seedlings in Greenhouse and Field

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting a workshop regarding Organic Small Fruit Production on May 8th from 10:00 to noon at the farm in Barre. We will take you through our seed starting and planting protocols from greenhouse to hoophouse to field. We will all together start seeds inside, plant in the field and also spend some time on our theories and practice (which don't always conform with the norm) on how to get plants off on their best footing and keep them thriving throughout the season. Registration is available on the Many Hands Organic Farm website at

Signal Boost: Master Plan Implementation Committee Volunteers Still Needed

The Board of Selectmen are still seeking volunteers to serve on the Master Plan Implementation Committee. Details about the committee and the qualifications for volunteers may be found lower down on this page.

Subway April 2021 Steak Sub Ad

Town Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Week

Members of the BOS accompanied by 30 people in attendance witnessed the official reading of a proclamation declaring Winchendon's full recognition of Children's Mental Health Awareness Week outside of the town hall on Monday, April 3 just before sunset at 7:00 PM.

Children's Mental Health Awareness week as approved by the BOS runs May 2-8 in Winchendon.

Attendees from the BOS included Chair Michael Barbaro, Barbara Anderson, and Rick Ward, accompanied by Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) and Rep Jon Zlotnik (D-Gardner), Superintendent of Schools Joan Landers, members of the BOH, DPW Superintendent, town volunteer staples, and many more.

The proclamation read by Barbaro on the town hall front steps to all present made the town's position clear, Winchendon stands with Children and their mental health.

The proclamation which in part read, "Whereas the citizens of Winchendon value their health and mental health, and that of their families; therefore, they are proud to support observances such as Children's Mental Health Week."

The document went on to speak of how 20 percent of children and youth live with a mental health condition, and 50 percent of all life time mental health conditions begin before the age of 14, and even went on to say, "Children and youth with mental health needs in elementary, middle, and high school are more likely to be bullied, absent, suspended, expelled, or fail to graduate." It also read, "Our nation's future depends on health and well-being of its families and their children".

In attendance was Ann Berube who works for the Parent Professional Advocacy League which Berube explained is commonly known as "PAL".

Berube recently meet with the BOS to promote Winchendon's support of Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.

Berube said, "The PPAL is a grass roots run organization where every person who works there has either raised or been with a person with a mental health issue."

"I have a son who is 35 now and they didn't have supports and services such as children's behavioral initiative services, so when he was growing up he didn't get the support and services he really needed. Now they have those supports and services for kids, but they are still struggling. Because of this we help empower families and learn how to advocate for their needs in school and the community, and in service systems."

Berube works with support groups and family leadership training which is paid for the Mass Department of Mental Health in north Central Massachusetts.

"I spoke with Rep Zlotnik, and he connected me with Selectman Barbara Anderson and Executive Assistant Linda Daigle. Daigle really flew with this and next thing we know we have green filters on the lights being placed around town public buildings in support of this cause for recognition," Berube explained.

In closing Berube said, "It all was able to happen so fast. Just like that it was happening, and the town did a great job!"

Winchendon's recognition Children's Mental Health Awareness runs May 2 – 8, and anybody can join in by either placing a green light on their home, or wearing green to support the worthy cause.

Proclamation for Children's Mental Health Awareness
Town members of the BOS along with Senator Gobi, Rep Zlotnik, and many others pose for a group reading of the official proclamation outside the town hall on Monday, May 3 just before sunset. Not all attending are seen in photo.
Photo credit: Keith Kent

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Town of Winchendon Hiring Multiple Positions

The Town of Winchendon is seeking applicants for several positions, including a part-time Veterans' Agent, a full-time Department of Public Works Foreman, a full-time Department of Public Works Highway Laborer and a full-time Department of Public Works Cemetery Laborer. For complete details and an application, go to: Town of Winchendon Job Opportunities or call 978-297-0085.

Organic Farm Opens CSA Shares for 2021

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting its largest organic community supported farmshare yet, with a goal of 200 shares! MHOF focuses on maximum fertility through soil carbon-sequestering techniques that grow the tastiest and most nutrient-dense vegetables. The summer fruit and vegetable CSA starts on May 24 and runs through October 22. Become involved in the local food movement by signing up for a share at

Massachusetts On Track to Ease More Restrictions as Numbers Improve

With COVID-19 case numbers continuing to trend downward and vaccination numbers increasing, Massachusetts is on track to move to the final phase of its re-opening plan, Step 2 Phase 4, as of Monday, May 10, as announced by Governor Baker on April 27.

Winchendon's official case count is now 740 (that's total confirmed cases since March). This is an increase of 21 cases from the previous week. As of May 6, 892 tests had been done in Winchendon in the previous 14 days, and 41 tests returned a positive result. This slightly reduced Winchendon's two-week percent positivity to 4.60 percent, down from 5.07 percent the previous week. Winchendon now appears as yellow (moderate risk) on the color-coded list of Massachusetts towns. Of surrounding towns, none are at "red" status. Ashburnham, Athol, Fitchburg, Gardner, Orange, Templeton and Westminster are now yellow or lower. Only 13 towns are now marked red in Massachusetts.

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, May 6, there have been 649,855 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (5,167 in the previous week), with 17,311 fatalities (68 in the previous week). The rate of new cases across the state has slowed significantly. Deaths and hospitalizations have also decreased.

As of Thursday, May 6, 3,726,634 persons (54.1 percent of the state population) have received the first dose of vaccine. 2,774,629 (40.3 percent of the state population) have received two doses (or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and are fully vaccinated.

As of May 4, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health records Winchendon at 38.9 percent of its population having received at least one vaccination dose, and 27.6 percent of its population fully vaccinated. Winchendon is still lagging substantially behind the state overall.

As of April 19, vaccination appointments are open to all residents aged 16 or above who have not previously been eligible, with no restrictions.

Complete Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report, Thursday, May 6 (PDF, 50 pages)

As of May 10, large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks, which opened at 12 percent capacity under Step 1, may increase capacity to 25 percent. Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks may operate at 50 percent capacity. Road races and large sports events will be permitted with staggered start times and submission of safety plans to the local board of health or the Department of Public Health.

Singing will be permitted indoors at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses with strict distancing protocols.

Face coverings remain required in indoor public spaces, and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

Effective May 29, gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for public and private settings. Street festivals, parades and agricultural fairs may be held at 50 percent of their usual capacity. Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit and no dance floors. Restaurants will no longer be required to serve food with alcohol, and the maximum party size at a table will increase to 10.

Until May 29, gathering limits in event venues and public settings will remain at 100 people indoors and 150 outdoors. The limits for private gatherings will remain at 25 persons outdoors and 10 persons indoors in private homes.

Travelers arriving in Massachusetts from other states are now recommended, but not required, to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they have had a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Massachusetts residents travelling to Maine are no longer required by that state to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

As with existing rules, fines of up to $500 may be imposed for failure to comply with protocols in force.

For full details and updates on Massachusetts state-wide COVID-19 news and restrictions, see There is a 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.

For complete details on the re-opening plan, see Reopening Massachusetts on the website.

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, May 6. 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
All elementary school students have returned to full day regular classes as of April 5, by mandate of the Commissioner of Education. Parents may opt for all-remote learning if they don't wish their children to attend in-person class, but there will be no hybrid classes. Middle school students have returned to full day classes as of April 28, and high school students as of May 17. Elementary classes will be meeting at Murdock Middle High School as the HVAC system at Toy Town is still being repaired. Details about Murdock High School graduation will be forthcoming.

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. The Center is starting an Intergenerational Pen Pal program in collaboration with The Winchendon School to help seniors and younger people connect. Call the Center for more information. 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.

Beals Memorial Library
Will be allowing the public inside the building by appointment only as of March 22. Only 4 people inside at one time, 30-minute appointments. Restrooms will not be open and computers will not be available. See their Facebook page for more details.
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.

BealsCon has been rescheduled to June, 2022 as it appears uncertain that the pandemic will subside enough in 2021 for an event of this kind.

Clark Memorial YMCA
Open under Phase 4 guidelines. Registration open for this summer's Camp Clark. Hiring summer staff, various shifts and hours. Lifeguard training course beginning May 23. For full details, 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.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)
Clothing room is now open to the public--limit of 4 persons at a time, masks required.
Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.
The CAC frequently has excess food at the end of the week and puts out last minute calls asking people to come get food--watch their Facebook page, especially Thursday and Friday.
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 but planning to re-open soon. Hiring bartenders. 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
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.

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

Gabby's Pizza
Open. Check their Facebook page for updates. Hiring kitchen help and drivers, apply in person. 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, 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. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
OPEN. 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
OPEN for the season, see their Facebook page for info and specials. 978-297-1777.

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
New hours, see their Facebook page. Little Lizzie's ice cream open for season. 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
OPEN for the season.

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
Outdoor seating open, weather permitting. Open for indoor dining, take-out and delivery. Also offering take-out for beer and wine. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. Trivia night on Wednesday has resumed! Hiring server/bartender, apply in person. 978-297-5200.


Beaman's Bait Shop
OPEN. Ring for admittance.

Belletetes Winchendon
Open to customers.

Cumberland Farms


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. 978-297-2518.

Mystical Magical Marketplace
Open Thurs-Sat, looking for vendors. 978-297-9790.

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
Opening for the season Saturday, May 8. 978-297-0604.

Powell Stone and Gravel
Open with Phase 4 occupancy limits. 978-297-5600.

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

Rescued Treasures Second Hand Shoppe
Open Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., or by appointment. All proceeds benefit Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue. See their Facebook page for fundraising events and updates.

Robin's Retro Dolls
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 Stained Glass
Open to public, appointments available outside general hours. Classes being held at store and Monty Tech. See their website for details. 978-297-7102.

Toy Town Treasures
Open with Phase 4 precautions. No more than eight customers inside at one time, face masks required. See their Facebook page for updates and specials. 978-297-4474.


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
Branch lobbies open to customers as of March 15. 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.- 4:00 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. 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
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.

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 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. Sunday School has resumed--pre-register on the church website. Zoom meetings and at-home study materials are also both available for Sunday School.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information - Gardner Clinic

As of Thursday, February 18, Winchendon seniors aged 65 and up are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Clinics for the Gardner Regional COVID Vaccination Center will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, dependent on the delivery of the vaccine from the State.

Registration for clinics will take place on Mondays and Fridays beginning at 10:00 a.m. To register online, visit or by calling the City's Registration Call Center at 978-958-9057. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Clinics will take place at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 17 Kendall Pond Road West, Gardner MA 01440.

Now Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC)

At their February 22, 2021 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to adopt the Master Plan presented to them, and to establish a Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) for the purpose of overseeing the execution of the Master Plan as outlined.

The Winchendon Master Plan describes the will of the people of Winchendon. All town boards, commissions, committees, staff and citizens should use this Plan to guide their work in creating the future everyone seeks. The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) is charged with overseeing its execution and will work with the Town Manager and Responsible Leads. Members of the MPIC have a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the Master Plan, are a Winchendon resident or have vested interest in the community, are a demonstrated team player, are reliable and have at least one of these qualifications:

  • Project management
  • Communications
  • Town history
  • Knowledge of "how things work"
MPIC specific responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate and monitor implementation
  • Collaborate with players to develop and track execution goals
  • Assist with goals that require additional resources
  • Encourage ongoing citizen engagement
  • Assess status of specific actions, evaluate priorities, and suggest new implementation techniques where appropriate
  • Identify successful strategies and barriers to progress
  • Periodically evaluate the plan
  • Create a mechanism to provide updates and progress reports to the Board of Selectmen
To see the full Master Plan, click here.

The Board of Selectmen is currently accepting letters of interest to serve on this committee. If you are interested, please send your letter of interest to the Town Manager's Office, 109 Front Street, Winchendon MA 01475 or to Taylor at

Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Seeks Information on Available Commercial Properties in the Region

Carol Jacobson, President and CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Chamber is compiling a list of available commercial and industrial properties in the region. This list will be included in a data base that will be made available to the public in an effort to help market the region and facilitate economic development initiatives.

Tracy Murphy, Director of Planning & Development is currently compiling a list of available properties in Winchendon. Property can be existing structures or buildable land but must be zoned for commercial or industrial use(s). If you own or know of properties that are available for purchase or lease please send an email that includes details and photos, if available, and pertinent facts about the property that you wish to be included such as price, lease terms, contact info, etc. to: Feel free to reach out to the Planning & Development Department if you have any questions at: 1-978-297-3537.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of February 8

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 - 1 vacancy
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 7 vacancies
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, 1 student vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 4 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 2 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).

Water Use Restrictions Begin May 1

Water use restrictions for users of Winchendon town water will be effective as of Saturday, May 1, 2021 and will remain in effect until October 1.

Outdoor water use is permitted for odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days, and for even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days. Watering is permitted only overnight, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., to minimize water loss from evaporation.

Call the Department of Public Works at 978-297-0170 if you have any questions.

According to the National Weather Service, the Monadnock region is currently experiencing "moderate drought" with below normal amounts of spring rainfall.

2021 Town Meeting Set for May 17

The 2021 Winchendon Annual Town Meeting will convene on Monday, May 17, at 7:00 p.m., in the Murdock Middle High School gymnasium.

View the final Warrant with BoS and FinCom recommendations (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.

Toy Town FYIs

2021 Dog Licenses are now overdue. All dogs were required to be licensed by March 31. You may purchase a license through the mail, drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed & Neutered dogs are $10 and Non-Spayed & Non-Neutered dogs are $20.

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.

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.

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