The historical commission operates as authorized by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 Section 8D which outlines the duties of the local historical commission and their responsibilities for the preservation, protection, and development of the historical or archaeological assets of the town. The commission is authorized by law to accept gifts, contributions, and bequests of funds from individuals and foundations as well as from federal, state and governmental bodies. The commission conducts educational programs in the form of historical signage and interpretive ranger-led walking tours; and additionally fulfils requests for historical and genealogical information regarding the town.
The Leicester Historical Commission works to preserve the physical history of the town as well as the historical character of the community. Recently, the Commission through several years of work was able to list the area around the town common and Main Street in the National Register of Historic Places.
This also includes law enforcement; the commission is responsible for the enforcement of a municipal by-law titled “the Preservation of Historically Significant Strict rules” which is commonly referred to as the Demolition Delay Law. If a person applies for a demolition permit on a historical structure, the commission is notified and inspects the property to see if the preservation of the property is appropriate and can choose to invoke a period of delay lasting up to six months where the commission can work with the property owner to seek alternatives to demolishing a property.
The commission also does possess a number of historical artifacts pertaining to town history. Since Leicester currently has no museum or display facility to show artifacts, only a small number of the collection is on display on the second floor of the Leicester Public Library. If you have any items whatsoever relating to Leicester history that you would like to donate to the town of Leicester, please contact the Leicester Historical Commission.