2009-2010 District No. 7910
ROTARY CLUB OF NEWTON Club No. 6580
719 WASHINGTON STREET BOX MS295
NEWTONVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS 02460
MEETS TUESDAYS; 12:15 P.M. BRAE BURN COUNTRY CLUB, 326 FULLER STREET, NEWTON, MA
President Vice President Treasurer Sergeant-at-Arms Director Director
Marie Presti Laurisa Neuwirth Peter Mahler Bill Garr Dick Bowen Justin Sallaway
617-620-6948 617-291-0572 617-630-5289 617-969-5906 x116 617-969-9134 617-244-0065
President-Elect Past President Recording Secretary Newsletter Editor Director Director
Jeff Tucker Marc Epstein John Hurney Scott Lewis Jeff Chin Tony Bibbo
617-340-1263 617-244-1212 617-332-7412 617-293-6371 617-965-1988 781-237-1144
THE SERVICE GEAR
Volume LXXXVI No. 30 February 17, 2010
Read All About It!
INCREDIBLE! DESSERT SERVED IN WALTHAM!!!
W altham Rotary Club President Glenna MEETING GREETERS NEXT MEETING:
Gelineau called upon John Peacock to lead the
Pledge of Allegiance. Susanne Roberts led February 24: Dick Bowen & Ed Casavant
everyone in a chorus of God Bless America. Our
own Dennis Prefontaine offered an invocation,
thankful for “food that rivals Brae Burn.”
We assume that it was in honor of our
visiting contingent of Newton Rotarians that the
Waltham club was treated this day to a dessert of
chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream,
and served in wine glasses. A nice touch!
Back at Brae Burn February 24th!
MEETING NOTES 1
THIS WEEK’S HUMOR 2
HAPPY DOLLARS 4
RAFFLE 5 Dick Bowen celebrates mousse season at the Chateau!
c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 1
Stevie Wonder and Jack Nicklaus
are in a bar. Nicklaus turns to Wonder and District 7910 PR Dinner and awards night
says, “How is the singing career going?” is set for February 26th. Several Newton Club
Stevie Wonder says, “Not bad, the latest members will be attending.
album has gone Top 10, so all in all I think it
is pretty good. By the way, how is the golf?”
Nicklaus replies: “Not too bad, I am not
winning as much as I used to, but I’m still
making money. I have some problems with Attention Club Members! The Italian
my swing, but I think I’m working it out.” Night event committee needs to know how
“I always find that when my swing goes many people will actually attend a dinner
wrong I need to stop playing for a while and event tentatively set for the evening of
think about it, then the next time I play it Tuesday, March 9th (in lieu of that week’s
seems to be all right,” says Stevie. regular meeting).
“You play golf!?” asks Jack. Stevie The tentative plans have changed! The
says, “Yes, I have been playing for years.” concept now is to have dinner at the famous
“But I thought you were blind; how can Vecchia Roma Restaurante at 398
you play golf if you are blind?” Jack asks. Watertown St. in Nonantum. Spouses/Guests
“I get my caddie to stand in the middle to cost $10 per person - no charge for Club
of the fairway and he calls to me. I listen for members.
the sound of his voice and play the ball Please email Scott Lewis with your
towards him, then when I get to where the RSVP, as soon as possible, indicating how
ball lands the caddie moves to the green or many will attend, including yourself, or if
further down the fairway and again I play the you will not make it at all.
ball towards his voice,” explains Stevie.
“But how do you putt?” Nicklaus
“Well,” says Stevie, “I get my caddie to
lean down in front of the hole and call to me
with his head on the ground and I just play
the ball to the sound of his voice.”
Nicklaus says, “What’s your handicap?”
“Well, I play off scratch,” Stevie assures
Jack. Nicklaus is incredulous and says to
Stevie, “We must play a game sometime.”
Wonder replies, “Well, people don’t
take me seriously, so I only play for money, Your ad could be here!
and I never play for less than $100,000 a
Business card size ads cost only $100/year for Rotary
hole.” Nicklaus thinks it over and says, “OK, members, $125 for non-members. The distribution list
I’m up for that. When would you like to of people who see our club news grows every week.
“I don’t care - any night next week is Shouldn’t they see you, and your support of our club’s
OK with me.” good works?
c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 2
Speaker Program: Waltham Mayor Jeanette McCarthy
Waltham Mayor Jeanette A.
McCarthy had lots of maps of
the Fernald School property to
explain some of the issues
concerning the future diposition
of the property, which is being
phased out as a State mental
A brief history of the Fernald
School site written by Marie E.
Daly is attached to this
newsletter for additional
Mayor McCarthy’s topic was the ongoing the buildings will need to be demolished if not
process of figuring out the future of the Fernald renovated for re-use, as the property passes from
School campus that stretches along Trapelo Road institutional to other uses. Ironically, the “newer”
in Waltham’s northern reaches. buildings will most likely face demolition, not
Founded in 1848 by Samuel Gridley Howe the better-built older edifices.
as the “Massachusetts School for the Feeble- Future ownership and zoning of the site are
Minded,” the institution was moved to the both open questions. The mayor is open to mostly
present site by order of the State Legislature in recreational re-use, but clearly wants to see at
1887. It grew in scope of services, land area, and least some of the property added to the tax rolls
resident population, to a peak of 2,600 residents as residential and business use.
in the 1960’s. Clearly, the City of Waltham will be wres-
Mayor McCarthy stated that about 100 tling with this property’s issues for quite some
residents still live on the property, but many of time to come.
c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 3
Newton club members who attended at
Waltham this week included Tom Keery, Paul
Kerrissey, Scott Lewis, Peter Mahler, Ed
Casavant, Bob Staulo, Justin Sallaway, Lauren
Hyken, Peggy Lepore, Dick Bowen, and Tony
Those happy enough to express their joy
included Peter Mahler, happy to be hosted.
Scott Lewis had compliments for the desserts.
Expatriot Tim Braceland was happy to
see Newton members visiting. His wife
Connie was happy to see us as well. She was
also happy to eat dessert; for the success of
Death by Chocolate; and for having spent two
weeks in the wilds of Tanzania and Dubai.
Tom Keery happily contemplates a dollop of whipped
SCOTT LEWIS HOME DESIGN PAULA KIRRANE
ADDITIONS Uniquely Designed Cakes
RENOVATIONS 230 Adams Street
NEW HOMES Newton, MA 02458
HISTORIC RESTORATION Tel.: (617) 969-1830
12 Bencliffe Circle fax: (617) 969-5852
Auburndale, MA 02466
(617) 293-6371 www.theicingonthecake.com
c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 4
Our Waltham hosts conducted a 50/50 raffle
February 24: Back to Brae Burn! won by a recently inducted new Waltham mem-
ber named Sean Mahoney.
February 26: District PR Dinner Our own progressive raffle stands at a
jackpot value of $648, with only 26 cards in the
March 9: Tentatively: Italian Night at diminishing deck. So, you guessed it! We’re
Vecchia Roma Restaurante. RSVP’s playing with half a deck this coming Wednesday.
needed immediately for planning Don’t miss your chance to win!
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon at
PAUL M. KERRISSEY
Attorney at Law
277 Auburn Street
Auburndale, MA 02466
Office: (617) 964-5800
Fax: (617) 969-9850
c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 5
History of the Walter E. Fernald Development Center
By Marie E. Daly
The Fernald Development Center, located at 200 Trapelo Road, is the oldest institution that serves
people with developmental disabilities in the Western Hemisphere. Founded by Samuel Gridley
Howe as the Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded in 1848, the school was originally located
in South Boston. Howe was an abolitionist and reformer, who also founded the Perkins Institute for
the Blind. His wife, Julia Ward Howe, wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Howe and the second
superintendent, Edward Jarvis, had a primarily moral / religious mission, i.e. to make clean,
productive, responsible citizens of high-functioning disabled youths. The education included
classroom training, manual training at shoe repair, broom making, rag rug making, weaving, knitting
and sewing and housekeeping, music therapy, dancing and athletics. But by the 1870s under Jarvis,
the school came under increasing pressure to accommodate adults with more chronic disabilities
who required custodial care, and consequently the school needed more space.
In response to this pressure, the legislature appropriated in 1887 $25,000 for the purchase of land in
Waltham. The first purchase was the 18-acre Bird estate, located off Waverley Oaks Road, and in
1888, construction began for the school campus in Waltham. Before the school moved to Waltham,
this was farm land belonging primarily to the Bird, Baldwin, Lawrence and Warren families. Although
the school did grow a number of crops here, it was never intended as a hospital farm. Instead,
another institution in Templeton was established to grow food. Nevertheless, aerial photos show
that much of the western part of the campus was either wetlands or under cultivation. Indeed,
there once was a cow barn here large enough for 50 head of cattle, and a horse barn. Land
purchases continued into the twentieth century, so that the institution eventually encompassed
180+ acres of land between Trapelo Road and Waverley Oaks Road.
North Nurses’ Home ca 1905
From 1889, the institution grew in size from 142 residents, to 494 in 1911, to 1,330 in 1926, to 1,890
in 1945, to its peak of 2,600 residents in the 1960s. The third superintendent (1888 – 1924), Walter
E. Fernald became an internationally renowned authority on mental retardation. Under his
administration, the mission of the school changed to a more scientifically based pursuit. But
History of the Walter E. Fernald Development Center page 2
underlying the early 20th century growth of the institution was the pseudoscience, eugenics, a
misapplication of Darwinian principles and genetics. Its politically conservative adherents claimed
that people of color, immigrants, Jews, southern Europeans, developmentally disabled people and
the rural poor were “polluting the gene pool of society.” With widespread implementation of IQ
testing, children who tested below normal were labeled as retarded, and in some cases taken from
their families and institutionalized. Walter E. Fernald was on the board of the Eugenics Society, and
had initially advocated the forced sterilization of people with developmental disabilities. He later
renounced this idea, and instead promoted strictly enforced segregation into state-run institutions.
The field of eugenics was deservedly discredited after World War II, when the world made the
appalling discovery of the concentration camps – the Nazi’s ultimate application of eugenic ideas.
In America, the eugenics-inspired segregation of disabled people caused the rapid growth of
institutions all over the country, including the Fernald. In addition, people who did not have
developmental disabilities were virtually incarcerated at the Fernald and institutions like it. These
included people who tested below average on IQ tests (termed “morons”), children from broken or
disordered, poor families, and orphans in state foster care. Walter E. Fernald’s mission of scientific
investigation and the inclusion of poor, delinquent, orphaned and epileptic people in the institution
continued under the next superintendent, Dr. Ransom Greene. With the increased population, and
subsequent decreased per-capita funding, the school needed the free manual labor of the non-
disabled inmates to help run the institution. At one point, Dr. Greene stated that he needed a mix of
30% “morons” to keep the school operating. So there were powerful financial incentives to keep the
non-disabled incarcerated. Furthermore the inadequate state funding resulted in lower staff-to-
inmate ratios, and some overwhelmed staff resorting to abuse to manage their charges. Recent
reports have highlighted the abusive care of the residents in the 1940s and 1950s.
In addition to being incarcerated, abused, poorly educated and malnourished, many of the Fernald
residents were unwitting participants in medical experiments, such as the “Science Club” children
who were fed radioactive isotopes with their oatmeal. While the doses were probably too small to
harm the children, they had not given their consent, and had been given disproportionately large
rewards for their participation. Consequently, these experiments violated the Nuremberg Code,
ethical principles for medical experimentation established after the Nazi Holocaust.
But the reports of the conditions of the 1950s do not reflect the current care. In 1972, parents,
guardians and advocates for the disabled sued the Commonwealth in federal court. The judge
ordered increased state funding, and better treatment of the disabled. As a result of federal court
order, many residents were placed in community residential facilities, and the care of the remaining
residents was vastly improved. A sprawling, one-storey cottage complex was built to provide more
intimate and home-like residences for those who remained. By 1979, the number of residents had
decreased to 1,161. The Fernald Center now houses 248 [in 2005] residents, the majority of whom
are profoundly disabled.
Most of the nineteenth century buildings were designed by one architect, William G. Preston, who
advocated a cottage concept laid out, not in a “checkerboard” fashion, but rather dispersed amid a
largely preserved landscape of rolling hills. Preston designed many of the buildings in a Queen Anne
style with Romanesque or Craftsman overtones. The buildings have fieldstone foundations, red brick
construction, sandstone trim, corbelled cornices, overhanging slate roofs and decorative brickwork.
In the 1930s, another architect, Clarence P. Hoyt designed buildings in the colonial revival style
common to state institutions of that era. Since the 1950s, construction at the institution has
History of the Walter E. Fernald Development Center page 3
possessed no architectural design of merit and has greatly disturbed the landscape. But with its
tree-lined parks and hilly landscape, the oldest part of the campus has the ambience of a New
England village. Candace Jenkins, the state consultant who nominated the campus for the National
Register of Historic Landmarks, said “The Walter E. Fernald State School possesses integrity of
location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and associations.”
Aerial View of Fernald Center in 1952
History of the Walter E. Fernald Development Center page 4
1. Samuel Gridley Howe, M. D., Class of 1821,” Brown University website,
2. Stan Griffin, Deaf Friends International, “Champion of the Unfortunate,”
www.workersforjesus.com/dfi/854.htm. Biography of Samuel Gridley Howe.
3. Walter E. Fernald Historical Collection, Samuel Gridley Howe Library,
4. David Pfeiffer, “Samuel Gridley Howe and ‘Schools of the Feebleminded,” Ragged Edge Online,
Jan./Feb. 2003, www.ragged-edge-mag.com/0103/0103ft2.html.
5. “State Hospitals of Massachusetts,” 1856.org, www.1856.org/mass.html.
6. “Parallels in Time: A History of Developmental Disabilities,” The Minnesota Governor’s Council
on Developmental Disabilities, www.mncdd.org/parallels/.
7. Candace Jenkins, Nomination for National Register of Historic Landmarks. Massachusetts
Historic Commission, 1992. A detailed description of the Fernald Center and its historic
buildings. Available at the Waltham Public Library, Waltham Room.
8. “History of Massachusetts Institutions,” World Wide Web Virtual Library for Archaeology,
9. “Consolidated Consent Decrees Summary,” The Arc of Massachusetts website,
http://arcmass.org/consent.pdf. A summary of the 1993 federal court order regarding
Massachusetts facilities for people with developmental disabilities.
10. Elof Axel Carlson, The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Press, 2001.
11. Michael D’Antonio, The State Boys Rebellion: A True Story. New York, Simon & Schuster, 2004.
About children who were wards of the state and incarcerated at the Fernald School from the
1940s to 1970.
12. Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man. New York: W. W. Norton, 1981, 2nd ed. 1996. Now
a classic rebuttal in the debate of aptitude testing, race, innate intelligence and environmental
influence. Available at the Waltham Public Library.
13. Margaret Quigley, “The Roots of the I. Q. Debate: Eugenics and Social Control,” The Public Eye
Website of the Political Research Associates,
www.publiceye.org/magazine/v09n1/eugenics.html. An online article about the political
motivations of eugenics advocates.
14. Welling Savo, “The Master Race,” Boston Magazine, Dec. 2002, available on line at
15. “Race and Membership in American History: The Eugenics Movement,” Facing History and
Ourselves website, www.facing.org.