Keeping Warm with Charlestown History, Blanket Proceeds Will Benefit St. John’s

By Seth Daniel

The historic sites in Charlestown are a comforting sight to those who live in the neighborhood and those who once lived here, and now there’s a gift for the holidays whereby those sites can fight off the cold weather.

St. John’s Church has debuted Charlestown blanket throws this year and is promoting them as the perfect gift for anyone who has an affinity for the Town – whether it’s a current resident who would like to fight off a cold draft in the old houses, a former resident who fondly remembers his or her times in Charlestown or even a college student who needs a little reminder from home.

Rosemary Kverek has led the charge in getting the blankets assembled and made for the Episcopal Church Women (ECW), with the assistance of residents Ken Stone, Joe Trepiccione and David Donovan.

“The women in the ECW had a meeting and were thinking about how to raise money to help paint and repair the Parish House at St. John’s,” she said. “My sister lives in Orrville, Ohio and she had a blanket that had been made with all of the memorable places there. She said it was popular. I shared it with the women here and they like the idea. Now, two years later, here we are.”

The blanket of Navy blue and features the Charlestown seal from 1628 in the middle. That is flanked by St. John’s Church, First Church in Charlestown, St. Francis de Sales Church, St. Mary’s Church, the Commandant’s House, Bunker Hill Monument, USS Constitution, City Square Park fountain, the Fire Station/Working Theatre, the Milmore Statue in the Training Field, the Warren Tavern, and the Zakim/Bunker Hill Bridge. Each of the four corners of the blanket is decked out with the Charlestown flag as well.

Stone helped the EWC choose the right sites, while Donovan and Trepiccione helped to take the photos of the sites and set them up on the computer to send to the manufacturing company.

“This is a great gift for those who have lived here or who currently live here, or even kids who have gone away to college,” said Kverek. “People are very pleased with the blankets and that makes me happy. Now, we need to sell some more of them.”

Already they have sold 200 at $65 each, but there will need to be a lot more of the machine-washable, 100 percent cotton blankets sold to cover their cause.

Rev. Thomas Mousin said the Parish House has a great history, but it needs some big repairs.

The Parish House was built as a second chapel in the 1870s, but was lifted up in 1900 to become the second floor of the current building in order to create classroom space. The repairs, Mousin said, will include painting the structure close to its original color and repairing windows. It comes with an estimate of $20,000.

“The purpose of the fund-raising is for the painting and repair of our historic Parish House,” said Mousin. “It is the only stick-style Victorian piece of architecture in Charlestown and so it is quite unique architecturally. It’s been a wonderful story so far. Rosemary has really spearheaded this project for a while. Without her determination and effort, this couldn’t have happened.”

Added Kverek, “The appeal of these blankets and seeing people’s enthusiasm for them is a reminder of how much Charlestown residents appreciation our local history and how much they desire to preserve the older buildings here.”

The blankets cost $65 and can be purchased at Ace Hardware, the Bunker Hill Store on the Training Field, The Cooperative Bank, and at St. John’s Church.

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