Colonial Dames Honor Boston Area Volunteers

Special to The Times

Dedicated volunteers are a treasure for all communities and organizations. The National Society of Colonial Dames in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has three such wonderful helpers from the Boston area, who were among the 10 first “Friends of the Massachusetts Society” honored at Prescott House, their headquarters on Beacon Hill,Boston.

Non-member volunteers can play critical roles in maintaining the strength of the Society’s educational mission.

Left to right: Timothy Burke, NSCDA- MA president; Andrea Sahin; and  Dick  Nestle.

Timothy Burke is an architectural historian and preservationist who has helped the Dames be good stewards of their three diverse properties. The headquarters is an 1808 gem designed by Asher Benjamin and built by James

Colburn, a real “rags-to-riches-to-rags” merchant. It was later bought by the eminent historian of Mexico and Peru, William Prescott. The Dames acquired it in 1944.

Burke has helped the Society understand and address the needs of historic buildings. Richard Nestle has been instrumental in helping the Dames move into the technological world and broadcast its mission more effectively. Thomas Thaler has been a loyal supporter and Beacon Hill neighbor over many years, sharing his musical talents and love of Prescott House.

Besides being recognized and thanked at the event in June by the President of the Society, they received a codfish pin, the symbol of the MA Society. Their names will be inscribed on a Roll of Honor displayed in the historic Prescott House.

Others honored at the event were Carl Becker, Nancy Boardman, RebeccamDinsmore, Diana Grady, Al Petras, Russell MacAusland and Brailsford Nixon.

The William Prescott House opened for the season on April 13 and will give tours  Wednesdays and Saturdays, (except July 3) through August from 12-4, tours start 15 past the hour- last tour is 3:15.  Open Saturdays September through October, same hours. Follow it on Facebook for up to minute details. Other properties owned by the NSCDA-MA are the Martin House Farm in Swansea and the Dorothy Quincy

Homestead in Quincy, both of which have summer tours as well. Go to to learn more about the work of the Dames.

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