Board of Health History & Honor Roll
In 1902 Burlington had less than 600 residents. Though it was more than 100 years ago, the public health and safety of the residents was important. At that time, the four major occupations in town were dairy farming, the raising of pigs, fruit-growing and vegetable "truck" gardening. The consequences of unsanitary practices by any of these businessmen could cause various physical problems in residents if not properly overseen and regulated.
First Board of Health
The first Board of Health consisted of three members and was established in 1902. Until 1956, the Board of Selectmen acted as the Board of Health.
Fernald Ham was an innkeeper on Middlesex Turnpike and Adams Street and also an industrious farmer who bred a new type of sweet corn. His 45 Holstein cows provided milk to Boston and the surrounding areas. He was also a prime mover in the establishment of the Burlington Agricultural Society and had an interest in real estate.
Edwin Bennett was a farmer and:
- Former Selectman (1892, and 1894 and 1895)
- A member of the Cemetery Committee in 1894
- A Library Trustee (1897, 1899, 1900 to 1902, 1904 and 1906)
- A "Measurer of Wood" in 1898
- An "overseer of the Poor" (1878, 1893, 1895 and 1902)
His farm and acreage were eventually purchased by Marshall Simonds, a name which is still well known today. Mr. Simonds had no direct heirs, and he left the acreage to the Town and is now Simonds Park, something residents are still enjoying in various forms today. The middle school also bears his name.
The third original member was Thomas I. Reed, who ran a highly successful farm and ham-curing business. Reed's cured hams were deemed to be of the highest quality and were purchased by many of the wealthy in downtown Boston and suburbs.
His house remains today on Cambridge Street opposite County Road and many years later was the office of the late dentist, Dr. Bertram Christmas.
He also served in 1866 as an "Overseer of the Poor" and 51 years as Deacon of the United Church of Christ, Congregational.
The names of other former board members may seem familiar, due to generations of relatives still living here, street names and other public tributes.
- Thomas Pollack (also served 1911 through 1914 and 1916 to 1920)
- Walter Skelton (also, 1904, 1906 and 1910)
- Walter McIntire 1903
- William Graham: 1904, 1905 and 1907
- Edward Bennett: 1905, 1908, 1919 to 1921
- George McIntire: 1905 to 1925
- James McLaughlin: 1909 to 1915
- Horace Skelton: 1915 to 1918; 1942 to 1947
- Ralph R. MacDonald: 1921 to 1936
- Chester Graham: 1922 to 1927 and 1938 to 1947
- James Bustead: 1926 to 1931
- Joseph Foster: 1928 to 1931
- Raymond Twining: 1932 and 1933
- Thomas Mohan: 1933 to 1941
- David Ward: 1934 to 38; 1940 and 1941; also, 1954 to 1955
- William Sheerin: 1937
- Timothy Regan: 1939
- J. Ivar Johnson: 1942 to 1943
- Arthur Nichols: 1947 to 1951
- Horace Skelton: 1947 to 1952
- Chester Graham: 1947 to 1953
- Ernest Marvin: 1953 to 1955
- James Piper: 1953 to 1955
- William Nelson 1955
1956 - Official Board
At the March 5, 1956 Election, the following people were elected to serve on the "official" Board:
- Anthony Giangreco: 1956 to 57 (resigned)
- James L. Nevins, Jr. (appointed to fill the Anthony Giangreco's position)
- Eileen Gauthier: 1956 to 1957
Subsequent to Present
In subsequent years, the following residents were elected:
- David W. Skelton: 1957
- Elmer Morrison: 1957 to 1962
- Mary E. Bennett: 1958 to 1968
- Ken Morrison: 1959 to 1966
- David Piper: 1963 to 1968
- Bernard Oliver 1967
- Dr. James Dillingham: 1972 to 1981
- Eugene "Terry" McSweeney: 1968 to 1990
- Michael Cunningham: 1973 to 1979
- Kathleen (Christiansen) Walker: 1981 to 1989
- Robert Matarazzo: 1982 to 1984
- Philip Policelli: 1983 to 1992
- Joan Ghio: 1983 to 1993
- Robert Hogan: 1985 to 1990 (appointed 1992 to 1995)
- Dr. Edward Weiner: 1989 to present
- Glenn Kemper: 1990 to 1992
- Jane Richard: 1991 (resigned 1992; and re-elected from 1994 to 2001)
- James Dion: 1993 to 2015
- Douglas Hyde: 1993 to 2001
- Michelle Yanetti: 1997 to 1998
- Dr. Cathy Read: 2002 to 2010
- Eugene "Terry" McSweeney: 1999 to 2014
- Edmund F. Wall: 2001 to 2007
- Wayne S Saltsman, MD, PhD: 2007 to present
- Elizabeth Walendziewicz: appointed 2010, elected 2011 to present
- Maribeth Welch: 2014 to present
- David McSweeney: 2015 to present
The present offices of the Board of Health are located in Burlington’s first high school, constructed in the early 1930s.
All information and photos were obtained from "Burlington: Part of a Greater Chronicle," written by the late Town Historian, John "Ed" Fogelberg.