, Newburyport, MA

September 9, 2013

Historical Society postpones yard sale


---- — WEST NEWBURY — A yard sale to benefit the West Newbury Historical Society scheduled for next weekend was put on hold following the recent death of longtime member Susan Follansbee.

Chairman Jane Wild reported that she has decided to postpone the yard sale slated for Sept. 14 because that is the same date a memorial service for Follansbee is planned.

Wild says she needs to meet with her board of directors to coordinate schedules and determine when the Old Town Hall is next available before setting a new date for the fundraiser.

Complicating logistics is the pending annual book sale by the Friends of the GAR Memorial Library scheduled for later this month at the Old Town Hall and Wild’s own participation in bee building activities at the upcoming Topsfield Fair, where she will serve as the “Cooking With Honey” food chair.

“We are in a holding pattern for now,” Wild said.

Follansbee, 72, succumbed to cancer last Wednesday. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Congregational Church on Main Street with a reception to follow in the church hall.

The long-time resident’s passion for local history was well known throughout the community. In addition to her dedication to the Historical Society, Follansbee served on the Historical Commission and co-authored a pictorial book on the history of the town with Wild.

Her interest in the past extended to a love for local cemeteries. Author of “Cemetery Records of West Newbury” in 1997, Follansbee was bookkeeper for West Newbury’s Rural Cemetery and conducted preservation and repair work on gravestones in historic cemeteries in Newburyport and West Newbury.

She was named West Newbury’s Citizen of the Year in 2013 in recognition of her lifetime of service to the town.

“She was a dear friend to all of us and a integral part of the Historical Society,” said Wild.