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MILTON: Home honored for historic value

The Bentley Homestead, established in Milton in 1609, received the town's 2007 Historic Recognition and Preservation Annual Award Wednesday, May 23.

Owners Bruce Piasecki and Andrea Masters were thanked by the Milton Historic Structures and Places Committee.

The owners are commended for the care and maintenance needed to keep this piece of history alive, said town historian Royann Blodgett.

The annual award is presented each May in conjunction with National Preservation Month to honor America's historic landmarks throughout the country.

Previous owners Dr. and Mrs. Dunham Hunt were also recognized for their care of the homestead, located on Stone Church Road. The Hunts took over ownership after the Bentley family sold the property after 170 years of it being under family ownership.

Piasecki and Masters purchased the site in 1996 from the Hunt estate.

According to Milton records, John Bentley came to the area in the 1770s with 150 acres of leased land, later deeded over to him. He and his wife, Sarah, had five daughters and two sons who remained living in the general area. The Baptist Society was organized by several pioneers who came to the Bentley neighborhood in about 1785 and formed a branch of the Stillwater Baptist Church. The group met in private homes and barns with ministers traveling between churches and communities.

In 1793, the group became an independent body, meeting in the home of John and Sarah Bentley, most likely in the part of the original home that eventually became the dining room. In 1801, a lot across from the homestead was deeded to John, and the first meetinghouse was built as a wooden structure. The present stone building was erected on the same site in 1826.

Accepting the award, Bruce Piasecki said he would continue to honor the homestead's heritage.

"It's important both to us and to the community that the historic significance be preserved," said Piasecki.

Piasecki also presented the board of trustees with a copy of his book, "World Inc." Written by Piasecki while he lived at the homestead, the book is about the far-reaching decisions made by the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and the choices made by the individual consumer in the products he or she buys or does not buy, from groceries to household appliances to computer equipment to automobiles to homes. ""

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