Reflections At The Sandwich Boardwalk

Early morning reflections create an idyllic scene at the Sandwich Boardwalk.

The Sandwich Historical Commission is looking into whether the Sandwich Boardwalk was inadvertently left off the National Register of Historic Places when the adjacent Jarvesville neighborhood was added to the federal list more than 30 years ago.

The historical commission agreed to look into the matter at the urging of the newly formed Friends of Sandwich Boardwalk, an advocacy group seeking to preserve the boardwalk’s simple design.

Commission member Lisa Hassler said at a Zoom meeting of the commission on Wednesday, October 7, that she had done some preliminary research.

The Jarvesville area of town, home to the former Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory and its workers’ homes, became eligible for national historic designation in 1984, Ms. Hassler said.

“The boardwalk was listed as part of the Jarvesville Historic District [on the application for historic designation], but it was dropped,” she said.

She offered to speak with a director at the Massachusetts Historical Commission to see whether the Sandwich Boardwalk was mistakenly deleted from the list of Jarvesville historic assets years ago.

“I do think it was an error,” Ms. Hassler said.

The Friends of Sandwich Boardwalk attended the historical commission meeting this week and asked for the commission’s help in having the boardwalk designated as historic in hopes of preserving the 145-year-old design of the iconic wooden pathway across the marsh.

The 20-member group formed this spring to protest a proposed revamped boardwalk designed to satisfy modern building codes and accessibility requirements for people with disabilities.

The redesign—created by engineering firm GEI Consultants—calls for a much taller, wider boardwalk flanked by handrails and screwed into the ocean floor with helical pilings.

The friends group believes that the historic designation would allow the boardwalk to be granted waivers from the stricter regulations governing beach structures.

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