Hometown History #78: True Love and Love of Nature on Daniels St.
It’s not the biggest parcel of conservation land in the region, but it could easily have turned into simply more house lots but for the determination of Arthur D. Nelson to protect the parcel of land on Daniels Street for conservation purposes in honor of wife, Gwen.
According to her obituary, Gwen White Nelson, was born Jan., 15, 1930 in Agawam, Mass., to Ethyl Reid White and Howard White.
She spent most of her youth in Franklin and Walpole, Mass. She started a in Franklin’s Brick School and graduated from Walpole High School. She also attended Northfield, Chamberlain and University of Massachusetts.
Dynamic and hardworking, Gwen was recognized as a Department Manager at Filene's in Wellesley, Mass., during the early 1950s and in the late 50s, served as Publicity and Merchandising Manager at the Kendall Company in Walpole, Mass. Throughout the 60s she was an Advertising Manager for the Textile Division at Kendall in New York City.
Married to Arthur in 1969, she was an active gardener in Franklin during the 70s. The couple moved to Waldoboro, Maine, in the 1980s to renovate a sturdy old farmhouse, with hopes of turning it into a bed & breakfast. Devoted to preserving nature and open spaces, when she died suddenly at 71, days after a routine operation at a Maine hospital, Arthur determined to donate the parcel of land they still owned in Franklin to the Nature Conservancy but, after an initial rebuff he did eventually put it into the hands of Metacomet Land Trust. It is now known as the Reid Memorial Conservation Area.
Her obituary also noted: [Gwen was] a gentle loving person herself, Gwen has asked that flower lovers send a cheerful bouquet to brighten the heart of any shut-in who is not expecting one.
This cheerful and helpful lady will be sorely missed by her many friends.