“Amazing!” Marblehead Selectman Jim Nye called out last week, when a surprise gift was announced for the town.

Amazing, indeed.

Ross and Rita Terrien, longtime antiques dealers in Marblehead, left the Historical Commission nearly $700,000 in their will for a cause dear to their hearts: preserving the town’s historic documents. Mrs. Terrien died in 2009, and her husband in 2012.

The money will be used to create a repository for the town’s priceless historical documents and records, of which there are many. In fact, the commission chairman — who’d been unaware of the bequest — happened to be at the same meeting when the gift was announced, to discuss preservation of the town’s 17th century deed. 

The Terriens’ generosity, passion for history and love for their community now live on in a unique and yet practical way. We join Marbleheaders in their gratitude for citizens willing to give so much to the town they called home.

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