SBC president Jeri Maurer and Secretery of State Shenna Bellows

The Board of Directors of the Stanton Bird Club welcomed Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows to Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary on December 17th.   The occasion was to mark the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the Bird Club which occurred on December 5th 1921.   The Club had been in existence for two years at that point and this step was taken so that the Club could accept the first gift of land from the Anthony family to create Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary.

Professor Alfred Anthony, his wife, Gertrude Libbey Anthony and his sister Kate Anthony donated the initial 45-acre parcel to the Bird Club in January 1922 stating that one of the main purposes was “increasing animal life” and “promoting an intelligent interest in birds and animals”. The parcel of land, which was named Thorncrag by Dr. Anthony, stretched from Montello Street to the summit of what was known as Thorne’s Mountain. 

In his remarks about the transfer of this gift, Professor Anthony stated that “The Stanton Bird Club, organized sometime earlier to promote the study of birds and the understanding of nature…gave promise of uniting persons of different races, religions, professions and callings in a broad and inclusive manner, perhaps superior to any other organization then existing.”  Over our 100-year history we have worked very hard to maintain that early promise, welcoming all to our activities and sanctuaries asking only that they respect the rules of the sanctuaries so that we can continue to protect the wildlife found there. The Anthony family gave five more parcels of land to the Club over the next ten years bringing the total gift of land to 220 acres.  Since that time, we have added another 230 acres to Thorncrag. 

Secretary of State Bellows read from a certificate of achievement congratulating the Club on achieving ‘this honorable distinction of duration and longevity”.  Following this presentation, Bellows spent time walking trails with Board members and the Chair of the Stewardship Committee to the Anthony Fireplace and the height of land.

In 2022 the Bird Club will hold a number of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Thorncrag starting with a snowshoe walk on Saturday, February 19th.

Rob Crosby, Gerry Maurer, Secretery of State Shenna Bellows, Jeri Maurer, David Haines