UPTON — Opening the new 7-acre public park on Elm Street by mid-November, as town officials are hoping, depends on leaving no stone unturned.
Heritage Park, at 18 Elm St., is now waiting for a stone structure on its grounds called the Pearson Stone Chamber to be restored for safety, Historical Commission Chairwoman Barbara Burke said. Once that happens, the final touches can be put in place to make the property near Mill Pond - bought by the town in 2006 - a park.
An archaeologist needs to sample the soil around the chamber to figure out the age and origin of the 15-foot cave-like structure, the Massachusetts Historical Commission has said.
"There is a curiosity of wanting to explore the chamber, and we feel that public safety comes first," Burke said.
Martin Dudek, an archaeologist from the Hudson, N.Y.-based firm John Milner Associates, will begin testing next week. The firm specializes in historic architecture and preservation planning.
"They’re looking to try to date when the stone structure was built," Burke said. "They’re hoping once they can trace it to the beginning, they can then determine who was responsible and what it was used for." Read more.