Former selectman honored at ceremony

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WEST FARMINGTON – Town officials, residents, family members and others gathered for a brief ceremony at the Walton Mill Dam Wednesday, to honor the memory of former Selectmen Board Chair Mary Wright.

Wright was well known in Farmington, even before she served on the board of selectmen for 14 years. A retired school teacher and extremely active in the community, one of her first public causes was to save the Walton Mill Dam in 1976, campaigning with the slogan “Give a damn, Save the dam.”

The Walton Mill Dam, which creates a small lake on Temple Stream, was again deteriorating near the end of Wright’s term, so she once again led an effort to repair the aging formation. Approved at a town meeting in 2007, that project was completed last year.

A memorial bench, paid for by selectmen and the town manager, bears Wright’s name and legacy as an “activist, civic leader, matriarch and friend.” It sits, appropriately enough, on a granite slab that once served as her front step, overlooking the repaired dam.

“I have got to say,” said Selectman Chair Stephan Bunker, “that this spot is certainly peaceful, tranquil and beautiful. I can certainly understand why Mary focused on this little portion of our community.”

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