Meg Gaudet is a fifth-generation Concord native — and proud of it.
"My grandfather, my mom's dad, was a prolific builder. He built more than 300 homes in [the area] in the early 1900s," says Gaudet, 55, who grew up in a house her grandfather built, the one where her mother was raised and still lives with Gaudet's sister.
Gaudet, owner and operator of A New Leaf, a consignment shop in West Concord Center that also repurposes old furniture, says local history is like family history — something to share and celebrate.
As young children, her two sons (pictured with Gaudet in the photo at right), now in their 20s, took living in Concord for granted, and not just its history, but also the open space and being able to walk around safely at night, she says. "When they were kids, they didn't realize that not everyone has this. . . . They went out and met people who live in more populated areas and realized I have really good things in my backyard."
A trip to Virginia was eye-opening for Gaudet, who saw how the Revolutionary War played out in other regions and realized that Concord's role was only one of many pieces. Granted, it's tough not to be laser focused when you live in a town where history comes alive every day.
But for Gaudet, it's not just the past that makes the town so vibrant. It's the people.
"We have friendly town personnel — from the folks who service our Concord light department and Concord Public Works to all the police and fire personnel," she says.
Whether the town's workers are hanging up holiday lights or checking the parking meters, they are never too busy for a quick hello and to ask her how business is going, she says.
"Everyone is gracious."
BY THE NUMBERS
When a controversial and doomed proposal to locate the United Nations in Concord was introduced. “As the diplomats focused their search on the suburbs around Boston and New York, no fewer than 48 Massachusetts communities clamored for the United Nations’ attention,” the Globe
recalled in a 2013 article.
Number of chairs writer Henry David Thoreau said he had in his home at Walden Pond: "one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society." In the elementary school named after him there are hundreds, including one for all 465 pupils.
The height of the Minute Man statue, which Daniel Chester French, then 22, was commissioned to create as a monument to the Revolutionary War battle at North Bridge. A foundry in Chicopee melted down Civil War
cannons to cast it in bronze.
Pros & cons
The average tax bill for a single-family home, $13,490 in 2016, is among the highest in the state and represents a 4.65 percent increase over last year.
Hattie Bernstein can be reached at email@example.com.