BUCKFIELD — Historical documents found in the basement of the Zadoc Long Free Library will be donated to the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum but not before they’re documented.

Buckfield selectmen voted recently to send the items to the museum based in Canton, Ohio. Library Committee member Michele St. Pierre had asked the board if it would donate the historical items to the museum.

They included ribbons, medals and other items from a welcome-home reception in Minneapolis, Minn., on Oct. 12, 1899, attended by President William McKinley and his Cabinet. Town Manager Cindy Dunn conducted some research and discovered more details of the occasion, including a copy of the president’s speech.

“The highly decorated Minnesota 13th Regiment returns to the Twin Cities and is met by President William McKinley after fighting in the Philippines,” according to the Minnesota National Guard.

“John D. Long was the secretary of the Navy,” said Selectman Maida DeMers-Dobson of the Buckfield native and founder of the town’s library.

“He would have been instrumental in making sure he got those troops where they were going,” DeMers-Dobson said. “He had a role in it. However, I am not bent on the fact that we must own said item.”

At their last meeting, selectmen opted to hold off making any decision on what to do with the McKinley items until Dunn figured out what the museum’s archival capabilities are. Items donated to the museum either end up in the permanent collection – which is designed for preservation using the highest museum standards – or the teaching collection, which is used by the museum’s education department for special programs, according to the website.

DeMers-Dobson said the items should be photographed and a write-up put on display so the link to Buckfield isn’t lost.

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