Board of Directors
Earl Taylor has been the President of the Dorchester Historical Society since 2002. He earned his Masters degree in Library Science from Simmons College and served as a rare book cataloger at the Boston Public Library and later worked at the American Antiquarian Society, John Carter Brown Library, then Director of Library Systems at Boston College. Since 1987 his day job has been in residential mortgage lending.
Earl has been a Dorchester resident since 1979. He is a collector of all items relating to the history of Dorchester, including post cards, maps, pewter, pottery, books and photographs. In addition to articles in the field of bibliography, he has published a book of Dorchester postcards of the early 20th century. Mr. Taylor created and maintains a website www.DorchesterAtheneum.org devoted to the history of Dorchester, and he sends an e-mail every week to hundreds of recipients containing the Dorchester Illustration with a description of the illustration and of its historical context. He is one of the founders of the Tide Mill Institute and is currently serving as treasurer of the Massachusetts History Alliance.
Jeffrey Gonyeau has been an independent historic preservation consultant since 2013, focusing on preservation planning, community engagement, fundraising, and project management work. In addition to his work with individual clients, in 2015 Jeff joined Preservation Massachusetts as its Preservation Circuit Rider for Eastern Massachusetts. From 2001 to 2013 Jeff worked in various capacities at the non-profit preservation organization Historic Boston Incorporated (HBI).
A graduate of Hamilton College, Jeff has masters degrees from Smith College and New York University. In 2018 he was appointed as a Commissioner on the Boston Landmarks Commission. He also serves on the board of directors of Greater Ashmont Main Street and is a member of the Vestry of the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont. He resides in Dorchester's Ashmont Hill neighborhood.
Desmond Rohan, a lifelong Boston resident, moved to Dorchester's Polish Triangle in 2004. He currently resides in Columbia - Savin Hill section of Dorchester. He became of board member to the historical society in 2015.
He is currently a Director with John Hancock Investments with oversight of their expense management for 200+ products. He has previous financial services experience with State Street and Deutsche Bank.
Mr. Rohan is a graduate of Boston College's Carroll School of Management. He also graduated from Boston College Masters program and holds his MBA. He is active in several Dorchester civic associations and is currently Treasurer to the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association. He is past board member for both John McCormack Civic Association and the Roger Clap Innovation School both located within the Polish Triangle of Dorchester.
Edward M. Cook
Edward Cook is a native of Dorchester. His family moved to Cambridge when he was eight years old and he returned in 1985. He has lived with his husband, economist Dr. John Parsons, PhD, MIT's Sloan School of Management) on Meetinghouse Hill since 1987, where they raised their daughter, Lily. His interest in the mission and work of the Dorchester Historical Society stems from his lifelong love of history.
He earned his BA in Modern European History from the Catholic University of America in D.C., followed by years of teaching history and social studies. He later earned an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, followed by sixteen years as a middle school administrator. He has worked at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA and the Tea Party Ship Museum in Boston. After retiring as a principal, he became part of a neighborhood residents committee to restore Coppens Square Park, on Bowdoin Street, across from St. Peter's Church and eventually became the president of the non-profit group, Friends of Coppens Square. He is a neighborhood activist and member of several neighborhood organizations, and has worked on numerous political and civil rights campaigns. He is the former co-chair of Dorchester GALA, executive director of Boston Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance and a founding member of DotOut. He is the current co-chair of the Ward 15 Democratic Party Committee.
Joyce Ellis, a Dorchester resident, has lived in a Clapp house adjacent to the Dorchester Historical Society for most of her life. Following a past stint as vice-president, she now serves as a board member. Her childhood was spent with Frank Clapp, the last Clapp to live in the Society';s present headquarters. Memories of playing in the 7.2 acres that were part of the Clapp family farm still provide vivid recollections of a magical time.
A graduate of Northeastern University, she has a masters degree in Health Sciences/Public Health. She is now retired from Tufts Medical Center. During her career she was active in the National Registry in Clinical Chemistry. She also served on the Advisory Board of Lasell College's MLT program.
Kit Binns, a Dorchester resident since 1975, has lived in the same house on Jones Hill since 1979, where his three children grew up as genuine Dot Rats. By trade a technical writer in the software industry, Kit has been active in many Dorchester organizations over the years, including the Dorchester Community News, the Uphams Corner Charter School, the Jones Hill Association, the Friends of the Uphams Corner Library, and many local political campaigns. He also tutors BPS students through the 826 Boston Foundation. He holds an A.B. in history from Princeton and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard.
Fritz-Laure Dubuisson, a life long Dorchester resident, joined the board in 2015. Fritz's love of old homes and too many episodes of "This Old House" led to an active interest in the Dorchester Historical Society and preservation efforts. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in English Literature and Suffolk University with a J.D./M.B.A, she works in the information security sector as a senior compliance professional.
Lianne Ames has lived in Dorchester since the late 1980s, first in Fields Corner, then in Savin Hill—over the bridge, and finally settling with her partner in Ashmont Hill in the mid-1990s. Lianne graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and has worked in the graphic arts, as well as newspaper and higher education publishing for over 30 years. She has volunteered her design and production skills on the Dorchester House Tour booklets. She is active on the Ashmont Hill Association Board, most recently as the clerk, and produces the monthly newsletter, the Ashmont Outlook. She and her partner have enthusiastically restored their late Victorian home’s exterior and are still working their way through renovation of the interior of the house one room at a time.
Emy has been a Board Member since 2007. Before that she worked on the collections committee with Larry Davidson. She was inspired to become active in the Society as she grew up in Dorchester and some members of her family previously leased the greenhouses on the Clapp property (before the telephone company building). She now serves as the Collections Chair. She is a retired Microbiology Supervisor from MetroWest Medical Center. She was active in her professional organizations serving in various positions, presently Archivist. She also volunteers at the Public Health Museum in Tewksbury.
Karen MacNutt, Lt. C., Ret., J.D.
Attorney MacNutt is a life-long resident of Dorchester. She has a general practice law office in Randolph with a concentration in estate planning and elder law. She was graduated from Girls' Latin School; Univ. of MA; Munson Institute of Maritime History, Ct.; Boston University Law School; and the Command and General Staff School, USAR.
In addition to the practice of law, Attorney MacNutt has been involved in numerous civic activities including being past president of: the New England Judge Advocate Association; the Girls' Latin School/ Boston Latin Academy Association and Gun Owners Action League; past board member on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Inspector General's Council, the Boston Finance Commission, the Massachusetts Trial Lawyers and the Association of the First Corps of Cadets Museum. She was Chief Marshal of the Dorchester Day Parade in 2000 and is still an active member of the Parade Committee.
Currently, Attorney MacNutt is the Chair of the Boston City Committee for the Republican Party, a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Dorchester, and a director of AWARE. She is an active public speaker and journalist on topics of both legal and historical interest. She is the legal editor of Women and Guns Magazine, produced a 90 min. documentary on the history of the 26th Infantry Division, and has authored, co-authored or edited a number of books on law, art history, self-defense, and most recently, a cook book of Dorchester recipes called Dot Delights.
Kayla Skillin is a life-long Dorchester resident and currently works as the Records Manager at the City of Boston Archives. She graduated from Boston Latin School, Emmanuel College, and the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. Kayla began volunteering at the Dorchester Historical Society in 2013 as a part of a project with Simmons and has continued on the Collections Committee ever since. In 2015, Kayla was elected to the board of directors. She is active in the Dorchester community, especially with the Dorchester Special Athletes.
Austyn Ellese Mayfield
From poet to journalist to producer and content strategist, Austyn Ellese Mayfield has spent the better part of 15 years crafting narratives and experiences that move audiences to feel and act.
Austyn launched her communications career in the fashion and lifestyle arena, overseeing and producing written content, events, and web-based video that highlighted noteworthy stories in footwear, restaurants, nightlife, the arts, and health and wellness. In addition to serving as the principal creative for her media production consultancy, she is currently the Senior Manager of Engagement and Programs at Boston Medical Center where she uses her integrated content strategy and branding chops to develop and deploy compelling messaging for BMC's nearly 10,000 employees and volunteers.
Austyn moved to Dorchester in 2008, putting down roots in the St. Marks area. Though she arrived in the Dot with only a pug and a few pieces of furniture, her life in Boston's best neighborhood has expanded to include a husband, more furniture, and her very own OFD little guy.
A native of Connecticut and long time resident of Boston, Andrew F. Saxe moved to Dorchester in 2008 with his husband, Dean Vollick. They live in Melville Park.
Mr. Saxe is an executive with Gainwell Technology in the State Government group.
Mr. Saxe is a graduate of Harvard College in History, magna cum laude. He graduated from Harvard Law School. Mr. Saxe worked in Germany for five years following German unification.
He has been active in several historical societies, including as a Trustee as of the Vermont Historical Society, and as a member of Historic New England. He is best known in the DHS for his lectures on Dorchester's historic architecture.
Back in Boston after 35 years in the suburbs, Carole and her husband Paul restored a Philadelphia duplex in the Cedar Grove neighborhood of Dorchester in 2004. In Rockland, she served on the town's Historical Commission which established the historic district in the center of town and saved the Almshouse, constructed shortly after the town was established in 1874 and now restored and used as a regional school for special needs students. While in Rockland, she served as a Library Trustee, a Selectman, and President of the Old Abington Historical Society.
She worked as a writer, photographer or editor at several publishing companies and also headed an in-house advertising agency. Now retired, she is active in the Dorchester Park Association and in the city's archaeology program where she photographs artifacts and assists at digs. At the DHS, she helps with the DHS archives, tours and programming. For exercise, she cleans trash along the Neponset River banks and in the neighborhood.
Vicki Rugo and her husband, Bob, have lived in the Ashmont Hill neighborhood of Dorchester since 1975, when they purchased their first home, a three-decker greatly in need of renovation. A graduate of Wellesley College, she worked in marketing and public relations for the Boston Redevelopment Authority (now Boston Planning and Development Agency) and Boston Landmarks Commission, as well as for the planning and design firm Sasaki Associates, Inc., and she was parish administrator for 16 years at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Milton. Now retired, she finds she is busier than ever with volunteer activities and grandchildren.
Active in the Ashmont Hill Association for many years, Vicki currently serves as president of the AHA board and editor of the Ashmont Outlook, the association's monthly newsletter. She helped organize the Codman Square House Tour, which ran from 1997 to 2006, and chaired the DHS committee that planned the 2016 and 2017 Dorchester House Tours. She currently heads the Society's Program Committee, which is working to develop monthly programs that are inclusive and engaging for Dorchester's residents old and new. She is committed to the preservation of the architectural character and integrity of Dorchester's distinctive neighborhoods as well as to building a stronger sense of community among its residents.