Liston family donates land

Saturday, August 23
LENOX — Charlie and Carmen Liston could have easily sold their parcel of land on Crystal Street for big bucks.

But the Listons aren't about money, they're about remembrance.

The couple donated the third of an acre plot to the town to be used as a public park, Liston Park.

It will be dedicated tonight at a ceremony shortly before the start of the Dale Block Party.

"What an incredible gesture," said Lenox Selectwoman Linda Messana. "They could have built something of value on it, or sold it for a lot of money. But instead, they gave it to the town."

Charlie Liston contacted Messana about a year ago to tell her about his idea. Liston purchased the property, which is close to his home, 38 years ago at a public auction for $900. It has about 136 feet of road frontage and sits across the street from the Lenox Dale Post Office.

A retired land surveyor for the state, Liston said the most recent assessment on the land was $80,000.

"I just thought that it would be a nice park for people to enjoy," he said. "People coming out of the post office can go over there and read their mail. And it's right in the center of town."

The Village Improvement Committee designed flower beds, several benches were purchased, and Messana's son, Tim Hart, built a picnic table for the plot. The Listons paid for a granite marker.

Messana said she could envision a Christmas tree in the center each December. Liston said the park is something he can feel proud of.

"Our family has been in this area for more than 100 years," Liston said. "It's our legacy."

To reach Benning W. De La Mater:, 413) 496-6243.


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