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2018 Annual Guide: Orleans

Bonnie Snow Orleans

Photo by Paige Biviano

“One thing leads to another, leads to another,” Snow says of her adventures in local history.

Born Bonnie MacGregor in 1937, Snow was raised in Chatham. “My mother was a Knowles from Eastham, my great-grandmother ran the maternity home in Eastham. There were 65 babies delivered by my great-grandmother, and I think it’s interesting that my husband was one of them,” she says. She and Stanley Snow met at a barn in Eastham where her mother, a practical nurse, was tending a patient. “Later on he called to invite me to a picnic—and here we are, we’ve been on a picnic for 58 years.”

Trained as a nurse, Snow raised three children in Orleans with Stan, who helped run the family business, Snow’s Home and Garden. Today, their son James runs the store with his cousins, and one of Bonnie and Stan’s five grandchildren is now part of the team.

Honored with the Mercy Otis Warren Award in 2006, Snow’s volunteerism has included the town’s historic commission, a historic house survey in Orleans for the Massachusetts Historic Commission, the Red Cross Disaster Team, chairing the Town Cove Group in its campaign to purchase the Jonathan Young Windmill, and helping create the Town Cove Windmill Park. She was also very involved in rescuing Sea Call Farm and preserving its land for open space.

In her work with the Orleans Historical Society, she is most proud of developing the annual History Day for Orleans fourth graders, designed to help children gain a sense of local history.

Snow has been very involved with the society’s latest project, a plan to purchase the Captain Linnell House in 2020. She is excited about the plan, which will give the historical society much-needed space along with income from weddings and functions.

She is confident the historical society, which has some 400 members, can bring its plan to fruition. “People in Orleans support history,” she says.

Deb Boucher Stetson is the editor of Cape Cod LIFE.

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