Methuen — Ernest Goodwin Mack, the official historian of the City of Methuen, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, October 27, after a very lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was very proud of his home, which his great grandfather had built in 1867, and in which house he had been born on October 26, 1925.
Ernest was the son of the late Mildred (Kelley) and Ernest G. Mack of Methuen. His father having passed away before his birth, Ernest was raised by his mother, aunts and grandparents. He was proud of his “Yankee” heritage, being descended from the first settlers of Newbury in 1635 and of the famous Hannah Duston of Haverhill.
Ernest was a member of the Searles High School class of 1941 and went on to graduate from the Bentley School of Accounting. He worked briefly for the old Western Electric in its downtown Haverhill location, but found researching land titles and historical data much more rewarding. Ernest was especially proud to tell of one case in which two lawyers had asked him to solve a land title issue which neither of them could resolve. He was also a self employed groundskeeper in which capacity he hired teenaged helpers, some of whom are still among his nearest and dearest friends.
Ernest, along with his mother and aunt, had been a member of Methuen’s Historical Committee, the forerunner of the Methuen Historical Commission. Ernest served as chairman of the historical commission for several decades, being named the ‘Official Historian for the City of Methuen’ and Chairman Emeritus of the Methuen Historical Commission in the late 1990’s. He took on the sole responsibility of maintaining, preserving and displaying Methuen’s historical collections for decades, first in a room on the second floor of the Searles building and later in the house next to the Nevins Library until the library expansion when the house was demolished and the collection was put into storage in the basement of the Masonic Temple.