Richard B. Betts, Belmont Town Historian
The June 2016 issue of the Belmont Historical Society newsletter was dedicated to the memory of Richard B. Betts, a lifelong Belmont resident, retired Town Engineer, the official Belmont Town Historian, author of several books about the history of the Town of Belmont, a leading member of the Belmont Historical Society for 50 years, and the go-to person for anything about the history of the town who died on January 30, 2016 at the age of 88. In particular, the newsletter presents highlights from the 80-volume set of scrapbooks in which Richard saved newspaper articles and pictures about Belmont over a 70+ year period. That collection of Belmont memorabilia is now in the Society’s collection in the Claflin Room. A more complete story of Richard Betts’ life and contributions to the Town of Belmont was published in the September 2012 issue of the Belmont Historical Society’s newsletter; you may read that tribute by clicking here. His last book, an update to The Streets of Belmont and How They Were Named, was published in 2014 and is available from the Society. You may learn more about that book by visiting our Publications page. On May 21, 1996 Richard Betts gave a presentation of the original version of The Streets of Belmont at a Historical Society meeting. That presentation was videotaped, and the original analog tape was recently digitized by the Belmont Media Center as part of its Belmont Community Moving Image Archive. You may now view that video here. The program portion of the Society’s annual meeting on May 18th, 2016 was devoted to highlights from Richard’s collection of Belmont memorabilia and personal reminiscences of him by a number of individuals. You may view the complete video recording of that meeting (courtesy of the Belmont Media Center) by clicking here.