WELLFLEET –– Longtime Wellfleet resident Helen Purcell, who has lived in Leominster since 2015, is getting ready to mark her 100th birthday on June 22, members of her family reported this week.
Cape Codders know Purcell best as a mainstay of the Wellfleet Historical Society and Museum and as an enthusiastic advocate for the Cape Cod National Seashore. For many years she was a key organizer of the historical society’s annual house and garden tour. As recently as a decade ago she led walking tours focused on Wellfleet history and National Seashore sites in town.
Most of Purcell’s nine nieces and nephews live in Central Massachusetts, where she grew up, said George French of Lunenburg, whose wife, Kathleen, is the eldest of the nieces.
“Among us, we make sure she has a family visit virtually every day,” he said. “She is quite frail these days, but is in amazingly good spirits. It is a pleasure to visit her.”
As a longtime curator of the Wellfleet Historical Museum, she worked to organize the society’s collections and promoted the expansion of its Main Street quarters. A room in the renovated museum has been designated the Helen G. Purcell Room in recognition of her service.
She currently lives at the Manor on the Hill, an assisted living facility at 450 North Main St., Leominster, MA 01453.