The Pioneer Valley is full of opportunities to explore local history. Please check the events calendar often.
For Events that run for multiple days and times, like exhibits and shows, see our “On-Going Events” page.
See Past Events here.
November 17, 2014 — “Pulling the People Out of the Paperwork”
Wistariahurst Museum, 238 Cabot St., Holyoke, 6 p.m.
Dave Robison of Old Bones Genealogy will present the basics of genealogy and family research. He will be giving guidance on how to start your research, types of sources and websites, how to interview relatives, how to organize data and using family tree software. Attendees will receive templates for family group sheets and pedigree charts, sample census records as well as the contents of various census records from 1790-1940. $7 general / $5 members.
November 17, 2014 — “Artful and Designing Men”
Pelham Historical Society
Ramsdell Room, Pelham Community Center, Pelham, 7 p.m.
Canceled Due to Weather
Please join the Pelham Historical Society for ARTFUL AND DESIGNING MEN: The Trials of Job Shattuck and the Regulation of 1786-1787 on Monday November 17 2014 7:00 PM
Capt. Job Shattuck, one of the principal leaders in Shays Rebellion, was tried and sentenced to death for high treason. Join author Gary Shattuck as he discusses previously undiscovered evidence that sheds a surprising new light on Capt. Shattucks involvement, and forces a reassessment of this honorable mans actions.
Community Center Ramsdell Room following our Annual Business Meeting
Chairperson: Bruce Klotz, 253-1601 firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our programs are free and open to the public. For more information about the Pelham Historical Society, please visit us on the WEB at pelhamhs.org or send us an email to: email@example.com
Be sure to check out our full calendar of programs. Thank You! and hope to see you soon!
November 18, 2014 — “JFK 51 Years Later”
Palmer Historical & Cultural Center
2072 Main Street Three Rivers, 7 p.m.
Guest Lecturer ~ Rep. Todd Smola. Lecture about John F. Kennedy Assassination and display of Memorabilia and Articles at that time.
FREE ADMISSION ~ Freewill Donation encouraged and graciously accepted
November 18, 2014 — Talk by James Woolsey, Superintendent of Springfield Armory National Historic Site
Ramapogue Historical Society (Day House) West Springfield
at Mittineague Congregational Church, 1840 Westfield Street (Route 20), West Springfield, 7 p.m.
Learn the role the Armory played in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Mr. Woolsey has worked for 20 years developing visitor and interpretive services at sites of natural and historical importance. Prior to assuming his duties at the Springfield Armory in March of 2012, Mr. Woolsey served as Director of Interpretation and Visitor Services for the American Battle Monuments Commission in Paris, France.
Free and open to the Public. Parking and entrance at rear of Church. Refreshments served. for more information call: 413-739-7453
November 21, 2014 — “With Womanly Weapons Girt”: Women’s Voluntarism & Quilts in the Civil War
History Bites Lunchtime Lecture Series
Simeon Strong House, 67 Amity St., Amherst, 12:15 p.m.
The production and supply of textiles during the Civil War speak to the period’s newly discovered patriotism, to manufacturing and economic challenges, and especially to the herculean efforts of women on the homefront. Through their handmade socks, hospital shirts, flannel drawers, carpet slippers and quilts, women not only supplied their absent menfolk with necessary clothing and bedding, but with assurance that their sacrifice was honored and their presence missed. This lecture examines the quilts and other textiles that women (North and South) created to declare their patriotism and support their fighting menfolk, from the first call to defend their country to the post-war ceremonies that helped veterans-of both the battlefield and the homefront-to make sense of their experience.
Lynne Zacek Bassett is an independent scholar specializing in historic costume and textiles. From 1995-2000 she was the curator of textiles and fine arts at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Since going independent, Lynne has undertaken a number of large projects, including her most recent exhibition and publication, Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, co-authored with Madelyn Shaw and published in 2012 by the American Textile History Museum of Lowell. The book was awarded a bronze medal in history by the Independent Publishers Book Awards. Lynne was also primary author and editor of Massachusetts Quilts: Our Common Wealth, published by the University Press of New England in 2009. Lynne’s experience in the field of historic costume and textiles has been recognized by the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Historic New England, and the International Quilt Study Center, which have all elected her to membership in their honorary or advisory societies.
Join us with your lunch in hand. We will provide coffee, tea or cider for you as you listen to the presentations. The 30-minute program will begin promptly at 12:15 with seating and beverages ready just before noon. The lectures are free and everyone is welcome to attend. For updated information, check our website at http://www.amhersthistory.org
November 22, 2014 – “Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England”
Lecture & Tasting
Amherst Historical Society
Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, 2:30 p.m.
Before it was Safe to Drink the Water…
Tipples at breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner were the norm in Colonial New England, and low-alcohol hard cider was sometimes a part of even children’s lives. Explore the origins and taste of the favorite potations of early Americans and learn some modern-day recipes to revive these beverages today with Corin Hirsch, author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England.
Colonial New England was awash in ales, beers, wines, cider and spirits. Everyone from teenage farm workers to our founding fathers imbibed heartily and often. This burgeoning cocktail culture reflected the New World’s abundance of raw materials: apples, sugar and molasses, wild berries and hops. This plentiful drinking sustained a slew of smoky taverns and inns-watering holes that became vital meeting places and the nexuses of unrest as the Revolution brewed.
This lecture, free and open to the public, is the annual meeting program of the Amherst Historical Society and will be held at the Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, on Saturday, November 22 beginning at 2:30.
For those who want to taste a selection of the drinks described by Ms. Hirsch during her lecture, we have a 21 and older ticketed event with two times planned from 4:00-6:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm at the Simeon Strong House. Ticket holders will sample Flip made with ale [warmed with a hot poker], rum, molasses, a beaten egg and nutmeg; Syllabub made with white wine, lemon juice, heavy cream sugar and nutmeg; a mulled wine, and hard cider. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served and Colonial music will provide a festive background. Tickets are $20.00 per person available from our website or at the Simeon Strong House, 67 Amity Street, Amherst.
Corin Hirsch is an award-winning food and drinks writer who recently moved to the Hudson Valley of New York. She learned to pull a pint of Schlitz (for her grandfather) at the age of six, and she used to tend bar inside a sixteenth-century English pub. She has written about craft beer for Serious Eats and also ghost-blogs and writes in the wine world.
December 3, 2014 — “Embers of War”
Springfield Public Forum
Symphony Hall, Springfield, 7:30 p.m.
As a specialist in U.S. foreign policy and a professor at Cornell University, Fredrik Logevall brings rich insight to the legacy of the Vietnam War. His most recent novel, Embers of War, recounts the war’s wasted opportunities and deadly miscalculations. Be prepared for Logevall to change your understanding of how and why America went to war in Vietnam. He will delve deep into the historical record to provide hard answers to the questions surrounding the demise of one Western power in Vietnam and the arrival of another. Detailing the rich and hidden history of the French and American experiences in Vietnam, Embers of War won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2013.
December 3, 2014 — Western Mass. Genealogical Society Meeting
Agawam Senior Center
954 Main Street, Agawam, 6-8 pm.
The Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society will hold their next meeting from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the at the Agawam Senior Center, 954 Main Street, Agawam, Massachusetts.
Holiday Dinner: Join us for a pot luck dinner. Socialize with fellow genealogists while dining to holiday music. Participate in an “Open Mic” session to share your genealogy research tips, websites, and suggestions.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — “Caroling and Yankee Swap”
Southwick Historical Society
Southwick Senior Center, Town Hall, 434 College Highway, Southwick, 6 p.m.
CATERED DINNER — CHRISTMAS PARTY
HOSTESSES: Connie Johnson, Pat Odiorne
December 7, 2014 — Holiday Tea
Wistariahurst Museum, 238 Cabot St., Holyoke, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Tea at Wistariahurst will put you in the spirit of the season. Sip tea in Belle’s beautiful Music Room accompanied by live music played on the grand piano with local pianist David Stukus. Come as a family, a group of friends, or come alone and make new friends this holiday season! Enjoy tea and sweet treats at Wistariahurst Museum, and see the historic mansion in
festive decor. A select variety of teas and luscious sweets will be served while you enjoy holiday cheer, join the chorus, and mingle with other guests. Tickets are $12 general /$10 members and can be purchased online at www.wistariahurst.org or by calling the Museum at (413)322-5660
December 10, 2014 — Valley Gives Day!
More to come!
December 11, 2014 — “Something of the Character Within—19th and early 20th Century Portraits of Swift River Valley Children”
Stone House Lecture Series
Stone House Museum, 20 Maple St., Belchertown, 7 p.m.
Swift River Valley Historical Society Curator and historian, Elizabeth Peirce, and Executive Director, Sheila Damkoehler will present images of Swift River Valley children in the late 19th and early 20th century. What was it like to have a photograph taken in the 19th century? How did it change in the 20th century with the introduction of the “snapshot” by Eastman Kodak, and yet again in the 21st century with tiny cameras hidden inside cell phones and instant postings to facebook or Instagram? The slide presentation will look at the experience of visiting one of the studios scattered throughout the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What did children wear? How did they pose? What kind of backdrops and props might have been available in the photographer’s studio?
Occasionally photographers managed to transcend the conventions within which they worked and show “something of the character within.” The viewer will be the judge—did these photographers succeed in capturing something of the character within these children?
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