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.
23 March — “Organizing Your Genealogy”
Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts
at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St., Chicopee, 6:30 p.m.
Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts is pleased to present:
“Organizing Your Genealogy” by Hillary Schau, Professional Genealogist. Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:30 PM Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee, MA 01013 Free event – bring a friend!
For further information: http://www.PGSMA.org
24 March — “The Heart has Many Doors”
History Bites Lunchtime Lecture Series
Amherst Historical Museum, 67 Amity Street, Amherst, 12:15 p.m.
Susan Snively will talk about the process of working historical fact into a fictional narrative. Her book, The Heart Has Many Doors: A Novel of Emily Dickinson, is a work of imaginative fiction centered on Emily Dickinson and Judge Otis Phillips Lord. A review in The Bulletin of the Emily Dickinson International Society by Renée Bergland says the book “takes bold imaginative leaps, but Snively’s sensibilities are in tune with Dickinson’s. Her novel is affecting, fresh, and passionate.”
For this book, Snively weaves fact into fiction. She portrays all aspects of the potential for the poet’s love affair with the eminent Judge Lord of Salem, a widower and family friend, eighteen years older than the poet. Emily and the judge struggle with her need for privacy and his power as a man of the world, but their autumnal romance has the friskiness of much younger lovers.
Susan Snively, an accomplished poet, scriptwriter, and essayist, grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and now lives in Amherst where she is a guide, discussion leader, and film script writer for the Emily Dickinson Museum. She was the founder and first director of the Writing Center at Amherst College, where she worked from 1981 until 2008. She taught courses in writing and autobiographies of women, and has published four collections of poems: From This Distance (1981), Voices in the House (1988), The Undertow (1998), and Skeptic Traveler (2005.)
Join us with your lunch in hand. We will provide coffee, tea and 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: amhersthistory.org.
25 March — “Punishment in Paradise: The History of Incarceration in Northampton, 1654-present”
Historic Northampton & Forbes Library
at the Coolidge Presidential Museum, Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton, 3 p.m.
A lecture by Mike Ryan, a native of Northampton, board member of Historic Northampton, former District Attorney, and retired lawyer and judge. Mike Ryan will discuss crime and punishment in Northampton and the development of the series of Northampton jails and houses of correction. He will describe how philosophies about incarceration have changed here over the last 350 years.
Sunday, 26 March — “Revolution in Fashion 1914-1920”
Belchertown Historical Association
Stone House Museum, 20 Maple St., Belchertown, 2 p.m.
with Patricia C. Warner.
World War I changed everything. One of the many legacies that continues to shape our lives today is women’s clothing. Recollect the fashions featured in the second season of the popular PBS drama Downton Abbey which is set in the years 1916 – 1919. Join us at the Stone House to learn about how and why the revolutionary changes came about during this period in our history.
Professor Warner has published and spoken widely in various scholarly journals and books on various aspects of the history of dress, including jewelry, slave clothing and the movies, but her major focus has been the subject of her book, When the Girls Came Out to Play (University of Massachusetts Press, 2006), on women’s clothing for sports and the birth of American sportswear. She is a Fellow of the Costume Society of America.
26 March — “Shays’ Rebellion: Reclaiming the Revolution”
Goshen Historical Society
at Goshen Town Hall, Goshen, 2 p.m.
On Sunday, March 26th at 2 pm, Tom Goldscheider will present “Shays’ Rebellion: Reclaiming the Revolution.” Shays’ Rebellion of 1786-87 presents an uncomfortable chapter in our history. How do we account for an armed insurrection by 4,000 men against the state in the cradle of the American Revolution?
The program will be held at the Goshen Town Hall, and doors will be open 20 minutes beforehand. As always, our program is free, open to the public, and refreshments will be served.
Please contact me with any questions:
Sunday, 26 March — “Quabbin Aquatic Life- Drought, Adaptations and Decontamination”
Quabbin Visitor Center, 485 Ware Rd., Belchertown, 2-3 p.m.
More info coming.
28 March — “Pottery, Tile and Brick-Making”
Pelham Historical Society
Ramsdell Rm., Pelham Public Library, Pelham, 7:30 p.m.
Surrounding Pelham MA, potters, brick-makers and the general population made use of clay for utensils, homes and other products from the colonial period through the 19th century. These products employed colorful names that occasionally became slang. This history and their stories will be presented by Rick Hamelin, who has researched the Massachusetts clay industry since 1985 and is a Master Potter from Warren, MA.
For more information, contact: Cynthia Weigel, 413-256-4606.
Wednesday 29 March — “The Angel of Hadley”
Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies
650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, 4 p.m.
Renaissance Wednesday Lecture. Jim Freeman of UMass Amherst will be presenting a Lecture titled, “The Angel of Hadley.”
Free and open to the public.
Refreshments co-sponsored by The Amherst Woman’s Club.
1 April — “Plants & Place: Native Flora in Western Mass.”
Deerfield Community Center, Deerfield, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, 2 April — “Quabbin Time Travel Trip To Prescott”
at the Belchertown Senior Center,Belchertown, 2-3 p.m.
(Note different time and location for this program!)
4 April — Digital Commonwealth Annual Conference
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester
Digital Commonwealth Annual Conference, taking place at Holy Cross on April 4th. The keynote speaker, Mary Minow will be speaking on fake news literacy and the role of cultural heritage institutions. She received rave reviews after her 2007 conference address and we are excited to have her back to speak on this timely issue. The conference program also includes exciting breakout sessions such as: preparing materials for digitization through the Digital Commonwealth program, evaluating photographic images for copyright infringement, and working with primary sources in the classroom.
Here is the link for conference registration:
We hope to see you there!
Archivist – Holyoke Community College
Board member – MA SHRAB
Digital Commonwealth 2017 Conference Committee
Wednesday 5 April — Western Massachusetts Historical Commission Coalition
Lenox Town Hall, Lenox, 10-12 noon
TOPIC: FUNDING AND FINANCING FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS
More details to come as we finalize speakers and the agenda. Hope you can make it!
I know you will also join me in thanking Elizabeth Rairigh, formerly of PVPC for all of her work helping to coordinate WMHCC meetings in the past, and in welcoming Shannon Walsh, the new Historic Preservation Planner at PVPC.
As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Preservation Circuit Rider for Central and Western MA
34 Main Street Extension, Suite 401
Plymouth, MA 02360
Thursday, 6 April — Reception: “Push the Green Hand Ahead: Springfield Armory in WWI”
Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Springfield, 6 p.m.
“Push the Green Hand Ahead: Springfield Armory in WWI” is the title of the next special exhibit at Springfield Armory National Historic Site. This exhibit commemorates the centennial of the U.S. involvement in WWI. A public reception will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in the Armory Museum at the corner of Federal and State streets (STCC campus), Springfield.
Exactly one century ago to the date, over 5,000 Armory employees manufactured weapons for 3.5 million soldiers who fought in Europe. The Armory Curator will introduce the exhibit and define its curious title.
The building is wheelchair accessible. There is ample free parking. For information call 413-734-8551.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site is the location of the nation’s first armory (1794 – 1968) and was established by George Washington. The Museum is open Wednesday- Sunday until Memorial Day, and then to be open seven days a week 9am-5pm. For further information call (413) 734-8551, check the website at http://www.nps.gov/spar or http://www.facebook.com/sparnhs.
Friday, 7 April — “Shays’ Rebellion: Reclaiming the Revolution”
Blandford Historical Society, 2 North St., Blandford, 7 p.m.
On Friday, April 7th at 7:00 P.M., Tom Goldscheider will present “Shays’ Rebellion: Reclaiming the Revolution.” Shays’ Rebellion of 1786-87 presents an uncomfortable chapter in our nation’s history. How do we account for an armed insurrection by 4,000 men against the state in the cradle of the American Revolution? The program will include information on how Blandford residents were involved in this event, an event that sped the adoption of the US Constitution.
The program will be held at the Blandford Historical Society, located at 2 North Street in the center of town. Doors will be open 20 minutes beforehand. As always, our program is free, open to the public, and refreshments will be served.
Please contact me with any questions:
Chips Norcross, Program Director
Saturday, 8 April — “Stories, Storytelling & Storytellers”
PVHN Spring Gathering & Annual Meeting
Hall Tavern, Historic Deerfield
This Year’s Theme is “Stories, Storytelling & Storytellers” and we have lined up a great program of fun and learning!
9:30 am — 10:00 am Registration & Networking
10:00 am – 10:30 am Short business meeting (PVHN Annual Meeting)
10:30 am – 11:15 am Rick Spencer – musician, storyteller
11:30 am – 12:15 pm Sarah Jane Poindexter – eliciting stories as part of an oral histories project
12:15 pm – 1:00 pm Break for Lunch
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm Christina Vida – storytelling from a curator’s perspective
1:45 pm — 2:15 pm Rob Cox – collection descriptions
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Show & Tell Workshop — Bring something from your collection that has a great story (or a photo of it) and let’s write captivating text for it!
3:30 pm — 3:45 pm Wrap-Up & Adjourn
$15 per person for the day/ $10 student
$10 for an optional bag lunch
To register, email us at: http://www.pioneervalleyhistorynetwork.org
Registration Deadline: April 1
8 April — “Doing Our Bit – Springfield Answers the WWI Call to Arms”
Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Springfield, 2 p.m.
On Saturday April 8th at 2:00 pm, Springfield Armory National Historic Site will offer a free presentation on WWI and the ground breaking women ordnance workers of the Springfield Armory.
Although World War II is usually credited with ushering women into the workforce, it was in fact World War I that first witnessed substantial numbers of women entering into wartime industries. For many women, employment at the Springfield Armory was a gateway to newfound opportunities and independence.
How did the presence of these women change the work environment? What were the consequences of this new experience for the women employed by the Springfield Armory?
Ranger Krystal Vezina remarked that: “By posing wartime jobs as a patriotic duty, the U.S. government empowered a generation of American women to pursue new opportunities they might not have otherwise considered.”
Starting in World War I and continuing until it closed its doors in 1968, Springfield Armory hired large numbers of women to help meet wartime production requirements. Through Armory newsletters, archival photographs, and other historical documents and items, the program will highlight the contributions of women ordnance workers to the war effort. It will focus on a wide variety of topics including wartime production, propaganda, workforce diversification, and social life. Vezina paints a vivid picture of the wartime employment experience. In WWI women numbered 13.9% of the Armory workforce of an estimated 5000 employees.
This program is being held in conjunction with Springfield Armory National Historic Site’s upcoming special exhibit Push the Green Hand Ahead: Springfield Armory in World War I. The exhibit’s opening reception will be on Thursday, April 6th 2017 and will run through January 7th 2018. Admission to the Museum, Special exhibit, and all associated programs is free.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site is the location of the nation’s first armory (1794 – 1968) and was established by George Washington. The Museum is open Wednesday- Sunday until Memorial Day, and then to be open seven days a week 9am-5pm. For further information call (413) 734-8551, check the website at http://www.nps.gov/spar or http://www.facebook.com/sparnhs .
20 April — “What’s In Your Attic?”
Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum
Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton, 2 p.m.
How to Preserve your Family Treasures as part of National Preservation Month.
All ages welcome. For more information contact email@example.com or 413-587-1014. If you are unable to come and have interest in any of the topics or collections, contact us for an appointment.
Wednesday, 20 April — “Discovering the Meerstones of Olde Hadley”
Hadley Historical Society & Hatfield Historical Society
Hatfield Congregational Church, 41 Main St., Hatfield, 7 p.m.
If you need a ride meet at Historical House, 12 Middle St., Hadley, at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, 22 April — Spring Meeting
Association for Gravestone Studies, Western New England Chapter
at the Stone House Museum, 20 Maple St., Belchertown, 10 a.m.
Bob Drinkwater will offer a brief introduction to local 18th- and early 19th-century stonecutters, and after lunch, we plan to visit one or more local cemeteries.
If you plan to attend the meeting, please RSVP to Andrea: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CALL FOR SPEAKERS — If you would like to do a presentation (20-30 mins.), during the morning session, contact Bob Drinkwater: email@example.com or (413) 549-0581.
22 April — “Civitas: A Celebration of Democracy. Early American Ideals, Religious Faith, and Citizenship in a Time of Crisis”
The Hilltown Chautauqua
at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ashfield
The Hilltown Chautauqua is presenting a day-long program on Sat., April 22, in Ashfield, on “Civitas: A Celebration of Democracy. Early American Ideals, Religious Faith, and Citizenship in a Time of Crisis.”
Three nationally noted scholar-authors will speak on aspects of early American history, Amina Jordan-Mendez will give a dramatic reading of poetry and letters by Phillis Wheatley, and the Norumbega Harmony will give an evening concert on Revolutionary Era music, with soloists Mary Hubbell, soprano , and Larry Schipull, organist. Talks and concert will be at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Lunch and tea will be served at Gloriosa and Co. at the Curtis House B and B.
For more details, and online ticket booth, visit http://www.hilltownchautauqua.org. Contact: David Perkins at 413-634-5716.
26-29 April — New England Regional Genealogical Conference
Mass. Mutual Center, Springfield
The New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) is returning to Springfield after 6 years. The conference takes place at the Mass Mutual Center April 26=29. Early Bird Registration is open until February 28. The vendors’ hall will be open at no charge during the conference. For more information, visit: http://www.NERGC.org
26 April — Librarians and Local Historians Day @ NERCG
Mass. Mutual Center, Springfield
A special day is planned for librarians and archivists on Wednesday, April 26. Librarians and Local Historians Day will feature presentations by Curt Witcher, Manager of the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, and Dr. Rhonda Clark, Associate Professor at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. An interactive panel discussion with the speakers, Massachusetts’ Roving Archivist Rachel Onuf and as well as Sara Campbell, a local historian will complete the program. Register at www.nergc.org. $40 for the day includes lunch sponsored by ProQuest.
Friday, 5 May — “A New Look at Colrain-born Pequot Indian William Apess”
Pioneer Valley Institute
Stinchfield Hall, Main Campus, Greenfield Community College, 7 p.m.
Drew Lopenzina, who calls Western Massachusetts home, currently can be found at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he is professor of Native American and Early American literature. His talk will focus on the remarkable life, writings, and activism of the Colrain-born 19th century Pequot Indian minister William Apess.
Lopenzina is the author of two books: Red Ink: Native Americans Picking up the Pen in the Colonial Period and his recent publication, Through an Indian’s Looking Glass; A Cultural Biography of William Apess, Pequot. Through his works Lopenzina hopes to bring attention to the poignant historical contributions and sustained presence of Native American communities in the northeast.
Phone 413-775-1661 to register for this PVI program. $5 fee.
Books will be available for purchase and the author will sign after the presentation.
10 May — “New England Pie: History Under a Crust”
Hadley Historical Society
Historical House, 12 Middle St., Hadley, 7 p.m.
Presented by Robert Cox, Director of Special Collections, UMass.
Saturday, 13 May — Bus Trip to Hyde Park
Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Departing from Forbes Library
The Friends of Forbes Library present a 1-day bus trip on Saturday, May 13, 2017, to Hyde Park, NY, with guided tours of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home & library and the Vanderbilt mansion, plus lunch. Both homes are National Historic Sites.
The cost is $139 per person, which includes a donation to the Friends of Forbes and is based on 42-50 participants. Motor coach departs at 7:00 a.m. from Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton. Estimated return is 7:00 p.m.
You may make your reservation on Saturday, February 25th in the library lobby from 10:00-noon, 2:00-4:00. Cash, credit card, or check payable to Friends of Forbes Library. If you cannot come in on the 25th, call 413.584.8334. Seats are limited. Deadline for reservations is March 29, 2017.
3 June — “Holyoke Remembers Mary Doyle Curran”
Holyoke Public Library & Holyoke Community College, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Holyoke Remembers Mary Doyle Curran: A Centennial Celebration of the Author’s Birth
Doyle Curran, born in Holyoke in 1917, was part of the Irish American community that built the canals and worked the paper and textile mills of the “Paper City.” She went on to graduate from the Massachusetts State College (UMASS-Amherst) in 1940 and subsequently earned a PhD from the State University of Iowa. Doyle Curran was a professor of English at Wellesley College, and a professor of English and Irish Studies at Queens College, and the University of Massachusetts—Boston. In that capacity, and in her capacity as a writer, she gave an enduring voice to Holyoke’s Irish American community and an inclusive legacy to a dynamic multicultural city of immigrants.
This one-day symposium on the life and literary works of Mary Doyle Curran, one of Holyoke’s most distinguished authors, welcomes papers of twenty-minute’s length (email proposal to Professors Mark Clinton and Patricia Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jules Chametzky (UMASS English–Emeritus)
Bus tour of Doyle Curran’s Holyoke, from 12-1.
Supported by grants from the Community College Public Humanities Center, MassHumanities, and NEH
Saturday 10 June — “Disturbing Women: Mary Webster, the ‘Witch’ of Hadley”
Hadley Historical Society
Historical House, 12 Middle St., Hadley, 1 p.m.
Presented by Bridget Marshall, Professor at UMass, Lowell.
Saturday, July 29 — History Camp Pioneer Valley
Pioneer Valley History Network
Kittredge Center, Holyoke Community College
Save the Date for the Second Annual History Camp Pioneer Valley! More info to come.
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