History Bites Lunchtime Lectures
With February comes a whole new season of History Bites, our lunchtime lecture series. History Bites is a series of thirty minute lectures to inform and entertain, covering various aspects of the history of Amherst and the lives of those who once lived here.
Next up, Robert E. Weir, Ph.D. will present a talk on Friday, March 23rd entitled “Beyond Shiny, Happy History: Why Censoring the Past is a Bad Idea, ” about monuments as history. This talk will focus largely on interpretations of the Civil War and of local debates with the goal in mind of fostering productive dialogues rather that creating competing monologues. Bring your lunch, and we provide coffee, tea and cider for you as you listen to the presentations. The programs begin promptly at 12:15 with seating and beverages ready just before noon. The lectures are free and everyone is welcome to attend.
Mabel Loomis Todd’s Amherst – A Motorbus Excursion
Join us on Saturday, April 28th from 1 o’clock to 5 o’clock to experience Mabel Loomis Todd’s Amherst—from her earliest residence at the Amherst House hotel to her final resting place in Wildwood Cemetery. This extended tour given from Mrs. Todd’s perspective will be narrated by Dr. Julie Dobrow as we travel in motorbus comfort with stops at the Homestead and Evergreens, the Observatory, and Wildwood Cemetery. Be prepared to learn about the artistic and literary achievements that made Mabel extraordinary in her own day, and a fascinating person to study today.
Opportunities for Local Learning
On Wednesday, November 1st, second graders from the Common School visited the Jones Special Collections and the Amherst Historical Society!
This experience gave the hands-on experience into researching local history by exploring the collections of artifacts and primary documents. They examined straw hats, a wooden yoke, a wooden scythe and a wooden plane and practiced making inferences about the objects using what they had learned in class. Visits like these give kids a first-hand look at the history of their own town, tangible enough to reach out and touch, connecting the next generation with all the generations past.
Facilitating these key historical experiences is one of the most important missions of the Amherst Historical Society. If you’re interested in scheduling a visit for your classroom or other group, please get in touch with us! We would love to hear from you.
What do you know about Mabel Loomis Todd?
For the majority of those who know her name, she is primarily associated with Amherst as the editor of Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters and her long-term relationship with Emily’s brother Austin. While true to fact, these details miss the spirit of a woman intensely involved in this community from her arrival in 1881 until the Todds moved to Florida in 1917. Those who knew her remembered “her vividness, her love of beauty, her ceaseless activity and her joy in the things she did, what she was is undoubtedly more than anything she did,” recalled her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham, in Mabel Loomis Todd: Her Contributions to the Town of Amherst, our guide for this exhibition.
This exhibit was created with the research and assistance of Dr. Julie Dobrow, author of the upcoming book Outside Emily’s Door: Mabel Loomis Todd, Millicent Todd Bingham and the Making of America’s Greatest Poet, and Emma John, Hampshire College intern.
This exhibit is now open at the Simeon Strong House.
Read more here.