The Amherst History Museum is located at 67 Amity Street in Amherst, Massachusetts. Beginning on Saturday, May 20, the Museum will be open on Saturdays, from 11AM to 3PM, and by appointment.
The Amherst History Museum opened in 1916 and is governed by the Amherst Historical Society, which was founded in 1899. Housed in the 1750-era Simeon Strong House, the Amherst History Museum takes visitors on a journey from the town’s colonial past, through its industrial age and into the computer-driven present. The Museum is filled with decorative arts, paintings, household implements, agricultural tools and other pieces of history from the nearly three hundred years since Amherst was settled.
The 2023 season at the Strong House brings a fresh look at our founder, Mabel Loomis Todd with ‘The Magnificent Life & Art of Mabel Loomis Todd.’ This exhibit explores Todd’s work as a nature writer, painter, conservationist, lecturer, and the editor of Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
Painting detail from ‘The Magnificent Life & Art of Mabel Loomis Todd’ currently at the Amherst History Museum.
The AHS 'Groom Tree'
Last year, the Town’s Department of Public Works and the Historical Society together received an Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant to sustain the Groom Tree for years to come. As part of the grant, a fund to support the ongoing care and maintenance of the tree has been established. Help us preserve the history and stories of our community. Make a donation to help us continue to care for the Groom Tree.
Art on the Lawn:
Call for artists
This year the Amherst History Museum invites local artists and crafters to sell their creations on the lawn of the museum on four Saturdays during our 2023 season. We are seeking artists who work in both traditional, indigenous, historical, and/or contemporary mediums, including fiber, painting, basket-making, spinning, drawing, jewelry, metal, pottery, photography, printmaking, woodworking and paper arts.
All 2-D and 3-D artists in the Amherst region are eligible to participate. We would like each show to reflect the diversity of artists in our region. We encourage artists and crafters of all identities to consider applying.
Art on the Lawn will be held on the following Saturdays: June 10, July 8, September 9, October 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Amherst Historical Society: Upcoming Events
Work on the Wachusett Reservoir was completed in 1905 and the reservoir first filled in May 1908 At the time, it was the largest man-made reservoir in the world, supplying drinking water to Boston via the Sudbury River.
Investigating Tan Brook
Investigating Tan Brook
The Tan Brook has been diverted, channeled and built over, but it still runs underneath Amherst. Join Dr Christine Hatch as she rediscovers this historic stream.
Lydia Maria Child
Lydia Maria Child
Lydia Maria Child (1802 - 1880) was a true heroine of the abolitionist movement; she gave up a promising career and her standing in society to battle slavery.
A glimpse into the Amherst History Museum’s permanent collection:
UMass graduation is this weekend, so it is appropriate to remember that the Massachusetts Agricultural College was founded 160 years ago, in 1863. It was founded as a result of the Morrill Land...
History of the Emily Dickinson Museum
The Dickinson Homestead was built by Samuel Fowler Dickinson in 1813. It was occupied by his son Edward, and then by Edward’s two daughters, Emily and Lavinia. The house was designated a National...
Gardens at the Museum
April is National Garden Month, and soon our friends in the Garden Club of Amherst will be tending the Museum's flower gardens, just to the east of the Museum. Already the east lawn is a mass of...
Amherst Juneteenth Observance at the Amherst History Museum on Saturday June 18, 2022.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Fricke
Become a volunteer
Find out how you can help. The Amherst Historical Society depends on the support of the community. We are currently looking for gardeners, educators, fundraisers, and more. Contact us for more information.
‘History Bites’–Highlights from past seasons
19th Century Spiritualism
Robert Cox – Director of Special Collections at UMass
Dec. 21, 2018
The AHS Bookstore
Help support the Amherst Historical Society! Shop our online store for books that highlight the history of Amherst. Titles include:
- Amherst A to Z by Elizabeth M. Sharpe
- Amherst and Hadley Through the Seasons by Daniel Lombardi
- Harvesting History by Sheila Rainford and Ruth Owen Jones
- History of the Black Population of Amherst 1728-1870 by James Avery Smith
- The Letters of Lathrop & Pomeroy by Lucy Whitelaw Rexford
- The Writing Master, by Kitty Burns Florey