2020 History Bites

Here are the archived ‘History Bites’ lectures from 2020. ‘History Bites’ is a series of thirty minute lectures to inform and entertain, covering various aspects of the history of Amherst, its surrounding environs, and the lives of those who once lived here. The Amherst Historical Society started this popular series in 2014 and we are fortunate to have archived video of lectures dating back to 2015.

You can search through our archives and our site by using the field below.

The Juneteenth Holiday

by Dr. Amilcar Shabazz, UMass/Amherst VIEW VIDEO “I would like to speak on the history of the Memorial Tablets that commemorated the service and sacrifice of men from Amherst who served as soldiers and sailors in the Civil War. These were the people who paid the...

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Ray Stannard Baker

by Nick Grabbe VIEW VIDEO Ray Stannard Baker was already a well-known journalist when he moved to Amherst in 1910, and he lived on Sunset Avenue until his death in 1946. President Wilson sent him on a fact-finding mission to Europe during World War I, and Baker wrote...

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New England Apples

by Russell Powell VIEW VIDEO “As American as apple pie…” Apples have been part of American history and folklore since colonial days. Orchards used to cover the hillsides of New England until Prohibition times when most of the trees, which were used more for the...

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Railroads in the Valley

by Philip Johnson VIEW VIDEO  The Connecticut River Railroad opened to passenger service between Springfield and Northampton in late 1845; trains reached Deerfield in August 1846, Greenfield in December 1847, and the junction with the Central Vermont Railway in...

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Early Days on The Valley Advocate, part 1

“The Alternative in the Pioneer Valley” — When the Advocate Was Young by Chris O’Carroll VIEW VIDEO The Valley Advocate should need no introduction in the Pioneer Valley. Founded in 1973, it has been “The News and Arts Weekly” for the Valley ever since. Mr. Chris...

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Fence-Viewers of Pelham, Past and Present

by Joe Larson VIEW VIDEO  The office of fence viewer is one of the oldest appointments in New England. In Colonial times, fence viewers might be called upon to resolve boundary disputes; in Massachusetts, this position was first established in 1693 by a statute which...

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