March is Women’s History Month. The Pioneer Valley has been home to many remarkable women, and the Amherst History Society has worked to collect their stories. We have videos of lectures on Dorothy Wrinch and the Protein War, on ‘Half-hanged Mary’, the witch of early Hadley, and on Angeline Palmer’s abduction in 1840. But this month we will feature Prudence Crandall of Connecticut and Lydia Maria Child of Boston, whose bravery in the 1830’s helped inspire the founders of an abolitionist “utopian” community in Northampton, as described in two lectures (on March 4, 2016 and on October 21, 2016) by Mr Steve Strimer of the David Ruggles Center in Florence, Mass.
The mission of the Amherst Historical Society is to connect people to the town of Amherst, its history, and its culture.
The Society was founded in 1899 by Mabel Loomis Todd, and in 1916 it moved into the historic Simeon Strong house. Over the years, the Society has collected a wide variety of resources for learning about the town of Amherst. We have artifacts dating back to the earliest days of the town, and papers and photographs from more recent years. On our website you may find links to walking tours of Amherst, a list of books about Amherst, and even a collection of historic postcards.
We host a biweekly lecture series, ‘History Bites,’ as well as evening performances and historic tours. Our eighteenth-century garden is maintained by the Garden Club of Amherst, and last year we hosted a Thursday evening farmers’ and artisans’ market on our front lawn.