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 Museum is closed for the winter.
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.
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:
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
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.
Job Posting: visiting curator
The Amherst Historical Society is currently accepting applications for a visiting curator who will work closely with the AHS Collections Committee to re-vision and prepare room exhibits, to create related virtual exhibits for amhersthistory.org, and to design stand alone pop-up exhibits for community partner locations.
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...
‘History Bites’–Highlights from past seasons
19th Century Spiritualism
Robert Cox – Director of Special Collections at UMass
Dec. 21, 2018