Archaeology at the Strong House

Archaeology at the Strong House

The Amherst Historical Society is applying for a grant so we can commission a professional engineering/structural analysis of the Strong House and grounds. Surprisingly, such an analysis has never been done before. But since we hope to soon have approval for our amendment of the Emerson will, we will need the analysis in order to be able to make the changes to the building required for handicap accessibility and HVAC installation.

We did have an analysis of the grounds, using ground-penetrating radar, and some archaeological work was done in 2016 by field supervisor Tim Barker, of UMass, and some students. We have a video in which he describes his approach to this kind of archaeology, but he never gave a follow-up talk to describe his findings.

Join us at noon on October 8 for the History Bites lecture on the New Haven – Northampton Canal.  The Zoom link for the lecture is    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84485731584

 

The Museum needs volunteer docents! We are open from noon to 4 on Saturdays, and you can sign up on Sign Up Genius here, or send an email to info@amhersthistory.org.

 

Remember to register here for the Brutalism Symposium at UMass, October 22 – 23.
Brutalist Architecture at UMass

Brutalist Architecture at UMass

  Last spring, the Amherst Historical Society hosted a series of four Zoom lectures (‘Brut Bites’) on Brutalist architecture at UMass. You may view the lecture videos here:

April 12: UMass Then/Now
    Speakers: Ron Michaud and Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
April 19: The History and Cultures of the Southwest Residential Complex
    Speaker: Timothy M. Rohan
April 26: Unbuilt UMass: A History of Campus Master Plans
    Speaker: Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
May 3: The History of the Randolph W. Bromery Fine Arts Center
    Speakers: L. Carl Fiocchi and Margaret Vickery
 
  And now this fall the University is hosting a 2-day symposium on Brutalist architecture:
  ‘The main campaign event will be a two-day symposium entitled Brutalism + the Public University: Past, Present and Future to be held at UMass Dartmouth on Friday, October 22nd and at UMass Amherst on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021. The symposium will include nationwide industry professionals, as well as faculty, students, and staff of all backgrounds with an interest in Brutalism.   Presenters will share their experiences working with Brutalist structures especially in the public realm. The goal of the symposium is to create a dynamic, cross-disciplinary conversation among all participants on how we may conserve and provide stewardship of our buildings for the future.’

  For more information, and to register for the symposium, click here and here.

Edward Hitchcock Lecture and Acousticca

Edward Hitchcock Lecture and Acousticca

This Friday, September 10, at noon, we will begin our fall History Bites lecture series with Robert McMaster, who will discuss his new book on Edward Hitchcock. Edward Hitchcock was one of the most eminent American scientists of his time, a popular professor and president at Amherst College, and an inspired preacher. But, nearly 160 years after his death, his story has never really been told. So in his new book, All the Light Here Comes from Above: The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock, Williamsburg author Robert T. McMaster at last brings to light the many facets of one of this state’s and the nation’s most famous sons.

Friday’s lecture will be brought to you over Zoom, with the generous help of our friends at Amherst Media. Click here for the Zoom link.

And on Saturday at 3:30 the Museum will host its much-postponed performance of Acousticca, who will perform on our lawn at 67 Amity Street from 3:30 to 5PM.

‘The band performs their own original music as well as many covers of some of the world’s greatest songs from Country, Blues and Rock legends such as Johnny Cash, EmmyLou Harris, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones to name a few, while adding their own signature style to these classic songs.’

Tonight at The Strong House – Felipe Salles Jazz Trio

Tonight at The Strong House – Felipe Salles Jazz Trio

Come celebrate the breaking of the heat wave with the Felipe Salles Jazz Trio.

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Felipe Salles has served as a Professor of Jazz and African-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2010. An active musician in the US since 1995, he has worked and recorded with prominent jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Lionel Loueke, Jerry Bergonzi, Chico Pinheiro, Jovino Santos Neto, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza, and Bob Moses. He has toured extensively in Europe, North and South America, India and Australia, as a sideman and as a leader of his own group.

As Amherst reopens, the Amherst History Museum is presenting small-ensemble performances featuring local musicians in our 18th Century garden The performances are free and open to the public, and we will pass the hat for the musicians. Bring a blanket or folding chair to sit on!

Videos of downtown Amherst

Videos of downtown Amherst

Despite the recent heat wave, the cooler weather of autumn is on the way. UMass students will soon return to campus, with new students arriving for orientation starting on Friday, August 27; the University already has its electric signboards up, giving directions to traffic and pedestrians.

With our Society’s emphasis on history, we can sometimes forget the present-day charm of the town we live in, but there are a couple of youtube videos which can help to remind us.  One is of a simple family outing to the Common on a Saturday in the fall a few years ago — note that they parked near the Strong House! And the other is a 4-minute video driving tour of downtown Pleasant Street, which was already deserted at the beginning of the pandemic, on a Thursday in March, 2020.