Native and Colonial History

Native and Colonial History

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and today is Native American Heritage Day, (established in 1990) and the Amherst Historical Society is pleased to take note of the varying stories around these holidays.

We recently read David Silverman’s This Land is Their Land, which might be paired with Nick Bunker’s Making Haste from Babylon to dispel some of the myths around the Plymouth colony. And the Amherst Historical Society has hosted talks by Lisa Brooks of Amherst College and Christine DeLucia of Williams College, in which they discussed local aspects of native history and its interpretation.

Coming up next week: on Friday, December 2, our last History Bites of the season will feature local antiquarian Jim Thomas, who will talk about antique glass bottles, with examples from his collection. This presentation will be held at noon in the Woodbury Room.

Then at 6PM on Friday, December 2, in conjunction with the Merry Maple, Santa will arrive in the Emerson Parlor at the Strong House, to spend an hour greeting and being photographed with children.

Managing the River Commons

Managing the River Commons

At noon on FridayNovember 18, environmental historian Erik Reardon will discuss his book, Managing the River Commons, which brings new emphasis to the role that river fish and fishing played in the settlement of New England. The seasonal fish runs were an important source of food for the settlers, and over time farmers banded together to protect the rivers from mills and dams which threatened the fish runs.

This talk will be at noon over Zoom, with the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85670506329#success

By the mid-nineteenth century, the farmers were fighting a losing battle against the industrial mills, but their struggles contain lessons for today’s environmental movement.

Erik Reardon received his PhD in 2016 from the University of Maine where he focused on New England’s environmental history and the historic dimensions of fisheries conservation in the region. He has taught as a Visiting Professor at Colby College and Bates College and recently directed a public humanities initiative for the Adirondack Experience Museum titled “Adirondacks for All: Identity & Environmental Justice in the North Country”.

Coming up in wo weeks: At noon on December 2, local antiquarian Jim Thomas will talk about old glass bottles, and the stories they can tell. This talk will be live in the Woodbury Room, and Mr Thomas will bring in examples of bottles from his collection for display.

History Bites canceled for Friday, 11/3

History Bites canceled for Friday, 11/3

Due to a sudden illness, our speaker needs to cancel tomorrow’s presentation on the Wachusett Reservoir.

Coming up next week: on Saturday, November 12, at 3PM in the Jones Library, local author Sarah Dixwell Brown will officially launch her book Regicide in the Family, about her ancestor John Dixwell.

John Dixwell was one of the judges who condemned Charles I to death for high treason in 1649. When the English monarch was restored in 1660, Dixwell fled to Amherica.

And in two weeks: on Friday, November 18, we will host a Zoom presentation featuring Mr. Erik Reardon, who will talk about his book, Managing the River Commons, with its discussion of the role that fish, and protection of fishing rights, played in the historical development of New England.

Climate Grief Event

Climate Grief Event

The Amherst Historical Society and Museum is sponsoring two events on the afternoon of  Sunday, October 16, 2022

From 1 – 3 PM, our collaborators Jane and Amrita from Sunrise Amherst will facilitate an intergenerational conversation about climate grief at the Museum. This is open to folks who have been involved in climate work and those who have not, open to youth and elders and everyone in between. The only requirement is that you are ready to think like a historian and listen to others’ experiences with curiosity and compassion.  Free registration is required for this event.

Second, from 3:30 – 6 PM we will host Elizabeth Cardaropoli for an immersive event exploring the historic mourning traditions of New England. The Emerson Parlor at the Strong House will be decorated in Victorian funereal style, mourning objects from our collection and from Cardaropoli’s personal collection will be on view, and after a short talk, we will walk to West Street Cemetery to learn about gravestone iconography. Suggested donation for this event is $10.

 

Coming up in two weeks: Our consulting curator, Diana Lempel, will tell us about what she has found in our collection.  This presentation will be over Zoom.

History Bites – Bathsheba Spooner

History Bites – Bathsheba Spooner

On FridayOctober 7, at 2:30 (note different time), historian and author Ed Londergan will talk about his book, Unlike Any Other, about Bathsheba SpoonerHow An 18th Century Woman from A Prominent New England Family Went from A Life of Privilege to The Gallows . . .

Based on a true story from the time of the Revolution, the events that follow Bathsheba’s life, her decisions, and her ultimate demise will show readers that Bathsheba Spooner was, in fact, Unlike Any Other . . .

The lecture will be in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library, at 2:30 PM on Friday, October 7.

A colonial historian and member of the Quaboag Historical Society and West Brookfield Historical Commission, award‐winning author Ed Londergan has always been fascinated by American history. His other books are The Devil’s Elbow and the Long Journey Home.

And in two weeks, our consulting curator, Diana Lempel, will give a Zoom talk about her time with the Amherst History Museum, and some of the items she has found in our collection.