Amherst Juneteenth Observance

Amherst Juneteenth Observance

On Saturday, June 18, the town of Amherst will observe the Juneteenth holiday, celebrating the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and to ensure that all enslaved people were freed.

Amherst’s 2022 celebration will include a heritage walking tour at 11 AM and a jubilee on the Common at noon. The walking tour will begin in Amherst’s West Cemetery where soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and of the 5th Cavalry, who alerted Texas residents that the Civil War and slavery had ended, are buried. Visitors will stop at the Emily Dickinson house; two other stops include Hope Church, the first Black church in Amherst, and the Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church. You may find more information on this and related celebrations here.

You may view some of the events from the 2021 observance here.

Stories of Amherst

Stories of Amherst

by George Naughton

There can never be one History of Amherst, since there are always more stories to collect and pass on. This week’s presentation is titled ‘Stories of Amherst,’ and will take us on a tour of some of the personalities and events which shaped our town. Did you know that Amherst was founded in the same year, 1759, that the Guinness Brewery was founded in Dublin? We include stories of Amherst’s industrial past, and the connections between Amherst and Japan.

George Naughton is President of the Amherst Historical Society and is a long-time resident of Amherst

(VIDEO IN PROCESS)

Biography of Edward Hitchcock

Biography of Edward Hitchcock

by Robert McMaster

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.

(video in process)

An 18th century rosehead nail from the Simeon Strong House, displayed next to its modern counterpart. As explained by Steve DeWolf, carpenter who specializes in repairing Pioneer Valley historic homes, this nail would have been forged by hand, the head created by striking the metal bar when it was hot. It was pulled from the side of the Strong House during restoration work.

This 19th century wrapper is the only surviving dress known to have been worn by Emily Dickinson. After her death, it was passed on to a cousin and later came to the collection of the Amherst Historical Society. Its design is typical for a house dress of the 1870s-1880s; it is almost entirely machine sewn, and was made sturdy to weather frequent washings.