Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley

Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley

When the four Quabbin towns were disincorporated in April of 1938 it was more than just a legal decision. Families which had lived in the towns for generations were forced to move, separating from friends, neighbors and relatives.

Local author Elena Palladino lives in one of the homes whose elements were moved out of Enfield. In her book, Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley, she writes about the former owner of the house, Marion Andrews Smith, and highlights as well two other Enfield residents: Dr. Willard Segur, the country doctor, and Edwin Henry Howe, the postmaster and proprietor of the general store, all of whom had deep personal ties to the Swift River Valley.

Ms Palladino is scheduled to talk on Friday, November 17, at  noon in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library.

And note that David Brule is scheduled to speak on King Philip’s War at noon on Friday, December 1.

Origins of Public Libraries in New England

Origins of Public Libraries in New England

Local author Thomas Johnson, Jr, will talk about his recent book, Common PLACE: The Public Library, Civil Society and Early American Values.

‘The book explores who created America’s first public libraries and why they did so, and how these reasons reflected many of the civic and moral values of the time.  These include knowledge and learning as a key foundation stone of the new, growing American society, as well as the egalitarian sense that citizens were to share knowledge and learning widely.’

Join us in the Woodbury Room on Friday, October 20, at 11:30 (note the time) as Thomas Johnson, Jr,  discusses his book.

Lydia Maria Child – A Radical American Life

Lydia Maria Child – A Radical American Life

Best known today for the poem “Over the River and through the Wood,” Lydia Maria Child first became famous for peppy household self-help books and charming children’s stories. But in 1833, at age 31, Child shocked her readers by publishing the first book-length history of slavery in the United States — a book so radical in its absolute commitment to abolition that friends abandoned her and patrons ostracized her. But Child’s energetic and unwavering commitment to justice soon drew numbers of converts to the abolitionist cause, transforming her into one of the foremost authors and activists of her generation.

Join us on Friday, October 6, as Dr Lydia Moland of Colby College talks about her fascinating, detailed  biography of this remarkable woman, and of the challenges her life poses for us today.  Dr Moland’s presentation will be held at noon over Zoom; the address is:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82493131003

History of Tan Brook on Sept 22

History of Tan Brook on Sept 22

Tan Brook is a little-known stream that flows right under Triangle Street and Kendrick Park. It originates from the small lake next to Wildwood Cemetery, and emerges at McClellan Street with a quiet babbling sound from the culverts that have carried it off and on through the north end of town. It “daylights” for a while from McClellan but then goes underground again to avoid streets and parking lots on its way to the UMass pond.

As a recent NYT article documents, cities and towns throughout the U.S. are rediscovering and rehabilitating their small waterways, both because of their ability to enhance greenways and as protection against environmental degradation. Join us on Friday, September 22, at noon, with Dr Christine Hatch, extension professor of geosciences at UMass, as she shares her research and insights into this often-ignored part of our town’s landscape.

This program will be live at noon on Friday, September 22, in the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library in Amherst.