Eastern Hampshire History Day, and Friday history lecture

Eastern Hampshire History Day, and Friday history lecture

Don’t forget that Saturday is Eastern Hampshire History Day, with seven local museums open from 11AM to 4 PM

Participating Locations:

  • Amherst Historical Society & Museum, Amherst
  • Hadley Farm Museum, Hadley\Hadley Historical Society, Hadley
  • Pelham Historical Society, Pelham
  • Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, Hadley
  • Stone House Museum, Belchertown
  • The Sycamores, South Hadley

Coming up next week: Ed Londergan will lecture at 2:30 PM on Friday, October 7, at the Jones Library, on his book, Unlike Any Other, based on the life of Revolutionary War-era woman Bathsheba Spooner. 

 — Like her father, Bathsheba was smart, strong-willed, and a staunch British loyalist. Forced to marry a man she did not love, Bathsheba withstood her husband’s abuse for years until a young Continental soldier entered her life. But when the well-heeled mother of three small children discovered she was pregnant with the soldier’s child, her thoughts quickly turned to murder…

History Bites – Henry Wilson

History Bites – Henry Wilson

Born in 1812, Henry Wilson was an American general, senator, and later vice president who played a key role in the political lead up to the Civil War, handling military affairs during the war, and fighting for civil rights for all Americans during Reconstruction. Sold by his family into indentured servitude until the age of 21, he was central in forming the Free Soil Party in 1848 to fight slavery’s expansion. Wilson was elected to the US Senate in 1855 at age 43, and remained a senator until he was elected as Ulysses S Grant’s Vice President in 1872, and and his help was central to the passage of the 13th14th, and 15th amendments.

Lincoln Anniballi is a lifelong resident of Natick Massachusetts, the home town of Henry Wilson. He grew up in the Henry Wilson Historic District, lived on the same road Wilson did, drove past the Henry Wilson Shoe Shop every day, and even went to Wilson Middle School, yet knew very little about the man whose name was all over town. In 2020 Lincoln began researching Wilson’s life and in 2021 got the idea to turn his research into a biographical podcast on the life of Henry Wilson.

The History Bite lecture by Mr Anniballi  will be Friday, September 23, at noon, in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library.

Coming up in two weeks: Ed Londergan will talk about his book, Unlike any Other, which is based on the life of Bathsheba Spooner. His talk will be at 2:30 in the Woodbury Room.

News from the Interns

News from the Interns

Hello, my name is Christal, and I am an intern at the Amherst Historical Society. Before coming to this museum, I studied History and East Asian studies at Mount Holyoke College up to this May. During my four years of school, I devoted the majority of my time to learning about the History of the East Asian region; at the same time, I developed an interest in Art History and Gender Studies.

This is a soap dish brought by Mabel Loomis Todd from one of her visits to Japan in the late 19th century. The dish is semi-circular with three male figures surrounding it in brownish yellow, and its paint is peeling off; the dish’s surface feels rough and uneven, with fingertip-size sunken pits, indicating it likely was handmade. The three figures which are a part of the soap dish possess physical features and clothing styles of the Yamato Japanese. Our best guess is that the object is made of terracotta and paint. Japan was then in the period of the Meiji Restoration (1867-1912), when the government sponsored modernization and westernization; the Meiji national system aimed at moving away from Asia and closer to Europe in its modernization process.

Coming Up:
History Bites continues its fall season with a live lecture by Lincoln Anniballi on Henry Wilson and the Civil War. The presentation will be at noon on Friday, September 23, in the Woodbury room of the Jones Library.

Amherst College and the hurricane of 1938

Amherst College and the hurricane of 1938

The War Memorial at Amherst College, with its panoramic view of the Holyoke Range, and the Main Quadrangle, with its lush carpet of grass and soaring tree canopy, almost surely are the most beloved outdoor spaces at Amherst College. Each appears inevitable, timeless, as if it had always been there. In fact, both are relatively recent additions to the campus, which looked very different before their creation in 1939 and 1946, respectively.

Last spring, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin, Amherst College class of 1979, spoke to us about the building of Amherst College’s Johnson Chapel. On Friday, September 9, at noon, he will return to discuss how the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 and World War II led to a profound reorientation of Amherst’s hilltop campus. He will also paint a portrait of the little-known landscape architect who designed these signature spaces. The lecture will conclude with an analysis of the War Memorial’s original design as well as an appreciation of how the passage of time has transformed the memorial into the campus icon it is today. A question-and-answer session will follow.

 

This lecture will be on Friday, September 9, at noon, over Zoom; the link is   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81792085843

News from the Museum

News from the Museum

Greetings! It has been a busy season at the Amherst Historical Society and Museum. In May, the board got the Simeon Strong House ready for visitors and preparations for the Juneteenth celebration exhibition began. The exhibition by Ancestral Bridges includes over five dozen photographs of Black Amherst residents from the 1800s to the present that were enlarged for display in the Strong House.

In addition, their collection of Native American arrowheads and reproductions of prints of Native Americans went on display. This exhibition will be accessible to the public through the fall. Also not be missed are two paintings by Shirley Jackson Whitaker and the design for the Tote2Vote Bag created to counter voter suppression in the South. Also, three stunning straw hats designed and created by milliner and Town Council Member Anika Lopes highlight “Hat Corner.”

Visiting Curator Diana Lempel has worked with three college interns, Christal Zhou, Shannon Feng, and Danielle Efrat to create new exhibitions which will be installed next spring. More about this in a later Newsgram. The Amherst Cultural Council and Stamell Stringed Instruments are sponsoring a series of chamber music concerts, Strings at the Strong. Two more remain—August 27 with the Conway Fine Arts and September 3 with Cushman String Quartet.

We are eager to hear from those who would like to volunteer to serve as docents in the House.

The History of Reproductive Rights in the Valley

The History of Reproductive Rights in the Valley

Almost 10 years ago, in 2013, Dr Joyce Berkman gave the Amherst Historical Society a lecture on the history of reproductive rights in the Pioneer Valley. Starting with the career of Dr Charles Knowlton (1800 – 1850) of Ashfield, her lecture is a brief, fascinating outline of the history of reproductive rights and laws generally – a history which has acquired new relevance with the recent Supreme Court decision.

Dr Joyce Avrech Berkman, who retired from UMass in 2013 after 48 years of teaching and research, is a highly respected educator and researcher. Her lecture shows both her knowledge of the subject and her talents as an educator
Next week: mark your calendars for another concert in the Strong House garden, when Strings at the Strong will present the Conway Fine Arts Quintet on Saturday, August 27, at 2PM.