Amherst Historical Society’s Founder’s Day

Amherst Historical Society’s Founder’s Day

REMINDER: the Amherst Historical Society’s Annual Meeting and Founder’s Day Presentation is this Saturday, February 12, at 2 PM. The Founder’s Day talk will be given by Debora Bridges and her daughter, Anika Lopes, who will talk about the restoration of Amherst’s marble Civil War tablets.

The tablets were donated to the town in 1893 by the E M Stanton Post 147 of the Grand Army of the Republic. They were originally displayed in the Town Hall, before being moved to the Police Station, and then going into storage in 1997.

In 2021, after 24 years in storage, the cleaned and refurbished tablets were put on display in the Bangs Center. Their restoration owes a great deal to the efforts of Mr Dudley Bridges, Sr, whose memory will be honored on Saturday by his daughter, Debora, and her daughter, Anika Lopes, who completed his work after his death.

Here is the Zoom link: https://amherstma.zoom.us/j/84012266097

Coming up: our popular History Bites series will begin its spring 2022 season at noon on Friday, February 25, when Mr Blair Kamin will give a presentation about early architecture at Amherst College. The lecture is being given with technical help from Amherst Media. Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84485731584

Shays Rebellion

Shays Rebellion

235 years ago, on the night of February 3 – 4, 1787, General Benjamin Lincoln led his militia of 3,000 men on a forced march through a snowstorm from Pelham to Petersham, to surprise the rebel encampment of Shays’ Rebellion. The rebels had fled after their failed attack on the federal armory in Springfield on January 25, in which four rebels were killed and 20 wounded.

It was not the last battle of the rebellion. Many of the rebels escaped to New Hampshire and Vermont (Vermont was an independent republic at the time), and on February 27 a rebel force marched on Stockbridge, Massachusetts. They were met in Sheffield, Mass, by the forces of Brigadier John Ashley; thirty rebels were wounded in the battle.

Shays’ Rebellion led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787; for many at the time, it highlighted the need for a stronger federal government.  The Amherst Historical Society is fortunate to have a presentation by Dr Barbara Mathews on the political context of the rebellion.

Reminder: The Amherst Historical Society’s annual meeting and Founder’s Day program honoring the late Dudley Bridges will be held next weekend, on SaturdayFebruary 12, at 2PM.
The meeting agenda, minutes from the 2021 meeting, and other documents are on googledrive and may be viewed with this link:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/110wSL_-yBD-EgWV_SBagEwteovuWrQYz.
And our popular History Bites lecture series will begin its spring 2022 season at noon on Friday, February 25, when Mr Blair Kamin will talk about the early architecture of Amherst College. The zoom link is here.
Black Soldiers, White Officers

Black Soldiers, White Officers

This week we honored Dr Martin Luther King Jr. In that context, we can remember the Black families who have lived in Amherst through the decades, and the Black soldiers from Amherst who fought in the Civil War. In 2013 the Amherst Historical Society hosted a lecture – ‘Black Soldiers, White Officers’ – given by Robert Romer, who wrote Slavery in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts (2009). In this lecture he tells a few of the stories of those families. Specifically, he focusses on the stories of a Black soldier, Charles Finnemore (1838 – 1920) and a White officer, Christopher Pennell (1842 – 1864), and uses them to indicate a wider story.

Please note that our annual Founder’s Day Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, February 12, at 2PM, and will be held over Zoom (link TBA).

And our Friday noon History Bites lecture series is starting up again on Friday, February 25. Our first lecture will be by Mr Blair Kamins, an Amherst college graduate who will talk about the early architecture at Amherst College.
The Zoom link for the lecture is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84485731584

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

The pandemic has been a time for exploring online resources. Last year I referred to Rich Cairns’ lecture about the Library of Congress as an online resource, and recently we added Aaron Rubinstein’s talk about Dubois Library’s Special Collections to our video library. Mr Rubinstein is continuing Rob Cox’s initiative of collecting documents from many aspects of daily life – not just journals, letters and newspaper articles,

** Please note that the annual meeting of the Amherst Historical Society’s membership is scheduled for Saturday, February 12, at 2PM, and will be held over Zoom.

And our Friday noon History Bites lecture series is starting up again at noon on Friday, February 25. Our first lecture will be on Zoom, and will be given by Mr Blair Kamins, a professional architect and Amherst College graduate who will talk about the early architecture at Amherst College.

Summer 90 Years Ago

Summer 90 Years Ago

Today is the first snow of the winter, and of the new year, and we may enjoy seeing a film of life during a bygone summer in the town of Montague, Mass. The film was made in 1929; was life any different in the Quabbin towns?

The University of Massachusetts has published a memorial to the late Arthur Kinney, available here.

Arthur Kinney

Arthur Kinney

This week we mourn the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend, UMass Professor Emeritus Arthur Kinney, who died on Christmas morning. His accomplishments are too numerous to list here; we will only say that we knew him as a long-time member and staunch friend to the Amherst Historical Society. He served on our Board since 2004, and was President in 2007, when he instituted our first annual Conch Shell Award. Over the years since then, the Society has continued to benefit from his guidance and generosity.

A full obituary is scheduled to appear in the Amherst Bulletin; “… and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”