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The New Haven–Northampton Canal

After the success of the Erie Canal, canals were proposed in many areas of the young United States. Robert Madison will share his research with us, regarding the effort to build a canal from Northampton to New Haven. Begun in 1822 and completed in 1835, the canal only operated until 1847, when it was rendered obsolete by the railroad.

History of Pelham

The town of Pelham is located just east of Amherst. It is known for being the home of Daniel Shays, and for losing a portion of its land to the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1930s. It is also the home of the longest continually-used meeting house in the United States.

The Todds of Amherst

Mabel Loomis Todd was married to the Amherst College astronomer, David Peck Todd, and lived in Amherst from 1881 to 1917. She was a world traveler, author, and editor, who, along with Thomas Wentworth Higginson,  was responsible for bringing the poetry of Emily Dickinson into print. She and her husband and daughter were deeply involved in the life of the town, in ways which have not always been recognized.

The Slave is Gone

Author Aife (pronounced ee'-fah), Murray will talk about her new creative endeavor, The Slave is Gone (the title is from Emily Dickinson’s Civil War era poem “The Light Burns Sure”), which aims to expand the audience’s understanding of little known local stories about western Mass and Amherst youth in the podcast and through supplemental features. 

Roadside Revelations in Western Massachusetts

On Friday, November 19, Dr. Robert Weir will talk about his new book, Who Knew?, which tells the fascinating tales behind places and objects that we pass by but barely notice, including the Adams Farm memorial on Florence Road. He will describe his sleuthing methods for separating fact from fiction. Who Knew? is a travel guide, an accessible history, and an offbeat love letter to Western Mass wrapped into one volume. I

Beside the Still Waters

Author Jacqueline T Lynch will talk about her book, Beside the Still Waters, which takes the reader back to the four towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott before they were submerged by the Quabbin Reservoir.

Early Architecture at Amherst College

Challenging the narrative that Amherst College was primarily a breakaway from Williams College, Mr Blair Kamin will describe how the people of the Town of Amherst gave birth to the College—and how the Acropolis-like plan of the early College and its Greek Revival centerpiece reflected their highest aspirations.

Reading Early Epitaphs in the Amherst West Cemetery

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA

Mr. John Hanson has been collecting and studying early New England epitaph verse for years.  In this talk, he will share some outstanding verses on old stones in Amherst's West Cemetery and discuss their sources, including Scripture, hymnody, poetry, and original poetry composed for a particular individual.

The Unlikely Marriage of Elaine Goodale and Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohíye S’a).

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA

When they first arrived in Amherst, Elaine and Charles Eastman were already both well-known figures from their respective careers as authors, public speakers and reformers of Indian policy, as well as from their unusual interracial marriage which was frequently written about in the press of the day. But the early promise of their marriage dissolved during their time in Amherst, along with their union, itself, the victim of personal tragedies, professional failures and the ongoing tensions as 19th century America yielded to the 20th century.

West Cemetery – Amherst’s Founding Families

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA

During this brief virtual tour, we will visit some of the graves in Amherst's West Cemetery with Bob Drinkwater. They are a relatively small sample of the families who lived in Amherst prior to the Revolution.  What became of the others, whose names appear on lists of early Amherst residents, published in Judd’s History of Hadley?

Mount Toby Friends Meeting

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA

From their first meeting in 1939, through their residence at the Amherst Grange, to their current location one route 63 in Leverett, follow the history of the Mount Toby Friends meeting.

Finding R H Weakley

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA

We've all heard the expression if walls could talk, but what about historic firearms? What would they have to say about the battles they were in and the soldiers they were issued to? Join Park Ranger Susan Ashman as she highlights one of these rifles - an 1856 British Enfield used during the Civil War with the initials "R.H. Weakley" carved into the stock.