History Bites is a series of thirty minute lectures to inform and entertain, covering various aspects of the history of Amherst, its surrounding environs, and the lives of those who once lived here.
The spring 2021 season of History Bites was presented on Zoom, with the help of our friends at Amherst Media, who handled the technical aspect.
Thanks to the work of our dedicated trustees, you can view archived video of past History Bites lectures here.
The Spring 2021 History Bites lecture series is has ended. Here is the schedule for lectures beginning in September of 2021.
All lectures are scheduled for 12 o’clock noon.
Our lecture series will pause for the summer, and will start up again on September 10, 2021:
Biography of Edward Hitchcock
September 10, 2021
For all the local lore about Dr Edward Hitchcock (1793 – 1864), there has not been a full biography of this remarkable man. Hitchcock is best remembered for his pioneering work in paleontology, particularly in deciphering the fossilized tracks of the ancient creatures we know today as dinosaurs. But he was also the first State Geologist of Massachusetts and one of the founders of the Association of American Geologists, forerunner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Finding R H Weakley
September 24, 2021
Susan Ashman, a park ranger at the Springfield Armory, will share her process of historical discovery. Starting with only a Civil War-era rifle, and the name R H Weakley carved on the stock, she was able to unravel the story of the man behind the name.
The New Haven – Northampton Canal
October 8, 2021
After the success of the Erie Canal, Canals were proposed in may 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.