History of Transportation in the Pioneer Valley

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
History of Transportation in the Pioneer Valley

One of the best ways to learn about the changes that historical events and innovative inventions create is by studying local history.  By learning about broad concepts and eras within history, we can gain an understanding of how things changed on a large scale.  However, to really understand how these changes were played out on a smaller scale, we must examine the effect that they had on our own communities.

The Wistariahurst Museum is offering a series of lectures this spring on the history of transportation in the Pioneer Valley.  Titled, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Transportation in the Pioneer Valley,” the series aims to teach the community about how changes in technology, industry, and politics played out in they way that we get from place to place.  Some of the topics addressed in the lectures will include:

  • Westover Field’s role in our country’s involvement in the Cold War
  • The short history of rail travel and transport in the Pioneer Valley, and its place in our future
  • Travel by foot or on bike, as supported by the many hiking trails and bike paths in the valley
  • The systems we’ve implemented in our waterways in order to accommodate changing energy needs and the upstream travel of fish

Best for older students, the lectures will explain lots of important local history and will focus on 20th century history (though a few of the topics deal with late 19th century history, as well).  Each event will take place at 6pm in the museum’s carriage house, and they will take place on Monday evenings from March 4th-May 13th, 2013.  The museum asks a small donation to attend the lectures.  Wistariahurst is located at 238 Cabot Street in Holyoke, and can be contacted at 413-322-5660.

More info on the series at www.wistariahurst.org.

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