Discovering Local History: Educational Tours, Colonial Living and New Exhibit

Local History Learning this Weekend with
Plainfield Schools, Pioneer Valley Philanthropy & Wilder Homestead

Colonial Living in the Hilltowns this weekend at the Wilder Homestead in Buckland, MA. (Courtesy photo)

Colonial Living at Wilder Homestead

Spend the afternoon at the Wilder Homestead in Buckland on Sunday, October 9th to get a taste of what Colonial living was like! There will be demonstrations, performances, and activities to try, including open hearth cooking, quilting, basket making, weaving, cider pressing, music from the 1700’s, and morris dancers! A visit to the homestead is a way to learn about local history, as well! The event is presented by the Buckland Historical Society, and the homestead is located on Route 112 between Buckland Center and Mohawk Trail High School.

History of Plainfield’s School

The Plainfield Historical Society’s series of educational tours, “Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills: Exploring the Hilltown Landscape,” continues this weekend on Sunday, October 9th at 1pm with an event entitled, “Surveying the School Lot.”  The event will take place at the School Lot, home to the building that once housed the town’s first permanent school and which now houses the Shaw Memorial Library and the town offices.  Attendees with learn all about the history of Plainfield’s schools, and will also learn about the art of surveying (the way that it was done in 1925).  This is a great event for families– the surveying will be a hands-on activity where everyone can participate and learn!  Bring a compass and sense of adventure to tromp through tall grass and around site. For more information, contact bouric@post.harvard.edu.

Pioneer Valley Philanthropy

The Springfield Museums have a new exhibit!  In the Wood Museum of Springfield History, visitors can now explore and learn from an exhibit on notable philanthropists from the Pioneer Valley and the things that we have today that their dedication and generosity provided.  The exhibit includes people like Smith College’s namesake Sophia Smith, and Everett Barney, who donated the land that is now Forest Park to the city of Springfield.  Visitors to the exhibit will learn about local history and the development of many important valley landmarks, and will gain a greater understanding of how their community was developed.  For more information on this exhibit, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Other local history learning opportunities this week:

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

10am – LOCAL HISTORY: Go on a walking tour of Palmer’s Depot Village! You’ll learn all about the area that was once the center of business and commerce for the town. Bob Ring, chair of the Palmer Historical Commission, will lead the tour and teach attendees about the historical significance of certain buildings as well as the town’s growth and development. Meet at the library. 413-283-3330. 1455 Main Street. Palmer, MA. (FREE)

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Wistariahurst Museum presents, “I Choose to Be the One,” a one-woman show about philanthropist and Holyoke native Belle Skinner. Learn about this important figure from local history! 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Wistariahurst Museum presents, “I Choose to Be the One,” a one-woman show about philanthropist and Holyoke native Belle Skinner. Learn about this important figure from local history! 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Ever wonder, while driving past into town, who’s buried in the Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton? Today you can go on a walking tour of the cemetery with Forbes Library’s writer-in-residence, Susan Stinson. Learn all about the notable figures of Northamptons past who now lie in the cemetery grounds! Use Parsons Street entrance. 413-587-1011. Parsons Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

1pm – HISTORY: Columbus Day is tomorrow- learn about Columbus, Angloswarm, the Puritans, and the transformation of the Northeast with Dr. Dan Bennett! Best for older kids. Takes place at Moore’s Corner Schoolhouse. North Leverett Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

6-8pm – NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY: Learn about Native American history and culture tonight at the Hinsdale Library with archaeologist Mark Horvath! Learn by traveling through 15,000 years of history! This is a great way to learn more about an often misunderstood and misrepresented part of the area’s history. 413-655-2303. 58 Maple Street. Hinsdale, MA. (FREE)

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn all about the history of Northampton- from just before Europeans reached the valley up until the town of Northampton was settled at Owl and Raven. Older history scholars only- 15+. 413-341-6494. 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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