Hampshire and Hampden Canal: Gone but not Forgotten

Photographer Examines Hidden History of Local Landscape in the Valley

At 2pm on Saturday, August 16, 2014, Carl Walter, a canal historian, will give a talk in Historic Northampton’s Gallery III. He has been studying the Hampshire and Hampden Canal since 1991, and has created a digital database that contains several thousand photos and documents containing information about the canal. In his talk, he will explain why the canal was built, where it was located, and how it was constructed, as well as its importance to the canal towns, with an emphasis on the relationship between the town of Northampton and the canal.

As part of Historic Northampton’s Contemporary Art series, Anthony W. Lee will exhibit seven large format photographs, collectively titled A River of Dreams, from Friday, August 8 through Saturday, September 6, 2014.

Lee, an historian and documentary photographer, is the Idella Plimpton Kendall Professor of Art History at Mt. Holyoke College. His show is inspired by the history and legacy of the early-nineteenth-century Hampshire and Hampden Canal, which ran from New Haven, Connecticut to Northampton, Massachusetts. Established in the 1820s, the canal was New Haven’s attempt to prevent the city of Hartford from gaining a monopoly on the trade and movement of goods in the region. In Northampton, the canal ran along the west side of New South Street, then known as Canal Street, and continued north, crossing King Street at Damon Road until it joined the Connecticut River. Despite the relatively successful operation of commerce over a ten year period, the venture as a whole was fraught with problems, and the canal was defunct by 1946. The remains of the canal beds were rapidly repurposed into railroad lines, streets, and other modern edifices, and it takes a discerning eye to see the subtle clues left on the landscape.  Read the rest of this entry »

February Vacation Week 2014: Events, Resources & Ideas in Western MA

Arts Alive in the Hilltowns

Rosemary Wessel of Cummington, MA writes:

Arts Alive in the Hilltowns is a networking opportunity, a resource, a way to find places to display and see artwork and artists from all the hilltowns, to publicize your shows, take classes, join a critique group, go on studio tours, hear a lecture, see a performance or demo, or just get together with other artists and art enthusiasts, and enrich the Arts in the Hilltowns. Arts Alive in the Hilltowns would serve as an umbrella for all other artistic groups in the Hilltowns.

We are excited about the interest shown in the Arts Alive in the Hilltowns. We planned to hold a gathering of artists and friends of the arts to enable participants to get acquainted with each other, and for Arts Alive in the Hilltowns to inform communities of our purpose. Due to serious scheduling conflicts with other arts events, we will postpone our opening party on June 5th. We will notify you of dates of forthcoming events.

To promote your interests, please go to the Arts Alive in the Hilltowns website (www.hilltownartsalive.org) and sign up. Also, we need your feedback, to facilitate and improve our purpose, ie:

  • classes
  • studio tours
  • critique group
  • lectures
  • performance
  • demo
  • art show
  • other comments

We invite you to join us, tell others about us, and check back for more listings and events.

Let’s work together! Please share this message with interested persons.

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