Connect to Your Community & Follow the Path of History

Join the Dots of Local History Through
Place-Based Educational Walking Tours

Families can explore local connections to important moments in national history by participating in walking tours of Florence, offered by the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee. Held monthly, tours weave stories together with exploration of local landmarks to make for a place-based exploration of history.

This summer, national history becomes place-based through a series of walking tours in Florence. Offered by the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee, these tours will shed light on local connections to abolition, the Underground Railroad, and, of course, the many remarkable historical figures who spearheaded the radical movements of the 19th century.

Following the path of one of 25 great local walking tours, each expedition will include a thorough look at notable Florence landmarks and will tie each important location to people and events linked to some major parts of history. Among such locations are Park Street cemetery, final resting place of at least four former slaves; the Nonotuck Silk Mill dam, located near a mill where abolitionists processed sugar beets – grown as an alternative to sugar cane; and the Florence Congregational Church, where greats such as Frederick Douglass spoke beneath a 150-year-old old growth pine. Read the rest of this entry »

Turners Falls Encoded: New QR Walking Tour

Turners Falls Encoded

Turners Falls Encoded is a unique community project in that it offers information that would likely not be accessible otherwise. Families can use Turners Falls Encoded as a way to learn more about their surroundings – brainstorm what and who your community is made up of before scanning any of the codes, and see how your thoughts do or don’t match up with what you find.

Do you ever have questions about your surroundings while you wander through them? Once upon a time, books were the main way of finding answers to the things that we wondered as we wandered. Nowadays, technology has made it such that we can find answers almost immediately – and not just using internet searches! There are apps that can be used to identify plants and trees, search for signs of animals, and identify seasonal changes around us. However, there are fewer apps that can be used to teach us about the parts of our local surroundings that were created by humans. Often, we are left to ponder our questions about the buildings, the businesses, and the infrastructure around us on our own.

Turners Falls Encoded is a new community project that offers easy access to information about the Turners Falls community to anyone using a smart phone. Created by Hampshire College student RJ Sakai and Turners Falls RiverCulture, Turners Falls Encoded is a series of scannable quick response (QR) codes that connect visitors to videos and information about different aspects of the community and the people involved with them. Each code links to a different vignette narrated by community members, explaining what they do and why. Families can learn about everything from dinosaur tracks to recycled goods, and each informational page includes resources for further learning about the topic addressed in the video… Read the rest of this entry »

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