My name is Lily Stowe-Alekman and I am a Museum Assistant at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum this summer! I am a rising sophomore at Smith College, where I am in majoring in history and concentrating in archives with a specific interest in American history and women’s history. I grew up in nearby Belchertown, MA and I love being in the Pioneer Valley. I’m excited to share local history with visitors from the area and far away this summer.
I will be giving tours this summer and helping at events, such as Wednesday Folk Traditions and a Perfect Spot of Tea. I look forward to bringing my experience as a tour guide at Smith College and as a volunteer at the Smith College Museum of Art to my work at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. As an archives concentrator and history major, I am also very excited to work in the museum’s special collections and do some research over the summer.
My favorite room in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum is the kitchen. I think that one can gain a sense of how busy and productive the house once was as a farm from this room. I think it is also important to highlight those whose stories are not often included in the family narrative (i.e. the servants and enslaved people who labored in the house). I’m especially interested in the kitchen tools, because you can see how labor intensive this work must have been.
When I’m not at the museum, you can find me spending time with my family, friends, and my miniature dachshunds, Rosie and Jedi. I am so excited to spend my summer here at home in the beautiful Pioneer Valley and can’t wait to show you all the museum has to offer!