Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum

Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that interprets life in rural MA over 3 centuries. It is open seasonally (mid-May to mid-October) for afternoon tours from Saturday to Wednesday.
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The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, known as Forty Acres, is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today interprets life in rural New England over three centuries. Through the words, spaces, and possessions of the women and men who lived here, the Museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th-century farmstead. Members of this household along with numerous artisans, servants, and slaves made "Forty Acres" an important social and commercial link in local, regional, and national cultural and economic networks. Throughout the 19th century the family transformed the estate into a rural retreat. In the 20th century the house was preserved as a museum by family members and now contains the possessions of six generations of this extended family. The house was built in 1752 by Moses and Elizabeth Porter on a tract of land known as “Forty Acres and its skirts.” These acres had been owned in common by the householders in the northeast quarter of the stockaded town of Hadley when it was laid out in 1659. After the Porter's only child, Elizabeth, married Charles Phelps in 1770, the house was enlarged and refined. Since 1799 there have been no structural changes. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House is open to the public from May 15 until October 15, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm, Saturday through Wednesday (closed on Thursdays and Fridays). It is open mornings by appointment only. For information on tours and special programs, please call the staff during the afternoons at (413) 584-4699. Admission to the house is $5.00 for adults, $1.00 for children under twelve. A guided tour takes approximately one hour.

My name is Lily Stowe-Alekman and I am a Museum Assistant at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum this summer! I am a ris...
05/17/2019

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!

My name is Veronica Douglas, and I’m a rising junior at Smith College, where I’m a history major and archives concen...
05/14/2019

My name is Veronica Douglas, and I’m a rising junior at Smith College, where I’m a history major and archives concentrator. I’m looking forward to spending my summer working as a museum assistant at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum and living in Amherst.

I’m originally from North Carolina, and I’m excited to bring my experience as a docent at the Burwell School Historic Site to PPH. In addition to giving tours and assisting with our summer programming, I will be conducting independent research at the house. My academic interests include women’s history, labor history, and material culture and I look forward to exploring these subjects this summer.

My favorite room in the house is the south parlor, aka “The Long Room.” You can tell it used to be hopping back in the day, with the family hosting teas, game nights, and weddings. I especially love the toys in the closet because they reveal what life was like for the six generations of children here.

When I’m not at the museum, you can find me hiking, baking, and exploring the Pioneer Valley. I look forward to showing you all the museum has to offer.

Please welcome our summer 2019 museum assistants! From left to right, Veronica (Smith '21), Lily (Smith '22), Caroline (...
05/12/2019

Please welcome our summer 2019 museum assistants! From left to right, Veronica (Smith '21), Lily (Smith '22), Caroline (Smith '21), and Anna (Amherst '20, not pictured) will be here giving tours, starting with our season opening this Saturday!

Friends of PPH! Our annual letter is a time to reflect on how the past at PPH intertwines with our present day life in t...
12/09/2018

Friends of PPH! Our annual letter is a time to reflect on how the past at PPH intertwines with our present day life in the twenty-first century. We hope you will take the time to read this special message from the museum and consider an annual gift. Donations can be made to:

Porter Phelps Huntington Foundation, Inc.
130 River Drive
Hadley, MA 01035

Thank you in advance for your support and happy holidays!

December 2018

Dear Friends and Family of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum,

When we get old it dawns on us how strange and utterly unique our lives have been, how vividly our favorite things encapsulate our times and exhibit who we are. Each of us deserves a museum. Like the Huntington House but maybe a little more zany.

When James Lincoln Huntington turned the Huntington House into a museum in 1955 he preserved what he thought were the best of its furnishings and objects to tell the story of a whole family. And indeed when you walk through the house you can feel the aura of the ancestors. But their personalities are a bit misty. What we’re lacking are the things Jimmy Huntington discarded, which is not surprising because none were of museum quality. He might even have thought of them as detritus.

But something was lost. If he could have preserved a “cabinet of curiosities” for individual family members, they would have come more clearly into focus and come alive for us.”

Think about your own personal museum. What would you put in it? How would you curate your life? I see in my place an upside down snathe, a silver baby spoon, a pink pussy cap from the 2017 Women’s March, a piece of Manhattan schist, a small lucite pillar commemorating the opening day of Hampshire College, a Ralph Waldo Emerson monograph, an African fertility doll, an Eastern Orthodox icon, a chenille stole, a pork-pie hat with a stained sweat band, a pewter hip flask with my name on it. You get the idea.

This particular collection is unique to me. No one else could have imagined it, let alone want to replicate it. It’s eccentric, a little weird but wonderful too. It has personality. The place would be anonymous without these things. The Huntington House is fortunate in having extensive archives at Amherst College that flesh out the individuals who lived here. We know, for instance, that “nothing was as slippery as money” in the hands of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington’s eldest daughter and that her father’s “army of jokes” embarrassed her. But we have none of her favorite things, a toy, a scarf, a spoon. Our glimpses of her would have been fuller had we also been able to see the things she chose to be her daily companions.

I hope that as future family donations come to the Museum each donor will include a “cabinet of curiosities” of his or her favorite things. And I hope too that you will collect your own treasures for the fun of it, just to see what comes up. Meanwhile thank you for your support of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum and for your interest in these questions. And if you do create your own “cabinet of curiosities,” perhaps you would share its contents with us.

Cordially,

Elizabeth H. Wheeler
Board of Directors
www.pphmuseum.org

Yesterday marked the last concert in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum's Wednesday Folk Tradition series. We thoroughl...
10/01/2018

Yesterday marked the last concert in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum's Wednesday Folk Tradition series. We thoroughly enjoyed Youssoupha Sidibe's beautiful music, it matched perfectly with the crisp autumn weather. The week before, September 23rd, Mandolin New England also had a wonderful performance in the historic Corn Barn.

We'd like to thank everyone for attending the museum's summer events such as Wednesday Folk Traditions, "A Perfect Spot of Tea," and Community Days! It was a pleasure to see everyone and to expand the beautiful history that lies here at Forty Acres.

The museum is open until October 15 this year for tours on Saturday through Monday from 1-4 PM. Visit us if you are interested in learning more and please look forward to the 2019 season!

We're excited to announce that Youssoupha Sidibe will be performing at 3:00 PM this upcoming Sunday, September 30th, at ...
09/24/2018

We're excited to announce that Youssoupha Sidibe will be performing at 3:00 PM this upcoming Sunday, September 30th, at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum!

This rescheduled concert will conclude the museum’s Wednesday Folk Traditions series. A Grammy-nominated Senegalese Master Kora player Sidibe breaks with tradition to create a new genre that blends aspects of western music with Reggae, ancient African Harp styles and West African traditional and devotional music. Porter‑Phelps‑Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley MA 01035. Admission is $12, $2 children 16 and under. The museum and its grounds are a smoke-free site.

To read more, please visit our website!
https://www.pphmuseum.org/2018-youssoupha-sidibe

For any questions you can call us at (413) 584-4699 or email us at [email protected].

09/16/2018

To anyone interested in learning more about the Porter-Phelps-Huntington family, you’re invited to a presentation about Frederick Dan Huntington titled “Crossing the Heretic’s Bridge.” Ken Samonds will be presenting at the Grace Episcopal Church on Wednesday, September 26, at 7:00 PM.

The title of the talk refers to a life-changing incident that influenced his life-choices, career, and his faith at the age of eight. Frederick Dan Huntington is known as one of the founders of the Grace Church and some may remember that he was the donor of the east window. Only a few may know of other details of his national reputation or of his life-journey from a farm in Hadley to St. Paul's Cathedral, Syracuse, New York.

We encourage anyone that is interested in the history of Hadley or the Grace Episcopal Church to come and enjoy this talk by Ken Samonds!

___________________________________

"Crossing the Heretic's Bridge" by Ken Samonds
Wednesday, September 26 at 7:00 PM
Grace Church, 14 Boltwood Ave, Amherst, MA 01002

09/03/2018

HOURS UPDATE: During our fall season, we will be open from Saturday through Monday from 1PM to 4PM and closed from Tuesday through Friday.

When walking up the stairs to the second floor of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, it’s impossible to miss the pro...
08/23/2018

When walking up the stairs to the second floor of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, it’s impossible to miss the prodigious oil portrait on the left wall. With a width of twenty-seven inches and a height of thirty-five inches, the painting depicts a man with white hair, beard, and mustache. His light features are a stark contrast against the dark black suit jacket and hat which blend into the dark background. At a glance, there is no doubt that the painting is of someone significant.

The man in the painting is Collis Potter Huntington, also known as one of the Railroad Tycoons. Collis is the second cousin once-removed of Dan Huntington. Both are direct relatives of Samuel Huntington, a signer of the Declaration of Independence as governor of Connecticut and the previous President of the Continental Congress. According to the museum’s inventory card, the painting was commissioned by Collis’ sister, Ellen Huntington Gates (a hymnist and poet), while she was in Paris. It is unclear who the artist was, however, there is a photograph that in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution that was most likely used by the artist to copy and create the painting.

Collis was an entrepreneur that was partially responsible for the success of the Central Pacific Railroad. Huntington worked alongside his fellow magnates Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins Jr., and Charles Crocker. Together, they were popularly known as the “Big Four” or “The Associates”. The four collectively invested in Theodore Judah’s engineering design, the Central Pacific Railroad (1861), which then became the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

To read more of this post, click on the link below!

https://www.pphmuseum.org/blogging-through-the-museum/2018/8/23/railroad-tycoon-in-the-huntington-family

08/20/2018

On Saturday we concluded our summer series, A Perfect Spot of Tea. We'd like to thank all of our donors for their generous contributions!

Barstow's Dairy Store and Bakery
Bela Vegetarian Restaurant
Big Y World Class Market
Bluebonnet Diner
Bread Euphoria Bakery & Cafe*
Chili's Grill & Bar
The Delaney House
Henion Bakery*
Herrell's Ice Cream & Sweet Bakery
LaSalle Florists*
Maple Farm Foods*
Mapleline Farm*
Panera Bread*
Nuttleman's Florist*
Pengyew Catering
Primo's Pizzeria
River Valley Co-op
Stop and Shop
North Hadley Sugar Shack
Tea Trekker*
Texas Roadhouse - Hadley
Trader Joe's-Hadley,MA
The Whately Inn*
Wildwood Barbeque

*Weekly donors

Thanks to your continued support, we were able to fundraise for our nonprofit museum, as well as offer a great opportunity for members of our community to get to know each other over tea and pastries on our veranda.

08/15/2018

This Saturday marks our final A Perfect Spot of Tea at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum! Don't miss it!

Seatings will be at 2:30 and 3:30 pm. No reservations required. Tours of the museum are offered at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm. We look forward to seeing you!

See the event page below for more details or call 413-584-4699 with any questions.

WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS UPDATE: Due to the weather forecast, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum will *RELOCATE* Wedne...
08/07/2018
Wesley United Methodist Church

WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS UPDATE:

Due to the weather forecast, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum will *RELOCATE* Wednesday Folk Traditions featuring Tim Eriksen to Wesley United Methodist Church at 98 N. Maple Street in Hadley, Massachusetts.

The concert is tomorrow, August 8th, at 6:30 PM!

Hope to see you all there!

★★★★★ · Iglesia Metodista Unida · 98 N Maple St

07/30/2018

Unfortunately, due to the weather forecast Youssoupha Sidibe's concert has been postponed to a date TBD in the fall. We apologize for any inconvenience. Wednesday Folk Traditions continues next week with Tim Eriksen, hopefully with better weather. Please give us a call at 413-584-4699 with any questions or concerns.

07/28/2018

A Perfect Spot of Tea at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues today with musical guest Honest Harmony! Seatings are at 2:30 and 3:30 pm and reservations are not required. Tours will be offered at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. We look forward to sharing a cup of tea with you!

The story of Forty Acres, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, extends beyond the family that lived within the house. Sla...
07/26/2018
Slavery and Servitude at Forty Acres

The story of Forty Acres, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, extends beyond the family that lived within the house. Slaves and indentured servants were present on the property from its construction in 1752, and many stayed on after the abolition and gradual abandonment of the practice of slavery in Massachusetts in the last quarter of the 18th century.

Our new page, Slavery and Servitude at Forty Acres, will attempt to give a glimpse into the the stories of these men, women and children who are often neglected in the telling of New England history at historic house museums. Our first two blog posts are available to read here:

http://www.pphmuseum.org/slavery-and-servitude-at-forty-acres-blog

The Porter-Phelps Huntington Historic House Museum in Hadley, MA.

07/24/2018

Tomorrow's Wednesday Folk Traditions concert featuring Tim Eriksen has been postponed to AUGUST 8 due to inclement weather. We apologize for any inconvenience! Please call us at 413-584-4699 with any questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you on the 8th, as well as next week, August 1st, for a performance by Youssoupha Sidibe.

07/24/2018

Due to the weather forecast, we are still uncertain about Tim Eriksen's performance at Wednesday Folk Traditions scheduled tomorrow.

We hope to have a decision by noon.

We have finally regained our telephone service, so call us at 413-584-4699 or email us at [email protected] for any inquiries.

Stay updated with our Facebook and the news on our website: http://www.pphmuseum.org/news/.

General Benjamin Lincoln's Tea CaddyTea has been a prominent custom since the mid-seventeenth century. In the colonial e...
07/23/2018

General Benjamin Lincoln's Tea Caddy

Tea has been a prominent custom since the mid-seventeenth century. In the colonial era it developed as an important commodity, a political chess piece, and a symbol of prestige in society. The colonial tea table would not be complete without tea pots, teaspoons, lemon forks, infusers, sugar bowls, creamers, jam jars, saucers, and more. All of these components and accessories were crucial to the tradition of tea, which was required for young colonists to become respected adults in society.

The British government began taxing tea in the 1760’s with the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767. These acts and the colonists’ reactions built up to a climax of smuggling and outrage, which developed into the Boston Tea Party in December of 1773. As a result of the agitation over the taxes, we became a nation of prominent coffee and chocolate drinkers.

Pictured below, is a tea caddy that belonged to General Benjamin Lincoln (1733-1810). The hand-made parquet wood box holds two tea tins and a middle canister for sugar cones. Previous to the invention of sugar cubes, sugar would come in small coned shapes. This explains the sugar tongs, placed above the tins in the photographs. The tongs were used to cut serving sized amounts of sugar from the cone to place them in a hot cup of tea.

Caddies often came with the purchase of tea, but they came quite handy for those that travelled as much as General Lincoln. This caddy is most likely from England, who took the inspiration from Chinese canisters made of silver, ivory, lacquer, and tortoise shell. The English typically made caddies from different types of wood (such as rosewood, satinwood, and mahogany) that were placed in elaborate or delicate designs.

At the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, tea is still an ongoing tradition every Saturday afternoon for a “Perfect Spot of Tea”. Often times, afternoon teas were for company and conversation with the accompaniment of live music. Locals would travel to Forty Acres ever since its construction in 1752, and Elizabeth Porter Phelps would often invite ten to fifteen couples to tea at least once a week. We still continue this tradition in 2018, with Earl Gray tea and pastries and live music.

William Cowper, an English poet and hymnodist, perfectly described the importance and the outlook of tea in his poem titled The Winter Evening as such: “the bubbling and loud-hissing urn / Throws up a steamy column, and the cups, / That cheer but not inebriate”.
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Sources and Other Links:

1. Original Post: http://www.pphmuseum.org/blogging-through-the-museum/2018/7/23/general-lincolns-parquet-tea-caddy

2. Dolores Snyder, Tea Time Entertaining: A Collection of Tea Themes & Recipes (Dolores W. Snyder, 2004), 26.

3. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44037/the-task-book-iv-the-winter-evening

4. http://www.pphmuseum.org/a-perfect-spot-of-tea/

+ Benjamin Lincoln: https://www.revolutionary-war.net/general-benjamin-lincoln.html

+ Townshend Acts of 1767: http://www.ushistory.org/us/9d.asp

+ Stamp Act of 1765: http://www.history.org/history/teaching/tchcrsta.cfm

Address

130 River Dr
Hadley, MA
01035

Opening Hours

Monday 13:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 13:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 13:00 - 16:30
Saturday 13:00 - 16:30
Sunday 13:00 - 16:30

Telephone

(413) 584-4699

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