Hatfield Historical Museum

Hatfield Historical Museum The museum showcases the history of this Connecticut River Valley farming town since its founding in 1670. We are fortunate to have some treasures from the early days of its settlement in addition to early 19th and 20th century artifacts.
We are open Tuesday mornings from 10 am to noon, and the first Saturday of every month, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Closed in December.
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Thanks to all who turned out for last night's fascinating program about the Spanish Flu of 1918 (including how it affect...
05/18/2019

Thanks to all who turned out for last night's fascinating program about the Spanish Flu of 1918 (including how it affected Hatfield) and how medicine was practiced during World War I. We all got to sniff smells from our childhoods -- Vicks VapoRub, Listerine, Pine Sol and more, thanks to presenter Reba-Jean Shaw Pichette and her assistant, Piper Pichette.

What products did YOUR family use to get rid of germs or treat various ailments or conditions?

TOMORROW EVENING! (Thurs., 5/16) Come experience our MULTI-SENSORY PROGRAM AT THE LEGION on Medicine during World War I,...
05/15/2019

TOMORROW EVENING! (Thurs., 5/16) Come experience our MULTI-SENSORY PROGRAM AT THE LEGION on Medicine during World War I, including how the “Spanish Flu” affected Hatfield, the Valley and our men and women serving in the war 100 years ago. Program presented by living history educator Reba-Jean Shaw-Pichette.

Hatfield Historical Society Annual Meeting at 6:30 pm. All welcome. Program starts at 7 pm, free for Society members, $5 for non-members. (Individual annual membership only $10, just sayin'...)

Meeting held at Hatfield American Legion, 1 Prospect St. ICE CREAM with toppings to follow program.

IF YOU LOVE HATFIELD HISTORY, we need your help! So that the Hatfield Historical Society can continue to share Hatfield ...
05/13/2019

IF YOU LOVE HATFIELD HISTORY, we need your help! So that the Hatfield Historical Society can continue to share Hatfield history with you on its Facebook and YouTube pages (see some reminders of popular posts in the images below), keep creating new exhibits and hosting programs, we need your support.

After nearly 50 years of doing this work only with volunteers, we’ve tested a model over the last half dozen years (with CPA and Society funding) that combines the services of a part-time curator with our loyal volunteers. This has produced improvements in many areas, including thriving Facebook and YouTube communities, where we can share Hatfield’s history together – especially its more recent history.

To continue doing this on an ongoing basis, we need to add $350,000 to our existing endowment. A generous anonymous donor pledged to donate 50% of whatever we raised by the end of June, up to $70,000. With help from many of you, we’ve already raised $25,000 since last October, but we need another $45,000 in the next 6 weeks to take advantage of our donor’s offer.

If 450 people donate $100, we’ll be there. If 45 people donate $1,000, we’ll be there. If that’s above your means, please donate what you can but consider asking someone with more means if they would be willing to donate more.

Thanks again to Szawlowski Potato Farms and the Szawlowski Farms Agricultural Foundation for their generous $5,000 donation earlier this year. If you can consider a gift of this amount or more, it would go a long way toward reaching our goal and keeping the stories of our town alive!

To make your donation be worth 50% more, please give by June 30 and click on the DONATE button on the top right of our website: https://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/
and note Facebook in the notes section.

OR make your check out to Hatfield Historical Society and mail to HHS, P.O. Box 168, Hatfield, MA 01038. Thank you for ANY AND ALL support!

For more detail on our endowment campaign, go to:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ke-QTzK7K6O0WdEUlgPlLrjg1kUAOWg-ljCRCT8Z3F4/edit?usp=sharing

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU MOTHERS. As a mother, you never get tired of sweet cards or things your children send yo...
05/12/2019

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU MOTHERS. As a mother, you never get tired of sweet cards or things your children send you or make for you. (In fact, it’s nice to be recognized at all!) But in many cases, it’s not until your children leave home -- for war, or college or to raise their own families -- that they begin to see what their mothers have done for them. See some examples from our soldier sons to their mothers below!

Did you participate in 4-H? Turns out, we have NO 4-H PHOTOS in our collection. I know Cory Bardwell did 4-H and I am gu...
05/09/2019

Did you participate in 4-H? Turns out, we have NO 4-H PHOTOS in our collection. I know Cory Bardwell did 4-H and I am guessing there were lots more kids from Hatfield. Happening right now (started at 2 pm) there are baby animals visiting the Hatfield Public Library, courtesy of our local 4-H Club (see pics below). Tell us your stories and consider donating or loaning a photo of Hatfield in 4-H from the past.

Today marked nearly THIRTY YEARS of the Jane Yolen Writing Contest at Hatfield Elementary School (I think it's year 29!)...
05/08/2019

Today marked nearly THIRTY YEARS of the Jane Yolen Writing Contest at Hatfield Elementary School (I think it's year 29!), where Jane gives out prizes to student authors, usually accompanied by her daughter Heidi Stemple. Hatfield is lucky to have them inspiring our kids -- and giving them incentives to write and finish their work. Did you or your kids participate in this contest? (Here's some pics from 12 years ago, in 2007!)

KENTUCKY DERBY DAY TODAY, the Run for the Roses!Do you remember when Hatfield used to be a horse town? Here’s “Mr. H...
05/04/2019

KENTUCKY DERBY DAY TODAY, the Run for the Roses!
Do you remember when Hatfield used to be a horse town? Here’s “Mr. Hatfield,” who appears to have won a 6 furlong race (3/4 mile) in May 1963 and Sept. 1964. We've got some IDs on the people, can you confirm? Did you ever attend a horse race with Hatfield horses, or work with any Hatfield horses?

Hatfield students help Mrs. Mary (Minnie) Brennan celebrate her birthday. We think we know some of the kids, but need he...
05/03/2019

Hatfield students help Mrs. Mary (Minnie) Brennan celebrate her birthday. We think we know some of the kids, but need help with the rest (let us know if we got anyone wrong!).

(L to R, back row): Mary Pat Rogaleski, Ronald Omasta and ? ; (front): ?, Claire Pickett and Connie Zak.

Before working in the Town Hall making school lunches, Mrs. Brennan was the janitor at the Bradstreet School in North Hatfield, where she lived.

HAPPY MAY DAY! In recognition of International Workers Day, we give you a few images from Howard’s Store on Main St., ...
05/01/2019

HAPPY MAY DAY! In recognition of International Workers Day, we give you a few images from Howard’s Store on Main St., Hatfield (about where the Main St. market is now). The receipt is dated MAY 1, 1897, for items purchased by George A. Billings, followed by a trade card for harness oil and monthly grocer's news from 1923.

We have plans for an exhibit on Hatfield STORES, but we have precious few photos, trade cards, price lists, etc…from these places of commerce. If you find any in your old scrapbooks (or bottoms of drawers), please consider donating them to the Hatfield Historical Museum so we can keep this history alive!

GIRLS WITH GOATS. Isn’t it nice to live in a town where young women can safely walk their goats? I often pass Annabele...
04/30/2019

GIRLS WITH GOATS. Isn’t it nice to live in a town where young women can safely walk their goats? I often pass Annabele and Suzanne on Depot Road walking their goats -- (from L to R) Niko and Edward. And only steps away from where the Belden Farms prize-winning sheep used to graze! (Is it just me, or is Edward smiling?)

Did you or your kids raise any out-of-the-ordinary pets?

HAPPY EASTER and happy spring! Easter traditions in Hatfield used to involve dressing up for church – often with new h...
04/21/2019

HAPPY EASTER and happy spring! Easter traditions in Hatfield used to involve dressing up for church – often with new hats and gloves and jackets (at least for the ladies). And perhaps some “Easter egg” hunts? Depending on your family’s ethnicity, you probably also had special foods you ate for Easter. What do you remember doing as a child, and what do you still do today? Do you remember any special Easter outfits -- still have a photo you can share?

FLAMINGO FLOCKING.In case you were wondering what the flocks of pink flamingos on random Hatfield yards are all about, h...
04/19/2019

FLAMINGO FLOCKING.

In case you were wondering what the flocks of pink flamingos on random Hatfield yards are all about, here’s the scoop -- It’s a Smith Academy Class of 2022 fundraiser, where you can pay $15 to “flock” someone’s yard during the month of April (either signed or anonymously).

I know they’ve done this in recent years, but wondering if it’s a long-standing Smith Academy tradition, or if there are other similar school traditions or “pranks” that were done in the past. Anyone?

HATFIELD CELERY. Do you remember the Zapka farm stand on West St. (Rt. 5/10), in front of the barn which bore this sign?...
04/12/2019

HATFIELD CELERY. Do you remember the Zapka farm stand on West St. (Rt. 5/10), in front of the barn which bore this sign? The barn still sports the sign, only now it’s a reproduction. The original sign (the one showing wear) has been donated to the Hatfield Farm Museum by current owner Tim Jaescke, owner of Pine Brook Landscaping at 122 West St. Thanks, Tim! Does this bring back any memories? Can you tell us more about the farm?

AND THE 146TH DECLAMATIONS IS NOW COMPLETE...and another class of juniors can sleep easy. Eight great speeches tonight, ...
04/11/2019

AND THE 146TH DECLAMATIONS IS NOW COMPLETE...and another class of juniors can sleep easy. Eight great speeches tonight, so the judges took super long to pick: First place went to Riley DiPillo, second to Abby Pederson, and third to Karlie Guimond. Runners up included: Brandin Jamrog, Maura O'Connor, Kaleigh Simmons, Zack Panlilio, and Tia Lee. Hosted by Morgan Neal. Thanks to the Hatfield Book Club for continuing to provide the prizes.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAY TODAY WAS IN HATFIELD? What historic, yet nerve-wracking day? DECLAMATIONS! The day when all Smith ...
04/09/2019

DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAY TODAY WAS IN HATFIELD? What historic, yet nerve-wracking day? DECLAMATIONS! The day when all Smith Academy Juniors, whether introverts or extroverts, wallflowers or class clowns, had to stand up in front of their classmates and be judged on a speech they wrote and delivered – to last at least 5-minutes. If you participated in this time-honored tradition at SA, or had to do something similar at your high school, what do you remember about it? (or have you blocked out the memory?) If you won a prize, do you remember what it was?

SKATE SHARPENER, ANYONE? Pat Cady says they would put their skates on at the house and walk over to the skating spot. "K...
03/28/2019

SKATE SHARPENER, ANYONE? Pat Cady says they would put their skates on at the house and walk over to the skating spot. "Kinda messed up the skates. Needed sharpening a lot." She said sometimes they would take them to a guy to sharpen, but mostly got them sharpened at the grandparents, who had a "honing" sharpener, whatever that is!

Did it look anything like either of these? Does anyone still HAVE what they used to sharpen skates, back in the day? If so, might you consider donating it to the Historical Museum, to go with our collection of skates and all these skating stories from now and last year? (even a box....)

WILL WINTER EVER GO? I guess it will be gone soon enough. But while we’re waiting, check out this snapshot just donate...
03/27/2019

WILL WINTER EVER GO? I guess it will be gone soon enough. But while we’re waiting, check out this snapshot just donated by Pat (Balise) Douglas of the flooded field on the corner of Prospect and Chestnut Sts. Do you recognize these girls? There’s a white duplex on that corner now. Did you ever skate there? If so, what do you remember about it?

SUGARING COMES TO HATFIELD. We were treated last night to an animated talk on the history of sugaring in New England by ...
03/22/2019

SUGARING COMES TO HATFIELD. We were treated last night to an animated talk on the history of sugaring in New England by Dennis Picard, past director of the Storrowton Village Museum. And the talk took place in Luke Longstreeth’s brand new sugar house, Mountainside Maple, at 67 West St. After the talk, Luke explained how they turn sap into syrup. Did you go to sugar houses as a kid? If so, where, and what do you remember about it?

WILLY WONKA’s CHOCOLATE FACTORY. That’s what H. and H. wrote it felt like when they visited Richardson’s Candy Kit...
03/20/2019

WILLY WONKA’s CHOCOLATE FACTORY. That’s what H. and H. wrote it felt like when they visited Richardson’s Candy Kitchen in Deerfield to interview Barbara and Gordon Woodward for their Smith Academy Foxfire report, several decades ago! (Though they didn't actually put their names on the report, some sleuthing has revealed their identities as Holly Cycz and Heather Battey.)

Not only can you still visit the Woodwards and Kathie and Brian Williams today at their family-run candy "factory" (and buy jelly bean bark or chocolate bunnies named after the Woodward's grandchildren!), but you can also watch Smith Academy students perform the wonderful “Willy Wonka” musical on Friday, April 5 at 7pm, or Saturday, April 6 at 1 pm and 6 pm in the SA Gymnasium.

Check out details and a jump back in time.

03/14/2019
A cappella entry at the Smith Academy Variety Show, 2016

HOW LONG HAS SMITH ACADEMY BEEN DOING A VARIETY SHOW? Anyone know? If you’re local and you haven’t been in a long time, or EVER, it is worth going. Always entertaining. And there are usually a handful of teachers who participate in a song or skit, so you might see an old teacher on electric guitar or hamming it up. There will also be a scene from the upcoming musical “Willy Wonka,” at the show, so it’s a good preview for the April 5-6 opening.

WHEN? This Sat., March 16, at 7 pm in the SA Gymnasium. Tickets at the door $5 for adults, $3 for kids/seniors. Check out this clip of four SA students from the Variety Show in 2016. And if ever it's been asked, can Smith Academy students walk and chew gum at the same time, here's the answer!

https://youtu.be/9l6VNeiYNhc

This foursome of high school students is the sort of thing you might see at a Smith Academy Variety Show, typically held in March, prior to the spring musica...

AMENDMENT to Hatfield Town Meeting on Daylight Saving Time, c. 1919-1920, donated by the Hatfield Town Clerk."...proceed...
03/09/2019

AMENDMENT to Hatfield Town Meeting on Daylight Saving Time, c. 1919-1920, donated by the Hatfield Town Clerk.

"...proceed due East and cast overboard into Boston Harbor this Daylight Saving Bill."

03/09/2019
What did Hatfield think of Daylight Savings Time 100 years ago?

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME TONIGHT!

You may have noticed proposed bills in Mass. and other New England states of late to repeal Daylight Saving Time -- the practice of setting clocks forward one hour in the spring and turning them back in the fall to take advantage of daylight. But it was not a popular bill in Hatfield at its inception, 100 years ago, especially with farmers.

Listen to museum volunteer Wayne Schlegel tell what response the Hatfield Board of Trade got from Henry Cabot Lodge 100 years ago on the Daylight Saving Bill:

https://youtu.be/2-OZwa7u56I

Wayne Schlegel recounts some of the interesting and quirky items he comes across while researching documents in the archives of the Hatfield Historical Museu...

MORE PICS FOUND IN A HOUSE – BUT WHO ARE THEY?These four old photos (actually, “tintypes”) were found by Ed and Ma...
03/06/2019
Clues in the clothes: using observable details to determine rough dates for photographs

MORE PICS FOUND IN A HOUSE – BUT WHO ARE THEY?

These four old photos (actually, “tintypes”) were found by Ed and Marsha Molloy in the house they were renting at 121 North Hatfield Road, back in the 1970s(?)

They recently donated them to the Historical Museum, in the hopes they could be IDed. Well, we still don’t know WHO the people are, but by using the clues in the clothing, we’ve surmised WHEN, as well as some relationships.

Check out the blog post on our website by Meg Baker, the museum’s collections assistant and textile specialist, describing how she dated the photos. And if you’ve seen any of these pics in your old family albums, and you know names, even “Aunt Mabel,” please let us know!

On a sad note, today was Meg’s last day as our collections assistant, since her contract is up, though she’ll be coming back this spring to do some textile conservation. Thanks so much, Meg, for all your contributions in preserving Hatfield history, and best wishes!

How to date old photos using clothing clues:

https://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/blog/clues-in-the-clothes-using-observable-details-to-determine-rough-dates-for-photographs

KEEPING YEARBOOKS IN CIRCULATION!Las week we got these two 1962 Smith Academy Echos back from John Nove, a local bookbin...
03/02/2019

KEEPING YEARBOOKS IN CIRCULATION!

Las week we got these two 1962 Smith Academy Echos back from John Nove, a local bookbinder we’ve hired to do a series of repairs and conservation-related work on our collection. Some of the items are antiques – more than 100 years old. Some are “vintage” – like these yearbooks. We want you to be able to look through them when you visit, which wasn’t possible before because the spine had come off on one and was almost off on the other.

Funded by the Conservation Line in the Historical Society’s CPA Museum Grant. And donations thanks to Judy Porada for one and Anne and John Rogalewski for the other. Recognize anyone?

NEW HOURS FOR HISTORICAL MUSEUM:Starting this coming month (March 2019), the Hatfield Historical Museum will be open the...
02/26/2019

NEW HOURS FOR HISTORICAL MUSEUM:

Starting this coming month (March 2019), the Hatfield Historical Museum will be open the FIRST SATURDAY of every month (9:30 to 11:30 am), EVERY TUESDAY (10 am to 12 pm), and by appointment (contact: [email protected]). A Society member will be on call for the off Saturdays if you can’t make the first Saturday of the month and would like to schedule a Saturday visit. Closed for the month of December, except for Luminarium. Come visit!

SUGAR HOUSE EVENT FULL! We've reached capacity for our March 21 presentation on "The History of Sugaring in New England"...
02/23/2019

SUGAR HOUSE EVENT FULL! We've reached capacity for our March 21 presentation on "The History of Sugaring in New England" by Dennis Picard at Luke Longstreeth's new sugar house, Mountainside Maple. Contact Cher Nicholas if you'd like to be put on a waiting list, OR if you can no longer attend: 413-387-2852.

FOUR FRIDAYS IN FEBRUARY, #4 – LAST ONE!Come visit the Hatfield Historical Museum tomorrow night, from 6 to 8 pm. You ...
02/22/2019

FOUR FRIDAYS IN FEBRUARY, #4 – LAST ONE!
Come visit the Hatfield Historical Museum tomorrow night, from 6 to 8 pm. You can bring an item to ask the curator about: How to best preserve it, or get rid of that moldy smell?

OR, come check out our exhibit on “Hatfield’s Buried Colonial Village: Musket Balls, Pipes and Spoons, Oh My!” – last chance to see it before it gets taken down NEXT WEEK.

If you’re not familiar with this exhibit, it showcases artifacts from the only preserved 17th century nucleated village site ever discovered in Southern New England. Come learn how archaeologist and UMASS PhD student Randy Daum unlocked the mystery of the “Old Farms” settlement and learn about the dangerous times in which the settlers lived, right in our own back yard!

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39 Main St
Hatfield, MA
01038

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 12:00

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