Hatfield Historical Museum

Hatfield Historical Museum The Hatfield Historical Museum is owned by the Town of Hatfield and managed by the Hatfield Historical Society, an independent nonprofit. Our collection stretches from the 1660s to the present, and tells the story of life in our small CT River town.
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The Hatfield Historical Museum is open Thursday mornings from 10 am to noon, and the first Saturday of every month, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Closed in December. Check website or Facebook for weather or other unexpected closures. The Mary Lou and Robert J. Cutter Farm Museum is open 12-2 pm, from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

The Hatfield Historical Museum is open Thursday mornings from 10 am to noon, and the first Saturday of every month, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Closed in December. Check website or Facebook for weather or other unexpected closures. The Mary Lou and Robert J. Cutter Farm Museum is open 12-2 pm, from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

Mission: The Hatfield Historical Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote an understanding of the history of Hatfield, MA, by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing that history and its relationship to the region, through programs, exhibits and research. Our goal is to inspire people to make Hatfield’s rich past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives.

Operating as usual

A VETERAN SKATER – the Historical Museum recently received a donation of a group of photos and postcards relating to the...
12/22/2020

A VETERAN SKATER – the Historical Museum recently received a donation of a group of photos and postcards relating to the WWI service of Peter Balise Sr. of Hatfield, who later lived on State St. in Northampton. He is part of our WWI exhibit, which you can come see when we reopen, but until then, check out our blog series that highlights his service, including his wartime love story with a Smith College grad.

https://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/blog/hatfield-citizens-answer-the-call-to-serve-in-world-war-i2977783

BUT, Peter was also a GREAT SKATER, and often skated on Paradise Pond behind Smith College, where he taught the Smith students to skate. He also ran a home-based business sharpening skates (see his obituary below). We’d always wished there was a photo of him from his skating days. AND NOW, thanks to this donation from his granddaughter Lisa Lesure, we do!

We don’t know the location of the photo, though, or any other folks pictured, so if you can help, let us know.

LET THERE BE LIGHT – and not the kind that damages artifacts! Last week, the Town of Hatfield replaced the bulbs in the ...
12/21/2020

LET THERE BE LIGHT – and not the kind that damages artifacts! Last week, the Town of Hatfield replaced the bulbs in the remaining Historical Museum light fixtures that still used fluorescent bulbs with sleek new LED versions that fit into the existing fixtures. A win for the environment and for utility costs since LEDs are more energy efficient, and a win for collections care since LEDs emit only a minuscule amount of damaging UV light.

Thanks to the Town of Hatfield for making these upgrades. See what they are lighting!

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER – In spite of the pandemic, the Hatfield 350th Committees and residents who lit up the town made las...
12/20/2020

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER – In spite of the pandemic, the Hatfield 350th Committees and residents who lit up the town made last night’s Luminarium a night to remember! We weren’t able to hold some of the traditional events, but those were replaced with AWESOME fireworks, a visit from Santa and, via the radio program hosted by KIX 100.9, anniversary greetings and blessings from town officers and clergy, bell ringing from the Congregational Church, and several classic holiday numbers from the Smith Academy Band.

Here are some photos from years past to add to your nostalgia, fueled by last night’s events!

DON’T MISS THE FIREWORKS TOMORROW commemorating Hatfield’s 350th anniversary and saying goodbye to a long, historic, cha...
12/18/2020

DON’T MISS THE FIREWORKS TOMORROW commemorating Hatfield’s 350th anniversary and saying goodbye to a long, historic, challenging year that all of us will remember into old age! Find a good spot to watch before the light show begins at 6:15, or before they close roads at the center of town at 6 pm. Details below or on the 350th website (hatfield350.com) or page.

Thanks to the 350th Committees for putting this on, and the three sponsors!

The fireworks will be launched from the Lions Pavilion, which will be closed all day. Any ideas for public places to park with an unobstructed view?

350TH COMMEMORATIVE POSTMARK/CANCELLATION STAMP – 2 DAYS LEFT! You’ll need to visit the School St. Post Office to get yo...
12/18/2020

350TH COMMEMORATIVE POSTMARK/CANCELLATION STAMP – 2 DAYS LEFT! You’ll need to visit the School St. Post Office to get your item stamped, during the times noted below, today or tomorrow (Saturday, with extra hours!). A nice memento from Hatfield’s 350th anniversary. There might be a line, so be patient!

Thanks to the Hatfield USPS and the 350th Committees who planned this commemorative service.

AND THE WINNERS OF OUR YEAR-END FUNDRAISING RAFFLE ARE….3rd prize (Black Birch wine gift basket) goes to Pat (Jaworski) ...
12/14/2020

AND THE WINNERS OF OUR YEAR-END FUNDRAISING RAFFLE ARE….

3rd prize (Black Birch wine gift basket) goes to Pat (Jaworski) Patrick
2nd prize ($100) goes to Suzanne (Yarrows) Symanski
and 1st prize ($300) goes to Wunderley Stauder, Hatfield residents all!

Thanks to our winners and all the rest of you who supported the work of the Hatfield Historical Society with your raffle book purchases or other donations this past year. Your support makes it possible for us to save and share the history of our unique little town.

If you didn’t get a chance to donate and would still like to, please send a check for any amount to the Hatfield Historical Society, and mail to PO Box 168, 39 Main St., Hatfield, MA 01038, or go to the opening page of our website and click the Donate button to donate via PayPal. Just make sure to leave your contact info.

https://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/

For some tidbits about our money winners, see below!

RAFFLE UPDATE: To include late-arriving mail, we’re bumping the raffle drawing to Monday, so if it arrives by Saturday o...
12/11/2020

RAFFLE UPDATE: To include late-arriving mail, we’re bumping the raffle drawing to Monday, so if it arrives by Saturday or you get your tickets to a Historical Society board member this weekend, you could still win $300, $100 or the Black Birch Vineyard gift basket.

Check out these tickets (and prices) from Hatfield fundraising events of the past. Wish we had pictures!

DO YOU REMEMBER THIS?We are starting to collect memorabilia and stories from Smith Academy’s back-to-back championship b...
12/08/2020

DO YOU REMEMBER THIS?

We are starting to collect memorabilia and stories from Smith Academy’s back-to-back championship boys’ basketball teams in 1960 and 1961. Do you have ticket stubs or player swag you might be willing to donate or let us photograph? The images below come to us from a member of the championship team, Marty Wilkes.

Also, final reminder to help support the Historical Society for next year by sending in your RAFFLE TICKETS (we need to receive them by Dec. 11) – or a donation. First prize $300, 2nd prize $100, 3rd prize a gift basket from Black Birch Vineyard in Hatfield. Thanks to all of you who’ve already sent in your tickets!

If you have a question or comment, please either send an email to [email protected] or post it in the comments (since our FB inbox/Messenger is a black hole…)

AS LITTLE AS 50 VOTES with Florence Bank’s Community Choice program could win us a GRANT. If you have a Florence Bank ac...
12/04/2020

AS LITTLE AS 50 VOTES with Florence Bank’s Community Choice program could win us a GRANT. If you have a Florence Bank account (and multiple people from your family can vote if you have different accounts), please vote for the HATFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY to help us keep saving and sharing Hatfield history. Your vote makes a difference. Thank you!

https://www.florencebank.com/customers-choice-community-grants

WHAT DID LOWER MAIN ST. LOOK LIKE WHEN HATFIELD TURNED 300? This photo was taken from east of the CT River from approx. ...
12/04/2020

WHAT DID LOWER MAIN ST. LOOK LIKE WHEN HATFIELD TURNED 300? This photo was taken from east of the CT River from approx. 1,500 feet by Al Muller of Hatfield. He shot the photo mid-morning in May 1970. No doubt the colors have faded, but it’s interesting to see what’s changed. Check out the elementary school! Where the HECK Is the Lions Pavilion?! What else has changed?

Photo details: Al used a Leica M3 50mm lens (125th sec./f5.6), with Kodak EX135 Daylite Slide film. Donated by Alfred Muller.

Can anyone with a drone get us a similar image from today – at 350?

WHERE’S THAT BRIDGE? THANKS to Aimee Wendolowski as the latest person to help fund the digitization of the recent donati...
12/01/2020

WHERE’S THAT BRIDGE? THANKS to Aimee Wendolowski as the latest person to help fund the digitization of the recent donation of Lewis H. Kingsley glass slides. We’re looking for $225 more.

Here are some of the new Kingsley images – all of bridges. A few look familiar. Can you help us ID then? Era would be late 1800s to early 1900s.

If you can help with a donation, send an email to [email protected] with an amount, and we’ll get you details. Thanks for helping us save Hatfield history!

CAN YOU HELP US fund the digitization of the 200+ glass negatives of Hatfield late-19th century photographer Lewis H. Ki...
11/30/2020

CAN YOU HELP US fund the digitization of the 200+ glass negatives of Hatfield late-19th century photographer Lewis H. Kingsley, recently discovered in Hadley, and donated to the Hatfield Historical Museum? So far, a Kingsley descendant has generously donated $150 toward the $500 digitization cost of the glass negatives, so we’re looking for $350 more. Could you do $50, $100 or more?

Send an email to [email protected] or leave a comment on this post, and a way to reach you. And let us know if we can thank you, or if you’d prefer to be anonymous (though we’ll note your donation in the artifact record either way!)

HATFIELD HISTORY COMES HOME! If you didn’t see the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette today, you can read the art...
11/29/2020
Windows in time: Famed Hatfield photographer’s century-old negatives discovered in Hadley garage

HATFIELD HISTORY COMES HOME! If you didn’t see the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette today, you can read the article here, about the discovery of 200+ glass negatives found in the garage of a Hadley home. The glass negatives belonged to Hatfield photographer Lewis H. Kingsley, who lived on Prospect St., and worked from 1881 through the early 1900s. It’s a great story!

https://www.gazettenet.com/Centuries-old-photo-negatives-chronicling-life-in-Hatfield-and-Hadley-discovered-then-donated-to-Hatfield-Historical-Museum-37304811

HATFIELD — Joe Malinowski Jr. wasn’t quite sure what he was looking at. He only knew it was pretty old.This past summer, Malinowski began cleaning out the attic in the garage of his old family house in Hadley, on Huntington Road, to prepare it for his...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from the Hatfield Historical Society -- in this year when we have lost so much, yet gained gratitude ...
11/26/2020

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from the Hatfield Historical Society -- in this year when we have lost so much, yet gained gratitude for what we have, and what we hope to regain. Wishing you and your family peace and health, and hope for a brighter new year!

If you have some time over the holiday weekend, consider recording yourself or a family member talking about working tobacco in Hatfield for our Hatfield Tobacco Stories site. And tell us what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving, in spite of Covid, or because of it. Links to websites for both can be found on the front page of our website, at:

hatfieldhistory.weebly.com

LAST NIGHT’S PROGRAM NOW POSTED ONLINE. The Mass Historical Society event featuring “Hidden Gems” from Hatfield’s collec...
11/25/2020

LAST NIGHT’S PROGRAM NOW POSTED ONLINE. The Mass Historical Society event featuring “Hidden Gems” from Hatfield’s collections is now posted on the MHS website. The program includes the Hatfield Historical Society, and the Dedham and Framingham Historical Societies – with HATFIELD up first.

So if you were sorry to miss it, you can now watch it at your leisure, sitting on the couch with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. This was the third of a three-part series moderated by Bill Hosley of Terra Firma Northeast. Thanks to MHS and Bill for inviting us! The photos below are all related to treasures discussed in the program, so check out the link!

https://youtu.be/P49oB8MfjtA

LAST-MINUTE REMINDER to register for the live-streaming program on HIDDEN GEMS in Hatfield’s museums -- 5:30 to 6:30 pm ...
11/23/2020
Massachusetts Historical Society: MHS Calendar of Events

LAST-MINUTE REMINDER to register for the live-streaming program on HIDDEN GEMS in Hatfield’s museums -- 5:30 to 6:30 pm tonight and Hatfield is up FIRST!

https://www.masshist.org/calendar/event?event=3363

Most of our 351 towns have a community-based historical organization. Many are volunteer-run. Collectively, they present and preserve the stuff and stories that make up our history - usually with an emphasis on local art, industries, and material culture. William Hosley has criss-crossed Massachuset...

WISHING YOU LUCK to win the $300 or $100 raffle prize or the Black Birch Vineyard gift basket (see details with photo). ...
11/21/2020

WISHING YOU LUCK to win the $300 or $100 raffle prize or the Black Birch Vineyard gift basket (see details with photo). If you’re on our mailing list, sending back the raffle tickets we sent you will help us keep saving Hatfield history and sharing it with you. If you didn’t get the mailing, and you’re local, contact any Hatfield Historical Society board member for tickets (or email [email protected]).
$5 a ticket or $20 for a book of 5. Drawing is Dec. 11. Good luck!

HIDDEN GEMS IN HATFIELD’S COLLECTIONS – Next Monday, on Nov. 23, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, we’ll be presenting as one of thr...
11/16/2020
Massachusetts Historical Society: MHS Calendar of Events

HIDDEN GEMS IN HATFIELD’S COLLECTIONS – Next Monday, on Nov. 23, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, we’ll be presenting as one of three featured state history organizations in a live-streamed online program of the Mass. Historical Society. This program, Part 3 of “A Treasury of Massachusetts House Museums and Local History Orgs: Hidden Gems,” will be led by William Hosley of Terra Firma Northeast, and presented by Hatfield Historical Museum Curator Kathie Gow.

The program is FREE (hosted on ZOOM), but you’ll need to register on the Mass. Historical Society website before it fills up. Hope to see you there as we share some of Hatfield’s treasures!

https://www.masshist.org/calendar/event?event=3363

Most of our 351 towns have a community-based historical organization. Many are volunteer-run. Collectively, they present and preserve the stuff and stories that make up our history - usually with an emphasis on local art, industries, and material culture. William Hosley has criss-crossed Massachuset...

A FAMILY OF WWII VETS ON THE HONOR ROLL (also recognized from our Nov. 11 post) – the OSLEY BROTHERS. Mr. and Mrs. John ...
11/15/2020

A FAMILY OF WWII VETS ON THE HONOR ROLL (also recognized from our Nov. 11 post) – the OSLEY BROTHERS. Mr. and Mrs. John Osley Sr. saw FOUR of their six sons ship off to serve in World War II: Sam, John Jr., Tom and Michael. (Steve and George were farmers, so they received deferments and stayed home to grow food during the war.)

THOSE WORLD WAR II VETS ON THE HONOR ROLL – Let’s pick those you recognized from our Nov. 11 post – starting with ALBERT...
11/15/2020

THOSE WORLD WAR II VETS ON THE HONOR ROLL – Let’s pick those you recognized from our Nov. 11 post – starting with ALBERT VACHULA. We have two photos of him in the Hatfield Historical Museum. One was from his confirmation class, in 1930, and other was from the 1941 Smith Academy soccer team. Life before military service.

11/12/2020
Frank Godek WWII Bomber Jacket

WWII BOMBER JACKET – RESTORED! In honor of Veterans Day and of the service of Frank Godek, we’re sharing this audio slideshow of how Meg Baker restored Frank’s leather flight jacket. Meg is both a textile specialist and the Collections Assistant at the Hatfield Historical Museum. She created this video.

https://youtu.be/WOZUh88gI4o

Click on the link or go straight to our YouTube page.

Check out this audio slideshow of Meg Baker describing how she repaired the WWII leather flight jacket of Frank Godek of Hatfield. Meg is a textile specialis...

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS for your service and sacrifice! Recognize any of these WWII veterans honored by Hatfield's...
11/11/2020

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS for your service and sacrifice! Recognize any of these WWII veterans honored by Hatfield's Holy Trinity Lutheran Church? (donated by the church).

HES 6TH GRADERS STARTING YEAR-LONG (2020-2021) “MY HISTORY” PROJECT during this unique time – and they asked us to join ...
10/28/2020

HES 6TH GRADERS STARTING YEAR-LONG (2020-2021) “MY HISTORY” PROJECT during this unique time – and they asked us to join them in their hybrid class yesterday (on Google Meet) to describe from what perspective the Hatfield Historical Society sees our town’s history. Most often, we try to use the primary sources and material culture from our Town’s museums to interpret and share Hatfield’s past.

Kathie Gow, Hatfield Historical Museum curator, and Rob Wilson, HHS vice president and Schools Liaison, settled on three artifacts from the Historical Museum, from Hatfield young people of about the same age, that tell us about our town in earlier times. We hoped these items would get the students thinking about their OWN contributions, and what stories those items might tell people in the future.

It was student Levi Shea’s bright idea to document the meeting with a few photos of screen shots. What you can’t see is who all was attending, which included the two in-person 6th grade classes (with masked students sitting at socially distant desks), the teachers, remote students attending from their homes, and us.

The 6th graders asked great questions and we can’t wait to see what they’ll create and share as part of their MY HISTORY Project. Thanks to teachers Jenny Charette and Megan Millette for the invite!

WHO WAS HATFIELD’S FIRST GERMAN RESIDENT and why was he here soon after 1777?Did you know that the Hatfield Historical M...
10/19/2020

WHO WAS HATFIELD’S FIRST GERMAN RESIDENT and why was he here soon after 1777?

Did you know that the Hatfield Historical Museum has a powder horn that belonged to this man, Henry Wilkee, who fought in the REVOLUTIONARY WAR? Or that he and one of his sons were “maltsers,” who bought and sold grain and malt in Hatfield and nearby towns in the early 1810s?

Did you also know that he was a mercenary soldier fighting for the British, who came to Hatfield as a POW?

To read the fascinating story of Henry Wilkee and his family, check out the latest post on our blog:

https://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/blog/henry-wilkee-hessian-soldier

HOW DID WE ACQUIRE this 1935 book, “The Hadley Chest”?Collection items come to us in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it is ...
10/13/2020

HOW DID WE ACQUIRE this 1935 book, “The Hadley Chest”?

Collection items come to us in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it is just one person donating an item from their home that they think will help tell a story about the history of our town. Sometimes we find a Hatfield item on eBay and solicit a funder. Sometimes it is a collaborative effort, reflecting the generosity of several people. Like this one.

For a quick recap of the story, click here:

https://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/blog

1950s SA BOYS BASKETBALL – BUT WHICH YEAR?This nice photo was recently donated by the William A. Symanski Family – but w...
10/09/2020

1950s SA BOYS BASKETBALL – BUT WHICH YEAR?
This nice photo was recently donated by the William A. Symanski Family – but without any names. Thanks to Ron Punska, with a little help from the Symanskis, we think we have them all now. Let us know if we got any wrong, and if you know the YEAR!

FYI: OUR FACEBOOK INBOX WON’T OPEN (ever since the “new and improved” interface), so our apologies if you’ve sent a mess...
10/06/2020

FYI: OUR FACEBOOK INBOX WON’T OPEN (ever since the “new and improved” interface), so our apologies if you’ve sent a message recently and have not gotten a reply. Until we get this fixed, if you want to send a private message, please send an email to:

[email protected]

or fill out the fields on the Contact Us page on our website:

hatfieldhistory.weebly.com

Sorry for any inconvenience, folks!

Check out these cool POSTAL INBOXES used in the North Hatfield Post Office for the majority of the 20th century. Purchased by the Hatfield Historical Society when the post office was updated and remodeled.

Address

39 Main St.
Hatfield, MA
01038

Opening Hours

Thursday 10:00 - 12:00

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Comments

Hi! I am doing family tree research for my friend who's ancestor, Isaac Graves, was killed along with several others in the attack on Hatfield, MA on September 19, 1677. I've found a great deal of information about what happened and learned that the Indians were headed to Canada but have not been able to find out which group (or groups) of Indians were involved in the attack. Can anyone help? Thanks! Martha Andras
Hello Hatfield Historical Museum. Is it possible that you have the list of 21 grievances presented at the Hatfield Convention in 1786 that began the Shays Rebellion? If not do you have an idea where I might find them. Thanks Pete.
Sierra Grandonico and Annabelle Van Geel training chickens on Main Street in Hatfield.
This is wonderful, I am emotional seeing and reading all of these comments, I absolutely loved that home for 40+ years.. and had the pleasure of seeing it again with the new renovations with the new owners, and it is Magnificent, such a treasure..
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