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.
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.
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LIFE IN HATFIELD DURING COVID-19. Today we’re launching a new project to document life for those who live and work in Ha...
05/08/2020

LIFE IN HATFIELD DURING COVID-19. Today we’re launching a new project to document life for those who live and work in Hatfield during this pandemic.

Do you know what life was like in Hatfield during the influenza (“Spanish flu”) pandemic of 1918-1919, when 417 Hatfield residents contracted the flu, and between six and 11 people died from it?

Neither do we. Because we have no personal records.

This time, we want more than numbers. We want to know how your lives have been affected. YOUR history is Hatfield’s history.

For details on how and what to submit and to take a look at some early contributions, go to:

hatfieldcovid19.weebly.com

HATFIELD TOBACCO STORIES – WE WANT YOURS! We’ve just launched a website for a new project during Hatfield’s 350th annive...
05/06/2020

HATFIELD TOBACCO STORIES – WE WANT YOURS! We’ve just launched a website for a new project during Hatfield’s 350th anniversary year. With 150+ years of tobacco farming on as much as 2,000 acres in the past, it has come down to just a few family farms keeping the tradition alive. We don’t want to wait any longer to capture the stories and pictures of working in Hatfield tobacco fields and shops.

Check out the website and please share with anyone you know who worked tobacco in Hatfield, or was from Hatfield and worked in a neighboring town. Then send us your stories!

https://hatfieldtobacco.weebly.com/

CALLING ALL YOUNGISH HATFIELD THESPIANS! Were you in a Smith Academy musical during the past 30 years, or know someone w...
04/30/2020

CALLING ALL YOUNGISH HATFIELD THESPIANS! Were you in a Smith Academy musical during the past 30 years, or know someone who was? Please read this request from the show’s producers, to thank Frank Jackson for his 30th year of providing musical direction for Hatfield’s annual spring musicals.

“Dear SA Musical cast and crew members past and present,

April 23, 2020, would have been our dear Frank Jackson's 30th opening night with the Hatfield Musical! THIRTY YEARS!

Unfortunately, this year’s production has been postponed indefinitely and we are unsure if/when we will be able to celebrate our beloved music director. So...

A CALL TO ACTION - I am asking you all to please take a short video (10-20 seconds) of you wishing Frank a happy 30th or sharing a memory of your days in the musical.

Tips:
- Use your full name.
- Reference a play/character so he can connect the dots. He's seen a lot of faces come and go, so that will help!

Email your video to: [email protected] by May 4 (Monday!). I will compile all of our well wishes into one video and email it to Frank. Thank you!

--Liz Vollinger

MENU MONDAY NOSTALGIA. Last week we purchased this hugely nostalgic breakfast menu off ebay for the Collection – RUSSELL...
04/27/2020

MENU MONDAY NOSTALGIA. Last week we purchased this hugely nostalgic breakfast menu off ebay for the Collection – RUSSELL’S SANDWICH SHOP on Rt. 5/10 in West Hatfield. Do you remember eating here? Do you remember prices like this?
You might also want to check out our post from July 25, 2019, on the closing of Double D’s Diner and other former occupants of the site (including Russell’s), in which the 100 comments include great stories about the role this eatery played in the life of the town.

THREE NAMES FOR THE SAME BRIDGE! OK, here are two more pics from the Collection, and along with folks' comments from the...
04/24/2020

THREE NAMES FOR THE SAME BRIDGE! OK, here are two more pics from the Collection, and along with folks' comments from the Earth Day post, I think we've got the location nailed down.

Kingsley Bridge. Bonneville Bridge. Riverside Bridge. Got it?

350th ANNIVERSARY UPDATES. We knew it had to happen. For the lastest updates, please go to the Hatfield 350th Anniversar...
04/23/2020
Hatfield, Massachusetts 350th Anniversary

350th ANNIVERSARY UPDATES. We knew it had to happen. For the lastest updates, please go to the Hatfield 350th Anniversary website, to see what’s been postponed, rescheduled, modified or cancelled. The show will go on, but mostly it’s going to be later.

http://hatfield350.com/

Founded in 1670, the Town of Hatfield, Massachusetts will be celebrating its 350th Anniversary in 2020 with a variety of events and festivities.

EARTH DAY FLURRIES. As the strong wind blows through Hatfield today, starting around freezing and now in the low 40s, we...
04/22/2020

EARTH DAY FLURRIES. As the strong wind blows through Hatfield today, starting around freezing and now in the low 40s, we can acknowledge the beautiful nature-filled town and valley we live in and try to do something, large or small, to protect our natural environment.

Check out these b/w photos from our collection -- of Hatfield and the local area from the Kellers -- either Vernet H. Keller (1866-1938) or Edwin Keller. Vernet was an accomplished photographer, Hatfield Town Clerk and Assessor for many years, a manager of Hampshire Manufacturing Co., and a patent holder. You can find his grave in the Main St. cemetery.

Can you help us ID any locations?

FISHING, ANYONE? Did yesterday’s spring snow remind anyone of Hatfield’s Trout Fishing Derby in April 1972? If you atten...
04/19/2020

FISHING, ANYONE? Did yesterday’s spring snow remind anyone of Hatfield’s Trout Fishing Derby in April 1972? If you attended this event, let us know what it was like (especially if you caught a fish!) and where it was held. See anyone you know?

MAY 21 ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM POSTPONED. After much consideration, the Hatfield Historical Society Board has decided to ...
04/13/2020

MAY 21 ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM POSTPONED. After much consideration, the Hatfield Historical Society Board has decided to postpone the in-person program to introduce our oral history project at the Hatfield American Legion to a time when everyone will feel comfortable gathering. And since we don’t yet know when that will be, we are not setting a new date at this time. We hope you will understand this decision.

BUT, the debut of the VIRTUAL EXHIBIT, “Fifty Years Later: Hatfield Vietnam War Veterans Share Their Stories,” is still scheduled for Memorial Day of this year, and we will let you know once it’s finished. This new website will feature full interviews, highlighted clips and images for each of the 10 in-country Vietnam veterans and one Vietnam War nurse, telling stories that have mostly not been told outside of veterans’ circles.

DRIVE-BY EGG HUNT. An unusual Easter Sunday this year, with no in-person church services or extended family gatherings a...
04/13/2020

DRIVE-BY EGG HUNT. An unusual Easter Sunday this year, with no in-person church services or extended family gatherings and egg hunts. Hatfield fire engines and a police car led a short motorcade through town, sirens blaring, allowing us to come out and wave from our yards and front stoops. Check out these colorful eggs in response to the impromptu Hatfield Egg Hunt!

REST IN PEACE, PAT CADY (1935-2020). The Hatfield Historical Society is very sad to lose one of its board members, a pas...
04/10/2020

REST IN PEACE, PAT CADY (1935-2020). The Hatfield Historical Society is very sad to lose one of its board members, a past president and a dear friend. For more than a decade, Pat was one of the prime organizers of the Historical Society’s Hatfield Fall Festival and the Annual Jim Labbee Memorial Antique Classic Car, Truck & Tractor Show. Pat (Labbee) Cady grew up in Hatfield, raised her kids here, was a Brownie leader and Hatfield’s first female police officer (see photo). She’s also been a world-traveling member of the [email protected] Chorus since 2006, even participating in a recent Zoom rehearsal (see their page).

Pat had stories about most everything, and she let us record her on a few occasions, so check back for some of those, coming soon. We’ll miss her terribly!

04/04/2020
How to make a DIY cloth face mask

HEY ALL YOU NON-SEWING FOLKS, PART 2. Here’s the 2nd of two really easy DIY no-sewing face mask tutorials you might find helpful, now that the CDC has recommended we all wear cloth face masks when traveling outside the home. It’s also a great way to give new purpose to vintage handkerchiefs, tea towels, bandanas or well-worn t-shirts you probably have stashed around your house.

This one gives some fine-tuning tips and how to make easy (comfy) straps.

Let us know how it goes and send us a picture of you in your new mask.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smjeqviDCBY

The CDC and the White House are now recommending that we all wear cloth protective masks when we go out in public, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or the ...

04/04/2020
DIY No Sew Face Mask Easy and Quick for Anyone

HEY ALL YOU NON-SEWING FOLKS! We’ve found two really easy DIY no-sewing face mask tutorials you might find helpful, now that the CDC has recommended we all wear cloth face masks when traveling outside the home. It’s also a great way to give new purpose to vintage handkerchiefs, tea towels, bandanas or well-worn t-shirts you probably have stashed around your house.

And if you were a kid during the Depression (or raised by parents who were), it’s quite likely you have a baggie of rubber bands that have been lying in wait for just this moment – to become elevated to “essential” gear.

Let us know how it goes and send us a picture of you in your new mask. The first link is here, using rubber bands. The next post gives some tweaks and easy (more comfy) straps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r2C1zGUHbU

#diyfacemask #diynosewfacemask #nosewfacemask Using a bandana and two rubber bands, anyone can make a DIY no sew face mask very quickly and easily. Stay safe...

SMITH ACADEMY PLAY POSTPONED. If you haven’t heard, this year’s Smith Academy musical, “110 IN THE SHADE,” scheduled for...
04/02/2020

SMITH ACADEMY PLAY POSTPONED. If you haven’t heard, this year’s Smith Academy musical, “110 IN THE SHADE,” scheduled for April 23-25, has been indefinitely postponed, due to COVID-19.

Liz Vollinger, one of the show's producers (along with Julia Bannister), says, “We are hopeful that we will be able to bring “110 in the Shade” to the stage in some manner in the future and share with the community the amazing talent the students bring to the stage.”

If you've seen any Smith Academy musicals, you know what she's talking about! Here are a few photos Liz shared of the cast before rehearsals were cancelled.

FROM OUR FRIENDS DOWN THE ROAD IN WHATELY. What more can one say?Do you have flowers out yet, in spite of last night’s f...
04/01/2020

FROM OUR FRIENDS DOWN THE ROAD IN WHATELY. What more can one say?

Do you have flowers out yet, in spite of last night’s frost? Up in North Hatfield, some of our crocuses are still blooming, but the daffodils are not open yet.

THE MILL RIVER RISING. The Flood of 1936 post #3. Take a good look. Can you imagine how much water there needed to be fo...
03/28/2020

THE MILL RIVER RISING. The Flood of 1936 post #3. Take a good look. Can you imagine how much water there needed to be for the dam next to the Old Mill to be flush with the water level? Here’s something else we’ve learned from examining old photos – even small differences can help you ID locations.

For the ’36 Flood, we have multiple copies of some of the images, but different collections give us additional IDs. Individually, the images are hard to place, but taken together, you see the edge of the same barn, or the same cut of a tree branch, and they begin to fall together and make sense.

Still some mysteries, though. Can you help?

BUTCHER AND BAPTIST CHURCH AT THE BASE OF MAIN ST.? One of the 1936 flood photos was shot from across the street from Ei...
03/26/2020

BUTCHER AND BAPTIST CHURCH AT THE BASE OF MAIN ST.? One of the 1936 flood photos was shot from across the street from Eileen Dostal’s house, at the lower end of Main St. She noted it used to be a store, and at one time was a Baptist church! (Anyone know any more detail about THAT?)

Pat Douglas remembered the names of the store owners – John Fortsch and Shea, when it was a butcher shop. She wasn’t sure of Mr. Shea’s first name, but said he was a very nice quiet man who went to work for Matt Klocko after Mr. Fortsch died or gave up working.

With the names, we were able to find a pair of store receipts in the museum database, a picture of John Fortsch and a few other images of the building -- including one from ANOTHER FLOOD, the Flood of 1927.

Can you add to these recollections?

MASS AT ST. JOES’S POSTPONED: The Flood of 1936 post #2. It is hard to imagine this much water in downtown Hatfield, in ...
03/24/2020

MASS AT ST. JOES’S POSTPONED: The Flood of 1936 post #2. It is hard to imagine this much water in downtown Hatfield, in front of what is now Our Lady of Grace Church at 15 School St.

Notice any architectural changes? Did anyone in your family have to leave by boat? If so, where did they go?

March 2020 photos by Hollington Lee.

A MARCH DISASTER FROM LAST CENTURY. The Flood of 1936 was said to be the largest flood in New England in 300 years. It w...
03/23/2020

A MARCH DISASTER FROM LAST CENTURY. The Flood of 1936 was said to be the largest flood in New England in 300 years. It was produced by a cold and snowy winter with lots of ice on the river and an early spring with lots of rain. It took place the last two weeks of March.

Check out these six pairs of Main St. images (then and now) from the THE GREAT FLOOD – the first of a series of images from different parts of town. We want to hear your recollections or the stories your parents or grandparents told you.

The photos were shot by a number of different people, including V.H. Keller, C.L. Belden, H.W. Morse, D.F. Riley, D.J. Ryan, M. McLeod, P. Staszko, S. Pelis, and perhaps others. The March 2020 photos were shot by Hollington Lee.

FRIDAY FLOATS! From Hatfield’s 325th Anniversary Parade in June 1995. Can you ID anyone on this float, or did you help m...
03/20/2020

FRIDAY FLOATS! From Hatfield’s 325th Anniversary Parade in June 1995. Can you ID anyone on this float, or did you help make it? Let us know. And what did the club do?

SPRING STILL CAME TODAY. It doesn’t know we’re in a pandemic. The crocuses are still coming up, some in gardens but many...
03/19/2020

SPRING STILL CAME TODAY. It doesn’t know we’re in a pandemic. The crocuses are still coming up, some in gardens but many bursting out wherever the heck they want (in Smith Academy colors). The snow is all gone and the town still looks beautiful. Crops are still growing. Farmers are still busily working – and dealing with the new hardships – so we’ll have fresh food to eat this spring and summer.

Remember to support our local farmers – either with your farm share signups, at their farm stands or in our local stores. They are a big part of what makes our town unique!

COVID-19 and FRIDAY FLOATS:Dear Friends of the Hatfield Historical Society,In response to the evolving COVID-19 situatio...
03/19/2020

COVID-19 and FRIDAY FLOATS:
Dear Friends of the Hatfield Historical Society,

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, for the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff, the Hatfield Historical Museum, like other municipal public buildings in Hatfield, has been closed until further notice.


Our next HHS scheduled event is our annual meeting and Vietnam Veterans Stories program on May 21 at the American Legion, so check here and on our website for updates as we get closer.

During this time of “social distancing,” especially in the midst of our 350th anniversary, we’ll do our best to promote connection and ways to share the pride we have for our Hatfield – hopefully including YOUR photos and stories.

As such, come back tomorrow for the start of FRIDAY FLOATS – each week we’ll show a different parade float from one of Hatfield’s anniversary parades (the 325th, 300th or 275th).

We remain thankful for the continued support of our loyal members and public, and hope you all stay safe and healthy as we weather this storm together!

WE FOUND THE HOLY TRINITY FLOAT...that goes with  Kathy Prucnal's recollection from the 1970 Tercentenary Parade, so we'...
03/08/2020

WE FOUND THE HOLY TRINITY FLOAT...that goes with Kathy Prucnal's recollection from the 1970 Tercentenary Parade, so we're going to repeat her story.

And the float is, frankly, pretty awesome, certainly ambitious! Who are the angels, though?

"I remember 50 years ago – Holy Trinity Church had a float – we wired tissue paper flowers every night (yellow & white). Father Budnik had someone wire a chalice framework & it was covered with chicken wire & we worked the tissue paper to it. Ted Smiarowski pulled it on a flatbed with his tractor. It was too high to pass under the electric wires so there was a hinge in the middle of the halo. Some little kids dressed as angels would pull it down when I told them to. I would push it back up after we cleared them!"

CONTAGIOUS DISEASES A CENTURY AGO. When talking about the coronavirus, it is often compared with the annual seasonal flu...
03/07/2020

CONTAGIOUS DISEASES A CENTURY AGO. When talking about the coronavirus, it is often compared with the annual seasonal flu, or with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). But how about the “Spanish flu” (influenza) pandemic of 1918-1919, in which about one-third of the world’s population was infected -- which included Hatfield!

To learn more about how the 1918 flu affected our town, check out the images below (some from the “Record of Dangerous Diseases, Town of Hatfield” book) and this guest blog post by Deb Blodgett from the Historical Society website in 2016:

https://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/blog/category/medical%20care%20in%20hatfield

BUSY DAY AT MUSEUM TODAY. Not only did we have museum volunteers ID-ing 35mm slides from the 300th and 325th anniversari...
03/06/2020

BUSY DAY AT MUSEUM TODAY. Not only did we have museum volunteers ID-ing 35mm slides from the 300th and 325th anniversaries, so we can get them copied and share them with you, but we had a handful of visitors – including local folks, a 3rd grader, and a Connecticut resident who used to live on Main St. – checking out our exhibits.

We’ve also been scanning some of the collection photos from the Great Flood of 1936, which we’ll start showing here next week – the week the rains started, and the river rose. Keep an eye out for it!

(left to right): John Pease IDs the slides, with the help of a lightbox, and Wunderley Stauder is the scribe. Only 17 more carousels to go!

REMEMBERING CHARLIE KELLOGG. For those of you who don’t know, the Hatfield Historical Society lost a good friend last mo...
02/29/2020

REMEMBERING CHARLIE KELLOGG. For those of you who don’t know, the Hatfield Historical Society lost a good friend last month who played an important role in the Society for DECADES as a chronicler and promoter of Society events and Hatfield history. Charlie passed away Jan. 9, 2020, and will be remembered next Saturday, March 7, at an 11 am memorial service at the First Congregational Church of Whately. Calling hours will be held at the church the night before, from 4-7 pm.


Charlie was so often behind the camera that we don’t have many photos OF him, but take a walk down memory lane at some of the more recent Society and town events he recorded. We will all miss him!

If you didn’t see it, we invite you to read his obituary from the Gazette here:

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/gazettenet/obituary-search.aspx?daterange=180&firstname=Charles&lastname=Kellogg&countryid=1&stateid=22&affiliateid=3115

Address

39 Main St
Hatfield, MA
01038

Opening Hours

Thursday 10:00 - 12:00

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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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