Historic Northampton

Historic Northampton Our newly opened exhibit, Making it on Main Street, tells the 400-year history of downtown Northampton and includes a model of the town in 1847+ more than a dozen interactive activities for kids and grown-ups.
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Come check it out! Historic Northampton is a museum of local history in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts. Its collection of approximately 50,000 objects and three historic buildings is the repository of Northampton and Connecticut Valley history from the Pre-Contact era to the present. Historic Northampton constitutes a campus of three contiguous historic houses,

Come check it out! Historic Northampton is a museum of local history in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts. Its collection of approximately 50,000 objects and three historic buildings is the repository of Northampton and Connecticut Valley history from the Pre-Contact era to the present. Historic Northampton constitutes a campus of three contiguous historic houses,

Operating as usual

This Saturday! Make sure to come out for an outdoor interactive science event perfect for the whole family! Click here t...
07/22/2021

This Saturday! Make sure to come out for an outdoor interactive science event perfect for the whole family! Click here to register (preferred but not required): http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=mdtu7ycab&oeidk=a07eiaborj5b0e1c920
From 2:00-3:30 pm, use a solar telescope, electrocute a pickle, and learn about the solar system from Amherst College students and faculty.
Masks are required for unvaccinated children and adults.

This Saturday! Make sure to come out for an outdoor interactive science event perfect for the whole family! Click here to register (preferred but not required): http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=mdtu7ycab&oeidk=a07eiaborj5b0e1c920
From 2:00-3:30 pm, use a solar telescope, electrocute a pickle, and learn about the solar system from Amherst College students and faculty.
Masks are required for unvaccinated children and adults.

Learn scientific history with The Follette Lab, an astronomy research group at Amherst College! Register here for this F...
07/17/2021

Learn scientific history with The Follette Lab, an astronomy research group at Amherst College! Register here for this FREE event: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=mdtu7ycab&oeidk=a07eiaborj5b0e1c920
The Lab and Historic Northampton are hosting an event to show the public how the most simple science experiments are related to the forces that have shaped our entire universe, and how we study them. Talk with real astronomers (and astronomers in-training), and ask all your astronomy questions!

07/13/2021

JOIN US TODAY

Shake off the rain and Shake Your Soul at Historic Northampton with Hayley Spizz

5-6 pm on the grounds of Historic Northampton for a dynamic dance & fluid movement experience.

FREE and All Ages Welcome!

Robert's Meadow Brook is the primary tributary for Musante Beach in Leeds, and a few hundred yards below the beach, the ...
07/08/2021

Robert's Meadow Brook is the primary tributary for Musante Beach in Leeds, and a few hundred yards below the beach, the water flows into the Mill River. Here's a view of a seldom seen stretch in Northampton, not far above where it was once dammed, first as a source of water power and later as a backup water supply for the City of Northampton.

To learn more about the history of this corner of Northampton, check out John John Clapp's book, Lost Village of Roberts Meadow, published by Leveller's Press. https://www.levellerspress.com/product/lost-village-of-roberts-meadow/

Robert's Meadow Brook is the primary tributary for Musante Beach in Leeds, and a few hundred yards below the beach, the water flows into the Mill River. Here's a view of a seldom seen stretch in Northampton, not far above where it was once dammed, first as a source of water power and later as a backup water supply for the City of Northampton.

To learn more about the history of this corner of Northampton, check out John John Clapp's book, Lost Village of Roberts Meadow, published by Leveller's Press. https://www.levellerspress.com/product/lost-village-of-roberts-meadow/

If you were unable to attend the Frederick Douglass reading at Historic Northampton on Monday, here's a link to a record...
07/08/2021
Reading Frederick Douglass 2021

If you were unable to attend the Frederick Douglass reading at Historic Northampton on Monday, here's a link to a recording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdZ85JQXH9E

Thank you to Dave Newland & Northampton Open Media

Monday, July 5, 2021Reading Frederick Douglass Together brings people together to read aloud Frederick Douglassโ€™s speech, What to the Slave is the Fourth of ...

Thanks to everyone who attended yesterday's reading of Frederick Douglass' speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of J...
07/06/2021

Thanks to everyone who attended yesterday's reading of Frederick Douglass' speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"

A special thank you to all those who read portions of the speech and to all of our partners.

Ever wonder about the WAVES, the Navy unit who trained at Smith College? Get a glimpse of their history through one of H...
07/04/2021

Ever wonder about the WAVES, the Navy unit who trained at Smith College? Get a glimpse of their history through one of Historic Northampton's objects, a WAVES uniform Click the link below!
https://www.historicnorthampton.org/videos.html#shorttakes
(and stay tuned for our next video, about the woman who wore it!).

Ever wonder about the WAVES, the Navy unit who trained at Smith College? Get a glimpse of their history through one of Historic Northampton's objects, a WAVES uniform Click the link below!
https://www.historicnorthampton.org/videos.html#shorttakes
(and stay tuned for our next video, about the woman who wore it!).

07/02/2021

RESCHEDULED DUE TO RAIN

Reading Frederick Douglass Together will now be held

MONDAY, JULY 5th @ 11 am
Grounds of Historic Northampton

46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA

To mark International Pollinator Week, here are a few images from Historic Northampton and beyond to raise awareness abo...
06/24/2021

To mark International Pollinator Week, here are a few images from Historic Northampton and beyond to raise awareness about the diversity of pollinator species and things you can do to encourage them.

We're especially grateful to Debin Bruce, who constructed our gorgeous "bee house" for bees that nest in stems, to the Bridge Street School students who help plant and maintain the Sprouts garden on our grounds, and all of the volunteers who help maintain our flower gardens and encourage a wide variety of insect visitors. Thank you!

https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week

This Thursday! Come hear Professor Marla Miller from UMass Department of History  speak about the working lives of Indig...
06/23/2021

This Thursday! Come hear Professor Marla Miller from UMass Department of History speak about the working lives of Indigenous, Black, and white Connecticut River Valley women in early America. Click here to register: https://www.historicnorthampton.org/programs.html
Professor Miller will use objects, records, and homes of these women to illuminate the working lives of women in the era of the American Revolution.

This Thursday! Come hear Professor Marla Miller from UMass Department of History speak about the working lives of Indigenous, Black, and white Connecticut River Valley women in early America. Click here to register: https://www.historicnorthampton.org/programs.html
Professor Miller will use objects, records, and homes of these women to illuminate the working lives of women in the era of the American Revolution.

SO much good happening at Historic Northampton this week--amazing renovations, amazing contractors, amazing programs, an...
06/12/2021

SO much good happening at Historic Northampton this week--amazing renovations, amazing contractors, amazing programs, and a terrific team of volunteers & interns!

A BIG Thank You to BeyondGreen and Douglas Thayer & his crew!

Eclipses --and watching them--have been important throughout history. Early this morning, thanks to Smith College astron...
06/10/2021

Eclipses --and watching them--have been important throughout history.

Early this morning, thanks to Smith College astronomers Meg Thatcher and James Lowenthal, the tradition continued and a small cadre of eclipse watchers donned "eclipse glasses" and gathered on the edge of Hospital Hill to watch the sun come up. We even used a very, very low tech piece of equipment (a colander) as an eclipse-viewing tool.

06/08/2021

A literal rock star--that's what Edward Hitchcock was in his day. His fossilized "turkey" (dinosaur) tracks were part of the itinerary of 19th century visitors to Northampton.

And Hitchcock was much, much more than a geologist. He was a minister, college president, author, explorer, naturalist...and then some.

To learn more about Hitchcock's rich and varied life, register for our June 9 (tomorrow) zoom program by author/ecologist Bob McMaster by visiting our website: www.historicnorthampton.org

Crowning Touch! A big thank you to Beyond Green Construction for their expert renovation and repairs to the balustrade a...
06/07/2021

Crowning Touch! A big thank you to Beyond Green Construction for their expert renovation and repairs to the balustrade and to the Northampton Community Preservation Act and the 1772 Foundation for funding this project!

Thanks to our terrific weeding team for coming on Friday and once again, transforming Historic Northampton's patio and m...
06/06/2021

Thanks to our terrific weeding team for coming on Friday and once again, transforming Historic Northampton's patio and making our grounds and gardens more beautiful spaces. We could not do this without you! (And a BIG thank you to Kelley for bringing us coffee and donuts to supplement our modest provisions).

Want to become a volunteer at Historic Northampton and pitch in on outside or inside projects?

Email us at [email protected].

06/05/2021

Reminder: A dedication ceremony will take place today, Saturday, June 5 at 1:30 for the restored fountain and Memorial Park at the Northampton State Hospital.

Parking is available on Olander Drive and surrounding streets.

We're delighted to welcome Margy Jessup as our new Collections Assistant! Margy has extensive experience in the manageme...
06/03/2021

We're delighted to welcome Margy Jessup as our new Collections Assistant! Margy has extensive experience in the management of digital collections, having recently retired after 28 years at Smith College as Digital Archivist in Special Collections. She lives in Northampton.....and yes, in addition to working at our picnic table, she also has a real desk inside!

Margy's position was funded thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

We're delighted to welcome Margy Jessup as our new Collections Assistant! Margy has extensive experience in the management of digital collections, having recently retired after 28 years at Smith College as Digital Archivist in Special Collections. She lives in Northampton.....and yes, in addition to working at our picnic table, she also has a real desk inside!

Margy's position was funded thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

During the mid-1800s, the wood of mountain laurel was one of the materials used to manufacture buttons in Florence, MA (...
05/29/2021

During the mid-1800s, the wood of mountain laurel was one of the materials used to manufacture buttons in Florence, MA (and undoubtedly at the factories of other commercial button makers).

It's a common shrub in our region and it has just begun flowering this week.

These close-ups of the buds and flowers show interesting patterns. The two images also show something different between one and the other. Can you spot it?

In addition to taking in a view of the full moon this week, try to stop by the Beaver Brook Conservation Area, which is ...
05/25/2021

In addition to taking in a view of the full moon this week, try to stop by the Beaver Brook Conservation Area, which is blanketed with Dame's Rocket, a member of the mustard family and with the terrific scientific name, Hesperis (after the Greek goddess associated with beauty) matronalis. Enjoy the short trails, stop by the timber frame wildlife blind that looks out over the beaver pond, learn about the site's fascinating human and natural history, have a picnic, all the while listening to orioles, warbling vireos, least flycatchers and much more.
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A big thank you to the Broad Brook Coalition and Leeds Civic Association for maintaining this terrific conservation area.
***
Directions: Route 9 in Leeds, just before the Haydenville line.

Heading west on Route 9, you will pass Linda Manor on your right and about 300 yards further (& opposite the cemetery) is a City water building. Parking is available there--please parking within signs and do not block main driveway. Or park on Route 9 and walk in on the paths.

Of the fifty species of orchids in Massachusetts, only about a dozen are known from Northampton. Of these, one of the mo...
05/23/2021

Of the fifty species of orchids in Massachusetts, only about a dozen are known from Northampton. Of these, one of the most common is pink ladyslipper, which is now at its peak in Northampton's piney woods and more open-oak woodlands.

Another much less common orchid that's also flowering now is Large Whorled Pogonia, which is found in oak-woodlands. At present, it is known from just 4 sites in Northampton, and only one where it flowers.

Here are some photos--plus a couple of bonus images.

White mulberry--one of the many tree species that profoundly shaped Northampton's history--is flowering now. It was impo...
05/21/2021

White mulberry--one of the many tree species that profoundly shaped Northampton's history--is flowering now. It was imported in the 19th century to grow Chinese silkworms, both for home silk production as well as a brief attempt at commercial caterpillar production in the 1830s. The latter initiated a mulberry craze, where speculators drove up prices to unseen levels, only to explode overnight and cause devastating economic impact to many.

Today the offspring from those trees and others sold at nurseries are widespread in Northampton and other towns, growing up along roadside edges, the bike path, and along the untended edges of lawns and gardens.

Among the many interesting biological aspects is that mulberries (like hollies) either bear only male flowers or female flowers. They also have a variety of leaf shapes, that are often downright whimsical in appearance. There are several mulberries growing at Historic Northampton, all of which have seeded in on their own. Here are a few photos of the flowers--2 images of a tree with male flowers near the fence near the Bridge Street School and the other of a female flower (you can already see the future fruit shape) from our grounds, close to the picnic tables. As you'll see, like all wind pollinated species, the "flowers" are highly reduced, with no petals.

During the last few weeks, we've received lots of good news and good press: * Most recently, a feature in the Gazette hi...
05/20/2021

During the last few weeks, we've received lots of good news and good press:
* Most recently, a feature in the Gazette highlighting our collaboration with photographer Paul Shoul and our expanding COVID-19 digital archives project https://www.gazettenet.com/Historic-Northampton-documents-Covid-era-with-portraits-of-people-getting-vaccinated-40525405

* Full funding ($25,000) for our first-ever Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, which will go to the restoration & renovation of the Shepherd Barn

* Full funding ($7,500) for a grant from the 1772 Foundation for the restoration of the balustrade on the Damon House

* Full funding ($21,250) from the Northampton CPA for restoration and renovation of the barn and balustrade

* Support--thanks to you!--from Florence Bank's Community Awards Program. Yahoo!!

Thank you ALL!

During the last few weeks, we've received lots of good news and good press:
* Most recently, a feature in the Gazette highlighting our collaboration with photographer Paul Shoul and our expanding COVID-19 digital archives project https://www.gazettenet.com/Historic-Northampton-documents-Covid-era-with-portraits-of-people-getting-vaccinated-40525405

* Full funding ($25,000) for our first-ever Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, which will go to the restoration & renovation of the Shepherd Barn

* Full funding ($7,500) for a grant from the 1772 Foundation for the restoration of the balustrade on the Damon House

* Full funding ($21,250) from the Northampton CPA for restoration and renovation of the barn and balustrade

* Support--thanks to you!--from Florence Bank's Community Awards Program. Yahoo!!

Thank you ALL!

This month, as part of Historic Northampton's COVID-19 Digital Archives project, Northampton-based photographer Paul Sho...
05/14/2021
Vaccination Photos

This month, as part of Historic Northampton's COVID-19 Digital Archives project, Northampton-based photographer Paul Shoul took images of the volunteers and health professionals working at the Northampton Senior Center's Vaccine Clinic and also people who had just received the COVID-19 vaccine. Check out the portraits and quotes. This is part 1 of 2. Thank you, Paul Shoul!

https://www.historicnorthampton.org/vaccination-photos.html

โ€‹In May of 2021, Paul Shoul photographed people just after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and the volunteers and health professionals working at the Hampshire County Regional Vaccine Clinic located...

How sweet is this? An unexpected and delightful interaction in the violets at Historic Northampton. Plus fiddlers and tu...
05/06/2021

How sweet is this? An unexpected and delightful interaction in the violets at Historic Northampton.

Plus fiddlers and tulips and picnic tables...come enjoy our grounds.

The flora of Massachusetts includes about 3,000 species, of which nearly 1/3 are from other parts of the world. Among th...
05/03/2021

The flora of Massachusetts includes about 3,000 species, of which nearly 1/3 are from other parts of the world. Among the naturalized species you can see flowering nowadays is Lesser Celandine, a member of the buttercup family that forms a thick, essentially impenetrable ground cover.

In Northampton, it has become widespread during the last decade, appearing in many of our floodplain forests, along the Mill River corridor, and in moist lawns.

Through underground tubers, it forms dense carpets that prevent other plant species from growing and creates a monoculture, that simplifies the habitat and diminishes resources for bees, butterflies and other kinds of wildlife.

These photos were taken near the city's sewage treatment plant, but it can be found in many, many, many (did I say many?) other places in Northampton. Its continued and unabated spread is a real concern from the standpoint of biodiversity and integrity of rare habitats like floodplain forests.

Like so many places this spring, the flowers and trees at Historic Northampton are spectacular! The apples and crabapple...
05/01/2021

Like so many places this spring, the flowers and trees at Historic Northampton are spectacular! The apples and crabapples have never been better, and the branches are so loaded with blossoms, they just might break.

Please wander through our grounds...share a meal with a friend at the picnic tables...relax in the Gazebo..or enjoy a coffee on our patio.

It's like a mini-Childs Park in downtown Northampton.

04/29/2021
Fitzgerald Lake Greenway

A scene from this morning (4/29/21) in part of the Fitzgerald Lake Greenway. Watch all the way through... something else interesting happens about 40 seconds in...and in the last few seconds.
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With English settlement, bounties on bears (and other perceived "noxious" animals) were common in Massachusetts. According to Sylvester Judd, bear meat was sold in Northampton in 1721. Between bounties, hunting pressure and forest clearing, bears were essentially extiprated from the state by the Civil War.

Beginning in the 1970s, however, the isolated populations in the Berkshires began expanding east into the Connecticut River Valley and bear sightings are now common in Northampton.

Address

46 Bridge St
Northampton, MA
01060-2428

Telephone

(413) 584-6011

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Historic Northampton is a museum of local history in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts. Its collection of approximately 40,000 objects and three historic buildings is the repository of Northampton history from the Pre-Contact era to the present. Historic Northampton constitutes a campus of three contiguous historic houses, all on their original sites. The grounds themselves are part of an original Northampton homelot laid out in 1654. Find us on Instagram @Historic.Northampton and whatโ€™s happening on our website www.historicnorthampton.org


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Was looking for a FB page for St. Michaels School and there does not seem to be one. I have a handful of old photos of classmates from the 50's That my mom Kathleen Mott took. I would like to scan and share to include a class trip to Washington DC. in February of 1957. Some of the names in the photos are Mike Wheeler, Jim Hutchins, Paul Bertrand, Constance Rivard, Katheryn McKelloqiot, Nancy Borsewick, Betty Lucier, Cynthia Hargarves, Betty Campbell, Frances Cybulski, Shiela Cronin, Elain Charron, Kay Folex, Jim Devlin, Claire Waite, Carol Martin, Judith Shea, Eleanor Lafrenier, Pat Daily, Janet Worden, Jim Hutchins and a few more. Maybe there are some family members on here that would like me to scan copies for them? Attached is one phot of Eleanor Lafrenier, Janet Worden and my mom.
I am going through old pics of my moms.. Was there ever a Pines Inn in Northampton as indicated on the back of one of my mom's photos? If so where was it located? Also Is the building in the photo located in Northampton?
am looking for a page for St. Michaels Catholic School and can't seem to find one. Have some pics of classmates when my mom was there and would like to post them there. I
Scanning some old photos of my moms. This is her Kathleen Etta Mott Perras around Sept 1956 in Northampton. The pic of her sitting on a porch was taken on Hawley Street at the " Pulchaski House". Unsure if that was a public place or the name of a family at a private residence. Was also wondering if that Lumber company building is still there?
I own a 1778? document about the relocation of a meeting house to the east side of the Connecticut River. It describes the land where it is to be relocated in detail. Can anyone help me figure out where this was? Copies of the document attached. Please contact me at [email protected]. and reference 1778 Connecticut River document (please) . I also have a rough transcription in WORD I can forward. THANKS! TOM
Is the wood still on the property available for taking? Looking to make some art.
We are so lucky to have Historic Northampton!
What a well-deserved award for the hard-working staff and board of Historic Northampton. Caretakers of three houses in a row, intact on their original foundations, from three distinct architectural styles they should rest assured that all this effort is clearly worth it.
Over heard at the ice cream social today. Free ice cream? why is the ice cream free? Response: It's an event that's just what they do. Wow! I love this town.