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Yuletide at the Stonehouse – November 2016 (Photos by Randi Shenkman)
Opening Day 2016 (Photos by Denise Smith and Randi Shenkman)
The Museum Committee has been sponsoring a Lecture Series open to the public at the Stone House. The purpose is to promote interest in and provide information on Belchertown’s history. Past events:
October 16, 2014: “Boys in Blue” –Belchertown’s Civil War soldiers by Cliff McCarthy. It traced the soldiers’ lives from enlistment to “mustering out”.
November 13. 2014: “World War I: The Home Front” by Randi Shenkman, a poster series of recruitment and the sacrifices made by ordinary citizens.
December 11, 2014: “Something of the Character Within” by Elizabeth Peirce and Sheila Damkoehler. Portraits of Swift River Valley children of the 19th and early 20th Centuries with discussion of clothes, poses, backdrops, and props.
January 29, 2015: “The Rescue of Angeline Palmer” by Cliff McCarthy. In 1840 a plan was made to sell Angeline, a ten year old free orphan, into slavery. She was saved by members of Amherst’s Black community.
March 19, 2015: “Talking with the Dead in Massachusetts” by Rob Cox. The focus was on the American Spiritualism movement of the 1850’s, its people and their beliefs, and activities in western Massachusetts.
April 26, 2015: “One Hundred Years of Sentinel History” by Peter Dearness. This will be presented at the annual meeting at the Masonic Lodge at 3:30 and is open to the public. We invite all to come.
19 March 2015 — “Talking with the Dead in Massachusetts”
Stone House Lecture Series
Stone House Museum, 20 Maple St., Belchertown, 7 p.m.
In the 1850s, Modern Spiritualism — talking to the spirits of the dead — became the fastest growing religious movement in the United States, claiming hundreds of thousands, if not millions of believers. Although its first manifestations took place in upstate New York, Massachusetts became one of its movement’s intellectual centers, with writers and spirit mediums throughout the state. Rob Cox will talk about the history of American Spiritualism, its people, their beliefs, and particularly their activity in western Massachusetts.
Rob Cox is an archivist and historian and for the last ten years, head of Special Collections at UMass Amherst. Since receiving his doctorate in history from the University of Michigan, he has published books on the history of the Spiritualist movement, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the foods of New England.
The Belchertown Historical Association is hosting it’s 6th Annual Garden Tour on Saturday, July 12th from 9:00-3:00. There will be gardens of many varieties on the tour this year; sun, shade, edible, expansive and simple. Lose yourself in the color and beauty of these gardens, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for all those interesting eye-catchers that are tucked away among the foliage.
A self-guiding tour map will be provided along with descriptions of the gardens. Tickets will be sold on the day of the event on the common.
• Tickets purchased on the day of the event will be $14.
• Tickets cost $12.00 if purchased in advance at the locations listed below.
Stadler Street Ace Hardware, Class Grass Garden Center, Andrew’s Greenhouse, Hadley Garden Center and Randall’s Farm Greenhouse.
The Stone House is the recipient of a SHRAB (State Historical Records Advisory Board) to preserve our wonderful collection of World War I posters. Up until now, the posters have been folded or rolled and kept in boxes. With $934, and the volunteer labor of the museum committee (Nancy Bell, Shirley Bock, Amy Moran, Florrine Neggers and Randi Shenkman), and our museum’s archivist (Cliff McCarthy), each poster will be placed into a clear archival sleeve to keep the paper from degrading.
Properly preserving these posters will enable the Museum to create a special World War I exhibit in time for the 100th anniversary of the U. S. entry into the ‘War to End All Wars”.
Share Belchertown’s History with Family and Friends
Note cards are now available at the Stone House for your personal correspondence. The design above is of the town common circa 1839. Each set of 6 blank note cards contains one black and white woodcut design of a historical view of Belchertown past. All proceeds will go towards the ongoing expenses of supporting the Museum. If you are unable to visit the Stone House to purchase a packet of note cards, note cards can be mailed to you for $3 per 6 cards plus mailing costs. Order form
The fifty stories in this charming collection mark the events, places and people that have made Belchertown special. Drawn from the writings of beloved local fixtures Doris and Harvey Dickinson, these tales show how Belchertown holds firm to its New England Yankee traditions in the heart of the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Order form