Editorial: Local historical museums are seasonal gems

  • The Museum of our Industrial Heritage is on Mead Street in Greenfield in an old mill building. Albert Shane operates a threading machine, putting threads on a metal rod. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 7/19/2019 11:05:08 AM
Modified: 7/19/2019 11:04:56 AM

There are some things you can only do in the summertime, and visiting local history museums is one of them. That’s why the Greenfield Recorder’s Summer Valley Guide annually compiles a guide to local history museums.

Some of them are only open in the summer because they are not heated year-round. All are run by volunteers. They are treasure troves of local ephemera, sure to educate and delight visitors of all ages. Like popular songs of yore, the collections of old yearbooks, kitchen and farm tools, photos and the unexpected have a way of jogging the ol’ memory cells.

The season is short, so why not take in a museum or two? Here are some possibilities, too good to miss.

■The Ashfield Historical Society Museum on Main Street is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. New is an exhibit of mill sites in Ashfield and the products made there.

■The Powers Institute Museum in Bernardston at 20 Church St. is open the first Sunday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m. Special exhibits include military displays, farm tools, wedding dresses and a fully equipped school classroom.

■The Buckland Historical Society Museum at 20 Upper St. will be open on Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., during “A Summer Day on the Buckland Common.” Blueberry buckle will be served on the lawn.

■The Charlemont Historical Society Museum in the Town Hall is open Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m., when you can view a collection of items found in Avery’s General Store over the past 100 years.

■The Conway Historical Society, 50 Main St., is open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. See “Greetings from Conway: A Pictorial History through Postcards.”

■The Historical Society of Greenfield Museum, 43 Church St., is open the first and second Saturdays of the month, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Its exhibit, “Children of Old Greenfield,” features items from children living in this area from the past 1,000 years. The society also has an ice cream social on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.

■The Museum of Our Industrial Heritage, 2 Mead St. in Greenfield, is open Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and celebrates our tap-and-die industry.

■The Swift River Valley Historical Society’s Prescott Museum, 40 Elm St. in New Salem, commemorates the “drowned” towns of Prescott, Enfield, Dana and Greenwich. It’s open Wednesdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

■The Northfield Historical Society Museum, 13 Pine St., is open Tuesday evenings in July from 5 to 8 p.m. Among the treasures is a restored 19th-century one-horse shay. Annual meeting is Wednesday, July 24, at 4 p.m. at the museum.

■The Orange Historical Society Museum, in a Victorian house and barn at 41 North Main St., is open Wednesdays and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. Collections include New Home sewing machines, two steam autos made in Orange, a children’s room and a military room.

■The Rowe Historical Society’s Kemp-McCarthy Memorial Museum is open Saturday, Aug. 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. Highlights include antique furniture, china, photos, 19th-century dolls, Hoosac Tunnel memorabilia and a hearse.

■The Shelburne Historical Society Museum in the old Arms Academy high school at the corner of Maple and Church streets is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

■The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, 14 Depot St., is open weekends and holidays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and, during July and August, on Mondays from 1 to 5 p.m. Ride the historic trolley car, which costs $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 to 12.

■The Warwick Historical Society Museum, 8 Athol Road, is open Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. Exhibits include garments of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and Civil War artifacts.

■The Whately Historical Society Museum, 194 Chestnut Plain Road, is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. This summer’s special exhibit is “A Peek in Grandma’s Kitchen.”


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