Exhibits

Posts on current exhibits

Textiles of Williamstown Exhibit: Selections from the WHM Collection

Posted by on Oct 17, 2018 in Exhibits, Featured slider | Comments Off on Textiles of Williamstown Exhibit: Selections from the WHM Collection

Textiles of Williamstown Exhibit:  Selections from the WHM Collection

Visit the WHM to view a selection of remarkable and historic textiles from the collection featuring pieces that were conserved using Community Preservation Act funds.

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WHM Special Summer Exhibit, June to mid August 2018

Posted by on Jun 14, 2018 in Exhibits, Featured slider | Comments Off on WHM Special Summer Exhibit, June to mid August 2018

WHM Special Summer Exhibit, June to mid August 2018

This exhibit examines some the lesser known pieces of the WHM collection and focuses on objects and ephemera that are unique to the WHM collection. Many of the pieces featured were close to being discarded and lost indefinitely, but were, fortunately, saved by savvy local history loving donors and given to the WHM. 

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First Church & Williamstown: 250 Years Together ~ on exhibit through Autumn, 2016

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Exhibits, Featured slider, Talks, Video | Comments Off on First Church & Williamstown: 250 Years Together ~ on exhibit through Autumn, 2016

First Church & Williamstown: 250 Years Together ~ on exhibit through Autumn, 2016

It is no coincidence that First Congregational Church, Williamstown, and the town itself share a birthdate. In 1750 Massachusetts General Assembly passed …

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Before & After; The Story of a Small Town’s Artifacts & Their Conservation

Posted by on Sep 12, 2015 in Exhibits, Featured slider | Comments Off on Before & After; The Story of a Small Town’s Artifacts & Their Conservation

Before & After;  The Story of a Small Town’s Artifacts & Their Conservation

We hope you will join us! Saturday, October 3rd, 11 am at the Williamstown Historical Museum for the opening of our exhibit: Before and After; The Story of a Small Town’s Artifacts and Their Conservation This exhibit was created by you and for you. Williamstown residents and friends donated the artifacts in this exhibit, voted at the 2014 Annual Town Meeting to have these artifacts conserved, and your interaction with these objects makes them meaningful. Materials donated over the years helped us build a narrative for the objects that allowed us to tell some of the stories of the people and places of our little town. You are an important part of that story. We hope you’ll come admire some of your work. The exhibit focuses on the objects that were conserved at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center using CPC funds. The Pine Cobble Seventh Graders (now eighth graders) contributed descriptive paragraphs detailing some of the objects. This exhibit couldn’t have been done without you. Thank you! We will have delicious treats for you upon your arrival. We look forward to seeing you next Saturday! For questions please email [email protected] or call...

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100 Years in White: Architecture of the First Congregational Church

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Exhibits, Featured slider, Talks | Comments Off on 100 Years in White: Architecture of the First Congregational Church

100 Years in White: Architecture of the First Congregational Church

  100 Years in White: Architecture of the First Congregational Church  What do shirt collars and the current building of the First Congregational Church have in common?  How did Williams College create the circumstances making it necessary to redesign our building?  Some of this information is common knowledge in Williamstown, but you may be surprised by some information that has newly been connected to this story.  Moira Jones ties new information with the old in this exhibit to tell the whole story of why the 1869 Neo-Romanesque building was renovated before its 50th birthday. Exhibit curator, Moira Jones, is Moderator of the First Congregational Church (for more information on what a “Moderator” is, visit FirstChurchWilliamstown.org).  A native of California, who was born in a town which celebrated its bicentennial the year after our nation, Moira has lived in Williamstown, and been interested in our community history for more than 30 years.  She is indebted to the research of Carl A. Westerdahl (1937-2013) for much of the information that was in this presentation.  To view a video of this lecture click here:   “100 Years in White:  Architecture of the First Congregational...

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1753 House

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Exhibits | Comments Off on 1753 House

The 1753 House in the Rotary In 1750, village lots in the newly surveyed West Hoosac plantation were first offered for sale by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Court probably had two motives in establishing the plantation: to settle and fortify the northwest corner of the colony, lying along a heavily used Indian path (now called the Mohawk Trail), and thereby protect towns to the east and south; and to prevent Dutch settlers in New York from inching over their eastern boundary into Massachusetts. The area was a heavily forested wilderness and, although some of the lots were purchased by speculators, many were acquired by soldiers from Fort Massachusetts — four miles to the east — the last outpost on the northern line of defense during the French and Indian wars. In 1753 the General Court ordered that settlers were required to build a home on their land. The regulations stated that in order to gain title to a lot, settlers were required to clear five acres and construct a house measuring at least 15 by 18 feet with a 7 foot stud, and a chimney. It was these requirements that gave the name “regulation house” to these early buildings. It was the intention of the government that these permanent houses would provide a basic structure to live in that could easily be expanded to make a larger building. Two men helping each other could build two regulation houses in three to four months. The first meeting of the Proprietors took place on December 5, 1753, at which time there were about a dozen frame “regulation” houses along what is now West Main Street. The early years were difficult for the settlers. The French and Indian War brought fear of ambush, scalping, and arson, and in 1756 a blockhouse and stockade, known as Fort West Hoosac, were built at the site of the present Williams Inn, as a refuge from repeated Indian raids. After 1760, with the coming of peace, settlers flooded in, principally from Connecticut. Land was cleared and agriculture became the main source of livelihood. More land farther east on Main Street was divided and cleared, some roads were cut, and farming became the dominant way of life in the valley. Small saw, grist, and fulling (cloth making) mills were built. Professionals and craftsmen began to arrive: a doctor, a lawyer, cobblers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and shopkeepers. In 1765 West Hoosac was incorporated as Williamstown. It was named for Col. Ephraim Williams who had commanded the northern line of defense and who, in his will, left money for the founding of a free school in West Hoosac, provided that the name of the settlement be changed to Williamstown. The school opened in 1791 and became Williams College in 1793. In 1953, during the town bicentennial, a group of people determined to build a replica of these regulation houses, and using only tools and practices that would have been used to make the original houses, constructed the house you see on Field Park today. It belongs to the Williamstown Historic Museum and is known simply as the “1753...

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