Talks

Posts on upcoming talks

87 Marshall Street

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in Featured slider, Talks | 0 comments

87 Marshall Street

87 Marshall Street, John L. Sprague remembers it well.  Please come on June 8th to hear him talk about his experiences there.  John spent 11 years as the president of the Sprague Electric Company, founded by his father, Robert, who moved the company from Quincy to North Adams in 1929. He was in charge in 1984 and 1985 when new owner Penn Central moved the company’s international headquarters from the Berkshires to Lexington and eliminated 700 Sprague jobs in North Adams.  That move, the Berkshire Eagle later reported, “left a legacy of bitterness in the city,” even though Sprague didn’t...

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Big Days in a Small Town, May 17

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014 in Exhibits, Featured slider, Talks, Video | 0 comments

Big Days in a Small Town, May 17

One of the leading features of small town life is that on several occasions during the year a substantial part of the population, young and old, gathers at some central place for a townwide meeting, a parade, or holiday festivities. These events are a means to bring everybody together and to reaffirm their participation in a small community.  Community celebrations will be the topic of both our new exhibition, and a talk on May 17th at 11 am by Dusty Griffin. These townwide events are a prominent part of the Williamstown’s annual calendar, and have been going on for a long time. Some events...

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The Trail of a Williamstown Founding Family

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in Talks, Video | 0 comments

The Trail of a Williamstown Founding Family

On April 19th at 11 am, we will explore the reasons for America’s mobile nature, by looking at one local family’s migration away and back to Williamstown.  The search for arable land–and adventure–drove many early “settlers” to keep moving on.  The family of Nehemiah Smedley, whose 1772 House still stands on the eastern end of Main Street, is a perfect example.  First settling ca. 1639 in Concord MA, each of the next four Smedley generations relocated. Although Nehemiah’s son, Elijah, did stay put in Williamstown on land contiguous to his father’s (known later...

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Maple Sugaring, February 22nd

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Featured slider, Talks | 0 comments

Maple Sugaring, February 22nd

On February 22nd, at 11 am the topic will be sweet.  Maple syrup was first collected and used by the indigenous peoples of North America. The practice was adopted by European settlers, who gradually refined production methods. Technological improvements in the 1970s further refined syrup processing. For Andy Bernardy, it’s a seasonal ritual, a traditional agricultural task, and a family affair. Bernardy learned the sugaring ropes as a youngster from his grandfather, Ralph Churchill, first at a great uncle’s farm in Charlemont, then on Oblong Road, where the young Bernardy grew...

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Take the Trolley, January 25th

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Featured slider, Talks | 0 comments

Take the Trolley, January 25th

How nice it would be to take a trolley for 5¢ each way from Williamstown to North Adams and back.  Did you know that there used to be such a trolley line running between these two northern Berkshire towns?  On January 25th at 11 am in the Milne Public Library John Hyde will be giving an illustrated talk beginning with an overview of trolley cars as a means of public transportation in the United States.  Particular emphasis will be given to the emergence, dominance, and ultimate disappearance of trolleys from Williamstown and Berkshire County.  Bio: Professor Emeritus John M. Hyde has been a...

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Mount Hope Estate

Posted by on Oct 13, 2013 in Exhibits, Featured slider, Talks | 0 comments

Mount Hope Estate

The legendary Mount Hope estate fascinates us with stories of wealth and innovation.  In November, 2013, Joe Bergeron lectured about the evolution of the estate, its rise to prototype farm, its “million dollar” barn and other buildings, and the development around its windy road since Mount Hope’s founding by the Prentice family.  This talk was given in conjunction with the opening of our winter exhibit, also on the Mount Hope Estate, curated by Joe Bergeron. Joe is a relatively new Williamstown resident, having first arrived in town 17 years ago to attend Williams College. He,...

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