Video

Videos of monthly talks at Williamstown Historical Museum

Take the Trolley

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Video | 0 comments

Take the Trolley

Thanks to our neighbors at Willinet, we have been able to capture this talk, and bring it to you online: John Hyde speaking about Northern Berkshire Trolley lines, January 25, 2014 at 11 am:

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Big Days in a Small Town

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

Big Days in a Small Town

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 curated 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 — Town Meeting, Memorial Day, Independence Day – have been recognized or celebrated for more than a century. The Williams College commencement exercises have drawn large numbers of townspeople ever since the early 19th century. Others are relatively new – the Holiday Walk, for example. Some, an annual feature for many decades, are no longer celebrated: the Fireman’s Ball, the Grange Fair. And even the ones we continue to celebrate today have not always taken the same form. This exhibit looks at a number of the townwide events in Williamstown, and by means of old photographs, posters, programs, newspaper clippings, and other artifacts traces how these occasions have been celebrated over the years. Bio: Dusty Griffin taught English literature at Berkeley and NYU for 40 years before retiring in 2009. A 1965 graduate of Williams College, he has published a number of scholarly books on 17th- and 18th-century English poetry. He has also written on topics in Williams College history, and on the local history of Williamstown. He has frequently given talks on local history in the Williamstown Historical Museum lecture series, most recently on “Three Williams Generals in the Civil War” (2012). He serves as chair of the Exhibitions Committee, and has curated an exhibitions at the Museum on “Williamstown in the Civil War” (2011). His talk in May on “Big Days in a Small Town” coincides with the opening of his exhibition at the Museum on “Big Days in a Small Town.” This approximately half hour program was filmed at the Harper’s Center. In this video, Williamstown Senior Citizens share their memories of celebrations in the Williamstown of their...

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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 as the Orchards), when Elijah’s daughter, Mary, married Asahel Foote (an 1827 Williams graduate), the peripatetic gene was reinforced.  Within a few years of Mary’s death (1876), the remaining Foote clan (Asahel, their only son with his wife and child, and two unmarried daughters) left behind the apple orchards of Williamstown, in favor of the orange groves of Pasadena.  (Coming full circle, however, one branch of that tree has put down roots again in Williamstown!)  Luckily, for both our family and Williamstown, the Smedley/Foote homesteads, along with some of their history, have been well preserved. Bio: First-cousins Judith Wilson and Louise Dudley are the great-granddaughters of two Williamstown natives, Sarah Caroline Cole and Charles Rollin Foote, (m. 1872) who moved west in 1879 to become one of the pioneering families in Pasadena, California.  Judith and Louise also share an uncle, George W. Clapp, whose genealogical research (he is the author of Ancestors and Descendants of Harvey Towner and Caroline (Waterman) Cole of Williamstown, MA, 1810-1881) inspired them to learn more about the family’s roots in this area. Louise, who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a graduate of Smith College, where she majored in American Studies.  During her career in publishing and public relations, she worked as an editor for the Saturday Evening Post in New York; Heldref Publications, a nonprofit publisher of journals in Washington, DC; and the University of Virginia, from which she retired 11 years ago as assistant vice president for university relations and university spokesperson. Judith, who resides in Providence, Rhode Island, graduated from Barnard College, after a year each at Smith and the University of Iowa.  Her career included writing and producing educational filmstrips, as well as many years in the advertising business.  After several years with major ad agencies in New York City, she worked in San Francisco for ten years as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi Direct, and in her own freelance business until her retirement in 1997. If you missed this talk, please watch the video...

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Joe Bergeron on The Mount Hope Estate

Posted by on Dec 26, 2013 in Video | 0 comments

Joe Bergeron on The Mount Hope Estate

Thanks to our neighbors at Willinet, we have been able to capture this talk, and bring it to you online: Joe Bergeron speaking on The Mount Hope Estate, November 16, 2013:

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Paul Harsch on Moveable Houses of Williamstown

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Video | 0 comments

Paul Harsch on Moveable Houses of Williamstown

Thanks to our neighbors at Willinet, we have been able to capture this talk and show it to you online! Paul Harsch speaking on the Moveable Houses of Williamstown, 10/19/2013

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