The History of the Hopper by Dustin Griffin

Posted by on Sep 1, 2019 in Featured slider, Talks | Comments Off on The History of the Hopper by Dustin Griffin

The History of the Hopper by Dustin Griffin

Tractor View from the Haley Farm, Robert Lafond, 2018

Video of the History of the Hopper

The Williamstown Historical Museum presented a free talk on The History of The Hopper with Dusty Griffin on Saturday, September 14 at 11 am in the community room at Sweetwood, 1611 Cold Spring Road in Williamstown. The talk was illustrated with more than 50 slides.

We are so used to looking at The Hopper from afar, from Rt. 7 in front of the high school or as we come home over the Taconic Trail or up Rt. 43. It is the topographic feature that defines Williamstown, the one we chose to grace our town flag. But what do we really know about this secluded valley at the foot of Mt. Greylock and the people who call it home?

Based on research in old newspapers, property records, materials in the WHM collection, and interviews with current and former residents, Griffin told a number of stories about The Hopper, from its earliest days to the present. Tales of the original settlers and the mills that sprang up on the streams that run down the slopes of the Greylock massive; farms at Mt. Hope and Arbor Acres in the mid-20th Century and the surviving Bacon and Haley Farms of today; the old village of Sweet’s Corners; the hikers, campers, and preservationists who enjoy the area’s many trails; and the year-round residents and second-homers who have found rural peace and quiet in the valley.

Local historian Dustin “Dusty” Griffin, Professor of English Emeritus at New York University, has been a Williamstown resident since 2003. A 1965 graduate of Williams College, he is the author of many books on English literature. Griffin has

A former board member of the Williamstown Historical Museum, he curated exhibitions on “Williamstown in the Civil War” (2012) and on “Big Days in a Small Town” (2014). His recent talks for WHM audiences covered the writing career of Col. Prentice of Mt. Hope, and introduced his own book, Williamstown and Williams College: Explorations in Local History (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018).

Robert H. Lafond artist of
Tractor View from the Haley Farm, 2018 

Bob Lafond attended the Boston Museum School, and has an undergraduate degree in Art History (summa cum laude) from Princeton University where he studied under painter Esteban Vicente. He paints both country and city landscapes in oils and pastels, concentrating on the Berkshires and Brooklyn. He lives in Williamstown, MA.

You can learn more at:
Art blog:
Instagram: @roberthlafond
You can contact the artist at [email protected]