One of the benefits of membership in the Charlemont Historical Society is a quarterly newsletter. The spring issue, which is in the mail now, covers
- Work we are doing to digitize the Society’s collection, making it available online for anyone to view;
- News about student volunteers who will be joining us for a community service day next week
- An overview of the theme for this year’s projects and events
- A profile of a tailor who ran a shop in the Charlemont village center during the 1800s.
- Information about sheep farming in Charlemont
- Details about upcoming Society events
Although the spring newsletter was mailed yesterday to existing members, it’s not too late to get your copy! Annual membership in the Charlemont Historical Society costs $20. Information about other membership benefits, along with a membership form, are available on the “Join” page of this website. There are a lot of exciting things going on at the Society now, and we always welcome new members. Please join us!
Detail from a quilting bee quilt in the Charlemont Historical Society collection. Some of the quilt blocks have handwritten information about the women who made the quilt, including their names, the towns where they lived, and dates.
The Charlemont Historical Society currently is focusing on the theme of textiles. To that end, we are working on:
- proper care for and display of the textiles in our collection;
- hosting a public talk by Marla Miller, author of Betsy Ross and the Making of America on Flag Day, Tuesday, June 14
- making information about, and photographs of, our textile collection available online;
- organizing a community quilting bee to create a new quilt for the Historical Society’s collection.
We are participating in Valley Gives Day – Tuesday, May 3 – to help raise funds for these projects. Please consider making a gift to the Charlemont Historical Society for Valley Gives on Tuesday, May 3. Thank you!
Please join us this Sunday, May 1 at 2:00pm for a workshop by Tom Wessels, “Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England.” The event, which the Charlemont Historical Society is co-sponsoring with the Tyler Memorial Library, will be held at Hawlemont Regional Elementary School, 10 School Street, Charlemont, MA.
Tom Wessels is an ecologist and founding director of the master’s degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England. Based on Tom’s book, Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England, this workshop introduces approaches used to interpret a forest’s history. Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, it is possible to unravel complex stories etched into our forested landscape. This process could easily be called forest forensics, since it is quite similar to interpreting a crime scene.
For more than forty years, Kevin Gardner has been a stone wall builder in a family business widely known for traditional New England stonework, particularly for historic restoration of antique structures. In 2001, Kevin published The Granite Kiss: Traditions and Techniques of Building New England Stone Walls.
On April 9, Kevin will give an informal talk, co-sponsored by the Charlemont Historical Society and the Tyler Memorial Library, covering a few of the main topics of his book, including history, technique, stylistic development, and aesthetics. He will explain how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time, and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Other topics may include: differences in approach between historical and contemporary wall-builders, restoration tips and techniques, and information about design, acquisition of materials, preservation, and analysis.
There will be a generous question-and-answer period, during which listeners are encouraged to bring up specific problems or projects on their own properties. Along the way, Kevin will occupy himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.
“Discover New England Stone Walls,” with Kevin Gardner
When: Saturday, April 9, 2014
Where: Hawlemont Elementary School, 10 School Street, Charlemont, MA
We are happy to announce that the Charlemont Historical Society’s application for tax exempt status was successful. In late December, the Internal Revenue Service accepted our application for 501(c)3 status.
What does this mean? Your gifts to the society are tax deductible. We also can apply for grants to help preserve and display the collection.
If you would like to support this work, we would truly appreciate your donation. Checks can be sent to:
Charlemont Historical Society
PO Box 108
Charlemont, MA 01339
If you have any questions about making gifts to CHS, please send them to us by filling out the form below. (Your message will be emailed to us. It will not be posted here on the blog.):