Sunday, September 27, 2015

In Memory of Susan Freedom: Gravestones of African Americans in Western Massachusetts

Headstone for Susan Freedom (1784-Dec. 28,1803) in the Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, MA. Photo credit: John P. O'Connor on Findagrave.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Business meeting and election at 7:00 p.m.
Program at 7:30 p.m.
In the Stacy Barn behind the Pitt House 
at 8 Main Road, Colrain

“In Memory of Susan Freedom: Gravestones of African Americans in Western Massachusetts” will be the topic of an illustrated program at the next meeting of the Colrain Historical Society. The event will be held Thursday, October 8 in the Stacy Barn behind the Pitt House at 8 Main Road in Colrain.

From pre-Revolutionary days, African Americans, free and enslaved, were a presence in Western Massachusetts, among them Susan Freedom, whose gravesite is in Springfield. Members of the Green family are buried in the Brick Cemetery in Colrain. Historical archaeologist Bob Drinkwater, who has been researching these gravestones as well as local records for several years, will discuss his findings and what they tell us about the past lives of African Americans in this area.

The program at 7:30 p.m. will follow an important business meeting and election at 7:00. The program is open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For information call Belden, 624-3453.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hilltowns History Fair & Conference

Hilltowns History Fair & Conference Flier (click image for larger view)

The Mary Lyon Foundation is presenting an exciting day of history at Mohawk Trail Regional School on Saturday, September 19! There will be re-enactors, paper marbling, antiques, book sales, a dynamic keynote, face painting, historical societies, 4-H booth, "mudman" pottery, wood and metal working , 18 workshops, a history app station, demonstrations, exhibits, food vendors, great music and MUCH MORE!

Please visit the Mary Lyon Foundation website for more information:

Three of the eighteen Conference presentations are Colrain related topics. 
4. Frankton and Shelburne Street Railway ~ Edward Gregory and Muriel E. Russell, Local Historians ~ Edward Gregory and Muriel Russell will present a short history of the Frankton Mill site which was located beside the North River on the Colrain Shelburne Town Line. This presentation includes a visual trip along the Shelburne Falls & Colrain street Railway route, with pictures of sites all along the trolley line to Colrain Center.

15. Gardner Symons & Robert Strong Woodward: Unique Local Artists ~ Deborah Wheeler, Colrain; Janet Gerry, Conway; Lee Toy Goodman, Buckland ~ Artist Gardner Symons (1865-1930) of New York City and Colrain was very influential in launching the professional career of local Buckland artist Robert Strong Woodward (1885-1957). Their unique portrayal of New England landscapes and their passion for capturing the natural beauty of western Massachusetts will be highlighted in this workshop.

18. All Is at Stake: The Civil War through the Letters of Colrain’s Edwin Davenport ~ Liz Sonnenberg, Colrain Historical Society ~ Edwin Davenport was 21 years old in 1861 when he left his family’s farm in Colrain, Massachusetts to travel in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Illinois. But as the Civil War bore on, his sense of duty called him home again to enlist with the Union Army. Joining a regiment of Massachusetts soldiers on an expedition to Port Hudson, Louisiana, Edwin found himself embroiled in the North’s campaign to regain control of the Mississippi River. His early adventures in “the West” and the war come alive in detailed letters home to his family on Catamount Hill. Come hear the story through his eyes.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Conway Genealogist Tells Conway Tales

Photo credit: Conway 250th
Conway genealogy will be the subject of the program at the next meeting of the Colrain Historical Society. The event will be held Thursday, September 10 in the Stacy Barn behind the Pitt House at 8 Main Road. A business meeting at 7:00 p.m. will precede the program at 7:30.

A resident of Conway since 1974, Lee Whitcomb brought a life-long passion for genealogy and history to the genealogy working group preparing for Conway’s 250th anniversary in 2017. The result will be an updating of the town’s history, with genealogies of many of the town’s residents and a website containing much of the new information. What she has learned about early Conway residents, their lives and some connections to Colrain will be the topic of her illustrated talk. She will also address issues of genealogical research.

Refreshments will be served and the program is open to the public. For information call Belden at 624-3453.