Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Holyoke's Irish Heart"

The St. Patrick's Day parade in Holyoke.

Click here for the story

Sunday, May 17, 2009

June 3: RSVP to Invitation for June 10, 2009

Once again, it’s my great pleasure to invite you to the Gathering #6 of the Pioneer Valley History Network (PVHN) on Wednesday, June 10th from 9:00 to 3:45. The theme for this gathering is: “A Technology Sampler” and we will gain an understanding of some emerging technologies and how we can utilize them in our work. Note that this Gathering will be held in the Kittredge Building at Holyoke Community College.

We have prepared an excellent program to offer you. The morning plenary will feature Leah Nahmias and Albert Lees, two graduate students from Brown University, who will present to us their Public Humanities Toolbox: Engaging Communities Online. “ This website and handbook show small cultural heritage organizations how to use easy web tools to create great websites. We present a set of tools that can be combined in different ways depending on what type of web presence your organization needs. We start with the basic blog and explain how to include various other features to make a dynamic website. If you already have a website, these tools can be used in addition to it or as a replacement for it… You may not have any website at all, in which case it is time to get started.” Tools include Flickr, YouTube, Scribd, WordPress, and others. Also, in the morning, we will spend some time listening to each other, a popular feature in past Gatherings. We can share our own wisdom and experiences in using new technologies to enhance our mission in a “low-tech” setting during our Participatory Workshop.

In the afternoon breakout sessions, PVHN has put together a program that will offer a smorgasbord of choices. The program will offer workshops on Blogging, and Using Blog Software to Create an Online Catalog, Facebook, Email Marketing, Making Word Work for You, and Technology & Kids. We will also host a “webinar” in which the folks at PastPerfect will demonstrate their museum software.

In addition, the PVHN has several exciting projects to share with you at our Gathering. We plan to debut the “Passport to Pioneer Valley History” and also outline upcoming events connected with our “Vacationing in the Valley” theme for the summer.

Once again, a box lunch will be available in four varieties, if you so choose. Please register as soon as possible; a Registration Form is included with this email. Please send your registration and check (made out to Historic Deerfield) to Betsy McKee, PVHN, P.O. Box 321, Deerfield, MA 01342 by June 3. Late registrations will be accepted only on a space-available basis. If you have any questions, please contact me at (413) 323-4489.

If you cannot attend, please pass this invitation on to others in your organization. These gatherings are open to all who are connected to the historical community in the Pioneer Valley. I look forward to seeing you at Holyoke Community College on June 10th!

Cliff McCarthy
Chair, PVHN Steering Committee
c/o Historic Deerfield P.O. Box 321 Deerfield, MA 01342

Registration Form for our Spring Gathering at Holyoke Community College

June 10, 2009 9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Name for Tag: _________________
Office/Title: _____________________________________________________________
Home address: ___________________________________________________________

Personal email address: __________________________ Phone: ______________

Historical Society/Museum/Site: _____________________________________________

Address for the above: _____________________________________________________

Email for the above: ___________________________ Phone: _____________________

Is there a website? If so, list the URL: ________________________________________

Please check all that apply:

_____ $15/person registration fee enclosed (check payable to Historic Deerfield)

_____ $10/student fee enclosed (check payable to Historic Deerfield)

_____ My Historical Society is a member of Historic Deerfield = free registration

_____ Please send me information about a Society membership at Historic Deerfield

_____ I enclose $10 for a box lunch and beverage (check payable to Historic Deerfield)

_____ I will bring my own lunch and beverage

~ If ordering a boxed lunch, please choose from among the following choices:

_____ Turkey wrap _____ Seafood wrap

_____ Roast Beef wrap _____ Vegetarian wrap

(the above boxed lunches provided by HCC include a hand fruit, pasta salad and assorted drinks)

Please mail this completed form along with your check (payable to Historic Deerfield)
and mail to: Betsy McKee, 60 Williams Street, Longmeadow, MA 01106-1950

by June 3, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

June 8: 'With Power for All: Energy and Social Change in Massachusetts'

The Massachusetts Studies Network
pleun clara...
pleun clara bouricius has invited you to the event 'With Power for All: Energy and Social Change in Massachusetts' on The Massachusetts Studies Network!
Check out "With Power for All: Energy and Social Change in Massachusetts" on The Massachusetts Studies Network!

pleun clara bouricius

With Power for All: Energy and Social Change in MassachusettsTime: June 8, 2009 from 9am to 4pm
Location: Hogan Campus Center
Organized By: Mass Humanities

Event Description:

A Conference for Massachusetts History Organizations
Join us for a daylong exploration of the harnessing and uses of energy in the history of Massachusetts -- how our forbearers used it, how we can save it, how we can do both simultaneously, how we might harness our collections for today's issues.

Co-sponsored by
Mass Humanities, The University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History, and the Massachusetts Historical Society


See more details and RSVP on The Massachusetts Studies Network:
About The Massachusetts Studies Network
MASTUDIES.NING.COM: an online network connecting people who work in the fields of Massachusetts history, culture and environment.

Friday, May 15, 2009

June 9: Introduction to Records at the Massachusetts State Archives

One of our volunteers, Carolyn Mernoff, suggested that we contact you and ask if you would include the following free program in your events calendar.

Program: Introduction to Records at the Massachusetts State Archives
Presenter: Autumn Haag, Reference Archivist, MSA
Place: Richard Salter Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA Tel: 413-565-4181
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 9, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Belchertown and the California Gold Rush

The Belchertown Historical Association will present an informal program on the Belchertown pioneers who journeyed to California during the Gold Rush which began in 1849. Cliff McCarthy, the Archivist at the Stone House Museum, has been researching this important period in American history as a project of the Pioneer Valley History Network with funding by Mass Humanities. He will talk about the lives of these “49ers” and show the Gold Rush artifacts in the Stone House museum.

Beginning 160 years ago, the Gold Rush was an important event in American history, having an enormous impact on migration, land development, the slavery debate, and the nation’s economy. Motivated by “gold fever,” many pioneers from western Massachusetts journeyed west, risking their lives for the possibility of striking it rich. Some played important roles in the development of
California; some returned to New England and built on their western adventures to achieve positions of stature and importance in our communities. At least nineteen Belchertown men went west in pursuit of their dreams.

The presentation will be held on Wednesday, May 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Stone House Museum. Admission is $3 for members of the Belchertown Historical Association and $5 for non-members. Proceeds benefit the Belchertown Historical Association which preserves and promotes the history of Belchertown through the Stone House Museum and educational programs in the schools and community. For more information, or to reserve a seat, contact Marnie Henneman at (413) 323-5211.

California Gold Dust Bags from the collection of the Stone House Museum

South Hadley canal item on eBay

Hi there,

I found this while perusing eBay. It's a slip associated with the South Hadley canal. The listing expires in two hours, but as no one has bought it, I assume it will be relisted. I figured it would be of interest to the SH Hist. Society, even if it is a bit pricey. Also, considering the buyer's rating on eBay, I would doubt that this is a forgery or facsimile.


Ben Haley

Free use of professional quality scanning equipment

Hi all,
You are welcome to use the professional quality scanning equipment at Forbes Library if you need digital images for the PVHN website (or your own). Email or call me to set up a time to come in and scan on the spot. Just bring up to 5 prints, negatives, slides, or glass plates from your collection and in about an hour you will leave with the items and the scans on a CD or flash drive to use as you wish.
Julie H. Bartlett
Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum
Hampshire Room for Local History
Forbes Library
20 West St.
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 587-1014

Historical Society member Dave Daly is "Citizen of the Year" - Click here for the story

Monday, May 11, 2009

Video of trolley car from Holyoke to South Hadley

Silent black & white footage of a trolley car of the Holyoke Street Railway of Holyoke, MA being trailed out of the car barn on North Bridge St. and traveling on Bridge St in South Hadley Falls. This film was shot sometime in the late 1930s, just before the trolley system was dismantled. Footage is courtesy of the Holyoke History Room and Archives of the Holyoke Public Library.

Come to the musuem on Monday May 11 at 7 pm!

Ken Williamson will be giving a talk entitled "The History of the South Hadley Canal: Inclined to Succeed" on Monday, May 11 at 7:00 PM at the Old Firehouse Museum.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Question about a "structure" off of North Main Street

From: John Zebryk []
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 1:48 PM
Cc: Jay Zebryk

This is aimed at Ned Noel plus anyone else who may have the answer.

Last summer, with my son, we visited the Holyoke Historic Museum and viewed some photos of South Hadley taken from the Holyoke side prior to, or during, the construction of the new dam.

Above the dam in an area that looked to me to be just before, or near the top, of the crest of North Main Street was a structure I never have been able to identify. It was quite large and to me looked like it could have been a dormitory or boarding house (definitely not a barn but about the length of a tobacco barn, one or 1 1/2 stories high, narrow appearing, and with pointy pitched roof? (Because of perspective, it also could possibly been located much below the crest of North Main St. - wasn't there a Nun's Convent in that area at one time?)

This mystery has been gnawing at me for some time. Would appreciate any more specific information anyone may have.


John R. Zebryk

On a personal note, we are now settled in Florida. This will be the first full Spring we will be away from New England. Already I miss the way spring explodes up there and the forthcoming Memorial Day activities, lilacs, and the parade that all of us kids used to march in every year. Bill Carey and I have become e-mail pals and keep each other informed as to local events as best we can from our respective FL locations.


Great to hear from you! I heard from Bill Cary just yesterday.

The only "nun's convent" in S. Hadley that I have heard of was the house still at 1 Crescent Lane which served that purpose when St. Patrick's church was next to it on North Main Street. That was before the church was picked up and moved from North Main Street to Main Street, where it is now, around 1885.

I will post this message at, and maybe we will get a response.

- Bob Judge

Monday, May 4, 2009

From Judy Dietel of South Hadley


With your permission assumed, I am again going to post this interesting message of yours at I just posted Bill’s latest.

Your comments about the Village Cemetery are interesting. This kind of comment about a well-known S. Hadley family is what makes the Society valuable to many people!

-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Dietel []
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 4:49 PM
To: Bob Judge;
Subject: Re: Hopeful addition to email list


May 4, 2009

Thanks for your help and your kind reply, Bob. I'll be glad to be on the Society's mailing list, and I am thankful to you for conveying to the Society how grateful we are to you hardworking volunteers--we just too often forget to tell you, or we mean to say something, but we get distracted. We know that our So. Hadley Historical Society members are “unsung heroes" of the Town, who are quietly, without fanfare, volunteering so many hours of their personal time, to preserve the history of our fair "burg."

We appreciate all you folks do to give us "the long view," help us to see where we came from, so perhaps we can better steer more wisely into the future.

While Cousin Bill Cary was up here from Florida the weekend of April 24-25, 2009, to attend the NEARA (New England Antiquities Research Association) Spring meeting in Keene, NH, we took time on Sunday to go down to the Village Cemetery to check the two Dietel plots. I wish I had better knowledge of my family history, because, in the older plot, we found the little grave markers of daughters born around 1875, who were sisters of the father of my grandfather Charlie Dietel and of Cousin Bill's mother, Lil Dietel Cary. These little daughters died young--I don't remember them, though I may have been told of them when I was younger, and I don't recall Grandpa Charlie saying he had aunts who died in childhood. It is so sad that so many little ones were lost early in those days. At least in some areas of life, there has been some progress!

We also noticed that the "urn" on top of the older Dietel plot's "obelisk" has tilted at at angle (thank heavens for the rod that apparently holds the urn onto the obelisk, or else the urn would likely have fallen to the ground by now). We will try to get this repaired.

So, thanks again, Bob, for all your efforts for the Town, and with all best wishes,

Judy Dietel
45 Bardwell St
So. Hadley, MA 01075

From Bill Cary of Florida


Sure. I look for Judy when I walk Bardwell Street, and I always stop and chat when I see her. Sorry you missed the interesting talk that night by Tom Bernard.

With your permission assumed, I have posted your note at We need a little breezy chat like that on that site, to lighten up our heavy historical work!

- Bob

From: []
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 5:18 PM
Subject: reporting

Hi Bob,

I just read Judy Dietel's e-mail, isn’t she priceless? I swear she has a photographic memory. I don't know if you have ever conversed with her, but if you have or if you do, you will sit and listen as I do.

Anyway, I managed to touch almost all of the bases on my northern junket, except that on Monday evening I got snarled in a shindig with my wife's family in Springfield and by the time I scooted to South Hadley Falls around 9 P.M. there was no one in sight at the Congo Church.

Well, I brought you guys some Florida weather. Perhaps a little heavy for you in degrees. The oven door is now open here, but I'll save sharing the heat with you until you call for the annual swelter in July.

Keep up the good work. Hey, Main Street didn't look too bad. There are more trees than I thought.

Bill Cary