Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jonathan Edwards' Northampton

Historic Northampton
Jonathan Edwards' Northampton
Reading and Cemetery Tour  October 3

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards is often caricatured as the stern Puritan who preached fire and brimstone sermons such as his notorious "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". Yet Edwards was also America's preeminent genius of the 18th century. Besides being a moving force in the Great Awakening, Edwards was a relentless speculative scientist, an acute psychologist, a world famous theologian and philosopher.  Edwards first came to Northampton in 1726 to assist his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, in his ministry. When Stoddard died in 1729, the young, but brilliant, Jonathan Edwards took his place.

There has been great interest in Jonathan Edwards' Northampton in recent years.  While his home is no longer extant, the remaining historical buildings can give us a glimpse into Edwards' Puritan society.  The First Churches is located on the site of Jonathan Edwards' original meeting house.  The Manse, a private residence, was the early residence of Edwards' grandfather, Solomon Stoddard.  His grandfather and daughter, Jerusha Edwards, are buried in the Bridge Street Cemetery.  Visit Historic Northampton to learn more about Jonathan Edwards self-guided walking tours, merchandise and online research resources.

Historic Northampton is pleased to announce that novelist Susan Stinson will present two events in honor of Jonathan Edwards on Saturday, October 3.  The events are sponsored by the Forbes Library.  See below for more information.

Jonathan Edwards in Northampton: Reading and Cemetery Tour with novelist Susan Stinson

Northampton meeting houseSaturday, October 3, 2009
Walking Tour, Bridge Street Cemetery, 10 am
Reading, First Churches, 129 Main Street, 7 pm

Jonathan Edwards, widely considered to be America's most brilliant theologian, was minister at what is now First Churches in Northampton from 1727 to 1750.  The spiritual and intellectual richness of Edwards' inner world is matched by the dramatic events of his life, including the ambiguities in his role as a slave owner.

Susan Stinson is the award-winning author of three previous novels and a collection of poetry and lyric essays.  She has received awards and grants from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Deming Fund, the Wurlitzer Foundation, the Millay Colony, and the Blue Mountain Center, among others.  She's been at work on Spider in a Tree, her novel about Jonathan Edwards, for seven years.  She lives in Northampton.

For the cemetery tour, go to the Parsons Street entrance of the Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton, and look for the red trike with the Jonathan Edwards tour sign.

Sponsored by Forbes Library

Featured Publication: Jonathan Edwards and the Gospel of Love
by Ronald Story

Jonathan Edwards and The Gospel of Love
In one of the most recent contributions to Edwards studies, Ronald Story examines Edwards' legacy and how it has been constructed and reconstructed over the last two centuries. Story argues that an essential element of Edwards' thought and work has been filtered out by theologians and historians alike. The "real" Edwards, Story contends, must include not only his jeremiads and his Enlightenment reflections but also his neglected writings that suggest that love of beauty, harmony, and humanity as well as fear of God have a place in the firmament.

Purchase Online

Walking Tours and Informational Kiosks

Northampton Historic MarkersHistoric Northampton recently installed a series of seven historic markers linking selected sites from Florence Center to the Bridge Street Cemetery. Each marker provides a link in a chain of interpretation telling the story of Northampton's history. Containing colorful historical photographs and prints, these site markers tie history and place together. 

There are two of particular interest to the Jonathan Edwards enthusiast - the First Churches kiosk and a historic marker at The Manse, the early residence of Jonathan Edwards' grandfather.

Find more information on the Northampton Historic Markers

Historic Northampton also offers A Visitors' Guide to Paradise: Historical Walking Tours of Northampton, Massachusetts containing six walking tours, including Jonathan Edwards' Northampton.

Purchase A Visitors' Guide to Paradise

Online Research Resources

Historic Northampton Online ResearchHistoric Northampton Museum is now offering exclusive subscription access to its extensive online archives - a reference portal to one of the most unique historical collections in New England. 

Join Today!

Visit our Reference Shelf for additional resources related to Jonathan Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards in Northampton: Reading and Cemetery Tour
Featured Publication: Jonathan Edwards and the Gospel of Love
Walking Tours and Informational Kiosks
Online Research Resources

Visit Historic Northampton's Website!

historic northampon

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Historic Northampton | 46 Bridge Street | Northampton | MA | 01060

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forbes Library Events- Gazette Index program

Explore the Hampshire Gazette newspaper index

Wednesday September 30, 2009 at 7pm
Community Room, Forbes Library  

 An illustrated talk on the Hampshire Gazette Index.  This index was completed through the WPA project and includes the years 1786-1937 and provides one of the few subject indexes with access to eighteenth and nineteenth century newspapers. Learn about the treasures in your community newspaper!
Presenter: Elise Bernier-Feeley, Local History & Genealogy Librarian. 

Soul of a People: Writing America's Story, a series of programs funded by the National Foundation for the Humanities and presented by Holyoke Community College and Wistariahurt Museum. For a list of all events, see http://www.hcc.edu/campus/library/sop

Forbes Library
20 West Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060

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Forbes Library | 20 West Street | Northampton | MA | 01060

News from the Granby Historical Association - Fall 2009 - Click for larger image

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ancestors' Nite In at the Forbes Library - October 22, 6-9 pm


Ancestors' Nite In

Find the keys to solving your family history questions at the Forbes Library's Genealogy "lock-in"


Thursday October 22, 2009  6-9 PM


In honor of Family History Month, join Forbes Library staff for an exclusive after hours opportunity to access the Hampshire Room for Local History, the Genealogy Reference collection, microfilm collections and Ancestry, Heritage Quest and New England Ancestors databases.  Staff and volunteers will be available to provide one-on-one assistance with your research.  


Cost:  $10 per person and includes parking, free photocopies, computer printouts and microfilm printouts.


Arrive at Forbes Library 5:45-6:15pm.  The library will be closed to the public during this special program and limited to 15 patrons.  You may bring your own dinner (a microwave is available) or pre-order a sandwich from Sam's CafĂ©.  Drinks,  snacks and desserts will be provided. 


For more information or to sign up, call 587-1014, email localhistory@forbeslibrary.org or stop by Reference Desk. 

Julie H. Bartlett
Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum
Hampshire Room for Local History
Forbes Library
20 West St.
Northampton, MA  01060
(413) 587-1014
"In spite of all the other facilities books are the principal permanent repository of knowledge and culture."
From the syndicated newspaper column "Calvin Coolidge Says"   April 30, 1931

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Historical Society dinner meeting - September 28, 2009

From John Zwisler:
Our next Historical Society dinner meeting will be Monday September 28, 2009 at 6:30pm at the Falls Congregational Church 11 North Main Street.
A program about the Springfield Armory will be presented by its Historian Richard Colton.
The menu will be sheperds pie, tossed salad, rolls, gravy and chocolate pound cake with a viennese glaze. The cost is $13.00

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Historic Holyoke homes look for official oversight

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

HOLYOKE - Stone walls frame the intersection. The road itself presents a median of trees and green grass bisecting a street lined with hulking Victorians, the old mansions standing on both sides of Fairfield Avenue like some heroic, hoary regiment.

Its median and houses of dusty elegance immediately show Fairfield Avenue to be different from most streets in the city.

Records from the Board of Assessors show at least two of the homes were built when the assassination of Abraham Lincoln was still a very recent memory

Keeping Fairfield Avenue unique is presenting a challenge.

The City Council voted in December 2007 to designate Fairfield Avenue a historic district, which means exterior alterations must maintain the lane's historic integrity.

That means residents still can paint their homes any color they want. But permanent awnings are prohibited and utilities must remain in the back of homes.

Changes to siding must be approved, and residents are urged to keep the shape of roofs, railings, porches and exterior door locations.

The issue is that the seven-member commission authorized to approve or reject proposed alterations of property on Fairfield Avenue has yet to be appointed.

The council on Aug. 4 referred to Mayor Michael J. Sullivan an order from Councilor Rebecca Lisi urging that he appoint the Fairfield Avenue Historic District.

 "In the simplest terms, it's important because the city needs to do a better job with accountability and follow-through," Lisi said later.

Sullivan said the issue isn't simple. The ordinance establishing the Fairfield Avenue Historic District says that in addition to residents, the commission must include one member from two nominees submitted by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects and one member from two nominees submitted by the local Board of Realtors.

City letters to both organizations seeking nominees have gone unanswered, and he is unlikely to appoint the panel until the organizations respond, Sullivan said.

Also, he said, while there was support from residents of Fairfield Avenue to make their street a historic district, there also was opposition.

"I was marginally supportive of it," Sullivan said.

A Republican story in February 2008 showed some residents embraced the historic designation but others weren't completely receptive.

In the meantime, Historian Kate N. Thibodeau said the city Historical Commission - which with the establishment of the Fairfield Avenue Historic Commission no longer has jurisdiction over Fairfield Avenue - nonetheless has been fielding questions as they arise about proposed alterations.

It is a myth, for example, that a homeowner cannot paint a house the color of his or her choice, she said.

Getting Fairfield Avenue declared a historic place was a yearslong and worthy effort, she said, hopeful that qualified commission members can be found.

The goal of preserving a community's historic nature is that such detail distinguishes the community, she said.

Some of the frames of Fairfield Avenue's homes are sagging and the siding on some is more chipped than whole. But most have a "look at that" quality, some with colors that pop like blue, yellow or aqua, others with two-toned detailing around windows.

Some have wrap-around porches and even a few turrets. Some were built as far back as 1870, 1880 and 1891.

"They're gorgeous houses," Thibodeau said. "They're close to what they looked like 100 years ago."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Dudley family of Granby, Belchertown, and South Hadley

September 6, 2009

Dear Bob:

Thanks for taking Marie and I yesterday to the site of your great-grandfather's farm in Granby.

As you know, your great-grandfather Charles Dudley was born about 1820 in Ireland, and died 28 Aug 1897 in Belchertown.

You wrote to me recently:

“...Let me just give you a little bit of what Aunt Lizzie talked about to me when I would visit her:

Charles Dudley came to this country from Ireland but arrived in Canada. He came to Troy, N.Y. where I think he received the papers he needed. Then he came to Massachusetts, and found work at the Springfield Armory during the Civil War where they were manufacturing the famous Springfield Rifle. He eventually brought his wife to this country which I assume was after he had made enough money to buy land and build a house in Granby. There his children were born. Aunt Lizzie would tell me stories about the hill at the back where she and her sisters would go picking wild berries and bringing them home for the family. The cellar hole of the house is still there, although it's getting covered with bushes and saplings. Eventually, he bought a farm in Belchertown, and he kept the Granby property as a wood lot.”

As you know, among the seven children of CHARLES DUDLEY and MARGARET HEALY were:

i. JOHN DUDLEY, b. Abt. 1856, probably Troy, New York; d. 1903, Amherst MA.

ii. JAMES R. DUDLEY, b. Nov 1865, Troy, New York; d. 22 Feb 1931, S. Hadley.

iii. MARGARET MARY DUDLEY, b. Abt. 1854, probably Troy, New York

John Dudley was your grandfather. James Dudley married Annie Welch, who was the granddaughter of Patrick Loftus, from whom Marie and I are both descended.

About Margaret Dudley, you wrote:

All have is this one document of the sale of the Belchertown farm, which, by the way, was on the, "third day of January AD. 1902 by and between Margaret Dudley, Mary Ann Dudley, (about whom I never heard a word) Elizabeth Ann Dudley, Margaret Mary Moran, Ellen Murphy, John Dudley and James Dudley, the widow and heirs at law of Charles Dudley late of Belchertown...and George Sanford and J. L. Stebbins, both of said Belchertown...”

Some of the Dudley family later migrated to South Hadley, where you were raised.

You can see the photos I took at http://picasaweb.google.com/Robert.Judge/DudleyCellarHoleInGranbyMA#.

- Bob Judge

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Croysdale Tea Room - Click here

My great aunts Isabelle and Frances Lois Parfitt owned and operated a tea room and inn called Croysdale up on Newton St. just a little beyond Mt. Holyoke. It was built for them by their brother, my great Uncle John Parfitt. It is stucco. The year is imprinted on the chimney along with the words : The House that Jack Built. (1920?) Isabelle and Frances were very big in the WCTU.

They also chaperoned students on trips abroad.

They were my maternal grandmother's sisters and brother. She also had a brother named Will Parfitt. The two men had a furniture store in Holyoke, and I don't remember where. They lived in Holyoke, as did the aunts in later years.

Best always,


Elizabeth Winslow Johnson

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Women of Florence Historic Walking Tour, Saturday, September 12, 10:00 am

The David Ruggles Center
Second Saturday Series Tours
Women of Florence
Historic Walking Tour
Lydia Maria Child at age 63. Never much caring for how the camera treated her, this was her favorite photograph. She complemented the photographer, James Adam Whipple, on having made her "plain old phiz present such a good appearance to posterity." Child lived in Northampton and Florence from 1838 to 1841 during critical years in the history of the abolition of slavery and women's rights movement.
(Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College)
Saturday, September 12, 10:00 am (raindate Sunday)
Leaves from Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue,
corner Park and Pine Street, Florence

Over the last decade Florence has become recognized for the many sites that document African American History, anti-slavery and the Underground Railroad. In a parallel history these sites and many others help us remember the history of the movement for women's rights. Two of the best known abolitionists and women's rights activists, Sojourner Truth and Lydia Maria Child, lived here. Transcendentalist and education reformer Elizabeth Palmer Peabody was instrumental in establishing the first free kindergarten in the United States--The Florence Kindergarten (Hill Institute). But many other women of stature labored here in Florence, Anna Garlin Spencer, Sophia Foord, Elizabeth Powell Bond, Mary White Bond, Frances Judd, and Sarah Askin are but a few whose stories are in evidence in a walk through the streets of Florence.

The split that occurred between conservative and radical wings of abolitionism is viewed by historians as a springboard for the women's rights movement. Child, Truth, and other women of Florence were in the thick of this controversy. The Northampton Association of Education and Industry asserted in its constitution and bylaws the principal of equal rights that had become a major platform of the Massachusetts Anti-slavery Society. "[Article V] The rights of all are equal without distinction of sex, color, or condition, sect or religion." Accordingly women, as well as blacks and fugitive slaves, had an equal vote, and were paid equally for their labor in this rare and forward thinking community.

The Free Congregational Society founded in 1863, largely by former members of the NAEI, continued to emphasize equal rights. "...recognizing the brotherhood of the human race and the equality of human rights, we make no distinction as to the conditions and rights of membership in this society, on account of sex, or color, or nationality." Join us as we explore the lives of the women who helped found Florence as a progressive community.

Visit us at www.davidrugglescenter.org for more information.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Talk at the Conway Historical Society

Tim Blagg, editor of the Recorder and well known historian will give the first program of the year at the Conway Historical Society, Tuesday, September 8th at 7.30 at the historical society building, 50 Main Street.

He will talk about the birth of what became known as the "American System of Manufacturing" in the valley, centered on the Springfield Armory, between l820 and l855. This type of precision manufacturing, originally developed to produce firearms for the government, spun off the bicycle, typewriter, and sewing machine businesses as well as the automobile business.
American machiine tools and techniques spread around the world, and when, coupled with Henry Ford's assembly line techniques, allowed this country to lead the way into the modern world of manufacuring asnd interchangeable parts.

Mr. Blagg is an historian who specializes in military history and the history of technology. He is currently completing a master's program in military history at Norwich University.