Historic Preservation+Community+Neighborhood Voic
The Women are Coming to Vote
The hundredth anniversary of the first vote cast by a woman in a presidential election after the 19th Amendment was passed is being celebrated locally by the Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition.
That voter was Phoebe Jordan, a farmer who lived in New Ashford, Massachusetts. On November 2, 1920, there were 28 registered voters in New Ashford, and Phoebe Jordan was first in line. New Ashford, for four presidential election cycles – from 1916 to 1932 – was the first town in the country to report its election results.
The Women Are Coming to Vote, a special program coming to you by video produced by Willinet, will be broadcast on Willinet during election week on Channel 1303
October 30 8pm
October 31 4pm
November 1 7pm
November 2 8pm
and will be available any time on this link https://vimeo.com/472785171. Shot on location at the restored New Ashford school house where Phoebe voted, starring the actual ballot box she used, it features historian Dr. Barbara Winslow, founder/director emerita of the Shirley Chisholm Project at Brooklyn College, and Cindy Grosso of the New Ashford Historical Commission giving a brief historical introduction.
This is followed by a reading of a satiric suffrage play published by actress/suffragist Mary Shaw in 1914. Mary Shaw became involved in the suffrage movement in the early 1890s and was best known for her portrayal of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Originally titled The Woman in It or Our Friends the Anti-Suffragists, the play was adapted and directed by Ruth Giordano and re-named Utterly Womanly. The readers are Penny Bucky, Deb Burns, Bette Craig, Nina Keneally and Dawn Rodrigues.
This project is part of a year-long celebration of women gaining the right to vote and is supported by a grant from the Fund for Williamstown of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Its constituents and planners have included the South Williamstown Community Foundation, the Williamstown League of Women Voters, the Williamstown Historical Museum, the New Ashford Historical Commission, Williams College and Images Cinema as well as many interested individuals. Coming next, a video tour of local suffrage sites.
400 Years and Beyond: Commemorating historic events in the twenty-first century
October 23, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
A Conversation with Linda Coombs, program director at the Aquinnah Cultural Center, Desiree Mobed, Director at the Alden House Historic Site, and Michelle Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400After 400 years of colonization of Massachusetts by Europeans, we enter a period of town anniversaries. How can we use them as an occasion to start addressing that “settlement” in Massachusetts also meant “displacement”, the beginning of attenuated conflict, and the “disappearing” of Native American presence and history, often in plain sight? As some leading organizations change their identities to be more inclusive, how are you approaching these events in your own towns and institutions? Do you have celebrations coming up? What can we do to bring residents together and start telling these complex stories? Are you working on this? Are you wondering how to move forward, and thinking about how to mark significant anniversaries without celebrating conflict and dispossession? Bring your questions, observations, and experiences, as well as your obstacles and successes in reframing narratives and using your collections in a new way.
The conversation will be moderated by Gloria Greis, Executive Director at the Needham History Center & Museum. Registration is free.
By W.E.B. Du Bois
Here is a link to the Read In Series site:
Here is a link to the podcast Housatonic Heritage created about how the Read In happened, a talk with producer MiRi Park and with W.E.B. Du Bois scholar Camesha Scruggs. (click on Podcasts and other Inspirations here, below):
Camesha Scruggs has worked with Housatonic Heritage on video recorded walking tours of WEB Du Bois’ Gt. Barrington, seen here:
A Radcliffe Series, linked here
The Sheffield Historical Society will present an outdoor exhibit celebrating Mum Bett, the first slave to successfully sue for freedom, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to Sunday, Aug. 21 to 23, on the Society grounds, 159 Main St., next to the Town Hall parking lot.
The exhibit is a collaboration with the Trustees of Reservations, Housatonic Heritage and Crow Flies Press.
The exhibit is free and open to the public and follows social distancing and mask guidelines. For more information visit sheffieldhistory.org or call 413-229-2694.
The 11th annual “Mum Bett Walk to Freedom” will be held Sunday, Aug. 23. The 4 mile walk begins at 9 a.m. at the Ashley House, 117 Cooper Hill Road, Ashley Falls, and ends at the Sheffield Town Green.
Bring a mask and water bottle. Social distancing precautions apply. No shuttle transportation will be provided this year.
This is also a Black Lives Matter march and signs are welcome. All pledges will be donated to the Berkshire Chapter of the NAACP.
For more information or to sign up, call Crow Flies Press at 413-429-6561.
A conversation with Lesley Herzberg and Katie MacDonald
It’s official: we’re now in Phase III. While some places are staying closed through the summer, others are back to welcoming the public, with modifications. In these unprecedented times, history organizations across the state are redefining “open,” re-envisioning fall programming, and rethinking metrics of success. Join us on July 24th for the third in a series of informal conversations about reopening historic sites and organizations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peer panelists will be Katie MacDonald, Executive Director of the Old Colony History Museum and Lesley Herzberg, Executive Director of the Berkshire County Historical Society. Conversation moderated by Penni Martorell, Curator and City Historian at Wistariahurst.
Registration is free! After you register, we’ll send you an invitation to the meeting.