♦Welcome to the Bidwell House Museum♦

The grounds are open daily from dawn until dusk for hiking and nature watching. The museum welcomes visitors for house tours on Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with tours on the hour. The last tour begins at 3 p.m.  The museum building is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  (Directions)

The Bidwell House is located on a country lane in the rural town of Monterey in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts. Please explore our website: read about the colonial history of the region, learn about School Programs, discover fun volunteer opportunities, and much more.

Celebrating Reverend Adonijah Bidwell’s 300th birthday in 2016!

Visit the Bidwell House and the Berkshires. Take a look at our season schedule. We have planned great programs for you: Event Schedule.

Upcoming Programs:

John Demos 6-25-16

Bidwell History Talk Featuring Prof. John Demos

On Saturday, June 25th at 10 a.m award-winning historian John Demos will give a talk A Week in the Life of Rev. Adonijah Bidwell, Reimagined, exploring the life of a frontier pastor in early America. His talk is based on what is known about Adonijah Bidwell (1716-1784), the first minister of Tyringham and one of the earliest in the Berkshires, as well as from accounts of other 18th-century New England pastors.

In 1716, the year of Adonijah Bidwell’s birth, there were no English settlers in Tyringham, or anywhere in the Berkshires. It was a wilderness. Hartford, Connecticut Colony, where Adonijah was born, was a real town, as was New Haven, where Adonijah attended college. Yet Adonijah heeded the call to become the minister of a rough frontier settlement at age 34, and lived, preached, farmed, and raised his family here for the last 34 years of his life. He is recorded to have admitted 90 communicants and baptized 378 children and adults in his time as Tyringham’s pastor. 2016 is the 300th anniversary of Adonijah Bidwell’s birth, and the museum is celebrating this anniversary with several special events, including this talk.

Professor Demos’ research has focused on the life of the common people in 17th and 18th century America, be it the settlement at Deerfield, MA, the community of Cornwall, CT, or others. The outline of Adonijah Bidwell’s biography is known, though less about the man himself.  In his talk Demos will draw on the details of Bidwell’s life as well as those of fellow clerics to guide us to understanding the role of the spiritual leader of a community in his day.

John Demos is the Samuel Knight Professor of American History Emeritus at Yale University, and a Tyringham resident. He is the author of numerous books, including The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America, and The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic, a 2014 National Book Award finalist.

The Bidwell House Museum History Talks are held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham at 10 a.m. $15 per person, $10 for members of the museum.

Bidwell-Poster_2016Bidwell House Museum Township No. 1 Day on Saturday, July 2

You are invited to Township No. 1 Day, the free community celebration of Tyringham and Monterey history, taking place on Saturday, July 2, from 1 to 4:00 p.m. Fun events are planned for the whole afternoon:

Listen to live music by local musicians:

1:00 The Adams Brothers — Steve and Pete of Tyringham: website

2:00 Bonner McAllester and Joe Baker of Monterey

3:00 Robert Oakes and Kate Smith of Tyringham: website

Bring the kids for crafts, a scavenger hunt, games and face-painting

Enter the baking contest, this year competing for best cookies, cakes and pies – ENTRY FORM

History and Nature talks:

1:30 Bernard Drew: Mark Twain in Tyringham

2:15 Ruth Green, Bidwell Head Gardener: Tour of the Colonial Gardens

3:00 Tom Ryan, DCR Service Forester, Southern Berkshires: Meet your Forester for a Talk and Walk. Bring your questions!

Enjoy food and drink: Kenn Basler’s grilled hot dogs; old fashioned sodas, lemonade, watermelon, popcorn

Craft demonstrations:

Matt and Kyra Hart of Aubry with spoon and bowl carving. Take a look at their website: Aubrywood

The McAlisters demonstrate metal forging

Camille Roos will demonstrate paper-making and book-binding

Photos of beloved Tyringham residents exhibited by the Tyringham Historical Commission. And much more!

Bring your friends to spend a fun afternoon at the Bidwell House Museum on Art School Road. Enter a pie, cookies or cake in the contest! All events are free, thanks in part to the support of a grant from the Monterey and Tyringham Cultural Councils and a fantastic group of volunteers. For more information, please call 528-6888.

Please note: the museum is closed for tours this day.

July Craft Workshops - Tyringham Homestead 7-9-16A Tyringham Homestead, with Woven Roots Farm

On Saturday, July 9 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm the Bidwell House is offering a free public program on A Tyringham Homestead.  Featuring Jen Salinetti of Woven Roots Farm, participants will learn about life on a colonial homestead as well as 21st century agricultural practices, exploring the symbiotic relationship between families and their landscape. Please pre-register online.

The Bidwell House is the Berkshire’s colonial history museum, the original parsonage and meeting house of Township No. 1, now Tyringham and Monterey. With over 190 acres of field, forest, heritage gardens, and a diverse collection of colonial-era objects, the museum portrays life from the perspective of the Bidwell family, who lived here from the 1750s to the 1850s. The Bidwell House Museum presents a 2016 craft workshop series on homesteading skills and wilderness awareness pertaining to the colonial era.

For more information on the program, please contact bidwelleducation@gmail.com. To register, go to the events page at www.bidwellhousemuseum.org.

July Craft Workshops - Plant Dyes and Fibers 7-23-16Bidwell Craft Workshop: Plant Dyes and Fibers

On Saturday, July 23 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm the Bidwell House is offering an outdoor craft workshop on Plant Dyes and Fibers. Participants will be introduced to dyeing of skeins with plant-based pigments. The group will also make cordage from dogbane, milkweed and nettle, and practice using a drop-spindle. A family friendly event. Bring a bag lunch. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. Admission to the museum is included in program cost. Please pre-register online.

For more information on the program, please contact bidwelleducation@gmail.com. To register go to the events page at www.bidwellhousemuseum.org.

The Horse Barn is getting a new roof! Thank you, Massachusetts Cultural Council and generous matching donors. The Carriage Barn and “Piggery” are next.

Support the Museum while doing your shopping on Amazon by going through Amazon Smile! Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases to the Museum. It’s easy: Click on the link above and begin shopping. You can bookmark the link to use it each time you shop. Thank you for helping the Bidwell House!


25th Anniversary Party thank yous and lots more party photos here: Take a look!

Congratulations to 2015 Township Day Bake Off winners! There were 21 entries in all. These are the winners:

Cake:  Special Award: Michael Johnson’s Limoncello Ricotta Mascarpone Cheesecake; 1. Ella Carlson’s Banana with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting; 2. Madeline Rundle’s Chocolate Sour Cream Surprise; 3. Emma Puntin’s Devil’s Food with Raspberry Frosting.

Pie:  1. Christine Goldfinger’s Blueberry Pie; 2. Isabella Boudreau’s Strawberry Pie; 3. Benjamin Boudreau’s Strawberry Pie.

Cookie: 1. Michael Banner’s Lemon Squares; 2. Marya Makuc’s Red Velvet Cookies; 3. Maureen Banner’s Ginger Oatmeal Cookies.

Thank you to all the terrific bakers for your entries. They were greatly enjoyed by all!


Fall Newsletter article continued: Barnabas Bidwell, America’s William Wilberforce?


Board Member John Demos’ new book, The Heathen School, A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic, was recently reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on NPR. You can listen to that review here.

Also, click here to listen to John Demos discuss his book with Frank Sesno of NPR affiliate WAMU.


Thank you….

….for supporting the Bidwell House Museum at the Berkshire Summer Art School Garden Party! Take a look at the story and photos on Rural Intelligence….




Thank you for supporting the Bidwell House Museum. Your generosity allows the museum to thrive, and you are helping to protect the 1750s homestead and 192 acres of open space. Take a look at the story and photos of the Colonial Thanksgiving Party on Rural Intelligence.



 Enjoy the new interpretive trail:

The Historic Berkshires: An 18th Century Trail


Take a look at the 7-31-12 Berkshire Eagle article about a 2012 intern project:

“Cracking the Code: Young History Scholar Deciphers 1759 Sermon”


To learn more about the forest management initiative
at the museum, please click here.