♦Welcome to the Bidwell House Museum♦
The museum is open Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day, Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Tours are on the hour, with the last tour beginning at 3 p.m.
The grounds are open year-round daily from dawn until dusk for hiking and nature watching. 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, plan to attend Season Events, learn about School Programs, discover fun volunteer opportunities, and much more.
“Achieving Equality for Women, and How the Shakers did it”
A talk entitled Shaker Equality of the Sexes, 1788-1890 will kick off the Bidwell House Museum History Talk series this season on Saturday, June 15th at 10 a.m. at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Glendyne Wergland, noted history scholar and author, will explore the separate but equal roles of men and women in Shaker communities.
Brought to America from England by their leader Ann Lee, The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as the Shakers, founded some of their first communities in and near the Berkshires in the 1790s: New Lebanon, Hancock, Enfield, CT, and Tyringham. Lee had a vision of community life that separated men and women, required celibacy, and gave leadership roles to equal numbers of men and women. More than a century before women gained the vote in America, the Shakers pioneered a life of equality. How did it work?
Glendyne Wergland will talk about her exploration of women’s lives and male-female relationships in Shaker communities. Her research has concentrated on the lives of Shakers, using diaries and writings of individual members as a primary source. Her most recent book is Sisters in the Faith: Shaker Women and Equality of the Sexes (published 2011).
Wergland graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In addition to Sisters in the Faith, she is the author of One Shaker Life: Isaac Newton Youngs, 1793-1865 (2005); and two volumes of Visiting the Shakers. She works as an independent scholar and consultant, and volunteers for Hancock Shaker Village.
Future talks in the series are Red and White: Settlers and Indians in Early America, by John Demos, Samuel Knight Prof. of American History Emeritus at Yale University on July 13; The Garden in the Woods: Archaeology at Kampoosa Bog in Stockbridge. UMass Prof. of Anthropology Eric Johnson on finds of a 4000-year-old settlement and what we know about earliest human life in the Berkshires on July 27; The Rogers and Jackson Families: Twisted Tales of Love, Loyalty, Slavery, and Subversion in Colonial New England. Prof. Allegra di Bonaventura of Yale University on the story of her book For Adam’s Sake on August 24; and The Men Who United the States, author Simon Winchester’s preview of his next book—on explorers, road builders, railroaders, the telegraph, on Saturday, August 31.
The History Talks will be held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham at 10 a.m., and there is a suggested donation of $15/ $10 for members.
Township No. 1 Day, a celebration of Tyringham and Monterey history, will take place on Saturday, July 6th. Lots of fun events are planned.
Enter your best cake, pie or cookies in the Bake Off!
Enjoy the new interpretive trail:
Take a look at the 7-31-12 Berkshire Eagle article about a 2012 intern project:
To learn more about the forest management initiative
at the museum, please click here.