♦ 2017 Calendar of Events ♦

All events take place at the Bidwell House Museum, 100 Art School Road, Monterey, MA 01245, unless otherwise noted. For more information call 413-528-6888, or email bidwellhouse@gmail.com

May 28 – Concert and Opening Reception. Amazing Stories from Centuries Past

Diane Taraz sings her own songs and others from the folk tradition that tell the true stories of people and events from early America. Enjoy songs about love affairs gone wrong; women warriors in disguise; loves lost to war, shipwreck, and rattlesnakes; and a variety of ballads and ditties that capture amazing history that deserves to be re-lived. Diane wears the clothing of the time and accompanies her singing on an instrument similar to the now-extinct English guitar played by Colonial ladies. Reception and refreshments to follow, celebrating the completed restoration of the museum. Event free for members. Non-members: $15. 3 p.m.

June 4 – Birding Beyond Your Backyard

With Doug Bruce and Tom Ryan. Designed for beginning birders who would like to expand their birding knowledge.  This talk and walk will help take you from feeder birds (blue jays, chickadees) to the birds of field and forest. Can’t tell a robin from a crow?  No shame – we’ll show you how we do it.  After just one walk you’ll amaze your friends with cheap birding tricks! This walk is all about birds of the upland forest:  we’ll walk the trails on Bidwell’s 190+ acres of beautiful hemlock-hardwood forest.  Footing is good; very moderate elevation changes.  Wear good shoes; bring water and a snack. Co-sponsored by the Hoffmann Bird Club, Berkshire Natural Resources Council, and DCR Service Forestry.  Free. 9 – 11 a.m.


June 17 – Archaeology on Bidwell Grounds

What treasures lie outside the Reverend’s door? Professor Eric Johnson, Director of Archaeological Services at UMass, Amherst and Kerry Lynch, Ph.D, Senior Archeologist, discuss the planned archaeological investigation at the 1760s homestead, how this work is done and examples from other 18th-century homes. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.


July 1 – History Talk: Massachusetts–New York Border “Wars” in the 1700s

Gary Leveille, Berkshires historian and author, on the fifty years of boundary battles among the early Dutch and English settlers on both sides of the elusive border. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.


July 8 – Township No. 1 Day

A free community celebration of Tyringham and Monterey history. Colonial re-enactors, live music by local musicians, children’s activities, historic craft demonstrations, author talks, more… For details and individual event times, please check www.bidwellhousemuseum.org or call.
Supported in part by a grant from the Monterey and Tyringham Cultural Councils. 1 – 4 p.m. Free. Please note: the museum is closed for tours this day.


July 15 – History Talk: Native Americans in South County 

Rene Wendell, Land Steward for the Nature Conservancy, will talk about prehistoric evidence of Native American life and discuss the first contacts of white settlers with the Mohican tribe in South County. He will bring native artifacts from his personal collection. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.


July 29 – History Talk: Travels with Satan: My Fifty Years as a Witchcraft Historian

A talk by John Demos, Samuel Knight Professor of American History Emeritus at Yale University and award-winning author. His book Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England (1982) won the Bancroft Prize. He published The Enemy Within: A Short History of Witch-Hunting in 2008. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.


August 5 – Garden Party

Benefit for the museum. Live music by the O-Tones, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auction at a magical Berkshire property.  4 – 7 p.m. For tickets: 413-528-6888.


August 19 – History Talk: Cuffee Negro, Berkshires’ First Black Real Estate Agent

Berkshires historian Bernard A. Drew will tell the story of the most unlikely of real estate speculators, Cuffee Negro, also known as Cuffee Van Schaack, who bought and sold land in Stockbridge and vicinity in the 18th century. A free black, he learned the trade — including a few dubious tricks — from his father, the Dutch fur trader Elias Van Schaack. Cuffee spoke Dutch, and was conversant enough in English and Mohican that he negotiated numerous property transactions. He was illiterate; he signed documents with a stick figure, an Indian clan mark. He died in 1763. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.


September 9 – Gravestone Art in Monterey’s Old Cemeteries

A talk and walk with Historical Archaeologist Bob Drinkwater, an expert on New England tombstone carvers. Drinkwater will give a brief history of gravestone art and then lead a tour of Monterey’s historic cemeteries. Drinkwater is a charter member and past president of the Association for Gravestone Studies.   He holds an M.A. in Anthropology from UMass, Amherst.  Meet at the Bidwell House Museum. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.


September 16Housatonic Heritage Walk:  Nature in Autumn

A talk and walk with Tom Tyning, Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College, exploring the fauna and flora of the Berkshire upland forest.  Please dress for the weather and terrain and bring water. Free. 10 a.m.


September 23 – Housatonic Heritage Walk:   “Camera Trapping:” An Up Close Look at Wildlife

Richard Greene will explain wildlife tracking using trail cameras. He will demonstrate equipment needed and how to install it, show examples of wildlife captured on film, and then take the group on a walk of the Bidwell grounds to tracking sites. Please dress for the weather and terrain and bring water. Free. 10 a.m.


September 30 – Housatonic Heritage Walk:  Tracing Native and Settler Histories on the Landscape 

Explore the Native American presence that pre-dated early settler history – this was not the “howling wilderness” often portrayed.  We’ll consider how Mohicans lived here for centuries before and after English settlers.  We’ll view some of the 4 miles of trails, stone walls and artifacts built on the Bidwell grounds by farmers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Led by Rob Hoogs, President of the Bidwell board. Please dress for the weather and terrain and bring water. Free. 10 a.m.


November 18 – Colonial Thanksgiving Party

Benefit for the museum with live music, refreshments, silent auction and good cheer. 4 – 7 p.m. For tickets: 413-528-6888.