♦ 2016 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 29th

Concert and Opening Reception. She Named Him Adonijah300 years ago, in 1716, Mrs. Thomas Bidwell of Hartford, Connecticut, was safely delivered of a boy. Join Diane Taraz as she explores the world in which little Adonijah grew up, and his eventful life as a teacher, shipboard chaplain, husband of three, father of four, minister of Township No. 1, and Revolutionary patriot. Music will be our guide, as folk songs tell us much about life in Britain’s American colonies. 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. Event free for members. Non-members: $15. 3 p.m.

June 4

Primitive Arts Skills and Fire-building.  Learn to make willow charcoal, quill pens, and inks from nuts and berries. Participants will assist in building and tending a fire while creating their own art supplies from natural materials. A discussion of journaling practice and drawing from observation will follow, with examples of work done in nature’s studio. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

June 11

Home Medicine from Herbal Gardens, with Wake Robin Botanicals. A practical guide to the garden, or living medicine cabinet! Participants will learn about traditional herbs cultivated at the Bidwell House Museum’s historical heirloom garden and how they are used. Special guest Atalanta Sunguroff of Wake Robin Botanicals will share some herbalist remedies and methods of preparation. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

June 18

History Talk: Past & Present: Praying Town to Casino – Current Issues of Sovereignty for Native Americans. Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches Federal Indian Law and American Indian Tribal Law at Yale Law School, will highlight some of the hottest issues facing Native America today. Gaming is only a small part of the story; sovereignty is the main event and fault line. Introduced by Rick Wilcox, who will give a brief history of the Stockbridge Mohicans and how they came to be where they are today. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.

June 25

History Talk: A Week in the Life of Rev. Adonijah Bidwell, Reimagined. John Demos, Samuel Knight Professor of American History Emeritus at Yale University, will explore the life of a frontier pastor in early America, based on what is known of 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. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.

July 2

Township No. 1 Day. A free community celebration of Tyringham and Monterey history. Colonial re-enactors, live music by local musicians, children’s activities, baking contest, historic craft demonstrations, author talks, more… For details and individual event times, please check www.bidwellhousemuseum.org or call. 413-528-6888
Supported in part by a grant from the Monterey and Tyringham Cultural Councils. 1 – 4:00 p.m. Free. Please note: the museum is closed for tours this day.


A Tyringham Valley Homestead, with Woven Roots Farm. Make connections between the Bidwell family homestead and 21st century farming practices. Participants will explore historical and modern agriculture in Tyringham, and look into the symbiotic relationship of families with their landscape. Special guest Jen Salinetti will speak about her experiences with Woven Roots Farm where she lives, works, and raises her children. Free. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July 23

Plant Dyes and Fibers.  Learn how to process wool and plant-based fibers such as milkweed and dogbane while dyeing skeins in an outdoor dye bath. Using plants, berries and nuts, participants will explore the range of color in our New England landscape, and learn to make their own cordage. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

July 30

History Talk: Memory Places: Rethinking Historic Landscapes in Native American and Colonial New England by Christine M. DeLucia, Assistant Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College. A sense of “place” has mattered immensely to Native Americans, and also to colonists who entered into this ancient terrain with aspirations for new societies. Swamps, freshwater springs, cliffs, woodland paths, home-sites, signified different things to these communities, leading to tension or outright conflict. DeLucia connects landscapes of today’s Northeast with much deeper pasts, and uses the concept of collective memory to explore alternative understandings of the grounds and material traces around us. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.

 August 6

Wigwams and Shelter-Building. Visit the wigwam at the Bidwell House Museum, and learn to build your own shelter with supplies from the forest floor. Lean-tos and nature’s ready-made shelters will be discussed, while participants construct a shelter together. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

 August 13

Adonijah Bidwell’s 300th Birthday Bash
Live music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auction. Fundraising party celebrating the Reverend in his gardens. A benefit for the historic 1750s Bidwell House Museum. 4 – 7 p.m. For tickets: 413-528-6888.

 August 20

History Talk: Paper Pilgrims: Letter Writing and Communication in Early America. Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College history professor, will talk about letters as material objects and explore how they got from place to place in a world without postal service. She will also consider the importance of communication in New England’s early history, both for families and for colonial leaders. Grandjean is author of American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England (Harvard University Press, 2015). Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 10 a.m.

 August 27 CANCELLED

Introduction to Willow Basketry. Weave a willow basket from local materials. Learn how to sustainably harvest willow, and different techniques for basketry: coiling, weaving, and twining. All materials provided. $35. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

September 10 CANCELLED

Methods of Food Preservation.  Learn how to preserve food for winter storage, with an overview of appropriate vegetables, and drying, canning, and fermentation techniques. There will be a brief discussion of traditional fall and winter medicinals as well. Participants will preserve food on site using one of the discussed techniques. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

September 17

Housatonic Heritage Walk:  Centuries of Stone Walls. Explore the over 4 miles of stone walls on Bidwell grounds built by settlers and farmers in the 18th and 19th centuries and learn about the various styles. Led by Rob Hoogs.  Please dress for the weather and terrain and bring water. Free. 10 a.m.

September 24

Animal Tracking: Finding Sign of Invisible Wildlife with Naturalist David Brown. Animals are living all around us, but a lot of them hide so effectively in the night or in foliage that we are not aware of their presence. This talk followed by a walk will help us detect and identify some of this wildlife activity as well as interpret found sign for insight into the lives of wild animals. Brown has nearly 30 years of experience tracking wildlife and is the author of several publications, including the recently released book, The Next Step: Interpreting Animal Tracks, Trails and Sign.

Dress for the weather with rugged footwear for off-trail walking. This program is suitable for adults and accompanied teens 13 and up. Bring a bag lunch. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

October 1

Housatonic Heritage Walk: Royal Hemlock Trail Hike in the Steps of the Early Settlers. A guided walk on Bidwell lands as well as the BNRC’s Hudson-Howard property, tracing the route of the early settlers of Township No. 1 from Tyringham valley to their first meeting house, exploring flora and fauna along the way. Led by Richard Greene. Please dress for the weather and terrain and bring water. Free. 10 a.m.


Historical Textiles and Slow Embroidery Look into the Bidwell House Museum quilts, curtains, linens to better understand family heritage, status, and values. Participants will appreciate the detailed labor of historical textiles, the stories and symbolism of common motifs, and embroidery as a practice while they work on their own free-form embroidery projects. Members: $10. Non-members: $15. 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

November 19

Colonial Thanksgiving Party Benefit for the museum with live music, refreshments, and silent
auction. 4-7 p.m.