Sunday, September 14
2 - 4 PM
The presentation will be lead by Wilbraham treasure hunters John
Jurkowski and Bill Steele. John uses a metal detector and has
accumulated a varied collection of artifacts, while Bill has amassed a
collection of bottles and pottery through his hunting.
Discovering Buried History.
Free and open to the public
2014 Programs Schedule
(Events are subject to change.)
- Treasure Hunting
October 12 -
November 9 -
Native American Lecture and Display
- Tree Festival
Open House is held from 2—4 P.M.
Admission is always FREE!!
Business Partners Page
Old Meeting House Plans Historic Research
The Wilbraham 250th Celebration Committee was awarded a grant with
which to publish an updated Wilbraham history book detailing important
events that have taken place since the 1963 edition was published.
Wilbraham resident extraordinaire, Joan Paris, was hired as the books
editor. She asked the Atheneum Society Trustees to provide the history
of the Society and its operation of the Old Meeting House.
Trustee Michelle Sampson wrote about the Underground Railroad and
the legend that a tunnel connected the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Old
Stone Church basement with the basement of the Old Meeting House was
used for this purpose. It was reliably reported that in 1928, when
Mountain Rd. was being reconstructed, a Town DPW truck fell through the tunnel
and the tunnel was subsequently filled in.
Her research piqued the interest of the Atheneum Board members as
well! The Board has asked the University of Massachusetts Archaeological
Services for a proposal to scientifically recreate the existence of the
tunnel and provide needed scientific proof. Director Dr. Eric Johnson
and his team visited both sites recently and are preparing a proposal
which the Trustees hope to soon present to the Town’s Community
Preservation Committee for FY15 funding.
We will keep you updated on our progress!
Many thanks to Trustee Bill Steele for showing us his
antique farm equipment at our August 2014 Open House
Many thanks to all of the businesses and organizations
that participated in our 2014 Christmas Display.
And thank you to the Friends of Wilbraham Public Access who sponsored
Thank you to our contributors at our
October 2013 candlelight walking tour of Wilbraham’s historic Adams Cemetery.
A large crowd listened to the re-enacted stories of some of those buried
in the cemetery.
Wilbraham Charter visits the Old Meeting House
Many thanks to Gale Candaras for arranging
for the original Wilbraham Charter to be brought to Wilbraham. The
document was on display in the Old Meeting House on June 15, 2013, the
250th anniversary of its signing.
Approximately 100 visitors stopped in to see it.
This historical document signed on June 15, 1763 normally resides in the
capital building in Boston. We also thank
Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Archive,
for delivering the Charter and for his abundant information.
arrived on Saturday, June 15, 2013 from Boston by police escort.
Interested in the
History of Wilbraham?
If you are
interested in the history of Wilbraham, then the Atheneum
Society of Wilbraham is interested in you! Our non-profit
organization is served by a board of trustees, whose numbers
have dropped over the years while the number of members to the
organization has been on the increase. We are seeking
individuals who are interested in preserving local history as
well as educating and involving the community.
never been a better time to join this important group! Our
membership numbers have increased and our open house events have
drawn record attendance. The year still holds some fascinating
exhibitions and exclusive programs that are incorporated into
our monthly open house events.
monthly as a Board of Trustees from April through December. In
addition, we staff the Old Meeting House on Main St. one Sunday
each month for an open house event which includes a themed
program. Knowledge of Wilbraham history is not required to be a
trustee; the desire to know more about the town and its history
is our only pre-requisite. Please feel free to share this
request with anyone you know who fits this criteria.
you to join us and leave your mark on the community. Use
your personal strengths to support us and serve our community in
a meaningful way by preserving its history. Anyone
interested in joining the Atheneum Society of Wilbraham as a
trustee can send an e-mail to
What's New at
Society of Wilbraham
Inventory Management (AIM) Project
at the Atheneum Society of Wilbraham are a vital asset to our
community, and the maintenance of those collections is the job
of the curators. We, like many other small museums, have been
maintaining and documenting the collections, contacts and
donations on paper, until now.
We are excited to announce that our new
volunteer curator team has obtained a laptop and purchased and
installed a copy of PastPerfect software,
most widely used collection management software in the world.
These volunteers have been meeting every week to slowly and
steadily sort through paper records and museum collections;
photograph, organize and label items; and enter descriptions,
locations, dates and donors for each item onto the computer.
When the project is finally
complete, the items in our collection will be stored with
accompanying multimedia information (such as images and document
files) and easily searchable.
This cataloging process will not
only provide a searchable database; it will also serve to
familiarize the new curators with the collections, helping them
to retrieve objects and information for research and development
of intriguing museum exhibits, programs, and publications. It
will strengthen the
Society of Wilbraham's
ability to fulfill its mission by making it more efficient to
share knowledge, educate and involve our local community.
Antique Autos have a lawn party at the Old
Times - Girl Scouts Quilt Show
Wilbraham Native Americans Open House
OUTSTANDING OPEN HOUSES
IN RECENT YEARS
Our well attended open house on July 8th 2012 featured the Wilbraham
Art League Exhibit entitled Yesterday's Artifacts, Today's Art.
This unique art show offered an opportunity for each artist to create a
work of contemporary art based on a historical artifact that inspired
him or her. Participating artists chose an artifact from the
collection at the Old Meeting House Museum.
house also included
dedication ceremony for the bell from the Second Baptist Church (circa
from Butler Hill on Boston Road in Wilbraham. This bell was donated to
us by Jesse Rice, and has been installed in our backyard garden.
The display was made possible by a grant from the
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Many thanks to Joan
Paris for presenting the dedication.
We'd also like to thank Friendly Ice Cream Corporation
for providing ice cream and a freezer.
In September 2012, the Old
Meeting House Museum hosted a presentation on the Underground Railroad
that drew a standing room only crowd.
The talk was presented
by historian Steve Strimer of the David Ruggles Center for Early
Florence History and Underground Railroad Studies. The Ruggles
Center, named for an early abolitionist, documents the movement and
settlement of fugitive slaves in the Connecticut River corridor of
Massachusetts. Strimer discussed what has been preserved and uncovered
about the Under-ground Railroad, in Western Massachusetts.
We hope you enjoyed our Antique Clothing
exhibit at our May 2013 open House.