Go to the
Wilbraham 250th Anniversary
Website for information on the town's events.
See below for the programs to take place at
The Old Meeting House Museum
May 12 Open House
A nice treat for mother's day!
If you are watching the popular PBS series Downton
Abbey and enjoy the fashions of the time, come and see some real
examples from that era (and earlier) at the Old Meeting House.
free to the public.
2013 Programs Schedule
(Subject to change.)
Sunday May 12 at 2-4 pm
Vintage Clothing Exhibit
Historical Redware Pottery Exhibit up to Civil War
by Rich Hamelin
Social at the Old Meeting House
Wilbraham Art League exhibit - Small Works, Big Art
- (Wilbraham 250th Parade Day)
July 13 (or 14 - TBD)
Vintage Auto Show
at the Old Meeting House
- (Wilbraham Hill Climb Day)
Peter Dembkowski presents Revolutionary War Display and Lecture
Taste of History
Adams Cemetery Tour by Candlelight
Tribute to Veterans
Festival of Trees at
the Old Meeting House
(Wilbraham Tree Lighting Event Day)
Admission is always FREE!!
our business partners!
We were open during the afternoon of New Year's Eve for the kickoff of Wilbraham's 250th
anniversary First Night celebration. It was a busy, exciting and
successful event with an ice carving demonstration on the lawn and Christmas trees and displays by these local organizations:
The Village Store
Five Star Gardens
Wilbraham Public Library
The Old Meeting House
Lower Pioneer Valley Ed. Collaborative
St. Cecilia Church
Wilbraham Art League
Gardens of Wilbraham
Wilbraham Agricultural Commission
Many thanks to all
those who helped us decorate the Old Meeting House with your trees and
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.
On August 12th the Old
Meeting House Museum hosted a presentation by local Duryea automobile
expert, Richard Stevens. Mr. Stevens discussed the development of
the Duryea automobile in Springfield and his experience building a
replica of the 1895 Duryea that is currently on display at the Wood
Museum of Springfield History.
Local car enthusiast
displayed their collectible autos on the lawn of the museum. Autos on
1964 Studebaker Avanti
owned by Roland & Peggy Corbeil of Wilbraham
1966 Chevrolet Corvair
Corsa convertible owned by Sue Magee of Wilbraham
Corvette coupe owned by Al Magee of Wilbraham
1914 Ford Model T
owned by Brian Midura of Chicopee
1930 Ford Model A
owned by Alfred Bonafilia of Springfield
Arrow convertible owned by John Cislak of Springfield
1930 Cadillac owned by
George Holman of Wilbraham
1920 Rolls Royce owned
by George Holman of Wilbraham
1939 Chevy Coupe owned
by Stanley Darzynski of Springfield
1954 Ford F100
Delivery Van owned by Paul Anderson of Hampden
1965 Ford Mustang
convertible owned by Al Witkowsky of Springfield
Thank you to everyone
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.
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
The Old Meeting House Museum hosted a successful Antique Appraisal
event in October 2011.
Thanks to Peter Imler and his staff of Stanton Auctions for
appraising items brought in by the public at the Museum. More than 100
items were appraised during a busy Sunday afternoon!
Stanton Auctions is a family owned business, located in Hampden, that
has con-ducted antique and estate auctions for 3 generations. Members of
the Old Meeting House wish to thank Stanton Auctions for their time,
efforts, and support. We sincerely appreciate all that they did to help
make this fundraiser a success.
Thank you to everyone who brought in antiques for appraisal. The
proceeds of the event will go to the general operations and upkeep of
The Old Meeting House Museum.
to Mainly Drafts of Ludlow for providing Main Street Horse & Wagon Tours
at our September 2011 open house.
Our Tribute to Veterans open house in November 2011 featured a display of
uniforms from the past to honor and thank all who served in the
United States Armed Forces.
Thanks to the Village store for providing a delicious lunch for
The seventh annual Quilt Show (2012) was a popular event. Over 75 guests
attended the open house events held in both May and June. Thanks
to all the quilting artists who loaned us their unique and beautiful
pieces: Betsy Cobb, Ginny Rickert, Carolyn Snyder,
Kathy Farrell, Meta DeSantis, Ann Mailhot, Virginia De- Santis, Mindy
Camyre, and Wendy O’Rourke
A thank you also goes to Jo Miner who provided us with a
demonstration, at both open house events, of her rug braiding skills,
and Nan Nieske who displayed the cross-stitch samplers made by her