Old Meeting House Museum
Come and see Christmas trees and displays decorated by local businesses
We'll also have baked goodies.
Ice sculptures will be sponsored by Friends of Wilbraham Public Access
(This event takes place on the
Crane Park Tree Lighting day)
Admission is Free.
2013 Programs Schedule
(Subject to change.)
the Old Meeting House Museum
Ice sculptures will be sponsored by Friends of Wilbraham Public
(Wilbraham Tree Lighting Event Day)
Admission is always FREE!!
Business Partners Page
Thank you to our contributors at our
October 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.
Many thanks to the following for contributing to our successful June
Friendly Ice Cream Corporation for generously providing ice cream
and a freezer
The Wilbraham Library for giving us access to the contents of the
Wilbraham 1963 time capsule that was buried in 1963 in celebration of
the town’s 200th birthday
The Wilbraham Art League for displaying their exhibit
"Small Works, Big Art"
Florence Casket Company for allowing us to
borrow their hearse.
Julia Adamo and
for wearing period costume in the parade.
Greg Lyman for transporting the ice cream freezer to us
Mike O'Rourke and
for erecting and removing the tent
Heidi Ostendarp and Ann for serving ice cream
Steve Sampson for his general all-around hard work
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This historical document signed on June 15, 1763 normally resides in the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.
We hope you enjoyed our Antique Clothing
exhibit at our May 2013 open House.
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, 2012 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
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 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 DeSantis, 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
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.