The Old Meeting House Museum
      
                                    a.k.a.
The Atheneum Society of Wilbraham 
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Sunday, July 13
1 - 5 PM

Annual Ice Cream Social

Cool off with some free ice cream provided by Friendly Ice Cream Corp

Visit the Wilbraham Art League's "Small Works/ Big Art" Exhibit.  A collection of small artworks for exhibit and sale in an inspiring assortment of mediums and creative styles!

Free Old-Fashioned Fun!


2014 Programs Schedule
(Events are subject to change.)

July 13 - Ice Cream and Art Show

August 10 - Antique Farm Equipment

September 14 - Treasure Hunting

October 12 - Adams Candlelight Cemetery Tour

November 9 - Native American Lecture and Display

December 7th - Tree Festival

Admission is always FREE!!


Visit our Business Partners Page


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 the Ice sculptures.


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 open House:

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"

Friendly Ice Cream Corporation for generously providing ice cream and a freezer

Florence Casket Company for allowing us to borrow their hearse.

Julia Adamo and Carlie Daggett for wearing period costume in the parade.

Greg Lyman for transporting the ice cream freezer to us

Mike O'Rourke and family 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This historical document signed on June 15, 1763 normally resides in the capital building in Boston.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
Michael Comeau, Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Archive, for delivering the Charter and for his abundant information.  It arrived on Saturday, June 15, 2013  from Boston by police escort.
Find details about the
Charter here.


We hope you enjoyed our Antique Clothing exhibit at our May 2013 open House.


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 display included:

1964 Studebaker Avanti owned by Roland & Peggy Corbeil of Wilbraham
1966 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa convertible owned by Sue Magee of Wilbraham
1965 Chevrolet 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
1929-30ish Pierce 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 who participated!

 

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.  

There has 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.

We meet 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.

We invite 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 president@wilbrahamatheneum.org.


What's New at
The Atheneum Society of Wilbraham

Atheneum Inventory Management  (AIM) Project
The collections 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, the 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 Atheneum Society of Wilbraham's ability to fulfill its mission by making it more efficient to share knowledge, educate and involve our local community.   (3/2011)


PRESS

Antique Autos have a lawn party at the Old Meeting House

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 mother.


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. 
 

The open house also included a dedication ceremony for the bell from the Second Baptist Church (circa 1800) 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.

450 Main Street ~ Wilbraham, MA 01095 ~ 413.596.4097

 

All photos on wilbrahamatheneum.org are copyrighted.