Upcoming Events

Film and panel discussion via Zoom
July 25, 2023
7 p.m.

In 1910, the Edison Company released Ononko’s Vow, an early silent movie filmed on location in Deerfield and Whately, Massachusetts. Herbert S. Streeter of Greenfield wrote the script, which he loosely based on actual events in the early colonial history of Deerfield. The 15-minute film tells the fanciful story of a fictional Native American character Ononko, and his relationship with a settler family, set against the backdrop of two violent encounters involving colonial settlers and Indigenous people. Join us to view a newly digitized version of this almost forgotten film followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Carolyn Anderson, silent film historian and Professor Emerita of UMass Amherst, and Dr. Margaret Bruchac, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Associate Faculty in the Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania. This is a hybrid program; attendees will have the option to attend in person at the Deerfield Community Center or via Zoom webinar. Preregistration required.

Past Events

Spring Festival

Sunday, May 28, 2023
noon – 3 p.m., Town Hall Auditorium

  • Food: hot dogs, burgers, and chili from Tom’s Hot Dogs; free ice cream from Snow’s
  • Music: Westhampton-based, country rock Lonesome Brothers Band
  • Woodworking: Whately’s own Dan and J.P. Kennedy will demonstrate traditional woodworking tools and techniques, featuring augurs, drill presses, clamps planes, mortise-and-tenon joint making,and a shingle shaper. Samples of different kinds of local wood will be on display, and stools, tables, and benches by these craftsmen will be available for sale.
  • Pollinators: local pollinator expert Fred Morrison will explain the critical role of insects to our flowers, trees, and plants of all types, using mounted pollinator insects, books, posters, a good stereoscope, nets and other collecting equipment, and maybe a few live native bees to tell the tale.
  • Exhibits: in the Historical Society Museum:

“Roaring Brook” examines the History, geography, flora and fauna of Whately’s famous Whately Glen and Roaring Brook and its water falls. Roaring Brook feeds the Whately Great Swamp and the Mill River, but several impoundments provide drinking water for South Deerfield. Whately Glen’s waterfalls attracted students, local and national tourists, as well as artists from New York, Boston, and closer-by including the prolific Hatfield-based Kingsley brothers
(Allison Bell, Maida Goodwin, and Donna Wiley, curators).

“Family History Exhibits” See photographs and memorabilia of the Sanderson/Bean family of West Whately and the Zaniewski family of East Whately (Adelia Bardwell and Jane Grybko, curators).

FCAT Whately 250th Anniversary Video will be running on continuous loop in the Virginia Allis Community Room on the first floor of Town Hall

Anniversary Quilts: The Whately 200th and 250th Anniversary Quilts are both on display on the West wall of the Auditorium in the Town Hall.

A Whately Sampler

Sunday, April 23, 2023
4 p.m., Town Hall Auditorium

“A Whately Sampler” will feature three short talks: Richard Colter, a retired historian from the National Park Service at the Springfield Armory, will talk about the  1813 flintlock musket in the WHS collection; Dereka Smith will introduce three Whately-born brothers who launched a renowned building firm in North Adams in the 1840s; and a “how-to” session with Donna Wiley on exploring “Whately’s Hidden History,” the digital map of Whately developed in 2022.

The Kingsley Brothers: Artists in Whately Glen

Thursday, March 16, 2023
7 p.m., Town Hall Auditorium

Elbridge and Lewis Kingsley grew up in Hatfield in the mid-1800s and created an impressive portfolio of photography, illustrations, and paintings of the Valley—including images of Roaring Brook and Whately Glen. Elbridge achieved world fame for his wood engravings and recruited leading artists to join him in Whately to work from nature. This talk is in conjunction with the WHS Roaring Brook exhibit and sponsored jointly by WHS and the Hatfield Historical Society. Video of this event.

Fall Festival 2022

Snakes and reptiles of New England with Tom Tyning

Cider making with Paul Wetzel.

Seat weaving with Darcy Tozier

Music from the Packing Shed Band.