Some recent Whately Historical Society presentations are available online thanks to FCAT community television.
The Whately Town Hall Curtain (c. 1938) was designed as a backdrop for the stage in the second-floor auditorium of Whately Town Hall. In the early 20th century, such painted murals and scenic landscapes were installed at hundreds of stages across New England. Whately’s curtain was painted by Robert Naves (1916-1944) of the Crystal Arts Studio in Exeter, N.H., which made individualized curtains for theaters and auditoriums in many towns. Mr. Naves used a standard design format, the Advertising Street Scene shown below, for his curtains. More information
“Geological History of the Pioneer Valley,” WHS presentation, April 18, 2022
John Brady , Professor Emeritus of Geosciences at Smith College. His research interests are wide-ranging, and he prizes teaching outdoors where learners can see firsthand the evidence offered by rocks, outcrops, and landscapes. Among his publications is the book Fifty Hikes in Massachusetts, co-authored by Brian White. Co-sponsored by Valley Neighbors.
“The Rise and Fall of the American Chestnut,” WHS presentation, December 11, 2022
Forest giant, wild food, lumber resource, epidemic victim and science project—the American chestnut has fascinating history. Presenters Ann Lomeli, Allison Bell, and Paul Wetzel from Smith College’s Macleish Station discuss this iconic tree’s past, present and future in Whately and beyond. Jono Neiger on developing his farm, Big River Chestnuts, in Sunderland.
“A Canterbury Tale of Whately’s Evolving Natural and Human Landscape,” WHS, Whately 250, & Mass Cultural Council Presentation, June 19, 2022
Anthropologist Peter A. Thomas discusses 12,000 years of climate change and its impact on the settlement patterns of Native peoples in Whately and the Connecticut River valley.