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The Longmeadow Historical Society

Our Mission

First settled in 1644, the Town of Longmeadow has a long and interesting history.

The mission of the Longmeadow Historical Society is to preserve our Town's history and inspire public awareness of the people, places, and events that have contributed to Longmeadow's history.
 


Our organization, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, was founded in 1899.

  • We operate the Storrs House Museum and manage its extensive and diverse collections and archives. Each week, an educational post is distributed to over 1,600 persons through our email newsletter and Facebook page. 

  • During the summer, students intern in our archives researching subjects which will be part of our educational outreach to the town.

  • Throughout the year, we conduct Museum house tours, sponsor speakers, host smaller events, and interact with persons who inquire about people or events associated with our town’s history.

  • Each May, we run Long Meddowe Days, a community fair held on the town green which celebrates history; each October, we host Ghosts in the Graveyard, an evening tour of the old burying ground which includes dramatizations of former citizens.

Our Program

Over the past four years, we have worked to update our home, the Storrs House Museum, so that it adequately protects our textile and furniture collections. Community Preservation Act funds have provided monies for a new roof and gutters, heating and air conditioning system, waterproofing, and electrical and safety systems. Our documentary archives, which contain original town records dating from the early 1700’s, are now in acid-free boxes in our secure archival storage vault.

Each room in the museum reflects different periods or exhibit themes. In 2016, we created a new exhibit space in one of the upstairs chambers. The current exhibit in this room illustrates the history of our town from the 1690s to the 1780s and the life of Longmeadow's first minister, Rev. Stephen Williams. A second upstairs chamber is currently being renovated for an exhibit opening in May 2018 which will focus on international, national, and regional history from 1890–1920 from the perspective of Longmeadow residents.

Archivists are now cataloging our archives as part of a project recently funded by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Documents that tell our town’s story are located in three locations in our town as well as in numerous other towns. This project will develop an online finding aid which will enable researchers to locate all documents about our town’s history in one database.

Our Need

We are currently seeking funds to support Through the Lens: Longmeadow into the New Century 1890-1920, our new exhibit slated to open in May 2018. The exhibit will include photographs based on our 1,500 item glass plate negative collection created by Paesiello Emerson between 1900-1927. We will illustrate how the community changed from a small agricultural community, the development of suburbs, the rise of local industries, and the effect of different immigrant populations on the makeup of the community. Themes will include early transportation in Longmeadow such as trolley cars, automobiles, and railroad. The exhibit will also show the effects of world, national, and regional events on local inhabitants, including WWI and the influenza epidemic. The creation of the Historical Society occurred during this time period and the tale of our original benefactress, Sarah Storrs, is a story in itself.  Deaf from childhood, she donated her house to create a library for the Town, and her house and belongings formed the nucleus of the Historical Society’s collections. Since the new exhibit space is relatively small – and the scope of our exhibit theme large – we hope to incorporate touch screens and other technologies to enhance the visitor’s experience.

Revenues from our two annual fundraisers, Long Meddowe Days and Ghosts in the Graveyard partially support our annual operating costs. We rely on donations from appreciative community members, organizations, and foundations such as yours to pay for our educational activities, outreach programs, and other endeavors.


Longmeadow Historical Society

697 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 567-3600
LongmeadowHS@gmail.com


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