History in the Berkshires and Southern Vermont
African-American Heritage Trail
A program of the Housatonic Heritage to celebrate African-Americans in the region, including W.E.B Du Bois' boyhood homesite and the house where Elizabeth Freeman lived as a slave (413) 528-3391, AfricanAmericanTrail.org.
Site on the African-American Heritage trail tells the story of Elizabeth Freeman, who sued for her freedom in 1781, helping to end slavery in Massachusetts. New outdoor exhibit on Freeman's life and legacy, daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., free. Open daily, year-round, for self-guided tours. 117 Cooper Hill Road, Sheffield. (413) 298-3239, ext. 3013., thetrustees.org
Herman Melville's historic house, open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours of the house on the hour, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits: "Pittsfield, 1863," images and stories; straw sculptures by Michael Melle on the grounds. 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield. (413) 442-1793, mobydick.org.
Talks, hikes, music May 31 through October. Summit of Mount Greylock, Adams. (413) 743-1591, bascomlodge.net.
Becket Land Trust
Historic quarry and forest: Self-guided walk explores the former Hudson-Chester Quarry's 100-year history. Open daylight hours year round. Free admission. 456 Quarry Road, Becket. (413) 623-2210, becketlandtrust.org.
Bennington Historical Society
Explore history of Bennington and the area. Meetings third Sundays monthy 2 p.m. Bennington Museum.
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
Train museum in restored, historic Lenox Station, which welcomed Gilded Age "cottagers" to their summer homes in the Berkshires. Guided rail yard tour, 1890s wooden baggage car, New Haven caboose, vintage diesel-electric switcher. Learn to drive a locomotive. 10 Willow Creek Road, Lenox. Railway rides coming to North County late summer 2014. (413) 637-2210, berkshirescenicrailroad.com.
Bidwell House Museum
Colonial history museum and historic 1750s house. Early farm and garden tools, wooded trails, flower and heirloom vegetable gardens on 192-acre grounds. House open Thursdays to Mondays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with tours on the hour, May 25 through Columbus Day. Museum grounds open all year, free. 100 Art School Road, Monterey, (413) 528-6888, www.bidwellhousemuseum.org.
House, studio and gardens of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial. Contemporary sculpture show. Tours. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 4 Williamsville Road, off Route 183, Stockbridge. (413) 298-3973, www.chesterwood.org.
Great Barrington Historical Society
Invitational art exhibition, "Great Barrington: The Best Small Town," painting, watercolor, drawing of photography, Mason Library, May 23 to July 12 to benfit Historical Society. Exhibition from the GBHS Archives on Main Street.
Hancock Shaker Village
National Historic Landmark with 20 historic buildings, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools. Choose Your Own Shaker Adventure tours. Living history, farm animals and woodland trails. Young Shakers tour Saturdays and Sundays July 5 to Aug. 31. Attics and basements tour Saturdays and Sundays July 12 to Aug. 31. Hours through Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Routes 20 and 41, Pittsfield. (413) 443-0188, hancockshakervillage.org.
Lee Congregational Church
Tours through the historic building Saturdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. , June 14 through Aug. 30. Lee
Mohican Museum and free self-guided walking tour of Mohican sites. Gardens and museum open daily, free. Colonial revival gardens desiged by landscape architect Fletcher Steele. 19 Main St., Stockbridge. (413) 298-3239, thetrustees.org.
Clues and map to find a hidden story of the Mohican tribe along Main Street in Stockbridge. thetrustees.org.
Pulitzer prize-winning novelist and interior designer Edith Wharton's Gilded-Age home, gardens. "Kitchen Stories," an exhibit exploring the workings an early 20th-century kitchen. "A Fine Hand," More than 40 of Wharton's sketches, ranging from a remarkable self-portrait at age fourteen to multiple studies of beloved dogs, flowers and friends. "Edith: Images of a Lifetime," video montage of over fifty portraits and photographs of Edith Wharton through the course of her life. Backstairs tours: Learn about the daily routines of the men and women who ran The Mount. Ghost tours. 2 Plunkett St., Lenox. (413) 551-5111, edithwharton.org.
Designed in the 1880s by McKim, Mead & White, with world-famous gardens by Fletcher Steele: Chinese Gardens, Blue Steps. House and gardens open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 25 to Oct. 13. Tours daily. Garden volunteers meet 9 a.m. Tuesdays beginning in May. Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge. (413) 298-3239, thetrustees.org.
North Adams Museum
"Famous Former Residents of North Adams," Vice Admiral Michael Flaherty, Rear Admiral Allan McCann, author and philosopher Will Durant, Citrus Wizard Lue Gim Gong, humanitarian Paul Farmer, baseball Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro and basketball Hall of Famer Oswald Tower among others. Exhibits on science and local history. Open Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. annual Fort Massachusetts commemoration in August. North Adams Museum of History and Science, Building 5A, Western Gateway Heritage State Park. (413) 664-4700, northadamshistory.org.
Park McCullough House
Historic mansion built by attorney and entrepreneur Trenor Park, with croquet on the lawn and concerts in the Carriage Barn. Tours Fridays, May 30 to Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1 Park Street, North Bennington, Vt. (802) 442-5441, www.parkmccullough.org.
Quaker Meeting House
Built in 1782 by the East Hoosuck Meeting of the Society of Friends, place of worship of the family of Susan B. Anthony. Free tours given by Adams Historical Society and the Adams Historical Commission. Open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. from July 6 to Oct. 12. Maple Street Cemetery, Adams. www.adamshistorical.us.
Shaker Museum and Library
"The Great Stone Barn: Past, Present, Future" exhibit on 1895 barn's architecture and restoration. "Utopian Benches," work of sculptor Francis Cape exploring the design of seating in intentional communities. "Rock My Religion" exhibit, 1984 documentary, opens Aug. 29. Free guided tours of the historic North Family site at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, daily Friday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., leaving from the Granary Visitor's Center, June 13 to Oct.13, free. 202 Shaker Road, New Lebanon, N.Y. (518) 794-9100, www.shakermuseumandlibrary.org.
Sheffield Historical Society
Free exhibits on local history. "Veterans Stories" May 26 to July 7. "18th- and 19th-century tools," July 18 to Aug. 25. "Distilleries, Drinking and Prohibition" Aug. 29 to Oct. 11. "If This House Could Talk" Historic Sheffield self-guided bike and walking tours. Old Stone Store exhibits open Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dan Raymond House Museum and Mark Dewey Research Center. 159 to 161 Main St., Sheffield. (413) 229-2694, SheffieldHistory.org.
Susan B. Anthony Birthplace
Exhibits on civil rights leader and suffragist Susan B. Anthony's life in the early 1800s. 67 East Road, Adams. (413) 743-7121, www.susanbanthonybirthplace.org.
Gilded Age mansion. "Les Petites Dames de Mode," fashion from 1855 to 1914. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 104 Walker St., Lenox. (413) 637-3206, GildedAge.org.
Former railway yard tells the story of the Hoosac railway tunnel. Western Gateway Heritage State Park, Visitors' Museum. 115 State St., North Adams, (413) 663-6312.
Williamstown Historical Museum
Collection of artifacts, documents and photos from Williamstown's past. "The Legendary Mount Hope," home of the late Alta Rockefeller Prentice, through mid-May. "Big Days in a Small Town," Williamstown celebrations of high days and holidays through the years, May 17 through September. Free. Open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Milne Public Library 1095 Main St., Williamstown. (413) 458-2160. www.williamstownhistory.org.
W.E.B. Du Bois Center
The Du Bois Center at Great Barrington's new Museum of Civil Rights Pioneers. Hours: weekends, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 684 Main St., Great Barrington. www.DuBoisCenterGB.org.
W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite
Boyhood home of the internationally acclaimed Civil Rights leader, scholar, activist and writer known for "Souls of Black Folk" and other works. Open for self-guided tours in daylight hours. On Route 23. Anchors 17 sites on the self-guided Du Bois walking and motor tour to the town's people and places as Du Bois recalled them. Birthsite, Homesite, Clinton AME Zion Church. www.duboisnhs.org.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.