Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Changes!

Just as the seasons are changing from spring to summer there are quite a few changes happening here at the Natick Historical Society. As usual, our programming slows down a little bit in the summer months (though a big thank you to everyone who came on our literary and John Eliot district walking tours last weekend! It was great seeing you!) We have some extra time to focus on improving our current exhibits and creating new ones. This can mean little things like installing more shelves for our geology specimens or printing fresh labels for some of the projectile points but it also means some bigger changes too!

An Illustration from Stowe's
Book Old Town Folks 
Though the summer is just getting started we’re excited to report two new exhibits already! The first is here in the Natick Historical Society museum where our long-awaited literary Natick exhibit is here. “Natick and the New England Character” is a brand new exhibit focusing on the lives of thinkers, writers and activists from Natick, who not only shaped the course of American History but also shaped the way America thought of Natick
and New England. Figures highlighted here included acclaimed authors like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Alexander Wheelock Thayer and Horatio Alger Jr. as well as politicians and activists like Henry Wilson and Lydia Maria Child. Many of the objects in our new exhibit have never before been on display and we’re thrilled to have the chance for people to see them.

Henry Wilson's School House
Farmington NH
Our second new exhibit opened just this week at the Morse Institute Library. This smaller exhibit focuses on one of our favorite former Natickites, Henry Wilson. Entitled “The Education of Henry Wilson,” this exhibit explores the unconventional but deeply impactful way that learning, reading and writing changed the life and opinions of Henry Wilson. In this exhibit we tried to highlight not only Wilson’s classroom education and reading habits but also experiential learning experiences like his time in the Natick Debating Society or his travels. This exhibit will be on view in the first floor Morse Room of the Morse Institute Library through November of 2016.

Lastly, we have some sadder news to convey. Our beloved director Jane Hennedy will be leaving us at the end of June. While we will miss her terribly she is moving on to a new exciting opportunity with Historic New England and we wish her only the best.

Be sure to come by the museum sometime this summer and take a look at some of the changes we’ve already got underway. Thanks for reading and have a great Fourth of July! 
Early twentieth Century Fourth of July card from Natick