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The Longmeadow Historical Society

The first organizational meeting of the Longmeadow Historical Society was held June 3, 1899 in the "old chapel" (a building adjacent to First Church, torn down to make way for the church’s parish house, was the site of town meetings for many years.) Supper was prepared by the Ladies Sewing Society, and afterwards they gathered with interested friends around an old oak "study table" that had belonged to the first minister of First Church, Reverend Stephen Williams. A display of town artifacts inspired interest as a proposed constitution and bylaws were presented.

The fledgling society moved quickly and with due regard to legal niceties. By November of that year it had secured papers of incorporation from Boston and had elected its first officers. The stated purpose of the society was to encourage an interest in the history of the town by providing lectures, and collecting papers, furniture, and articles illustrating town life in past times. Dues were 50 cents per year.

The first exhibition sponsored by the Society took place in the chapel in October of 1899. Besides special Longmeadow artifacts, it included a reproduction of an old kitchen with fireplace and spinning wheel.

At its first annual meeting on October 31st, three ladies presented papers on historical subjects: Mrs. McQueen spoke on "Longmeadow of the Past"; Mrs. S.E. Meacham on "Old Home Life in New England"; and Mrs. C.S. Gates on "Legendry, Lore, and Superstition." Members voted at that meeting to lend the society’s support to Memorial Day observances.

In 1907 Miss Sarah Storrs, a descendent of Longmeadow’s second minister, the Rev. Richard Salter Storrs, died and left all her real estate and some money to be used to establish a library. The real estate included the historic Storrs homestead which was built in about 1786.

In 1932 when the Storrs Library Association decided to build a new library, it offered the use of Storrs House to the Historical Society on the condition that the society restore, repair, and maintain it. The house was moved twelve feet to the south and about thirty feet back to make room for the library. In the process it was provided with a new foundation but lost its front porch, a glassed porch on the south side and two additions.

The Historical Society spent about $2,200 restoring Storrs House in 1932 in time for the town’s sesquicentennial the following year. The arrangements between the Storrs Library Association, which owns Storrs House, and the Longmeadow Historical Society, which maintains it as a museum, has continued to the present day.

Over the years the society has lent furniture and artifacts from its collections to the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, the Connecticut Historical Society, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, the Smithsonian, and the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Storrs House is open throughout the year by appointment only.  During Long Meddowe Days, tours take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Linda Rodger, former Longmeadow Historical Society Board Member
The Longmeadow Historical Society Newsletter, June 1999

 


 


Longmeadow Historical Society

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


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