The Longmeadow Historical
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 churchs 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
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 societys support to Memorial Day observances.
In 1907 Miss Sarah Storrs, a descendent of Longmeadows
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 towns 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
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.
former Longmeadow Historical Society Board
Historical Society Newsletter, June 1999