The History of the Longmeadow Historical Society
Sarah Storrs pictured with her brother Richard Salter Storrs
The first organizational meeting of the Longmeadow Historical Society was held June 3, 1899. By November of that year it had secured papers of incorporation from Boston and 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.
In 1907, Sarah Storrs, a descendant of Longmeadow's first two ministers, Stephen Williams and Richard Salter Storrs, died and left all her real estate and $5000 to be used to establish a town library. The real estate included the historic Storrs homestead which was built in 1786 and had been Sarah’s family’s home for most of her life.
In 1932 when the Storrs Library Association decided to build a new library, it offered the use of the 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 new library building. At that time, the Historical Society restored portions of the Storrs House making it a true museum. 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 various history organizations, including the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Smithsonian. For forty years, from 1980-2020, the Longmeadow Historical Society sponsored and organized Long Meddowe Days, a town wide celebration of our community.
Since 2012, volunteer board members have secured grant funding to fund projects to maintain the integrity of the historic house’s exterior as well as install temperature and moisture control inside the house to help maintain important collection and archival items.
Today we strive to fulfill our mission to preserve our town's history and inspire public awareness of the people, places, and events that have contributed to the history of the town of Longmeadow in other ways. We use in-house exhibit spaces at the Storrs House Museum, a weekly newsletter, and online social media platforms to share our collection and research in person and online. Historical Society board members host tours and open houses of the Storrs House Museum, research and write for our website and History Note series, as well as put on special events like architectural tours and cemetery tours.
In 2022, the Longmeadow Historical Society is an active and vibrant organization. In the 21st century, we strive to uncover, examine and share stories of the broader community of people and events that have shaped the town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
Linda Rodger, former Longmeadow Historical Society Board Member
The Longmeadow Historical Society Newsletter, June 1999.
Updated, November 2022.