History Comes Alive in the Hilltowns for Bryant Day

Bryant Day Celebration in Cummington
Saturday, July 16th from 7am-4pm

Cynthia Sommer from The Trustees of Reservation writes:

The fourth annual Bryant Day, held at the Bryant Homestead in Cummington, MA, is scheduled for July 16 from 7 AM to 4 PM, adding another year to the tradition of celebrating William Cullen Bryant, the famous 19th century poet, newspaper editor, and conservationist, and his passion for the art of the word. The first Bryant Day was celebrated in 1894 on the 100th anniversary of Bryant’s birth and hundreds spent the day listening to poetry, music, and speeches.

This July 16th event will capture the same spirit of the first celebration. Former Poet Laureate and Cummington resident, Richard Wilbur, will be reading from his new volume, Anterooms, and other selected poetry. Nancy Childs will begin the day with a guided nature walk in search of plants and birds that inspired Bryant’s poetry. In the afternoon, festivities kick off with music from Steve Bushway and Max Cohen, playing violin and fiddle music. All are encouraged to bring a picnic, sit on the Homestead lawn, and relax with the music. This year’s lecture will be by Ed Faits and Dan Carnevale of Arunah Hill Natural Science Center and entitled Topics in Astronomy. Following the lecture Prakasa Yoga studio will provide an introduction and demonstration of Anusara yoga. To wrap up the day, Arunah Hill will return for a moon viewing by telescope at the Bryant Homestead beginning at 9 PM.

Tours will include an art exhibition inspired by Bryant’s poem, “A Summer Ramble,” sponsored by the Sohn Fine Art Gallery of Stockbridge. Refreshments will be sold by the Chesterfield Grange and the Bryant Homestead Committee will provide free popcorn and hand-cranked ice cream. Admission is $6/car for non-Trustees members.

Additionally, there will be a special exhibit at the Bryant Free Library and the Cummington Old Creamery Grocery will be offering Bryant Day specials. Special tours of the Homestead are scheduled from 12 – 1 PM and again from 3 – 4 PM. Feel free to explore the property, once the country estate of William Cullen Bryant, and now one of more than 100 special places managed by The Trustees of Reservations. The complete schedule is found at www.thetrustees.org. Information may also be obtained by calling 413-532-1631 x13.

Bryant Day is made possible in part by grants from the Cummington, Plainfield, Goshen, and Windsor Cultural Councils.


The fields and forests of the Bryant Homestead are open free year round. During the summer, guides introduce visitors to the Homestead property with its scenic vistas, historic barn, and the forested Rivulet Trail that inspired many of Bryant’s poems. The house is open for guided tours from 1:00– 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays in July and August. House tours are free for Trustees members or $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children. More information is available at http://www.thetrustees.org or by calling 413-634-2244 or e-mailing bryanthomestead@ttor.org.

Photo source: The Trustees of Reservation

One Comment on “History Comes Alive in the Hilltowns for Bryant Day

  1. This sounds liike so much fun!!!! Wish I could be there to enjoy it !

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