Pioneer Valley History Network Welcome Stories from Pioneer Valley History

Pioneer Valley History Network
“Disasters in the Pioneer Valley” Project

Pioneer Valley History Network: Celebrating Local History in Western MA

Last year, the Pioneer Valley History Network’s website featured the history of remarkable women throughout the Pioneer Valley.  The topic was incredibly popular, and even lead to museum exhibits, talks, and other events featuring information from the site!

This year, the group’s topic will be disasters in the Pioneer Valley.  Either natural  or man-made, disasters have a way of drawing communities together.  Disasters range in severity from a massive flood affecting numerous towns (such as the Mill River flood in 1874, which received worldwide news coverage- quite uncommon at that point in history) to a house fire that displaces a family.  Disasters call for a cohesive and directed initial response, and can shape a community and its culture for years to come.

There have certainly been numerous disasters throughout Pioneer Valley history, and while they’re nothing to celebrate, they are significant events that shaped what the community is today.  If your family has a story about a local disaster, create a write-up and submit it to the website!  This could also be turned into a learning activity- visit your local library or historical society and do some research!  If there’s a notable event, find out all you can.  Then, have your kids piece together the story- maybe even scan some old pictures! Students will learn about local history and will learn how to do advanced research.  To submit an event, e-mail a description to  To visit the group’s website and learn more about the project, visit

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