Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum Opens Doors on 3 Centuries of Rural Living

Community-Based Education Opportunity in an Idyllic Setting

A beloved Western Mass historical institution opens its door for its 67th season when Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum takes us on a tour of 3 centuries worth of rural life. A gorgeous setting on the Connecticut River, the Museum hosts many interesting programs including the family friendly music series- ideal for a summer picnic.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752 in Hadley, Massachusetts, opens Sunday, May 15, 2016 for its 67th season. Guided tours will be available Saturday through Wednesday from 1-4:30pm, closed Thursdays and Fridays.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, known as Forty Acres, is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today showcases life in rural New England over three centuries.  Through the words, spaces and possessions of the women and men who lived here, the Museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th-century farmstead. Members of this household along with numerous artisans, servants and slaves made “Forty Acres” an important social and commercial link in local, regional and national cultural and economic networks. During the 19th century the estate evolved into a rural retreat for the family. In the 20th century the house was preserved as a museum by family members and now contains the possessions of six generations of this extended family.

The rooms in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum remain as they were arranged by members of the family to accommodate the procession of relatives, neighbors, community leaders and workers who crossed the house’s threshold.  From farmers and businessmen, to religious leaders and social workers, to servants and slaves, the stories of many men, women, and children spanning 250 years of American History are told within the house. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A Perfect Spot of Tea will be held each Saturday from July 2nd through August 27, with seatings at 2:30pm and 3:30pm on the museum’s back veranda. Local musicians will perform while guests sip tea and sample pastries donated by local restaurants. Admission is $12 per person. Tours will be given for an additional fee.

Programs this summer include the thirty-fifth season of Wednesday Folk Traditions featuring some of New England’s finest ethnic folk music ensembles. Performances will be held Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm starting June 8 with the Tim Eriksen Trio.  Leader of the “shape-note” tradition, experimentalist and ethnomusicologist, Eriksen performs traditional ballads from the Appalachians to the Pioneer Valley and original pieces that have been described as “magical realism in song.”He will be joined by Zoë Darrow and Peter Irvine. The six-week series continues with weekly performances through July 20.  General admission is $12, and $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museum grounds beginning at 5pm.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is located at 130 River Drive, Hadley MA on Route 47 just two miles north of the junction of Routes 9 and 47 North in Hadley.  Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children. For information concerning tours or special events, please phone 413-584-4699 or check the museum web site: www.pphmuseum.org.

– Submitted by Susan J. Lisk.

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