Hilltown Families


Sheep-shearing is a great place to begin the conversation with your children about the influences sheep has upon our culture here in New England. Seeing sheep being shorn with traditional tools while listening to tales being spun by the shearer can give kids a unique insight into our regional history and this historical trade. Asking questions about how wool is processed after a sheep has been shorn, and how modern day processing techniques might compare to the techniques used in the Colonial era can support interests and lead to a lot of learning! Check out sheep shearing happening at community events and local farms, some using traditional tools (Wool Days & Sheep to Shawl), others with modern electric tools for comparison (Sheep & Woolcraft Fair).

There are many festivals and wool celebrations that take place in New England throughout the year. Here are a few where you can learn more about raising sheep, fiber production, and processing.

Learning about our local history through the lens of silk can help shed some light on understanding our regions industrial past, how local architecture relates to this past, and help us connect more with the history of our local landscape. Through self-guided walking tours, museum visits, tree identification and special hands-on learning opportunities, families can explore the world of silk right here in the Pioneer Valley!

The Western Mass region has such an incredibly rich fabric and textile heritage. To take a trip along the fabric road reveals so much of the identity of the area. This is why the Historic Deerfield Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Its Textile Collection is a significant event that you should not miss!

American Centuries: Views from New England Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield Offers Online Educational Resources on American Village History Western Massachusetts today is home to scores of artists and artisans – a fact that brings visitors from near and far to see the unique and interesting products and pieces being created in the region. ¬†Art has been a common thread amongst local residents for decades, and it could perhaps be said that… Read More