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Check out our Facebook page for the latest news from the Sudbury Historical Society. Here are excerpts from some of our recent posts.
Newly Enhanced Portion of the Baggott Gallery Now Open
Our freshly updated Jonathan Baggott Gallery now boasts a revamped Native American display, featuring information about the New-England (Woodland) Algonquin tribes, and the Nipmuc who resided in modern day Sudbury.
This part of our permanent exhibit is meant to further educate visitors on the life and times of the land's inhabitants dating back thousands of years prior to the English colonizers.
SHS Presented With MA Senate and House of Representatives Citation
On May 13th, the Sudbury Historical Society celebrated the formal Grand Opening of the Sudbury History Center and Museum in the historically-renovated Loring Parsonage!
The museum opened last August, but that night was an opportunity to thank all of the amazing volunteers and donors, and especially the Sudbury Historical Society, led by President, Hartley Johnson, and Executive Director, Rachael Robinson.
Six years ago, after a request from Sudbury history buffs for state funding, Senator Mike Barrett, Rep. Carmine Gentile and Senator Jamie Eldridge secured a $260,000 earmark that was the catalyst for town and private contributions to create one of the most professional, interesting and welcoming town historical museums in the region, which also incorporated Indigenous People’s history, in consultation with a Nipmuc Tribal leader, including of course King Philip’s War storied Sudbury battles.
We were pleased to receive a Senate Citation to the museum, alongside Ravi Simon, representing Rep. Gentile.
Our Doors Are Open to the Public
Our doors are now open to the public, Monday - Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday, 1pm-4pm. Read about our opening in the Metrowest Daily News.
Our Gift Shop is Nearly Done, Use Our New E-Shop Now!
October 2020: Our new gift shop is coming together nicely and new merchandise is coming in every day! We hope to be open to the public soon, but in the meantime check our online store here.
While we are still closed to visitors, we can ship or leave any order out for a scheduled pick up. With the holidays coming up, this is a great way to find some unique gifts and support the SHS at the same time!
SHS Receives Freedom's Way Grant
July 2020: The Sudbury Historical Society has received a Freedom's Way National Heritage Area Capacity Building Small Grant in the amount of $1,500.
The Freedom's Way National Heritage Area Capacity Building Small Grants Program is designed to help our partner organizations adapt to the demands placed upon them by COVID-19.
Freedom’s Way Executive Director, Patrice Todisco, indicated that “It is our hope that they will support community outreach and provide enhanced opportunities for virtual programming and curation", when she presented the grant to the SHS this summer.
The funding has allowed the SHS to purchase 6 laptop computers designed to increase volunteer mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staffing capacity restrictions can now be solved with remote access on this new system and the laptops have also allowed the SHS to work closer to the archives during the recent move to the Loring Parsonage.
SHS Archives and Offices Relocated to Loring Parsonage
We are pleased to report that the move of the Sudbury Historical Society archives and offices took place in late-July and it was a big success! The movers were amazing and took great efforts in relocating everything safely and professionally. It was no small feat, but they protected the Parsonage and made the move of hundreds of years of objects and artifacts look easy. We are so thankful to have this massive project finally completed after so many months of planning. This big event was another step forward, spanning many years and even decades in the making.
Scenes from the move
The task of reassembling and reorganizing the archives will take a while, but we have some great ideas to bring things forward in our new space. This fall will see us concentrating with the archives reorganization and the continued efforts of getting the new museum galleries and welcome/gift shop set up.
We thank all our members for their support over the past five months as we navigate uncharted territory as an organization used to personal face-to-face volunteering and programming. Your membership renewals, monetary donations, participation in our COVID survey, as well as emails of support and praise have all been wonderful to see!
The president and director get dirty
Help Document Sudbury During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The town's 17th/18th century smallpox cemetery
Click here to take the survey!
The mission of the Sudbury Historical Society is to be a comprehensive repository of daily life in Sudbury throughout time, and most especially key moments in history. With this in mind, we would like to collect real time accounts from Sudbury residents on how they are dealing with the current Coronavirus pandemic.
There are two ways that you can help us accomplish this. You can complete our Sudbury Coronavirus Survey at this link here or submit materials relating to the pandemic to us directly.
Submissions can be in the form of photographs, written statements (emails, physical letters), videos, creative endeavors (poems, artwork inspired by current events). If you have anything you would like to share we would love to have it to enhance our historical collection. Please email your submissions, or links to relevant materials, to Rachael at: email@example.com.
We here at the Sudbury Historical Society wish all of the members of our community, and beyond, health and strength during these challenging times. Take care of yourselves, and be kind to your neighbors. Together we will get through this.
Repurposing of the Loring Parsonage is Complete!
The Loring Parsonage circa 1890Etching by J. S. Conant, from Alfred S. Hudson, History of Sudbury, 1889
The Sudbury Historical Society is in the midst of its most ambitious project to date, creating the Sudbury History Center and Museum at the circa 1730 Loring Parsonage in the Town Center.
Planning the move of the SHS offices and centuries of archival materials has taken time, but we are pleased to announce that we moved in the end of July! Moving professionals relocated the SHS archives to their new home next door. Even though we only have limited access to the building, we continue to work on the design of our galleries (one permanent and two rotating), gift shop and welcome center remotely!
We can't wait to build out our future history center and offices into the gem of Sudbury Center and to share it with our members! Keep an eye out for updates as the grand opening comes to fruition in the fall of 2020.
Meet our New Director
We are pleased to welcome Rachael Robinson as our newest Executive Director! Her previous work as a Curatorial and Museum Reference Associate of the Hart Nautical Collection at the MIT Museum will bring a uniqueness to the role of Director that we need as we transition into the Sudbury History Center. She has had a wide array of leadership roles in every category that we saw as a need for our new Director in our changing organization. She has experience with programming, collections management, photography digitization and engagement with town entities and donors.
Rachael has been involved for many years as a member of the Littleton Historical Commission, as well as assisting the Littleton Historical Society on various exhibit design projects before joining the SHS in late February. Please join us in welcoming Rachael to our organization!
The Festival of Wreaths a Big Success
The Festival of Wreaths at the Loring Parsonage took place December 4 -8, 2019. It was a fun and spirited open house and reception that allowed the Society to show the public the newly completed Loring Parsonage downstairs galleries before they become transformed into the Sudbury History Center.
With over 30 wreaths and holiday arrangements hand-crafted by local businesses and community members, our volunteers turned the Parsonage into something very special. Each item was bid on and purchased with funds donated to the newly emerging history center.
We wish to thank the following people and organizations for their support by creating their own unique wreath design:
Wayside Inn Foundation, A Blade of Grass, Bullfinch’s Restaurant, Duck Soup, Funston Antiques, Wayside Country Store, Mahoney’s Garden Center, Sudbury Garden Club, Thursday Garden Club, Sudbury Valley Trustees, Wounded Warriors, Save-A-Dog, Roche Bros. Supermarket, Russo’s, Sudbury Savoyards, Sudbury Extended Day, Weeks Family, Bearly Read Books, Heather Garden Design, Lisa Forsberg-Bark & Blossoms, Russell’s Garden Center, Boston Design Guide, Stonegate Gardens, Diana Cebra, Nancy Eckersley, Cavicchio Greenhouses, L-S Autism Awareness Club, Beth Grey-Nix and Isabelle Zee.
Sudbury Historical Society Receives Grant from Foundation for MetroWest
The Sudbury Historical Society has received a $10,000 grant from the Foundation for MetroWest. The grant is for audio/visual equipment and development of audio/visual programming that will be used as part of the displays and exhibits in the soon-to-be-opened Sudbury History Center. The Historical Society has many recordings and videos of programs previously presented at society meetings, a number of which are in VHS format. These programs need to be edited and digitized so they can be viewed within the History Center as well as online. Additionally, the Society plants to continue developing audio/visual presentations of other aspects of the history of Sudbury and the surrounding area.
This is the second time the Foundation for MetroWest has made a generous grant to the Historical Society. In 2017, the Society received a grant toward the restoration and repurposing of the Loring Parsonage into the Sudbury History Center. The Society is gratified by the Foundation’s strong support over the years.
The Sudbury Historical Society is a private 501(c)3 organization, and it relies on private donations from its membership, the Sudbury community, and institutional donors such as the Foundation for Metrowest. The Society looks forward to opening the Sudbury History Center at the Loring Parsonage in Town Center in the Spring of 2020.
Sudbury Historical Society: 2019 Freedom’s Way Partnership Grant Recipient
Designed to provide strategic investments in the cultural, natural and historical resources that enhance the sense of place within the forty-five communities of the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area, the Freedom's Way Partnership Grant Program serves as a catalyst for creative programs and projects that increase awareness and understanding of the region's heritage by engaging residents and visitors through experiences and promoting stewardship. 2019 is the first year of this grant program and is serving as a pilot for the future.
“After careful consideration by seven independent reviewers, Freedom's Way is pleased to announce the award of nine partnership grants and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate on these important projects.", said Executive Director Patrice Todisco. "Their diversity reflects the rich heritage of the region and the impressive work of our many partners to protect, preserve and enhance the cultural, natural and historical resources that make it special."
To complement the opening of the new Sudbury History Center, funds will be used to support a semi-permanent exhibition integrating the history of Sudbury within the context of the overarching themes that shaped the nation. The exhibit will use creative display and interactive devices to reach audiences of all ages.
Since 2015, the Sudbury Historical Society has been planning and fundraising for the almost $1.7 million-dollar renovation and expansion of the historic c. 1730 Loring Parsonage to transform it into the Sudbury History Center, complete with museum galleries, visitors’ center and archive of more than 5,000 accessioned items, including the Harry Rice Collection of Native American Artifacts.