Devil’s Den to Lickingwater has gotten a really lovely, warm reception — full houses at all events, and we had to turn away many at the door. So, we’re scheduling a bunch more presentations. I’m really looking forward to seeing our MRGI folk out there. We’ve scheduled five Devil’s Den to Lickingwater presentations between February 11th and early April in Northampton, Williamsburg, and South Hadley. Other venues and events are either in a planning stage or have been set.
- February 11th, 7:00 Broadside Books. This will be more a conversation between author and audience than a lecture, and there will be no powerpoint/slide show. Topics will include the early history of the Mill River and Native American perspectives on the Pioneer Valley; how the Mill River defined Northampton; and why the river matters.
- February 19th, 7:00 at Odyssey Books, South Hadley. We will present an overview of Devil’s Den to Lickingwater, including the creation of the Pioneer Valley from both the geological and Native American perspectives. We will discuss the Mill River and Pioneer Valley as a reflection of much of American history. The author will choose several river stories from among the many in the book about floods, diversions, industrial evolution and environmental transformations.
- February 21, 7:00 at Northampton Community Arts Trust on Hawley St. This will be a repeat of the December 1 talk at Historic Northampton when we had to turn away so many people. The focus will be on the Mill River and the creation of Nonotuck and Northampton. We will feature the two river diversions and dozens of flood events (not the 1874 Williamsburg Disaster). What was it like to live in Northampton prior to 1940?
- March 13, 6:30 at Meekins Library, Williamsburg. This presentation will be in memory of Ralmon Black. We will look at Williamsburg in the context of Native American and Colonial history and then focus on Williamsburg’s contribution to the cultural and industrial history of the Valley.
- March or early April on a Thursday evening at 7:30 at Smith College, venue to be determined.The focus for the presentation will be chosen in consultation with the Landscape Studies program, which is sponsoring the talk.
- A presentation at Forbes is up for grabs. I’d like to see it as a panel about how to approach public history and how to integrate local history into schools.
- ?April or May? Hitchcock Center – there may be a forum on environmental history of the Valley in honor of Elizabeth Farnsworth.
- October 18 evening, Audubon’s Arcadia Refuge. This event will focus on environmental history.
We wish you much happiness and warmth in the cold of this season. Looking forward to the river connecting us,