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♦Welcome to the Bidwell House Museum♦

The museum is open for tours Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Tours are on the hour, with the last tour beginning at 3 p.m. (Directions)

The grounds are open daily from dawn until dusk for hiking and nature watching. The Bidwell House is located on a country lane in the rural town of Monterey in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts. Please explore our website: read about the colonial history of the region, plan to attend Season Events, learn about School Programs, discover fun volunteer opportunities, and much more.

Upcoming Programs:

Bidwell History Talk: Love and Separation

On Saturday, July 26th, Nicholas Marshall, Professor of History at Marist College, will visit the Bidwell History Talk series to explore a central issue for ordinary Americans in the nineteenth century: the love for family members and the near constant fear of loss. His talk,”Love and Separation: the Great Problem for Ordinary Americans in the Nineteenth Century,” will be presented at the Tyringham Church, Main Road, Tyringham, at 10 a.m.

The people of the pre-Civil War era were hit hard by cultural and demographic
forces peculiar to the period: the celebration of emotional attachments and
the frequent breaking of these same bonds.  There was an omnipresent fear of separation from loved ones due mainly to death, but also to migration west. Diaries and letters from the period reveal several themes: first, Americans had developed modern, emotional connections to family members; second, these close bonds were routinely sundered by disease, accidents, and migration; and, third, that the very same people held optimistic views about improving themselves and their nation.  How did they come to understand this contrast of great affliction coupled with great progress?  How did it shape the broader outlines of a culture fully committed to reform, including religious revival, anti-slavery, and temperance?

Professor Marshall is Associate Professor of History at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.  He holds degrees from Oberlin College and the University of California, Davis.  His most recent publication, from March of this year, is an article in the Journal of the Civil War Era entitled “The Great Exaggeration: Death and the Civil War.”  He lives with his family in Pittsfield.

The Bidwell House Museum History Talks are held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham at 10 a.m. $15 per person, $10 for members of the museum.

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The Place to Be: the Bidwell House Museum Summer Art Party

The place to be on the afternoon of August 2nd is the Bidwell House Museum’s Garden Party at the hilltop site of the former Berkshire Summer School of Art. All friends, neighbors and members of the community from near and far are invited from 4 to 7 pm to spend a charmed summer afternoon in one of the most beautiful spots in the Berkshires.

Guests will stroll the grounds watching artist at work, take in the view from the Carrington Hall porch, enjoy delectable hors d’oeuvres, and bid on treasures to take home—all to benefit the museum. The “Plein Air Trio” will play 1920s Jazz, and guests are invited to don “artsy” attire.

The now private property of the former Berkshire Summer School of Art and the historic Carrington Hall is the spectacular setting of this year’s Bidwell House Museum party, a rare opportunity to see this private estate.
The summer art school, situated atop a hillside of the Beartown Mountain ridge, was part of the Bidwell House Museum property in the early 20th century. From 1915 to 1936 — the height of the Arts and Crafts and Plein Air movements — distinguished artists and art faculty from Pratt Institute taught on these grounds. Students stayed in 45 small bungalow tents set up in “villages.” They gathered for lessons and socializing in Carrington Hall. Founders Ray Ensign and Ernest Watson lived on the property, Ensign in the Bidwell House. Descendants of Ernest Watson will be attending the party.

The summer gala is the major fund-raising event of the year for the museum, supporting the historic 1750s homestead, all programs, and the 192 acres of grounds, open to the community year round.

Tickets to the Summer Art Party are $50 per person before July 25, $60 at the door, and can be reserved by contacting the museum office at 413-528-6888, or by mailing in the form:  Bidwell House 2014 Garden Party rsvp.

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Board Member John Demos’ new book, The Heathen School, A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic, was recently reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on NPR. You can listen to that review here.

Also, click here to listen to John Demos discuss his book with Frank Sesno of NPR affiliate WAMU.

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♦EVENTS♦

Take a look at the calendar of 2014 Programs, click here

Spring has arrived at the Bidwell House

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Thank you for supporting the Bidwell House Museum. Your generosity allows the museum to thrive, and you are helping to protect the 1750s homestead and 192 acres of open space. Take a look at the story and photos of the Colonial Thanksgiving Party on Rural Intelligence.

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Thank you for supporting the Bidwell House Museum at the Berkshires in the Twenties Garden Party! Take a look at the story and photos on Rural Intelligence….

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 Enjoy the new interpretive trail:

The Historic Berkshires: An 18th Century Trail

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Take a look at the 7-31-12 Berkshire Eagle article about a 2012 intern project:

“Cracking the Code: Young History Scholar Deciphers 1759 Sermon”

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To learn more about the forest management initiative
at the museum, please click here.
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