As the 2021 season winds down, the Bidwell House Museum invites you to Maker Day, outdoors on the grounds of the Museum on October 23. Originally scheduled for July but postponed due to bad weather, the Museum is excited to welcome visitors to the property for a free afternoon event with Craftspeople, Music, and Fall-themed refreshments.
At Maker Day, you will have an opportunity to see traditional crafts being practiced by local artisans as they might have done in the 18th century and you will get to see these skills as practiced by both the Native Peoples of early New England and the European settlers, including:
–Del Martin of Knox Trail Forge, who will demonstrate traditional blacksmithing techniques and will show some of his wares.
–Roger Longtoe Sheehan of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe, who will show visitors how to make soapstone pipes and talk about their history and uses.
–Linda Longtoe Sheehan of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe, who will be working with shell and glass beads to make wampum belts. She will talk about the history of wampum and why it was so important to the Native peoples then and now.
–Jim Taylor, of Abenaki and Cherokee descent, is a traditional Eastern Woodlands Quillworker who will create decorations for bags and knife sheaths using porcupine quills.
-The Berkshire Hills and Dales Spinning Guild, who will share traditional spinning and weaving techniques.
Also on-site that day:
-Music by local favorite Moonshine Holler from 12:30 to 3:30
-a chance to re-build a wigwam behind the Museum
-free hot cider and apple cider donuts, a hallmark of fall in the Berkshires.
This event is FREE and open to the public. The demonstrations will take place outside, on the property, which is open all day, free of charge. The house will not be open for tours on this day.
While onsite, visitors can also take a variety of self-guided tours of the property including the “Outside the House Tour” and a walk on the Native American Interpretive Trail. The Museum also has a Heritage Vegetable Garden, Flower Gardens, miles of trails, and two new picnic tables where you can enjoy a packed lunch or snack. Trail maps and tour maps can be found on the front porch of the Museum.
This program is supported by a grant from the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area. This program is also supported in part by grants from the Tyringham Cultural Council, Otis Cultural Council, and Monterey Cultural Council, local agencies, which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.