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Our 2017 – 2018 Program List

WAYLAND’S EMBATTLED MEADOWLAND FARMERS: THOREAU AND THE "FLOWAGE CONTROVERSY" (1858-1862)

Thursday, September 14 ~ 7:00 PM
Past Program

Grout Heard House Museum

University of Connecticut Professor Robert Thorson details a fascinating chapter in Wayland history – the “flowage controversy“ in The Boatman, an account of Thoreau’s life on the Sudbury, Concord, and Assabet Rivers. Some of Wayland’s most prominent citizens, whose farms relied on haymaking made possible by the “natural” ebb and flow of floods, sued the owners of a dam downstream in Billerica to have it removed. These “Wayland farmers” hired Henry David Thoreau—not the dreamy pacifist of Walden Pond but the accomplished surveyor and river scientist to gather information that would prove their case. Thoreau finds that it wasn’t just the downstream dams that caused problems for the Wayland farmers but a number of other and earlier human-made “improvements” like the one-arch bridge over the Assabet. Thoreau and farmers likely avoided this ambiguity by not including his research in their suit. Thorson’s tale of over 150 years ago, is about how humans need “to recognize and accommodate, how to live with and through, change.” (Wall Street Journal) Signed copies of his book will be available to buy.

Refreshments: Linda Hamilton and Lois Toombs

WHAT DO CERAMICS TELL US ABOUT WAYLAND’S ANCIENT INHABITANTS?

Saturday, October 21 ~ 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Wayland Town Building Large Hearing Room

Massachusetts Archaeology Month Event, co-sponsored with the Wayland Historical Commission and presented by Dr. John Pretola. Dr. Pretola will provide the first professional analysis conducted on ceramic pottery sherds found in one Wayland archaeological site. Pottery provides clues about how ancient Native Americans manufactured their pottery and how pots were used in daily life. The ceramics from this site suggest inhabitants several thousand years ago, during early Middle Woodland times, were becoming more sedentary and augmenting wild foods diet with plant propagation. Actual Native American artifacts recovered from Wayland archaeological sites will be on exhibit, some dating as far back as 8,000 years ago. You are invited to bring artifacts you have found for identification by experts in the Wayland Archaeology Group.

Refreshments: Minnette Harrington

THE VALUE OF THE BOOK

Sunday, November 19 ~ 2:00 PM
Wayland Public Library

In an Antiques Roadshow-type format, Ray Rickman, a long-time rare book dealer, will discuss which sorts of books tend to have high market values, explain characteristics that can influence the worth of a book, and offer complimentary estimates for up to three books for each attendee. Rickman is a former host of “Booksellers” on Rhode Island Public Television, and a leader in the promotion of African American history. We are pleased to co-sponsor this lively and informative program with the Wayland Public Library as we usher in the holiday season.

Refreshments: Sally Lamprey

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

Sunday, December 3 ~ 2:00 – 5:00 PM
Grout Heard House Museum

Welcome in the holiday season with the Wayland Historical Society’s Holiday Open House! Many participate to prepare the House to open our doors and welcome you. Wayland Garden Club’s talented members, led by Lois Toombs and Gretchen Schuler, will be festively attiring our rooms in holiday greenery. The Stone Room’s alcove and tree will be decorated by Wayland Girl Scouts, led by Elisa Scola. Once again, we will enjoy a musical interlude and members of the Historical Society will be on hand to welcome all. Enjoy an afternoon stroll through the House, sample treats, punch, and tea in the Stone Room and meet with friends and neighbors!

Holiday Open House Co-chairs: Aida Gennis and Kathy Heckscher

THE WAYS OF OUR LAND: DUDLEY POND

Sunday, January 21 ~  2:00 PM
Russell’s Garden Center

From its formation when the glaciers receded to the treasured recreational space it offers today, Dudley Pond has a rich history. Educator and Cochituate resident, Sheila Carel, has explored the colorful history of the pond and its surroundings, including Dudley Woods. She will share this history, highlighting Dudley Pond’s rich and diverse history. Over time, the Pond has been served as a sacred place for Native Americans, a water source for the rapidly growing City of Boston in the 1840’s, the sumptuous Simpson Estate that became the Mansion Inn, Ted Williams’ and “the Babe’s” fishing base at the Dudley Chateau, water quality improvements, recent pontoon boat band concerts, and more.

Refreshments: Harvey Segal

THE GHOST OF LYDIA MARIA CHILD

Sunday, February 11 – 2:30 PM  Film at 3:00
Islamic Center of Boston

Playwright and actress Laura Duggan will present a videotape of her performance of “The Ghost of Lydia Maria Child” about Wayland’s premier 19th century author and abolitionist. Laura, who comes to us from Medford, Mrs. Child’s birthplace, created and starred in this loving tribute to Mrs. Child, who was born on February 11. The thread that connects her presentation is a bonnet that Mrs. Child wore for many years and is now a treasured item in the Wayland Historical Society collections. Laura will be on hand for questions and comments and to celebrate Mrs. Child’s 116th birthday. Optional tour of the Islamic Center follows.

Refreshment: Tonya Largy and Islamic Center of Boston

MISSILES ON OXBOW: THE NIKE MISSILE SITE IN WAYLAND

Sunday, March 4 ~ 2:00 PM
Wayland Public Library

Speaker Bob Farrington grew up in Wayland and while attending Loker School the students built a full size Nike Ajax missile in the cafeteria/gym, using cardboard and paper mache. In 1954 the US government determined that Russia would have enough long range bombers to launch a “devastating attack” on America and recommended increasing the defense budget by 300%. In 1954-55 the US Army built a missile base on undeveloped woodland fronting on Oxbow Road in North Wayland and in more than 200 other sites around 40 cities. The Oxbow site and 11 other sites around Boston were initially fitted with Nike Ajax missiles armed with conventional explosives, but in 1958 the Nike Ajax sites, including Wayland’s, were refitted with Nike Hercules missiles which could carry either conventional or nuclear war heads.

Refreshments: Molly Faulkner

HOW THE PURITAN VILLAGE EVOLVED: A GUIDED TOUR OF COLONIAL SUDBURY PLANTATION (SUDBURY AND WAYLAND) 1639-1730

Sunday, April 29 ~ 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Co-hosted by the Sudbury Historical Society and the Wayland Historical Society

We will gather at the Sudbury Town Hall at 2pm sharp for a narrated guided bus tour of colonial era Sudbury and Wayland. We’ll stretch our legs at the Four-arch (Town) Bridge on the Sudbury River to talk about the river’s importance to early settlers and Native Americans; then onto North Cemetery to view our first joint town center and monument to the first meetinghouse. At the Mill Pond, where the first grist mill in Sudbury was located, we will hear about our mutual first miller, the aptly named Thomas Cakebread, and finally to the sites of the fourth and fifth (present) meeting houses—the new center of what would become East Sudbury in 1780 and Wayland in 1835. We will return to present-day Sudbury Center to learn about the early settlers on the west side of the river and their first steps toward separation before enjoying refreshments in the Sudbury Town Hall courtesy of the Sudbury Historical Society. Seating on the bus will be limited to approximately 40 people and reservations for seats ($5.00 each) will be taken in February. More information will be available at www.waylandmuseum.org and www.sudbury01776.org.

 

ANNUAL MEETING AND TREASURES FROM OUR COLLECTIONS—MAPS

Wednesday, May 23 ~ 7:30 PM
Grout-Heard House Museum

At the close of our business meeting, WHS member Fran Pollitt, former Curator of Maps at the Maine Historical Society, will recount her adventures preparing our most valuable historical maps for digitization. These maps will be featured on-line at Digital Commonwealth and will aid researchers, near and far, to explore Wayland’ rich landscapes. Maps are some of the most sought-after items in our collection, and several will be on display.

Refreshments: Alice Boelter

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