Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise noted, at 7 p.m. at the Pittsfield Historical Society Headquarters, 13 Elm Street in Pittsfield. The January meeting is the Society’s Annual meeting and is held on the 2nd Tuesday of that month. There are no meetings in February-April, July-August, and November-December.

A copy of the 2017 Program flyer.

2017 Programs

Wednesday, May 10 – Early Woodworking in Pittsfield

Woodworking in one form or another was once a part of everyday life for people pre-industrialization. We will explore the crafts’ origins from the humble beginnings of John Cram’s beginnings of box and shingle mills of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and how this industry was indispensable to the early growth of Pittsfield. Short biographies will include Jacob Jones, clockmaker; Abraham French, cabinet-maker; William Hartwell, millwright, and lumberman; and many others. After the presentation by David Harper, on Wednesday, May 10th at 7 pm, at the Society, 13 Elm Street, there will be a brief demonstration with some of the hand tools and techniques these craftsmen would have used in their work.

Wednesday, June 14 – “The Shakers” in New Hampshire

The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly called “Shakers,” has been present in New Hampshire since 1784. There have been close ties between this celibate religious communal society and Pittsfield throughout our histories. Join us as we explore the ties that link us to the Shaker Community and to the Shaker Museum that is in our back yard. Please bring your experiences, stories, photographs, and memorabilia of the “Shakers” to share with the group. The program will be moderated by Sabra Welch, who will give an overview of the Shakers and share her experiences in helping to preserve the legacy of the “Shakers in New Hampshire.”

Wednesday, September 13 – History of Globe Manufacturing

Globe Manufacturing, Pittsfield’s largest employer, was established in 1901 by Courtland F. H. Freese. He began to produce the Globe Fireman’s Service Suit in a small room located over a harness shop with 5 employees. This has evolved into the present day firm employing over 450 employees. Globe is the largest and oldest maker of protection firefighting equipment in the world. Come and hear Doug Towle, Director of Marketing, speak on the early history of Globe, its growth and its future outlook as a company. The pro-gram with conclude with a question-answer period and stories from the audience about their experiences with Globe.

Wednesday, October 18 – New England Barn Talk

John Porter, co-author of Preserving Old Barns, will present “The History of Agriculture as Told by Barns.” The evolution of barn architecture tells the story of New Hampshire agriculture. Barns changed from the early English style to Yankee style, to gambrel and then pole barns to accommodate the changing agriculture. This presentation will be a chronological walk through time, with photo illustrations of barns around the state that are examples of these eras of agricultural history. John Porter and Francis Gil-man, co-authors of Preserving Old Barns, have spent their careers with farmers around New England helping them update and retrofit barns and have applied this knowledge to the renovation of old barns.