Then Sturbridge Historical Society meeting will be held on Thursday April 25, 2019 at the Publick House Historical Inn on Sturbridge Common. The guest speaker will be Dennis Picard, retired director of the Storrowtown Village Museum in West Springfield , MA on the history of the New England Maple Sugar Harvest.
Dennis will focus his talk on the history and folklore of maple sugar making in New England from Native Americans to the end of the 19th century through the display and description of antique sugaring tools from the era of bark baskets and hollowed troughs to buckets, pails and tubing, from the centuries old practice of open fired caldrons to the 19th century science of the cast iron arch and flue evaporators. He will also discuss the economic and cultural forces that shifted the farmer’s production focus from” country sugar” for home use to “ grade A fancy” syrup to the tourist trade.
Dennis Picard began his career as a museum professional in the living history field for forty years at the Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA in 1978 where he eventually spent twelve years filling various positions including lead interpreter, researching and designing many public programs, which are still offered by that institution today.
Dennis, with his background and museum experience, has authored many articles on the lifestyles and folkways of New England and has also served as a consultant for many Historical Societies and Museums. He has edited film scripts and reviewed historic novels for accuracy of content.
He has held the position of Assistant Director and Director at several sites including Fort Number Four in Charlestown, New Hampshire, the Sheffield Historical Society in the Massachusetts Berkshires. Dennis teaches the for credit 200 level “Museum Studies & Historic Site Interpretation” at Westfield State University in Mass. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Pioneer Valley History Network and a member of the editorial board of “Country School Journal”.
Historical meetings are free of charge with dessert and meeting room provided by Michael Glick, Publick House Innkeeper.
Society Annual Dues are $10.00 which help support the cost of speakers. Meetings are held September through May on the fourth Thursday of the month except November and December. November’s meeting is held the first Thursday in December.
All meetings start at 7:00 pm