New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Kids Casting Call for Community Play
On Wednesday July 15th at 4:00 pm there will be casting call for kids who want to have a small part in Dorothy Johnson's latest community play, The Country Store: A Radio Play.  Please come to the 1794 Meetinghouse so you can be added to the cast.  Each kid will get a line in the play and there is a song they will sing together.

Free Swimming Lessons
Free swimming lessons are being offered to New Salem and Wendell children ages 5 and up.  The lessons will be at 10:30 a.m. at Lake Mattawa and will be taught by the staff of the Athol YMCA Aquatics Program.  The program will be offered July 13-16th and July 20-23th.  You may register for one or two weeks.  Classes will be held Monday through Thursday (with Friday for a rain make-up only).  Register in person at the Athol YMCA or by calling the YMCA at 978-249-3305.  This program is not a school- sponsored event.  This program is sponsored by the New Salem and Wendell Recreation Committees.

Old Home Day Schedule is here

Reminder: Amazon Kindle Raffle to Benefit the Library
The Friends of the New Salem Public Library are selling raffle tickets for an Amazon Kindle
4GB 6" Touchstone e-Reader with Wifi and a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card. Tickets are available anytime at the New Salem General Store.  You may also purchase them on Saturday July 11th from 10:00-12:00 noon at the library when the Friends of the Library are holding their meeting. The drawing will be held on Saturday, July 18th (Old Home Day!) at 1:00 pm. (You do not need to be present to win).

Congregational  Church Softball Game and Picnic on Sunday, July 26
The Central Congregational Church Youth Group came up with the idea of a Softball Game followed by a Picnic down by the ball field and inviting folks from town to join us in a “friendly” game of softball at noon, with a picnic to follow at approximately 1:30 pm.  We plan to grill some hot dogs and burgers and ask everyone attending to provide some salads and side dishes, as well as beverages, chips and desserts! If you would like to play, contact Janet Henderson at 978-544-3410.

Old Home Day Committee Looking for Old-Fashioned Fun Games Volunteers
The theme of this year’s Old Home Day on Saturday, July 18th is Old-Fashioned Fun.
Volunteers: We are looking for volunteers who will help out for about 30 minutes on Old Home Day with old-fashioned events or games. If you would like to help, email or call 978-544-3410 or 978-544-2660. We will match you up with an activity of event of your choice.

Ice Cream Maker: We are looking for an old-fashioned crank-operated ice cream maker, email or call the contacts above.

Save the date: Saturday, July 18th.

1794 Meetinghouse July Performances

July 16: Mount Peru – Boston-based indie rock band at 7:30 pm
July 18: The Jolly Beggars – Local favorite performs Celtic music the evening of Old Home Day after the 1794 chicken dinner fundraiser.
July 19: Massmouth: Storytelling with Norah Dooley & Friends – Good old-fashioned storytelling, as well as a “story slam” for the whole family at 4:00 pm.

Go to for more information and ticket info.

July 23: Lisa Martin will present an evening of country and folk rock at 7:30 pm.
July 25: At 7:30 pm, local favorites, Trailer Park will take the stage. If you like horns and rock and roll, you will be there.
July 26: Jacqueline Schwab, who has been the pianist on numerous Ken Burns documentaries, will perform a whole range of American songs at 4:00 pm.
July 30: The Tin Pan Valley Trio will have you laughing and giggling as they interpret jazz standards in a unique way at 7:30 pm.
August 1: At 7:30 pm, singer/songwriter, consummate entertainer, Vance Gilbert will close out the 1794 Meetinghouse's concert season with folk, pop, jazz with stories and wit preceded by a champagne reception at 6:45. 

The New Salem Community Garden

Just a quick note to invite anyone who has perennials that need to be split to give Sandy Spiewak a call at 413-219-4458. The community garden is having its 2nd annual plant sale fundraiser at Old Home Day, and we appreciate all the plants you can spare. We now have vegetable plants in our Giving Garden. As they begin to bear fruit please help yourself! Thanks to Joe Cuneo and Cal Coolidge for donating pepper, tomato, kale, eggplant, swiss chard and cucumber plants! We also have a pallet planter with lettuce and parsley along with petunias and sunflowers for added visual interest. Thanks to Robert Roy, our newly constructed shed is being stained. We hope to have a bench in place before Old Home Day too. Come visit.

New Salem Library News

Summer Reading Program: Calling all Super Heroes! The library is launching the Summer Reading Program – Every Hero Has A Story! July 7th through July 28th – every Tuesday from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm. The Summer Reading Program is open to people of all ages with prize drawings, a reading club and more. Join the reading program and enter the raffles. All programs are free.
July 14 - Stomp Rocket workshop. Come make a tiny superhero and send him flying! Who can design the highest flying hero? The most colorful? Then we'll move on to an even BIGGER stomp rocket.
July 21 - We'll build our own Superheroes to put on the New Salem Old Home Day float. What's your super power? A variety of materials will be provided to create a figure to go on the float.
July 28 - Super Hero Training Camp.  Come train to be a super-healthy superhero. Jump rope, throw a Frisbee, try some brain games, thread your way through the super hero maze.
Aug. 4 - Field Day! Ice cream, balloon races, three-legged race and water balloon toss. Be ready to get wet and have fun! Drawing for prizes.
All the Summer Reading Programs subject to change due to weather. Children are invited to go to the Community Garden with their adult to pick from the Children's Garden. Parents of children under 11 must stay in the library, or accompany their child outside. All adults are invited to participate with their child. Come have some fun! For more information call 978-544-6334.
Teens and Tweens Club:  We’ve been learning to sew this month! Come see our float in the New Salem Old Home Day Parade July 18th where we’ll model some of our creations.
Next month is our big “Make your own video game” program! July 1st, 15th and 29th, starting a 3:00 pm. Call to register so we’ll have enough computers for everyone, or bring your own laptop to work on. This will be a really fun program!
On the 8th we’ll work on putting some finishing touches on our parade float.
On the 22nd, weather permitting, you’re invited to the water balloon fight of the summer! Come early and help fill balloons. Invite your friends! What do you wish you could learn to do? Call and tell us! We’ll be here all summer, every Wednesday, from 1:30-5:30. You’re invited!  The Teens and Tweens Club is open to kids 11–18, from any town!  Call 978-544-6334 for more info.
Museum Passes: The New Salem Public Library has received two more museum passes as donations from the Clark Institute in Williamstown and the Brattleboro Museum in Brattleboro VT.  Please check the availability of these and our other passes, purchased by the Friends of the New Salem Public Library, at the front desk.  The Friends of the New Salem Public Library have also recently funded a Butterfly Museum Pass.  It should be here soon!
Book Discussion Group: The next book is Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. Come pick up your book on July 1st. It will be discussed on Wednesday, July 29th at 7:00 pm. We hope you can join us!
Computer Help: Sue Dunbar is available for one-on-one computer help anytime, but especially on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. Please ask Sue if you are having a computer problem or would like to learn a computer program, such as Excel. 

 Friends of the New Salem Library News Kindle Basket Raffle: The Friends of the New Salem Public Library is holding a Kindle Basket Raffle! Included are an Amazon Kindle 4GB 6" Touchscreen eReader with WiFi and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. The basket is on display at the New Salem Public Library and on the Friends of the Library Facebook page. Tickets are $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. Drawing will be held on Old Home Day (Saturday July 18) at 1:00 PM. You do not need to be present to win. Tickets are available at the New Salem General Store or from a FOL Board member. Thank you for your support!
Giant Book Sale: Time to get ready for the Giant Book Sale sponsored by the Friends at Old Home Day in July. Take a look at your book shelves and pick out all the old books you've already read or those new ones you will never get to. You can drop them off at the library between June 27th and July 11th. That will give us time to put them in order before the sale and not have them pile up too high for too long in the library. We accept all books (except those that are moldy or torn), CD's DVD's and books on tape. NO magazines or encyclopedias, please.  We especially like to have a wide assortment of children's books. So now is the time to clean out those books you have been collecting throughout the year. And many thanks!
Beverages Available: The Friends of the New Salem Public Library remind you that we have coffee, tea, cocoa, and cider available to patrons. Check out the Keurig machine and offerings on the table next to Diana's window. Donations are gratefully accepted for these beverages.

Council on Aging News
Luncheons and bingo: In June we will meet twice at the Town Hall, gathering at 10:00 am for Bingo and coffee with lunch at noon. Please call Hendra Reidy to sign up (978-544-2178). On Friday, July 7th, the lunch will be Jambalaya, brown rice, tossed salad, and pear crisp. On Friday, July 24th, the lunch will be Cheese lasagna with meat sauce, tossed salad, Italian bread, and fresh fruit. Tanya Quinn, from TD Bank (Athol branch) will come to speak to us about the newest scams.
Old Home Day: On July 18th the Council will hold its annual Tin Can Auction. If you have a hand-made item for our auction, please call Judy Jewett (978-544-2216) or Hendra Reidy (978-544-2178). We will be putting three baskets together: Chocolate, Breakfast, and Family Fun. If you have an item to contribute for the baskets, please let us know. Be sure to stop by to see what wonderful prizes we will have on display and maybe buy a ticket!!
Busy Bs: We continue to meet on Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Stowell Building. Bring your sewing project and join us.

2015 Hilltown Brewfest - Save the Date: September 12
Brewfest planning is underway! Brewers are lining up, food vendors are confirming and things are falling in place as we have three months until our next Brewfest fundraiser! Three bands have been confirmed - JB Murray & The Music, Boston Blackthorne and Housejackers are all ready to rock this year’s fest!
This is our 8th Annual Hilltown Brewfest and it gets a little better and a little bigger every year. We appreciate your attendance at our fest and we try very hard to make it a memorable day for everyone as we raise funds to support our local fire departments.

Swift River Valley Historical Society Schedules Hikes and Bus Trips in Quabbin

Limited spaces so contact the office immediately by phone (978-544-6882) or email at

Bus Trip #2: Sunday, October 4th Prescott bus trip, depart from SRVHS at 11:00 am.

Hike #3: Sunday, October 18th, hike to Indian Kitchen & plane crash site, meet at gate 40, 11:00 am. Hikes are free; a $25 per person donation is asked for bus trips, space reserved in advance. Send checks to: Swift River Valley Historical Society (SRVHS) at P.O. Box 22, New Salem, MA 01355. 

Community Network for Children

Please visit our website for weekly scheduled Story Hours and Playgroups in New Salem and Wendell, as well as other fun events. es (x86)

Sign up for WiredWest and help make New Salem a Fiber Town. Sign me up!

Click Here to Sign Up by Mail or For More Information

WiredWest town meeting bond authorizations are now 17 for 19. New Salem had a standing room only crowd for Town Meeting and passed overwhelmingly

New Salem Town & Local Events Calendar
Please note:  Click on the event in the Calendar for event details.

New Salem Central Congregational Church News
Community Freezer: We also have a Community Freezer with home-made meals ready to go for any members of the community who are in need of a break from whatever they are facing.  If you are or if you know anyone who wants to raid our freezer, please call Lisa DeWitt at 978-544-1912 or Janet Henderson at 978-544-3410.

Petersham Art Show Seeking Entrants
If you want to receive exposure and the chance to sell your artwork, but are equally interested in helping others and meeting artists who are addressing similar issues through their work, then this is your chance. Submit your work to, "Transcendent: visions of mental illness & mental health."
Designed to promote awareness of mental health issues, this show will exclusively feature visual art, writing, and performance that depicts or addresses a mental health issue. Proceeds will go to Abby's House, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Worcester, MA that shelters homeless women and children, many suffering from mental health issues. The show will be held September 19th, 2015 in the Petersham Town Hall. See attached flyer for more details.


New Kitchen Compost Pails Available at Transfer Station!

The Franklin County Solid Waste District recently purchased a large number of “Sure-Close” kitchen compost pails. These 1.9-gallon pails are meant to collect food waste in the kitchen, and the materials then emptied into backyard or municipal compost bins. The lid latches securely and can be made to stay open for ease of use. The vented lid has pinholes that act as a filter (but with no expensive or hard-to-find filter); moisture can pass through the lid, which reduces odors.

New Salem was among 15 district towns received varying amounts of pails: Bernardston, Colrain, Conway, Erving, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Orange, Montague, New Salem, Rowe, Shelburne, Sunderland, Wendell, and Whately. They are available at our transfer station while supplies last.  The kitchen pails are also offered for sale to District residents for $5 at the District Office, 50 Miles St., Greenfield; call 413-772-2438 for hours or more info. Earth Machine outdoor compost bins are also for sale for $45 at the District office


These municipal compost programs are available free to permit holders at the transfer stations in Leverett, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, and Whately. The majority of this purchase was funded by Mass DEP’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program  (SMRP) small-scale initiatives grant. The grant requires that funded items contain 35% recycled content; therefore these pails are an avocado green color to mask any color variations in the recycled product. The District previously offered a beige version of the same pail. District Towns also received a total of 44 Earth Machine compost bins, funded by the SMRP grant. For more information, please call (413) 772-2438.

Bee Swarms Welcomed

This time of year, honey bees are evaluating their housing and may feel their current situation is not ideal. About half the hive population leaves with the current queen in search for greener pastures. A swarm is typically very docile, even though they are a noisy bunch. The swarm generally stays in temporary location, such as a tree branch, for about 24 hours while the scouts find a new dwelling. We would love to provide a home for them on our New Salem property. Please call Harmonie or Dennis at 978-544-3869 if you see a swarm in your neighborhood.

North Quabbin Food Co-op
Right in downtown Orange! Go to: for more information about the co-op.

Board of Health Litter Drawing Awards

Winners: The winners for April on the cleanup New Salem contest were Sue and Bob Jillson. They won a package of 10 Trash Bags for cleaning up the side of the road. If you are interested in trying to win some free bags, talk to Bob at the Transfer Station and he will let you know what you need to do to try and win. Thank you Sue and Bob for caring about keeping your town clean. Suggestion Box at Transfer Station: There will be a suggestion box at the New Salem Transfer Station. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve the Transfer Station just leave it in the box.