New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

New Salem Town Meeting
On Monday June 6th, the New Salem Town Meeting will be held in the basement of the Town Hall at 15 South Main Street. Time to be announced. The warrant for the Town Meeting is posted at the New Salem General Store. Come learn how your town meeting works and if you are an eligible town resident, vote on the allocation of town monies.

New Salem Library News
Challenge Walk to the Boston Public Library: On June 2nd, Thursday, join our Challenge to Walk to the Boston Public Library (74.4 miles) in 90 days! If you accept this challenge, you don't actually walk to Boston, but try to walk 74.4 miles during the 90 day Challenge.  Walking kits and all other details are available when you sign up at the library.  This is a free challenge for all ages!
Computer Class: On June 11th, Saturday at 10:30 am, Adam Suzor will give a class featuring basic computer tips.  Learn to insert pictures, the latest Google Drive info and anything else you may want to ask him.
Night Sky: On Saturday, June 25th at the Swift River School, the Night Sky is coming! The first session is from 10:30-11:00 pm and the second session will be from 11:30-midnight.  Locate galaxies, learn what is special about the North Star, locate planets, and more! This is an all ages event. For more info and to sign-up, please call the library at 1-978-544-6334.
Play Time Across the Pond: On Tuesday, June 28th from 11:30-1:30 pm, come to  Playtime across the Pond at the library. Stories and games from England: Queenie Queenie, Please Mr. Crocodile, and make your own crown.  Read books to earn prizes for all ages at the New Salem Public Library.  More to come in July!
Toddler & Pre-Schooler Reading Time. On Thursdays in June - 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 - from 10:30 to 11:30 am there will be a Toddler and Preschooler Reading Time featuring local readers. Snacks will be provided. People wishing to volunteer as June readers for the program should call the library at 978-544-6334.
Lego Club: The Lego Club will be on Saturday, June 11th from 12:30-2:00 pm. This program is offered at the same time the second Saturday of each month.
Teens and Tweens: Wish you knew how to summon lightning bolts with a bow and arrow or build giant rainbows in the Minecraft world with code? Come to the Library on June 15th from 2:30-4:30 pm and learn to spawn farm animals or monsters instantly and have fun "modding" your world!  The set-up is easy for beginners, challenging for experienced gamers and fun for ages 11 and up. You must pre-register for this program by calling 978-544-6334. Every Wednesday, snacks, computers, games, movies, all free - only for 11 to 18 year olds from any town.


Friends of the New Salem Public Library News
Annual Meeting: The Friends of the Library will be holding their annual meeting on Saturday, June 18 at 4:00 pm in the library. Join us for a relaxed afternoon of wine, cheese, and celebration of our achievements this past year and discussion of ideas for next year.
Old Home Day Giant Book Sale: The Friends will once again be holding their Giant Book Sale on Old Home Day, Saturday, July 16th from 10:00 to 2:00 pm. We will be collecting books for that sale starting July 1st. So start boxing up those old and not-so-old books but please wait till July 1st to take them to the library. We like to keep the library as neat as possible and those piles of old books get messy really fast. Many thanks for all your book donations in the past and we look forward to a really big Giant Book Sale this year.


Old Home Day Committee Updates and Vendors and Bakers Wanted
Updates: There will be a concert/dance with the sax-driven rocking band, Trailer Park, at this year’s Old Home Day. Stay tuned for details. Also, the Pied Potter Hamlin will be presenting a pottery demonstration of all kinds of pottery making. The Tree Committee is sponsoring a Town Forest Tree Walk. This will be easy walk of about one hour by Bruce Spencer, a former DCR forester, informing town residents of the history of the town parcel and its trees.
The 1794 Meetinghouse Chicken Dinner Fundraiser is on again this year.
: The Old Home Day Committee is seeking vendors for this year’s Old Home Day which will take place on Saturday, July 16th. Vendors set up at the northern end of the Common from 10:00-3:00 pm and offer their wares to the Old Home Day visitors. The cost is $10 for a 10’ by 10’ area. If you are interested, email
Cake Walk Cake Bakers: If you are interested in baking cakes for the annual Old Home Day Cake Walk, please contact Sunday LeFebvre at or 575-0116. As always, there will be a great prize for the cake voted the best cake by the tasters!


Agricultural Commission News
Pollinator Gardening Workshop: On June 2nd from 2:00-6:00 pm, join New Salem Agricultural Commission members and Carlen Rigrod from The Farm School for this educational workshop with a hands on opportunity. Together we will discuss choices of perennial plants that support improved garden pollination, plan a garden design using mostly native plants and help create a new pollinator garden at the New Salem Community Garden.
Attendees interested in helping us design and plant our garden should wear light work attire, bring gloves and any tools they may use. The New Salem Community Garden and Agricultural Commission appreciate your ongoing interest in our monthly events and have gained admiration for the input provided by you. Thank you and please join us in our community endeavor!
Plant Donations for Old Home Day Plant Sale: We are looking for plants donations for our Old Home Day plant sale to support our fence project.  If you have plants that need dividing or want removed, please let Sandy know. She will come over to your home to pick them up or divide them for you. Contact her at 413-219-4458 or
Community Garden Plots: There are three available plots at the garden, if you are interested in planting in full sun. The cost is $10 per plot and $5 for shed key. 


Old Home Day - Save the Date – Saturday, July 16
The theme of this year’s Old Home Day on Saturday, July 16th, will be New Salem Salutes Volunteers! The Committee would like to pay tribute to all the present and past volunteers who have helped our town function. If anyone would like to help plan the event or volunteer to help out on the day of the event, please contact Janet Henderson at 544-3410 or or Jane Clukay at 544-2660 or

Here is the tentative Old Home Day schedule.


Aging in Place in New Salem

The Central Congregational Church of New Salem, the Friends of the New Salem Library and the New Salem Council on Aging are co-sponsoring a series of discussions on the concept of aging in place.  The series is designed to provide information for aging parents as well as ourselves as we age, reach retirement age, and face the end of life. There will be three sessions and each session will last for approximately two hours with presentations from various agencies and speakers. There will be an opportunity for discussion and questions as well.
Upcoming sessions will take place on Wednesday, May 25 and Wednesday, June 22 also at the New Salem Library but at 7:00 pm. The sessions are free and open to all. For further information contact Janet Kraft at or Sue Dunbar at


Council on Aging News
Luncheon: There will be a meeting on Friday, June 10th and Friday, June 24th at 10:00 am for bingo and visiting followed by lunch at noon. Let Hendra Reidy know if you are coming (978-544-2178).
June 10th Menu - Cold plate chicken salad with cranberry, three bean salad, potato salad, hot dog roll, and Mandarin oranges.
June 24th Menu - Potato pollock filet, butternut squash, spinach, multigrain bread, sugar cookie (diet Lemon Grahams).
Busy Bs: Busy Bs continue to meet on Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 pm in the Stowell Building. Bring your project and join us anytime.


New Salem Community Garden Update
Updates: We are cleaning and planting our gardens, getting our growing going! We are desperately looking for tool donations and have a barrel in front of the shed for all to drop seasoned tools that still function. We would be elated to have a wheelbarrow, tiller and lawn mower too. Our shed now provides a safe, dry storage space, so please consider upgrading your own, and donate your used tools to our little garden. Rakes, trowels, a spade, pitchfork, and any fandangled tool you've enjoyed would be most appreciated! Buckets, twine, and stakes are good. Straw, or a truckload of bark mulch are also needed, please contact Sandy at 413-219-4458 or if you can help with that.
Plots available: There are two available plots if you are interested. The cost is $10 each.
Old Home Day Plant Sale: We are preparing for our Old Home Day plant sale, and will come to your home to divide or pick up any perennials you can donate. Our Community Giving Garden is slowly developing but vegetables plants are needed. Did too many sprout in your greenhouse? Contact Sandy if you have plants for the giving garden. We will tend it, and you may harvest the ripe vegetables from there. Thank you to those who have donated already!
Grant-funded fence: Come August, you may notice Whitney Fence from Northfield installing a cedar post and steel fence around the entire Community Garden growing area. Thanks to a grant through Organic Valley, we now have the funds to complete our needed project!


Prayer Shawl Ministry of New Salem
The Prayer Shawl Ministry of New Salem meets every third Friday of the month in the Stowell Building. This month it will meet on Friday, June 17th.  Everyone is welcome to join us. For more information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry:


Free Home-Visiting Program
Talk, Read & Play is a free home-visiting program for families with children two years old and younger who live in New Salem, Wendell, Shutesbury, Leverett and Erving. Help build the foundation for your child's learning. Participants will receive free books, toys and learning materials. When children talk, read and play, they build skills that prepare them for a lifetime of success. To participate in this free program or have questions call 978-544-5157.   Find flyer and more details at the Community Network for Children’s website at:
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Broadband Committee Update March 2016
The Broadband Committee is continuing its efforts to bring much needed broadband access to our town.  Some recent articles may have given the impression that we are actively pursuing an option other than WiredWest but this is not the case. We are considering all possible broadband options for our town but our primary focus remains on helping the WiredWest cooperative of towns to move the broadband project forward. We will continue this support of the WiredWest solution until there is compelling evidence that another plan is more beneficial to New Salem.


Twenty-four WiredWest towns have authorized over $38 million towards the construction of the broadband network. 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 Spring Schedule for Worcester to Northampton MaxBus
The Maxbus that stops in New Salem on the way to Worcester and Northampton has a new spring schedule. The bus leaves about an hour later in the morning and returns an hour or so earlier in the afternoon. The schedule can be found at or at the New Salem General Store.


New, Free Magazine about the Quabbin Towns - Uniquely Quabbin
There is a new, free, 56-page magazine with a glossy cover and a photo of the New Salem Route 202 Look-Out by Dale Monette on the back cover. Look for it at New Salem General Store. It contains articles by 20 local writers and has Calendar Listings of Events in the area from for May to September. Note: New Salem resident, Jane Clukay, is the Associate Editor and Calendar Listing Editor.

Orange Solstice Riverfest
On Saturday, June 18th, Orange will hold its annual Solstice Riverfest with a Vintage Baseball Exhibition Game, horse and wagon rides, local bands and performers, kids activities, pony rides, K-9 Police Dog Demonstration, Complimentary use of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards at the Boathouse, a climbing wall, Jumptown giant flag parachute jump, lighted boat parade.


Note: See link for the full 1794 Meetinghouse 2016 Schedule


Grace & Catastrophe - Powerful Folk Duo
Thursday, June 16th at 7:30
Brie Sullivan and Eric Lee, known to the music world as Grace & Catastrophe, are driving in from the Valley on Thursday, June 16th, to present their unique blend of writing styles, voices, fiddle, guitar, and varying musical roots. The duo brings a powerful sound grounded in folk that subtly takes on flavors of bluegrass, jazz, Celtic, pop, and indie rock.


Mark Fisher Trio - Heartfelt, Witty Folk Harmonies
Saturday, June 18 at 7:30
Based in the Gardner area and jumping onto the Meetinghouse stage for your entertainment on Saturday, June 18th, the Mark Fisher Trio is sure to delight audience members with a diverse mix of comedic, personal and socio-political songs topped off with effortless harmony and genial storytelling.


Jay Mankita - Upbeat, Fun Folk — Kids, Bring Dad!
Sunday, June 19th   at 4:00
A very special treat awaits audience members young and old on Father’s Day, June 19th. Jay Mankita is a celebrated songwriter, innovative guitarist, and upbeat, often hilarious touring performer who truly engages, inspires, and entertains. This presentation is not to be missed, so kids, celebrate the day with your Dad, your Grandpa, or both. Parents, bring your kids for an afternoon filled with smiles and belly-laughs!


Mile Twelve - Fresh & Contemporary Bluegrass
Thursday, June 23rd at 7:30
Bluegrass fans won’t want to miss the opportunity to see Mile Twelve on Thursday, June 23rd. Mile Twelve is a fresh, hard-driving young band beautifully walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass. Based in Boston, Massachusetts and fast gaining recognition for their outstanding performances throughout bluegrass and folk circles, they create captivating songs and daring instrumental pieces from diverse influences.


The Pangeans - Reggae, Funk, World Music
Saturday, June 25th  at 7:30
The Pangeans are a seven-piece World Music Ensemble performing Latin Jazz, Samba, Reggae, Calypso, Soca, Funk, Afro Beat and other forms of African music. They’re returning to the Meetinghouse stage on Saturday, June 25th.  The group performs original compositions based on traditional rhythms as well as those of other composers.  All members of the Pangeans are highly experienced world touring artists. Dancing in the aisles is encouraged.


Quabbin Valley Pro Musica - Classical Choral Music
Sunday, June 26th at 3:00
Mendelssohn’s Elijah & More. The Meetinghouse’s resident chorus, Quabbin Valley Pro Musica, known for its varied music and high-quality performances, will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah and more. Dr. Charles Heffernan, professor emeritus of music at the University of Massachusetts, will conduct. Heffernan’s conducting and teaching careers have taken him from coast to coast in the US and Canada as he has groomed choruses, music educators, and solo performers.

The Twangbusters - Boogie, Blues, Bop & Twang
Thursday, June 30th at 7:30
The July 4th weekend is always filled with plenty of fun, and the Meetinghouse invites you to start celebrating a little early this year by coming to New Salem on Thursday, June 30th, for some boogie, blues & bop, and a heapin' helpin' of twang! The Twangbusters bust out their own high-energy danceable blend of rootsy rhythms and soulful blues. They mix the best of bluesy country, boogie woogie & barrelhouse into a musical cocktail, shaken & stirred.


Adult tickets are $15 (except the Opening and Closing concerts when they are $20).
Teens 13-17 are always $10. Children 12 and under are always free.


Editor’s Note: I hope you will support this summer’s 1794 Meetinghouse events. As the building is owned by the Town of New Salem, the 1794 Meetinghouse events benefit us all. Please print the attached schedule and, if I may make a suggestion, post copies everywhere.


Democrat Outreach

Any New Salem Democrat interested in finding out more about the local committee and its activities should contact John Ryan, chair ( or Sharon Tracy, co-chair (

Service Forestry Program

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Service Forestry Program provides technical assistance to private landowners and municipalities in forest resource planning, forest management, and forest protection within districts across the state. 

With 235,000 non-industrial private landowners in Massachusetts and approximately 78% of the Commonwealth's forest land in private ownership, private lands play a key role in sustaining clean water, protecting our soil, providing wildlife habitat and producing quality timber resources.

The Service Forestry Program meets the needs of these landowners through: 

The Service Forestry Program is based on the belief that we can best serve the citizens of the commonwealth by helping landowners make educated decisions about their woodlots, and protecting our valuable forest resources through fair and consistent application of environmental regulations. For more information contact one of our regional administrative offices or contact the service forester working in your town. 

Bus Service for New Salem from Worcester to Northampton
There's a new bus service that stops in New Salem. The service which is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation goes from Worcester to Northampton twice daily. Maxbus that stops in New Salem on the way to Worcester and Northampton has a new spring schedule. The bus leaves about an hour later in the morning and returns an hour or so earlier in the afternoon. For more information pick up a schedule from the New Salem Store or go to

Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op

Quabbin Harvest, the co-operative food market located at 12 North Main Street in downtown Orange, is open from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm on Saturdays, as well as Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am until 6:30 pm.