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Old Home Day - New Salem News Special

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Swift River Valley Historical Society Museum Events

The Swift River Valley Historical Society is now open for the 2014 season, every Sunday and Wednesday through September 28th, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. (except on Sunday, July 20th, closing at 3 p.m. for Dana Vespers). It is located at 40 Elm Street, New Salem. The following events will be held at the museum in July.

Images of Quabbin Past  Friends of Quabbin: President Gene Theroux provides an introduction and summary of the videos produced for the 75th Year of Remembrance Ball, including works by Burt Brooks, Elizabeth Howe Lincoln, Sue Chaffee, Russell Buzzell, Les Campbell, the Quabbin Photo Group, Swift River Valley Historical Society and Friends of Quabbin photo archives and an early motion picture of the Enfield Centennial Celebration from 1916. Wednesday, July 16th at 7:00 p.m..
Swift River Valley Historical Society will be at New Salem's Old Home Day Saturday, July 19th!
Dana Vespers and Mrs. Clary's 176th Birthday Celebration. Note: The museum is closing early for the Vespers service. Sunday, July 20th at 3:00 p.m. Last tour at 2:15.
Research on the Lives and Descendants of Quabbin Children: Joe Manning presents his work researching the lives and descendants of children in Lewis Hine's early 20th century photographs of child mill workers. Other research includes a touching story of a 13-year-old boy buried in Quabbin Park Cemetery. This is a very different view of childhood than we see in our Children of the Swift River Valley photography exhibit. If you missed the exhibit at the Great Falls Discovery Center last winter, you can see it reinstalled at SRVHS this summer—available for viewing before the talk. Wednesday, July 30th at 7:00 p.m.

New Salem Library News
Summer Reading Program: Tuesdays at 3:30-5:00 p.m. led by Jean Daley.

July 15: Read Make a “scanimation” and look at different types of books.

July 22: What to do when things go boom. The fire department will bring the Safe House.

July 29: Ed the Wizard will bring his FIZZ Boom Read program.

Also if kids read three books they get a prize and enter a weekly drawing. Teens who read three books can enter for a weekly drawings as well for movie tickets, gift cards to Bruce’s Browser and more. Stop by the library and join the fun.
Basket Weaving: Lori Flye will be giving basket weaving lessons on Tuesdays at 4:00-6:00 p.m. starting July 8th through July 22nd. Sign up at the library.

Book Talk: On Tuesday, July 29th at 7:00 p.m., Kathy Becker will discuss her book, Silencing the Women, about the witch trials of Mary Bliss Parsons with a Q & A afterwards. We will have books available to borrow on July 1st so you can read it ahead of the talk.

Giant Old Home Day Used Book Sale: Now is the time to clean out your book shelves and take those books you've read (or maybe will never get to) and donate them to the Giant Old Home Day Book Sale. Drop your books off at the library any time from July 1 through July 12. As we will be sorting books the week before Old Home Day, we would appreciate it if you would bring your donations during the first two weeks in July. We accept hard back and paperback books, DVD's, puzzles, and games. Children's books are especially welcome. Please no magazines, encyclopedias, or moldy books. There will be a sign up sheet in the library for anyone who is interested in helping us sort and sell books. We truly appreciate your help.
Tote Bags For Sale: Need a book bag? The Friends of the New Salem Public Library has a new line of totes for sale for $10.00 each. Only $8.00 for "Friends of the Library."

Free Swimming Lessons at Lake Mattawa

Kids age 5 and up can sign up for free swimming lessons run by the Athol YMCA Aquatics Program at Lake Mattawa. There will be two sessions a day for the weeks of July 7-11and July 14-18 (with Friday being a make-up day in case of rain). Contact the YMCA at 978-249-3305 to register.

2014 Old Home Day Committee Updates

The Old Home Day is planning its Recycled Art Show. If you would like to help put this together or if you would like to put an item in the show, contact Polly Lyman at The theme for this year’s Old Home Day will be “It’s Easy Being Green”. Events and activities will focus on ways to respect our Earth by reducing, reusing and recycling. As well as the traditional events and contests, we have already received grants for a performance by Charles Neville (the saxophone-playing brother of the Neville Brothers!) and the Skeletones, and a puppet performance by Nicol Wanderer (seen at Starry, Starry Night and other local venues) sponsored by the New Salem Cultural Council. There will be a repeat of the mini-golf course and the solar-powered mini-solar car race. Numerous “green” activities are being planned. If you would like to help plan Old Home Day or if you have an hour of time to help make Old Home Day happen, email or call 544-3410 or 544-2660. Save the date: July 19 - the third Saturday in July.

New Salem Academy Museum Dedication

The Trustees of the New Salem Academy have announced that they will be dedicating the New Salem Academy Museum which is located on the second floor of the Old Academy Building on Old Home Day. Details to follow.

Council on Aging News

Bingo and Lunch: In July we will meet for luncheons on Friday, July 11th, and Friday, July 25th. We will gather at 10:00 a.m. in the cool basement of the Town Hall for bingo and socializing with lunch to follow at noon. Please call Hendra Reidy by the Monday prior to sign up at 978-544-2178.On July 11th we will have BBQ Burgers on a bun, baked beans, cauliflower and red pepper, and chocolate pudding. On the 25th there will be roast pork with applesauce, Italian green beans, sweet potato, and vanilla pudding. Speaker on Hypertension: On July 25th we will have a speaker following the luncheon. Tina Schryver, a dietician, will speak about hypertension.

Tin Can Auction on Old Home Day: On July 19th, Old Home Day, we will be holding our Tin Can Auction on the Common. Hope to see you all there.

New Members Sought: The Council is looking for some new they have had several resignations this year. Please call Hendra if you are interested. (You do not even have to be a senior to be a member!!)

Help with Computers and E-readers: Diana Smith and Sue Dunbar at the Library will schedule visits with you in your home or at the Library to learn how to use email, Word, attach pictures or learn basic computer skills. If you have an e-reader, you can learn how to download books that can be “borrowed” from the Library system. Please call the Library to set up an appointment at 544-6334.

Busy Bs: The Busy Bs continue to meet every Wednesday, weather permitting, at the Stowell Building from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Bring your project and join us. We have knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, and other crafters all enjoying each other's company and admiring each other’s work.

New Salem Community Garden Updates

The Community Garden Group is continuing to ask for perennial donations for a plant sale to benefit garden expansion. As you divide your day lillies, iris, coneflowers, black eyed Susan's please consider donating them to our fundraising event at this year’s Old Home Day. It's been great fun to divide plants and have wonderful conversations with neighbors in New Salem thus far! Contact Sandy at if interested.


News! The list of donators continues to grow as the veggies they've given begin to flower! Thank you Foothill Farm, BJ Flowers, Calvin Coolidge, Robert Roy, Joe Cuneo, Janet Henderson, Joe Johns and Laura McLeod for plants that all are welcome to pick! Come see! These  gifts will provide a healthier side dish for all who indulge. Other news....cross your fingers we are awarded grant funds so we can have the carpentry department students from Franklin Tech build a shed for our tools. The grant application needs to be submitted by August 1st.The next Agricultural Committee will be held on July 7 at 7 p.m. in the Stowell Building. We need members, input into the grant process and brainstorming for additional projects.  Your expertise is welcome!


All are welcome to stop by, sign our notebook, visit the cutting garden, herb garden and pick a little for dinner tonight.

2014 Old Home Day Committee Planning Recycled Art Show
The Old Home Day is planning its Recycled Art Show. If you would like to help put this together or if you would like to put an item in the show, contact Polly Lyman at The theme for this year’s Old Home Day will be “It’s Easy Being Green”. Events and activities will focus on ways to respect our Earth by reducing, reusing and recycling. As well as the traditional events and contests, we have already received grants for a performance by Charles Neville (the saxophone-playing brother of the Neville Brothers!) and the Skeletones, and a puppet performance by Nicol Wanderer (seen at Starry, Starry Night and other local venues) sponsored by the New Salem Cultural Council. There will be a repeat of the mini-golf course and the solar-powered mini-solar car race. Numerous “green” activities are being planned.  If you would like to help plan Old Home Day or if you have an hour of time to help make Old Home Day happen, email or call 544-3410 or 544-2660.   Save the date: July 19 - the third Saturday in July


New Salem Academy Building Opening for the Summer

The newly restored New Salem Academy Building at 3 Academy Drive (just off the Common) is now open for the summer. It will be open from noon until 5:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month. Come for a tour of the building constructed in 1838 or just sit and enjoy the unique space.

New Salem Library News

New Salem Public Library Board of Trustees Opening
: If you are interested in being a behind the scenes advocate for the New Salem Public Library there is an available spot on the Board of Trustees. For more information see Diana at the library.

Notes on "Lost" Wildlife from Mass Wildlife

See links below for information:

Notes on lost wildlife /rehab/wildlife_rehab_index.htm

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

1794 Meetinghouse Summer Season Performances
The 1794 Meetinghouse, 26 South Main St., opened its 20th summer concert season on Saturday, June 7. Our summer schedule is listed below.

Tickets for most performances range from $10-15.


Thursday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. — Beth Logan Raffeld & Molly Flannery Ensemble make the songs come alive for their jazz performance.
Saturday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. — A special family reunion performance of soul, gospel and blues presented by Moonlight & Morning Star with Miro Sprague on piano.
Sunday, July 13, at 4 p.m. — An alternative country/folk performance by Mark Mandeville & Raianne Richards.
Thursday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m. — A fun, variety-filled and diverse concert by local singer-songwriter Richard Chase that will involve some of the area’s many talented performers and friends as guests.
Sunday, July 20, at 4 p.m. — A classical piano concert presented by Juilliard-trained and world-renowned pianist, Elan Sicroff.
 Thursday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m. — The folk-inspired harmonies on cello and guitar of Tall Heights.
Saturday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m. — Rocking out the Grand Finale Performance in style with the roots rock of Mitch Chakour and Friends. A champagne reception will precede the performance. For more information about the performances and to purchase tickets online, visit:

Nature Writing Workshop with Mira Bartok
Writing the Land is an inspiring workshop on nature and environmental writing taught by New Salem author and artist Mira Bartok, who is a National Book Circle Critics Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Memory Palace. Mira will offer this one-day retreat at the Seeds of Solidarity Farm and Education Center in Orange on Saturday, October 11th from 10:00-3:00 p.m. It will include nature walks, guided writing exercises and shared reading of work in a supportive environment. This special event is a wonderful opportunity to deeply explore the resonances between sense of place, memory, and your own relationship to the earth. No experience needed. Mira’s generous support of Seeds of Solidarity enables this workshop to be offered at a very special price of $100. A farm-fresh lunch is included! Space is limited to 20. Pre-registration is essential and we expect the day to fill. Contact or 978-544-9023 to register. For more info, go to:

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 free 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.

A Home for Bats

The Friends of Historic New Salem which oversees the New Salem Academy Building, are preparing a home for bats. As you may know the bat population has been struck by the White Nose Syndrome and the numbers are diminishing.  We have many migrating bats which have chosen to nest in the attic of the Academy building which we discovered after the building had been restored. After consulting with Dr. French of the Massachusetts Wildlife, we have taken measures to change their nesting spot.  It was suggested we add lights and maybe a radio on a timer to discourage the bats from nesting in the attic, but this must be started before they nest on June 1st. Dr. French also offered plans for a bat house large enough to hold the migrating population and construction has started. The bat house will be placed near the garden area behind the town hall.

The Friends have begun the process to direct the bats to another nesting place and warn that they may try to nest in homes and buildings surrounding the common. If you are concerned that the bats may find your home inviting, we suggest you follow Dr. French’s advice and add a light and radio connected to a timer to any dark, inviting places before June 1st. After the bats have begun to nest the lights and radio are not necessary.

North Quabbin Food Co-op
COMING SOON! A Food Co-op in downtown Orange! The North Quabbin Community Co-op, a member-owned grocery store, will be moving to downtown Orange this summer and will serve the region with healthy and locally produced products.  Join Amy Borezo and Michael Skillicorn for an informal gathering at the New Salem library to hear more about it on Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 pm. Go to: for more information about the co-op.

Hatha Yoga Class
Janice Doubleday is offering an on-going Hatha Yoga class for beginners and intermediate on Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Wendell Senior Center. She has a 200 hour certificate. Classes are $10. Contact her at or 978-544-7079 with any questions.

Board of Health Litter Drawing Awards
In the month of April, Jeffrey Duga and children walked the sides of the roads in New Salem  and picked up 15 bags of rubbish. They won the drawing for the free bags for that month. Hugh MacKay won the May drawing for the free bags for his part in keeping New Salem clean. Thanks to all of you from the Board of Health and the Town of New Salem for helping to keep New Salem clean. If anyone is interested in participating in the drawing for the free trash.

North Quabbin Community Garden Offering Garden Plots

The North Quabbin Community Garden’s Steering Committee invites local gardeners and would-be gardeners to the garden on Holtshire Road in Orange on Saturday, May 10th, from 10:00-3:00 p.m. for a day of planting in preparation for a summer of gardening. Organic garden plots will be available on a first come first served basis.  The garden is located on land owned by Connie Pike and Mike Magee on the northwest end of Holtshire Road between the Route 2 interchange and Wendell Depot Road.  The family hosted a community garden at the site for years in the 1990s.  For more information, directions, or to sign up for a plot, contact Kristin Grenier, who serves as Community Outreach Coordinator at Mount Grace as part of the MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program.  She can be reached at 978-248-2043 or

Wired West Needs Responses

     Have you taken a minute to complete your support card for WiredWest broadband service yet?  If you do not have a card and have not completed a survey online, the post cards are also available at the Town Hall Annex (Old Libary) and the New Salem Library.  Or you can complete the form online
     Only one response per household will be counted.  If there are multiple households in your building, please indicate a separate apartment number for each.  WiredWest is a municipal cooperative of 40 towns working together on a fiber-optic network in the region to provide state-of-the-art and affordable internet, phone, video and other services to homes, businesses and institutions.  See the website at for more information.
     The support card is an important demonstration of interest in the network in each town.  We hope you will consider expressing your interest in service from the WiredWest network.  Even if you already have services from another provider, note that WiredWest will not only deliver superior internet service, but your expressed support also helps to ensure access for your fellow residents who currently have no high-speed internet options.
     If you have any questions, please contact the New Salem delegates, MaryEllen Kennedy at or Kathy Soule-Regine at