New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

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.

New Meditation Class
A new four-week meditation class will begin on Monday June 22 and run for four consecutive Mondays ending on July 13, at the White Elephant Yoga Studio in Orange. The class will meet from 6:30-8:00 pm and is suitable for beginning and experienced meditators alike. Each class will include guided meditation and discussion about integrating the insights from meditation practice into daily life. To register, please contact Jo Ellen Boskind LICSW at 978 249-0929 or email jboskind@

1794 Meetinghouse June Performances

June 20 at 7:30 pm: Tim Eriksen & The Trio de Pumpkintown – The first show in the Celebration of American Folk Music.

June 21 at 4:00 pm: Hartka-Sinkevych Duo – Rebecca Hartka (cello) and Inesa Sinkevych (piano) .

June 25 at 7:30 pm: Sam Amidon – The second show in the American folk music series.

June 27 at 7:30 pm: Tracy Grammer with Jim Henry –  will be performing post-modern folk.
June 28 at 7:30 pm: Jeff Warner – The third show in the American folk music series will not only be a concert of traditional music, but also a presentation on the folksong-collecting work done of his parents, Anne and Frank Warner.
Go to for more information and ticket info.


Friends of Historic New Salem Presents Daniel Shays Rebellion Speaker

On Tuesday June 9, the Friends of Historic New Salem will be presenting Dennis Picard of director of Storrowton Village in West Springfield who will be presenting A Little Rebellion, Now and Then: A History of the Daniel Shays Rebellion about the farmer, turned Revolutionary War soldier, turned rebel. This event is part of their History series and will take place at the Old Academy Building at 7:00 pm.

Swift River PTCA Sponsoring a Paint 'n Sip Fundraiser
The Swift River PTCA is hoping to raise money and also offer a fun night out for adults. On June 12th at 7:00 pm, they are holding a Paint n' Sip at the Tully CCC. They will be providing painting instruction, all supplies, a canvas for you to take home, delicious appetizers and desserts, plus a chance to win the evening's door prize. A cash bar will be available as well. No experience is needed! Sign up by going to and clicking on the Gardner calendar for June, then the Swift River School PTCA fundraiser. Space is limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Call Tracey at978-577-8436 if you have questions.

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.
Vendors: Also, as always, we are looking for vendors. It is only $10 for a 10’ by 10’ spot, if pre-registered, or $15 on the day of the event. A registration form with all the detail is attached.
Cake Walk: Interested cake bakers, please contact Sunday Lefebvre 978-575-0116.
Save the date: Saturday, July 18th.

New Salem Agriculture Commission
The New Salem Agriculture Commission is meeting on June 11 at 6:00 pm in the library. All are welcome to attend. Come share your ideas about future programs relating to subjects such as food, farming, and gardening.

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. If you have vegetable plants to donate to our Giving Garden, please contact Sandy asap, as we are preparing a more visible community growing area this year! Thank you very, very much for all of your support! This is proving to be an exciting year for the 12 of us! We hope to see you visiting our tiny growing paradise behind the old town hall!

New Salem Library News
Google Essentials: On Saturday, June 6th at 10:00 with Adam Suzor. Learn to create a new Google Doc, navigatin, inserting a Google Drawing and sharing and publishing. Also one-on-one help with your computer from 11:00-noon.

Teens and Tweens Club: We have a Wii game system and lots of games for you to unwind with. Want to sew? We have the sewing machine and some fabric for you to work with. Want to march in New Salem Old Home Day? Come help us design a float! And in July? Come make your own video games with Travis Bigley. He designed his first game when he was 11. He’ll be here July 1st, 15th and 29th. Call 978-544-6334 for more information.

Pizza and Pages: On Tuesday, June 2nd, the book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke will be discussed. The pizza is generously donated by the New Salem General Store.

Green Club for Kids: The Green Club for Kids will take place from 3:30-5:00 pm on Tuesday, June 2nd and Tuesday, June 9th.

Lego Club: June 11th will be the last LEGO Club meeting at the New Salem Library. Come build something amazing! Try the challenge. Make a new friend. Put your build on display. Swift River School students can take the school bus. (Jean Daley meets the bus.) Open to kids age 5 and up from 3:30-5:00. Call 978-544-6334 for more information. Snack provided.

Book Discussion Group: On Wednesday, June 10th at 7:00 pm is the book discussion for Magnificence by Lydia Millet.

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.
Museum Passes: The New Salem Public Library has received 2 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!


 Friends of the New Salem Library News

The Friends of the Library will hold their annual meeting on Saturday, June 20th at 4:00 pm. Join the Friends of the New Salem Library for their annual meeting. Wine and cheese will be served.

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 reserve a spot. (978-544-2178). On Friday, June 12th, the lunch will be lasagna with meat sauce, California veggies, Italian bread, and a ginger cookie. On Friday, June 26th, the lunch will be lentil soup, turkey with gravy, scalloped potatoes, and applesauce.

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.

Busy B's:
We continue to meet on Wednesdays at the Stowell Building from 1:00-3:00 pm, weather permitting.  Bring your project and join us this winter. Some of us knit, crochet, embroider, or quilt.  If the weather is iffy, please feel free to call Judy Jewett at 978-544-2216 to see if we are meeting.

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 #1: Sunday, June 21st bus trip through New Salem & Dana, depart from SRVHS 11:00 am.

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.