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The Hardtacks Evening, Saturday November 15, 2014, 7 p.m.

Awareness, Education, Preservation

For more than 50 years, the Stow Historical Society has worked to share and preserve Stow’s history through publications, programs and other activities for all who care about this historic New England farming community. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Society maintains a small collection of artifacts related to Stow history and carries on an active schedule of programs and events to educate and raise awareness of our town’s distinguished past.

“White Papers,” Programs and Events

Following its founding in 1961, the Society emphasized development of research papers about Stow. In monthly meetings Society members presented “white papers” on topics ranging from the backgrounds of historic building like Whitman’s Tavern (now a residence at Honey Pot Hill Orchard) to memoirs about living and growing up in Stow to the devastating effects of the Hurricane of 1938.

Over the years, the society has helped in the planning of the Stow West School restoration and the formation of the Stow Minuteman Company. It has focused on special events including art shows, farm shows, dedications, tours and, of course, Springfest, the town-wide celebration of the incorporation of Stow in 1683.

Stow History Books

The Society also supports publication of books about Stow history. There are seven published histories of Stow, three published by the society. Look here for our books.

Online History

A much more succinct History of Stow was created by the Society for the Town of Stow website, and is available here.

Current Programs

Today, the Society is actively involved in a range of activities, including quarterly meetings with history-oriented programs, “history bus tours” of Stow, tours of Stow’s historic cemeteries and programs at the West School Museum on Harvard Road.

Each summer the Society joins with the Stow Historical Commission to present the West School Summer Series, four programs at the 1825 school building focusing on history and town activities. Recent programs have include arts and crafts event, ‘Skills in Our Town” programs, oral history projects and a program of Native American culture. The series has brought to Stow such eminent literary figures (in the form of interpretive actors) as Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Mark Twain.

A Time Capsule

To mark the Society’s 50th anniversary in 2011, the Society sealed the Stow Time Capsule, to be opened on its 100th anniversary in 2061. contents include “letters to the future” and artifacts as diverse as newspapers, photographs of 2011 Stow, books, brochures, Stow restaurant menus, golf course scorecards and labels from the town’s famed apple orchards.

last update 2014 October 24