Historical Commission

Mailing Address: 325 Main Road, Gill, MA 01354

Email: ghc@gillmass.org

Visit us on FaceBook @GillHistoricalCommission

Commission: 7 members (currently 5 are filled with 2 vacancies) plus 2 Alternates - 3 yr. terms

Volunteer Opportunities: If you are interested in GHC membership or want to volunteer, please contact a member.

Meeting Schedule: The Commission generally meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 3:00 p.m. at the Riverside Municipal Building, 54 French King Highway, Gill. Please contact the Chair to confirm the meeting time and to be included on the agenda.

Next 6 meetings:

Members

5 of 7 seats. 3 years each seat.

  • Kit Carpenter, Chair. June, 2023. Gill, MA 01354 - 413-863-2505
  • Pam Shoemaker. June, 2022. Gill, MA 01354 - 413-863-4170
  • Robert Perry. June, 2022.
  • Charlene Currie. June, 2024.
  • Terri Rice. June, 2024.
  • VACANT
  • VACANT

Alternate Members:

Bev Demars

Lynda Hodsdon Mayo

Previous meetings:

Save the Date! Country Prints - Guest Speaker Peter Mars

Peter Mars, Wert Collector & Design Historian

Saturday, May 21, 1PM - 3PM

(2nd Floor, Gill Town Hall)

Join us for a presentation and discussion of the life and work of Gill artist Robert Darr Wert and his studio Country Prints, which operated from 1948-1970.

This past year, GHC members undertook a project of documenting and inventorying Wert's colorful designs. We are excited that Peter Mars accepted our invitation to share his extensive knowledge of Country Prints. Wert's joyful, optimistic art pieces celebrate rural life, and were produced by local friends, family, and neighbors employed in his barn studio on River Road. How did he come to live in Gill? Learn about his life and his artistic influences. A selection of Wert's Country Prints products will be on display.

Wert collection display at the RMB Gill Historical Museum.

Wert collector and researcher Peter Mars is trained in interior design and worked extensively in that field designing retail and residential spaces, furniture, and home products. He was assistant chair of Interior Design at Parsons School of Design, and Homekeeping Editor and photo stylist at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in New York City. As board member and curator at The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in New Jersey, he curated the museum's collection of Gustav Stickley furniture and home products, producing numerous exhibitions. Currently living in Providence, RI, he is working on several books, including one on Robert Darr Wert and Country Prints.

Please join us for this public event on Saturday, May 21, 1PM - 3PM at the Gill Town Hall, second floor.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Gill Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Jennie Williams Bardwell

Spring Blizzard of 1888

"Tales told of bravery during ’88 blizzard,” by Irmarie Jones in her column “Just Plain Neighbors,” Greenfield Recorder.

On Sunday evening, March 11, [1888] snow began to fall and continued without interruption until Tuesday noon, when the weather partially clouded over and it began to snow harder than ever, accompanied by a strong northeast wind, and finally subsided Wednesday morning. The news story said that at least 30 inches of snow fell, but, with the wind blowing in some places, it was 12 feet deep.

Jennie (Williams) Bardwell was the Gill mail carrier, making her deliveries on horseback. She left the Gill Center Post Office at 10 a.m. Monday morning.

“I arrived at Factory Village by 11 a.m. by my horse jumping through the drifts. I learned then that no team had passed that morning. I passed on up the hill, could not go through the swamp. The snow under my horse and my feet and that storm that beat against me was too severe. I turned my horse around, to come home, and as I knew I would not come back the way I went. I went to Riverside and took the other road which leads from Riverside to my house,” Bardwell told the reporter.

As she went past the [Riverside] cemetery, she held her shawl over her face. Her horse floundered and Newton Thomas came to her assistance.

“I was afraid Mr. Thomas would get hurt, for I could see him only once in a while and feared my horse would step on him, although I had to stop my horse every minute or two to let Mr. Thomas get ahead of us. My horse was covered with snow and icicles when I arrived at Factory Village, but all this does not express how severe, how awful it was, or how much I suffered in feelings. I was frightened,” recalled Bardwell.

The newspaper [March 19, 1888 edition] said her experience was one “many would have shrunk from.”

Armored Mud Balls

Armored Mud Ball

Gill is one of the few locations in the world where armored mud balls are found. Embedded in sandstone, they date from the Jurassic Period, Mesozoic Era. Details of their formation may be found in GHC’s Riverside book on page 7.

Given their rarity, GHC is supporting the recognition of the armored mud balls as an official Massachusetts State Geological Symbol. If you would like to sign a supporting petition to recognize the mud balls, or want further information click here which is part of a lobbying effort organized by Richard Little, GCC Professor Emeritus.

Additional Links:

Archaeological Accountability Policy Click here to read more.

Historical Research on Roswell Field, Gill Farmer (1804-1882) To view the complete paper click here. (Used by permission of, and many thanks to Robert Herbert.)

Calendar of Events
Mon, May 16, 2022, 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
2nd Floor Town Hall
Historical Commission -- SCHEDULED
Tue, May 17, 2022, 3:15 pm
Teleconference
Tue, May 17, 2022, 5:30 pm
2nd Floor Town Hall
Fri, May 20, 2022, All Day
Posted to: Town Hall
Sat, May 21, 2022, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
2nd Floor Town Hall
Mon, May 23, 2022, 6:30 pm
2nd Floor Town Hall