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Wednesday, August 26 2015

September is Turners Falls History Month

Adapted from a Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) press release:

Thanks to the Massachusetts DCR and Turners Falls RiverCulture, the Great Falls Discovery Center will host a monthlong series of events focused on the history and culture of Turners Falls.  All programs are free to the public, unless otherwise noted, and the facilities are accessible.

Art Display
September 1 through 26, in the Great Hall
In this exhibit, titled "Great Gods and Little Fishes", new paintings by Charles Shaw will be available for viewing.

Tuesdays, September 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29, from 10:30AM to 11:30AM, meet in the Great Hall

Come learn about neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River watershed. Each program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft to introduce you and your child to wildlife along the river.  Recommended for ages 3 to 6, with a parent or guardian.  Topics for this series are:  September 1st Bats, September 8th Butterflies, September 15th Raptors, September 22nd Moose, and September 29th Squirrels.

Patch Walk
Saturday, September 5, from 10:30AM to Noon
Meet at the corner of Avenue A & Eleventh Street, at the Canal-side Rail Trail.

Turners Falls History Month begins with a tour of the Patch neighborhood, led by a DCR Park Interpreter.  This small patch of land sits in the middle of the Connecticut River, sandwiched between the power canal on one side and the largest river in New England on the other. 

River Rambles:  Canal-side Rail Trail History Walks
Sundays, September 6, 13, 20, & 27, from 10AM to 11AM, meet outside main entrance

Join a DCR Park Interpreter as we leisurely explore level, paved, bike trails and village sidewalks to explore stories of industrialization, cultural and natural history, and resilience.

The Great Falls Coffeehouse:  Jim Scott—Composer, Guitarist, & Singer
Friday, September 11, from 7PM to 9PM

Each month Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center host an evening coffeehouse with local musical talent. Refreshments are available and both the museum and the museum store are open during intermission.

Lake Pleasant Spiritualist Community History Lecture by David James
Sunday, September 13, from 1 pm to 2PM

Lake Pleasant, one of five villages in the Town of Montague, was founded in 1870 as a camp meeting grounds and lays claim to being the oldest continuously existing Spiritualist center in the United States.  Learn about this historical “mecca” for believers in continuity of life with memories and images from the book Spirit and Spa: A Portrait of the Body, Mind, and Soul of a 133-Year-Old Spiritualist Community written by Louise Shattuck and David James.  Louise, who died in October of 2005, was a third generation Spiritualist.

Turners Falls RiverCulture Third Thursday Event: Latino History Day
Thursday, September 17, from 4PM to 10PM, at the Shea Theater & other venues downtown

See full details at and

What Really Happened at the Falls?  Battlefield Grant Update
Saturday, September 19, from 1PM to 4PM, Turners Falls High School Auditorium

This project is mapping the 1676 Battle of Great Falls/Wissatinnewag-Peskeompskut.  Sponsored by the Town of Montague and the National Park Service.

Slideshow Presentation:  The Upper Fall River Dam with Ed Gregory
Sunday, September 20, from 1PM to 2PM, meet in the Great Hall

Take a virtual forest hike and visit an obscure and beautiful section of Gill, MA, the site of the 1886 dam that was built by the Montague Paper Company.  The dam was constructed to provide a clean source of water for use in pulp and paper making.  The dam and spillway will be shown before and after the spillway's removal in December of 2014.

Latino Migrants & Agriculture in Franklin County with Manuel Matos of UMASS Amherst
Thursday, September 24, 7PM

This talk will explore the links between land and agricultural policies in Latin America and the US through an examination of Latin American migration. Extensive interviews with farmers and workers in Franklin County were conducted as source material for this talk.

Source to Sea Clean-up
Saturday, September 26, from 9AM to Noon, ages 7 and up, meet in the Great Hall.

Get involved in the 19th year of the Source to Sea Cleanup. Individuals or groups work as teams to make the watershed a cleaner place at sites that run the gamut from fishing trash to illegal dumping.  School groups can schedule cleanups in the week preceding the 26th.  Pre-register by calling 1-800-859-2960.

The Grand Trunk Hotel
Sunday, September 27, from 1PM to 2PM

What was so grand about the Grand Trunk Hotel in Turners Falls?  Right next to where the center is today, the hotel was built in 1872 and taken down in 1968.  We’ll use our imaginations, old photographs, and testimonials to piece together the story of grand old days in Turners Falls.


About the Discovery Center
The Great Falls Discovery Center is open 7 days a week, from 10AM to 4PM, and is located at the Connecticut River Gateway State Park, 2 Avenue A, in Turners Falls.  They can be reached by email at or by phone at (413) 863-3221.  More information can also be found on their website:

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Jack Murray, the agency?s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit Contact us at

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