Join us in 2019 once a month at Look Park for Afternoon Tea! Each monthly tea will feature a different speaker or activity.  Tickets are $10.00 per person and reservations are required. Teas will take place at the Garden House during the colder months. As the weather gets warmer, we will move outside. For questions or reservations, please call 413-584-5457.

March 20th, 2019

1pm to 3pm at the Garden House

$10.00 per person
Call: 413-584-5457 for reservations

Irish Immigration to Northampton, From Cornelius Merry to Roisin Quinn
With W. Michael Ryan

Cornelius was an indentured servant who arrived sometime around 1663 and Roisin arrived in 1988. Only a few Irish reached Northampton before 1840, however during the famine from 1845-1850 arrived steadily in the area of Florence and Leeds to work in the Mills. Around 1900, the Kerry Irish descended upon the Northampton area and did so steadily until WWII. Ryan’s talk on March 20th will look at what was happening in Northampton from 1949 to 1980. He will then focus on specific clans including: The Dunphys, Foleys, Shannons, Deweys, Garveys, Luceys, O’Donnells, Connors and Cahillanes.  

April 17th, 2019

1pm to 3pm at the Garden House

$10.00 per person
Call: 413-584-5457 for reservations

The Story of the Mill River Flood 
With Eric Weber

In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, eleven Mill River manufacturers banded together to build a dam and reservoir in Williamsburg that would collect water at times of high stream flow to be released during the drier seasons, thus enabling mills and factories to run at or near full capacity year-round. The dam leaked from the beginning, and on May 16, 1874 it failed catastrophically, killing 139 residents of four downstream villages, making front-page headlines across the United States. It was the worst disaster of its kind in North American history up to then, and it raised important questions about the responsibility of those who design, build, inspect  and approve large engineering projects to assure that they are safe.


Eric Weber, President of the Williamsburg Historical Society, has digitized some 350 stereo images of the disaster’s aftermath and analyzed what they tell us about the dam, the flood, and the experience of those who lived through it. Drawing on those images and on Elizabeth Sharpe’s award-winning “In the Shadow of the Dam,” Eric will tell the story of the Mill River Disaster and answer questions about it from the audience.


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