Calendar of Events

Aug 24 - Sept 3: Richmond - West Stockbridge Artists Guild Show
Sept 8, 7 pm: Berkshire Hills Chorus of Sweet Adelines
Sept 23, 10 am: Housatonic Heritage History Walk*
Oct 15, 2 pm: Harvest Concert*
Nov 10: Jeremy Kittel Trio*
                                     *Please watch for details on these events
In This Issue ... Click to Read
Recap of Old Town Hall Open House
Recap of Life Member Reception
Recap of "West Stockbridge in the 70's"
Berkshire Hills Chorus of Sweet Adelines
Our Supporters
Summer Open House

The Historical Society's summer open house is a wonderful opportunity to welcome members and guests alike without an agenda.  Thirty to forty members (many of them new) and guests attended.  Bob Salerno and most of the Board members were there to give them personal tours of the building and explain its history and our plans for the future.

Drawing courtesy of Adam Boscarino
The future was easier to explain this year because we featured life-sized drawings of what our new addition will look like -- standing inside the current building and looking into the addition.  For example, at the top of the stairs, through the window straight ahead, you see a small lobby, the elevator, the direct exit to the outside, and the bathrooms to the right.  The drawings remain hung and will be there until after our annual meeting and our construction begins. They were drawn and painted by a young member - Adam Boscarino.

Drawing courtesy of Adam Boscarino

There was lots of socializing and delicious cookies thanks to Jill Pixley, and our board relished the chance to get to know our newer members and make new friends.  We can't get enough of telling the story of how we saved the building from the wrecker's ball, and how we are giving it new life with hundreds of members and supporters like you!

Life Member Reception 

On Sunday, August 6th, from 11 am to 1 pm, the West Stockbridge Historical Society held its 8th Annual Life Member Reception at the beautiful home of Jerri and Dan Buehler.  Seventy-five Life Members and other major donors attended the brunch and enjoyed delicious food heaped on platters, wine, fabulous desserts, and lively conversation.
Dan Buehler's Antique Tool Collection (Photo: Barbara Dowling) 

The weather was glorious, and everyone was in a festive mood whether they sat inside or on the outdoor deck to bask in the sunshine on a cloudless day. It was definitely a time to raise a glass and toast each other for the incredible success of the campaign to restore the Old Town Hall.

Bob Salerno, president of the Historical Society, spoke to
Ed & Elizabeth Parnes
(Photo: Jerri Buehler) 
the  assembled crowd with a huge smile on his face. He thanked everyone  for   their extraordinary support and said that last year over 2,400 people from around the area and beyond came to events held at the Old Town Hall.  He went on to add that  the Society has received a $90,000 matching grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. While the matching funds must be raised by loyal supporters, we can begin the next phase of the renovations.  The project going forward will include the structure for an elevator, ADA compliant bathrooms, and an additional second floor access to the building.

Although it is usually a Life Member who is honored at the annual brunch, this year Bob Salerno was selected by the Board for his important contributions to the West Stockbridge Historical Society.  Liza Bennett spoke from
her heart nd on behalf of everyone at the brunch when she said: "It's Bob's vision and hard work that's done so much 

Aug 6 2017 life brunchf
Bob Salerno addresses the Life Members
(Photo: Carol Kuller)
for getting us here -- on the doorstep of turning the Old Town Hall into a fully functioning and accessible part of the community again." 

Everyone who attended the brunch left with the shared knowledge that restoring the Old Town Hall is, indeed, a community driven project.  
West Stockbridge in the 70's

The West Stockbridge Historical Society program on August 17th at the Old Town Hall -- "West Stockbridge in the 70's" -- was an evening of reminiscing and storytelling by a full-house audience of seventy-five.  Residents and local business owners were happy to share their personal recollections of the town as old pictures were shown and narrated by WSHS president Bob Salerno.  It brought back many memories of how the village looked "back in the day."

(Photo: Carol Kuller) 

The pictures had recently been given to the Historical Society, part of a collection that documented the changes that mainly occurred after entrepreneur Gordon Rose purchased a number of buildings in the downtown area of West Stockbridge. Prior to that time West Stockbridge had been a typical, unassuming, small town in Berkshire County. With the arrival of Mr. Rose many changes occurred over a number of years that altered the Main Street area. Buildings were renovated and some were torn down. New people arrived and opened new businesses. Some were successful and some were not; other new businesses came and West Stockbridge was never the same. 
Checking out the old photos and memorabilia (Photo: Carol Kuller)

Fortunately we have the pictures to remind us of how our town transitioned from "unassuming" to the bustling, busy little community (at least in the warmer months) that exists today. 
Berkshire Hills Chorus of Sweet Adelines

2016 Performance (Photo: Bob Salerno)
Back by popular demand after a rousing performance last year, the West Stockbridge Historical Society is pleased to host the Berkshire 
Hills Chorus of Sweet Adelines again 
on Friday, September 8, 6:30 p.m., at the Old Town Hall.

The Berkshire Hills Chorus is a 27-member, award-winning, women's barbershop chorus that travels around Berkshire County providing musical entertainment. The chorus is an affiliate of Sweet Adelines International and draws its members from all over Berkshire County and beyond. Members range in age from 19 to 70. The group sings a cappella in four-part harmony, and their repertoire includes ballads, show tunes, up-tunes, holiday songs, pop songs, and patriotic songs. During performances, the group enjoys interacting with the audience, explaining aspects of barbershop singing, and then teaching a short barbershop melody to them. The chorus is co-directed by Patricia Feldman and Gail Wojtkowiak.

The chorus has enjoyed performing at the Red Lion Inn, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Berkshire Atheneum, Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield's Downtown Third Thursdays, the North Adams Downtown Celebration, WGBY-TV "Together in Song," the Pittsfield 
Suns, the Stockbridge Memorial Day parade ceremony, the Berkshire Museum Festival of Trees, assisted living and nursing home facilities, as well as the West Stockbridge Historical Society last year. Last summer, the chorus was invited to sing on the lawn at Tanglewood on Parade.

Barbershop music has been a part of the cultural fabric of our country since the late 1800s. The Berkshire Hills Chorus has kept this rich musical tradition alive in Berkshire County and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019.

A reception will follow the performance, so come join the fun. Admission is free for WSHS members; for nonmembers, the suggested  donation is $15 at the door. Seating is limited. 
Please support our business and organization members
who support our efforts*
*Underlined businesses link to their website ... just click.  

A Grateful Welcome to these new Life Members  
Emilie Schmidt & Clark Nelson
Dan, Sarah, & Banyan Bourla

A Grateful Welcome to these new members  
Richard & Patricia Aakre
Meg Agnew & Merlin Wisswaesser
Suzanne & Robert Hatch
Rachel Karliner & Neil Binder
Bruce Levinson
Sharon Mahoney & Thomas X. Casey
Helene & Larry Natinsky
David Potter
Elizabeth Roberts & Garrett Vail
Karen & Jerry Waxberg
Jessie & Bernard Wolfson 

The West Stockbridge Historical Society is grateful for the generous support of its members. Strong community backing is important when donors review our requests for grants, and there are many benefits and interesting activities that you will enjoy as a member. If you have not already joined, we encourage you to do so.

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ABOUT US: The mission of the West Stockbridge Historical Society is to preserve and promote the history and culture of West Stockbridge through research, programming and community involvement.