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Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 PM

*NEW* HOURS starting January 2, 2018

Tuesday/Wed/Thursday from 1 to 4 PM

3rd Saturdays from 9 AM to 12 Noon

Carpenter Museum

4 Locust Avenue (parking behind off Bay State Rd.)

Rehoboth, Massachusetts

508-252-3031

Carpenter Museum and Barn       Collections       Exhibits       Rehoboth History       Book Shop       Genealogy       Special Events

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GENEALOGY GROUP

Wednesday, December 20  from 7 to 9 PM in the Tilton Room

The Carpenter Museum Genealogy Group meets monthly to help both novice and experienced genealogy enthusiasts. You don’t need to be from an old Rehoboth family! All are welcome to attend. There are now sub groups organized for specific topics including: Irish Genealogy, Brickwalls, DNA, and Rehoboth Search. WiFi is available, so bring your device. Visit the group’s Facebook page for more details or please email: Genealogy@RehobothAntiquarian.org.


TRAVELING TRUNKS EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES

Almost 200 eighth graders at D. L. Beckwith School took part in the museum’s recently launched hands-on classroom programs using a “traveling trunk” full of real and replica artifacts from the Revolutionary War, including the actual drum used by Rehoboth teenager Joseph Pierce during the war (1775-76).  Museum Director Elyssa Tardiff and Collections Manager Crystal Johnson his story, and a letter from a soldier to his wife and children at home.  Students were able to touch and try on replica artifacts including a soldier’s overcoat and tri-corner hat, a drum, and various supplies.


CELEBRATING REHOBOTH THROUGH GENEALOGY

The museum’s Genealogy Group will present a day-long symposium in recognition of the town’s 375 anniversary on Saturday, March 3 from 10 AM to 4 PM at both the museum and Goff Memorial Hall.  Guest presenters will include Phoebe Bean, MLS, Librarian at the the Rhode Island Historical Society; and Stan Lemons, PhD, historian at First Baptist Church in Providence, and Professor Emeritus of History at Rhode Island College.

MUSEUM NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

BECOME A MEMBER!   JOIN TODAY!

Your membership to the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society is very important. A strong member base not only provides financial support but also helps to attain grants. RAS owns and operates the Carpenter Museum Farmhouse and Barn, Blanding Public Library and Goff Memorial Hall.  RAS offers world-class classical musicians with Arts in the Village Concert Series as well as the popular annual Folk Art and Artisan Show.   With membership, you will receive the bi-annual RAS Magazine, discounts for events, free parking at the Folk Art and Artisan Show, and free museum admission.

Thanks for your support.   RehobothAntiquarian.org

RSA Announces Improvements to Goff Memorial Hall and Blanding Library
The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society Board of Trustees has appointed a Goff Hall Facilities Improvement Committee. They have been charged with investigating options for upgrading restroom facilities and access improvements at Goff Memorial Hall and the Blanding Public Library. Through the services of Preservation Architect Diane Evers, they have completed a feasibility study on the options available and have determined the most appropriate alternative that would maintain the integrity of the building, both structurally and historically. They have developed conceptual drawings and initial cost estimates for these proposed improvements. The committee is pursuing sources of funding for new ADA compliant restrooms and improved access to the children’s library. Applications are being prepared for possible funding from the Rehoboth Community Preservation Act Trust Fund, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and various foundations. Watch for more information on this project.


2015 Museum Stories        2014 Museum Stories         2013 Museum Stories         2012 Museum Stories

OLDER STORIES BELOW

NEW REHOBOTH ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY MAGAZINE

The RAS Magazine offers exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. Not a RAS member?  Visit RehobothAntiquarian.org to join the RAS and receive the new biannual RAS Magazine as well as discount on museum programs and events, 10% discount on museum shop merchandise and free parking at the annual Folk Art & Artisan Show.


MUSEUM WELCOMES NEW COLLECTIONS MANAGER

This summer, the Carpenter Museum welcomed Crystal Johnson as its new Collections Manager. The Museum's former curator, Laura Napolitano, moved to North Carolina with her family in July after eight years at the Museum. Crystal received a Master's in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archive management at Simmons College. She also holds a B.F.A. in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has previously worked at the Providence Athenaeum, the Providence Public Library, and the Pembroke Center Archive at Brown University.

   Crystal brings her archival expertise to the Carpenter Museum at a particularly auspicious time. The Museum is preparing to move its genealogical materials in the Trim Room at the Blanding Public Library to a new research center at the Museum. This space will bring together genealogical materials and the Museum's archives and objects in one convenient location. The move will also free up much-needed space at the Blanding Public Library. 

   In addition to organizing the new research center, Crystal is exploring new ways to connect visitors to the Museum collections.

   "I am excited to start making our Museum collections accessible online," said Crystal. "We are currently building an digital exhibition space that will serve as platform for showcasing our most significant artifacts and materials. We receive research requests from as far away as New Zealand, and by putting our collection online, we can now reach a wider audience and better serve patrons who are not able to visit us in person."

   Crystal lives with her husband and rabbit, Benjamin Franklin, in Providence.


MUSEUM BIDS FOND FAREWELL TO CURATOR LAURA NAPOLITANO

Friends and family had a chance to say goodbye in late July to long-time Carpenter Museum Curator Laura Napolitano who is moving with her family from Rehoboth to North Carolina. A dual farewell reception was held in Goff Memorial Hall for both Napolitano and long-time Blanding Library Director Laura Bennett who is retiring.  The occasion, hosted by the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society (RAS) and the Friends of the Blanding Library, provided an opportunity to thank both for their years of dedicated service. 

    Napolitano was presented with a gift and cards from the RAS by board president Rebecca Smith, and a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives presented by Representative Steven Howitt. Museum Director Elyssa Tardiff and Museum Genealogist Lende McMullen both expressed how much they enjoyed working with Napolitano who was in charge of the museum’s artifacts, collections and exhibits.


BOOK LAUNCH AND SIGNING WITH LOCAL AUTHOR HEIDI CHIAVAROLI

Join author Heidi Chiavaroli in celebrating the release of her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring. Heidi will take her audience back in time to discover what really happened the night of the Boston Massacre. She will read passages from the novel, answer questions, and sign books. A musical tribute from Heidi’s son, historical exhibits courtesy of the museum, and light refreshments and raffles will be included. Join the merriment as we launch the career of a new and exciting author. 

Please RSVP by emailing programs@rehobothantiquarian.org.


RAS WELCOMES NEW TRUSTEE

The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society recently welcomed a new trustee to the RAS board. Rehoboth resident Maureen Whittemore was appointed to the five-year position at the RAS annual meeting in May. 


CULTURAL COUNCIL 2017 GRANTS TO CARPENTER MUSEUM

The Carpenter Museum is recipient of a $500 Rehoboth Cultural Council Grant to support the museum’s annual Strawberry Festival to be held on Sunday, June 4 from 12 to 4 PM inside and on the grounds of the museum. No charge for admission or parking.


IN MEMORY: E. OTIS DYER, JR.

The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society and Carpenter Museum mourns the recent and sudden loss of E. Otis Dyer, Jr., Vice President and former trustee of the RAS, a strong supporter and volunteer of the Carpenter Museum. Otis was a longtime member of the Rehoboth Historical Commission and served as chairman several times. He also researched and wrote many articles on Rehoboth’s history for the Antiquarian Society Newsletter.


SEPTEMBER TALK

Carpenter Museum Director Dr. Elyssa Tardif gave a talk to an eager audience on September 22 at the museum.  She shared the story of her ancestor Elioza Fafard Lacasse (1883-1946), a journalist who chronicled her childhood spent in a lighthouse on Quebec’s rugged, wildly beautiful North Shore.


RSA Announces Improvements to Goff Memorial Hall and Blanding Library
The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society Board of Trustees has appointed a Goff Hall Facilities Improvement Committee. They have been charged with investigating options for upgrading restroom facilities and access improvements at Goff Memorial Hall and the Blanding Public Library. Through the services of Preservation Architect Diane Evers, they have completed a feasibility study on the options available and have determined the most appropriate alternative that would maintain the integrity of the building, both structurally and historically. They have developed conceptual drawings and initial cost estimates for these proposed improvements. The committee is pursuing sources of funding for new ADA compliant restrooms and improved access to the children’s library. Applications are being prepared for possible funding from the Rehoboth Community Preservation Act Trust Fund, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and various foundations. Watch for more information on this project.

A VERY SPECIAL CONCERT WITH MARY BEE AND FRIENDS TO BENEFIT GOFF MEMORIAL HALL

Rehoboth native Mary Bee (Mary Brierly) is celebrating the release of her latest recording, Blueprints, with a very concert to benefit the Blanding Library and Goff Memorial Hall on Friday, September 16 from 7:30 to 10 PM at Goff Hall.  Performing with Mary for this special show are Chloe Agnew, one of the original Celtic Woman members of PBS fame, and Kate Connaghan, a singer-songwriter from California. The three women will be accompanied by Dermot Kiernan (Celtic Woman), David Air and Brian Callahan.

   Proceeds from this benefit will support both the Blanding Library and renovations in Goff Hall. There will be a Champagne and Nibbles reception with the artists following the performance for special ticket holders. Tickets, from $15 to $100, are available online at eventbrite or at the front deck at the Blanding Library. Use code GOFFGROUP when purchasing four or more tickets. Seating is limited, so order your tickets early.    If you would like to read more about the artists coming to Goff Hall on September 16, visit their official websites: marybeemusic.com, chloeagnewofficial.com, kateconnaghan.com.


SUMMER EXHIBIT

Drop by the Carpenter Museum this summer and see the “When We Were Young” exhibits including a display of the Moulson Moppets in the Trim Room downstairs. These are adorable wire and crepe paper dolls made by the late Florence Moulson of Bay State Road in the 1940s and 1950s.

   Florence made figures of storybook characters and holiday-themed dolls (see accompanying picture of some in the museum’s collection). She also made portrait figures of children, who sat for her in her home studio. A very special Doll Exhibit is currently upstairs in the museum.  This display includes artifacts from the museum’s collections as well as dolls and related objects on loan from local residents.


GENEALOGY GROUP NEWS

In July, a gathering of eleven members squeezed into the Trim Room at the Blanding LIbrary to work on binders of historical notes of Mr. Trim’s lectures to various groups. They also worked to compile a list of Rehoboth veterans of the French and Indian War so they can be represented with engraved pavers on the walk at the Rehoboth Veterans Memorial on the Redway Plain. Next meeting is Wednesday, August 24 from 7 to 9 PM in the Tilton Room at the Carpenter Museum.


RSA Announces Improvements to Goff Memorial Hall and Blanding Library
The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society Board of Trustees has appointed a Goff Hall Facilities Improvement Committee. They have been charged with investigating options for upgrading restroom facilities and access improvements at Goff Memorial Hall and the Blanding Public Library. Through the services of Preservation Architect Diane Evers, they have completed a feasibility study on the options available and have determined the most appropriate alternative that would maintain the integrity of the building, both structurally and historically. They have developed conceptual drawings and initial cost estimates for these proposed improvements. The committee is pursuing sources of funding for new ADA compliant restrooms and improved access to the children’s library. Applications are being prepared for possible funding from the Rehoboth Community Preservation Act Trust Fund, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and various foundations. Watch for more information on this project.

SUMMER EXHIBIT - WHEN WE WERE YOUNG

During spring visits to the museum, classes of elementary students experience a bit of early Rehoboth life including fireplace cooking, barn construction, peg-making, stenciling, the use of herbs, the making of herbal sachets, parlor games, and weaving.

    A crew of trained volunteers make these school visits possible. If you are interested in history, colonial America, or have specific talents, please consider volunteering or becoming a museum docent.  Contact the museum for more information 508 252-3031 or email carpentermuseum@gmail.com.


ELYSSA TARDIF NAMED NEW  MUSEUM DIRECTOR

The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society has named Elyssa Tardif as new director of the Carpenter Museum. A resident of East Providence, Elyssa is an educator and project manage with a passion for innovative history education and creative public programming. 

   For the past five years, she has been Director of the Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs for the RI Historical Society. She has also been an instructor of history at RI College and will teach at Brown University this fall.

    With a PhD in English from Purdue University, Elyssa has presented programs at the New England Museum Association in Newport, the Rhode Island Social Studies Institute in Providence and RI libraries. She is Co-Director for the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College Teachers.


MESSAGE FROM OUTGOING CARPENTER MUSEUM DIRECTOR

Sadly, this is my last newsletter as Director of the Carpenter Museum. I’ve been director here for 7 years, and was assistant director for more than 2 years prior to that. During that time, I’ve worked with great staff, supportive trustees and amazing volunteers. Together, we’ve grown our membership and opened our doors ever-wider to the local community. Thank you all!  Barbara Spencer


CELEBRATE ART, REHOBOTH! ART EXHIBIT THROUGH JULY 24

Over 200 visitors attended the June 26 opening reception for Celebrate Art, Rehoboth!, an exhibit of work by 27 professional artists who live in Rehoboth and 37 student artists.     This first-ever local art show is sponsored by the Rehoboth Cultural Council.  The exhibition is open in the E. Otis Dyer Barn and the downstairs Tilton Room through Sunday, July 24 during open hours (Tuesdays & Thursdays 1-4 PM and Sundays 2-4 PM). For full details on the exhibit and artists, visit CelebrateArtRehoboth.com.


THANKS TO DAVE DOWNS

If we have a program or event at the Carpenter Museum, there’s a good chance Dave Downs will be there. Dressed in colonial garb, he always arrives prepared with a wealth of information about local history and a great sense of humor! You’ve probably seen him greeting at the Folk Art & Artisans Show, navigating our bus tours, or helping with the third grade program.

   Some of us remember Dave as “Mr. Downs,” the fun-loving elementary school teacher. After retiring from teaching, he started his own business, Downs Entertainment, and makes appearances throughout New England, speaking on a variety of topics. He also volunteers at Rehoboth’s historic Hornbine School.

   Words can’t express our appreciation for all Dave does to support the Carpenter Museum and to serve the community. With a humble nature and generous spirit, he is a joy to work with.


FROM SHEARING TO SPINNING

Spinning wool on a spinning wheel will be one of the traditional crafts on display at the Strawberry Country Festival on Sunday June 4 at the museum. Spinning may seem quaint now, but it was a vital skill in the years before the Industrial Revolution.

   Shearing was a massive operation that called for all hands at work.  Hard-working men with a pair of hand shears did well to shear 30 sheep in one day.

  “Once shorn, the fleeces had to be sorted, rolled and packed for sale.

   Cloth production began with the combing or carding of the wool to clean out any twigs or filth and to untangle any knots. This was all done by hand, keeping many women and children busy. Next it was spun on a simple drop spindle or . . . with a spinning wheel. It took 12 skilled spinsters to supply the yarn to keep one weaver in business.”

   Weaving was mostly done by men and required other sets of skills to operate the loom. Many people had to work long hours to produce the finished yarn and cloth needed for clothing, which was all hand-sewn too.  It’s something to think about when we so easily buy our ready-made clothes today.


COME TO THE ANNUAL STRAWBERRY COUNTRY FESTIVAL

It’s everything you love in one summer festival: hands-on activities focusing on what it was like growing up during early times, plus yummy strawberries! Try woodworking and peg making from colonial times. Experience open hearth fireplace cooking. Try butter making and candle making. Learn about spinning and weaving. Practice archery. Learn about leather making and make your own leather bracelet. And of course, enjoy homemade strawberry shortcake, delicious lemonade and more! Activities indoors and out. Rain or shine. Admission FREE.


WE DIG DENNIS MELLO!

If you’ve noticed that the parking field used by the Carpenter Museum has been expanded, it’s thanks to Dennis Mello. He just showed up one day with his tractor, and dug up all those pesky brambles along the perimeter of the field. What a huge job. What a nice thing to do! Thanks, Dennis.


SPECIAL THANKS TO SUE WITHERS

Sue Withers has served on the RAS trustee board for over 20 years. But she has done much more than sit at our once-a-month meetings. Sue regularly volunteers to help at our programs and events, and many others in town.

   Her commitment to our community expands to other areas as well. Sue was Town Clerk of Rehoboth from 1972 to 1998. She also serves on the Personnel Board, served six years on the School Committee, and served a term on the Board of Selectmen. She still substitute teaches at Beckwith Middle School, which she has done for the past 10 years.

   Sue’s interest in all things Rehoboth, her passion for local history, and her knowledge of town “goings on” have made her a valuable asset as an RAS Trustee. We thank Sue for her enthusiasm, hard work, and long-time commitment.


REHOBOTH’S RING OF THE GREEN

As we rode in the comfort of our cozy coach bus on April 10th, we imagined life in the first Rehoboth settlement in the 1600s, and how the area in today’s Rumford changed over the years.

   Pictured here are Count Rumford (Jeff Faria) and our Carpenter Museum volunteer Kara Evans, who greeted us when we stopped at the John Hunt House and the grounds of the East Providence Historical Society for a visit.

    Special thanks to all our volunteers, especially local re-enactor Dave Downs, Rehoboth Genealogy Researcher Lende McMullen, and East Providence Historical Society President Nancy Moore. part of the museum support team!


VOLUNTEER KARA EVANS

When John Evans passed away last year, we lost not just a friend, but a long-time volunteer. We weren’t sure how we would manage without his help during our spring education programs and our Strawberry Country Festival. When John’s niece Kara volunteered to take his place, we were thrilled.

   Since last spring, Kara has remained very involved with the Museum. She organized “Cool Crafts from the Past” last summer. In the fall she played a character in our “Two Lies and a Truth” Wine Tasting & Silent Auction.

    She volunteered during the Folk Art & Artisans Show in November. And she was one of the key organizers of the American Girl Doll Tea in March. With a BA in Cultural and Historic Preservation, Kara adds creativity, drama, and a passion for history to our programs. We’re thankful that she has chosen to be part of the museum support team!


BRISTOL COUNTY SAVINGS BANK GRANT PRESENTATION TO THE RAS

Bristol County Savings Bank (BCSB), through its Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation (BCSCF), recently presented a $7,125 grant to the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society to conserve Goff Memorial Hall’s historic painted stage curtain.

    Pictured right are (from left to right): Lou Ricciardi, Board Member, BCSB & BCSCF; Suzanne Withers, Board Member, BCSCF and Board Member, RAS; Diana Rochefort, Assistant Vice President/Branch Manager (BCSB); Rebecca Smith, President, RAS; Patrick Murray, President & CEO, BCSB and President, BCSCF; Marge Largey, Board Member, BCSCF; and Edward Pariseau, Jr., Board Member, BCSCF.


HELP FROM REHOBOTH TROOP 56
For weeks the Girl Scouts in Rehoboth Troop 56 have been helping prepare for the American Girl Doll Tea at the Carpenter Museum on Sunday, March 6.

They’ve been brainstorming ideas, cutting felt circles to make doll skirts, preparing activity bags, setting up the rooms, and more. Special thanks to their leaders Lisa Dyer, Judy Rose and Anna Candeias for their support. With their help, we did such a good job of spreading the word about the tea that we filled reservations more than a week before the event!


WE WILL MISS WERNER
Our volunteer spotlight this month is on someone who has had a vital role not only at the Carpenter Museum, but also the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society, where he has long been a board member and has served as treasurer for the past 12 years.

  We join with many others in Rehoboth in saying “Thank You” to Werner Horlbeck for the countless hours he has spent volunteering in various ways at the museum, the library, with the RAS, the Congregational Church, and on town commissions.

   After 40 years in Rehoboth, Werner and his wife, Chris, will be moving to Hingham; they will be greatly missed by all of us.

  At a celebration in Werner’s honor at the Rehoboth Congregational Church in January, Tom Charnecki, past president of the RAS, remarked, “Werner has volunteered with enthusiasm and diligence. He’s always reliable and most importantly, he has served with a high level of integrity, honesty, and moral values.”

  Tom also thanked Chris Horlbeck for all she has done for the Blanding Library, where she first organized a children’s library and then served as director for a number of years.


WE VISITED CHRISTMASES PAST

’Twas two weeks before Christmas when over 40 people gathered at the Carpenter Museum to hear a holiday talk by Ken Turino of Historic New England.  While mulled cider warmed and chestnuts roasted, Ken entertained visitors with stories of the evolution of New England Christmas traditions over the centuries. Early on, Puritans forbade the observance of Christmas, which in England was a rowdy celebration of drinking and begging. The holiday became a family affair by the mid-nineteenth century.


NEW RAS TRUSTEE

Welcome to new RAS trustee Connie Wenzel-Jordan who joined us last May and has already energized our trustee board with great ideas and lots of enthusiasm. She also enjoys being a docent at the museum.  Connie and her husband John have lived in Rehoboth since 1984, and have two adult daughters. She has been a writer and graphic designer for over 35 years specializing in marketing communications and now websites. Her flagship is RehobothNow, a daily online newspaper she publishes for the people of Rehoboth as a community service.  Connie will be involved in the newly formed RAS Development Committee


NEW IN 2016

As part of next year’s “When We Were Kids” programming at the Carpenter Museum, we are organizing a small exhibit of Moulson Moppets. These are adorable wire and crepe paper dolls made by the late Florence Moulson of Bay State Road in the 1940s and 1950s.

   Florence made figures of storybook characters and holiday-themed dolls (see accompanying picture of some in the museum’s collection). She also made portrait figures of children, who sat for her in her home studio. Although the portraits aren’t true likenesses, they capture some physical features and characteristic gestures of the children being portrayed.

   The exhibit will open in March 2016. Do you or someone you know have a Moulson Moppet portrait doll? We would love to hear from you about a possible loan to our exhibit. Please email carpentermuseum@gmail.com or call the museum at 508-252-3031.

 

Owned and operated by the

Rehoboth Antiquarian Society

HOLIDAY CLOSING

The museum will be closed the week of December 25-29, 2017


NEW HOURS - Effective 1/2/2018

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday - 1 to 4 PM

3rd Saturday of the month - 9 AM to noon

The museum’s new Research Center will be open for a soft launch in January 2018 with an official opening in March. The center includes materials from the Robert S. Trim Collection (formerly housed in the Blanding Public Library) and other historical and genealogical materials.


To request a visit outside of regular hours: 

Contact Museum Director Elyssa Tardiff: director@RehobothAntiquarian.org


To request viewing of special collections:

Contact Collections Manager Crystal Johnson: collections@RehobothAntiquarian.org


ADMISSION - Effective 1/2/2018

The Carpenter Museum welcomes visitors of all ages.  Admission includes museum, barn, and research center

$5 per adult (suggested donation)

FREE for those under 18 years of age, RAS members and Rehoboth residents