The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752 in Hadley, Massachusetts opens Saturday May 19, 2018 for its 69th season. Guided tours will be available Saturday through Wednesday from 1:00 to 4:30 pm. The museum is closed on Thursdays and Fridays. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, known as Forty Acres, is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today interprets life in rural New England over three centuries. Through the words, spaces and possessions of the women and men who lived here, the Museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th-century farmstead. Members of this household along with numerous artisans, servants and slaves made Forty Acres an important social and commercial link in local, regional and national cultural and economic networks. Through the 19th century the generations transformed the estate into a rural retreat. In the 20th-century the house was preserved as a museum by family members and now contains the possessions of six generations of this extended family.
The rooms in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum remain as they were arranged by members of the family to accommodate the procession of relatives, neighbors, community leaders and workers who crossed the house’s threshold. From farmers and businessmen, to religious leaders and social workers, to servants and slaves, the stories of many men, women, and children spanning 250 years of American History are told within the house. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Programs this summer include the thirty-seventh season of WEDNESDAY FOLK TRADITIONS, featuring some of New England's finest ethnic folk music performers and ensembles. Performances will be held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 P.M starting June 13 with Grammy nominated Senagalese Master Kora player Youssoupha Sidibe who performs ancient African Harp styles blended with Sufi devotional chanting and western music to create a unique musical expression that he has shared around the world. The WFT series continues with weekly performances through July 25.
"A PERFECT SPOT OF TEA" will be held each Saturday in July and August with seating at 2:30 P.M. and 3:30 P.M. on the museum's back veranda. Local musicians will perform while guests sip tea and taste pastries donated by local restaurants.
Special exhibits in the Corn Barn this summer will include a solo exhibition of paintings entitled “Massachusetts” by award winning artist Philip Grant. Described as a visual autobiography, the portraits and scenes feature neighbors and places around Grant’s home in Hampden. Grant paints in oil on linen laminated panels or stretched canvas using traditional methods combined with modern realist techniques. This series of images reflect influences from Andrew Wyeth to the Dutch Masters. The exhibition will be on view June 1 to July 24.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is also the designated Way-Point Center for the National Connecticut River Scenic Byway. The Museum hosts a panel exhibit on the natural history of the Valley, the Museum’s history, and sites along the by-way for travelers. A newly created trail system begins at the Museum, traverses the farm fields along the river and continues along the old buggy path to the top of Mount Warner where the family grazed their cattle in the 18th century.