GB Heritage Day
Saturday, June 18th 2016
All day event: 9am-9pm
Free, Donations welcome
GB Heritage Day celebrates the Housatonic River and watershed, as well as the region’s agriculture, industry and culture — showcasing the spirit of independence that has made Great Barrington such a vibrant place for more than 250 years.
Free buttons are available at the Mahaiwe Theater offering access to all events. Reservations are encouraged by calling the box office at 413.528.0100; there is limited capacity for many tours.
Schedule of Events:
9am – Exploring our Watershed with Christine Ward, Rachel Fletcher, and Dennis Regan; Registration at 8:45am at the Mahaiwe.
Climb our Hills into History / Walk Along the River’s Edge / Paddle Through Time
Rate: Vigorous…Highlights: ice industry / electricity innovations (William Stanley) / agriculture / mills and dams / environmental justice and civil rights (W.E.B. Du Bois) / the river in pre-colonial, industrial, and present times / natural resource protection
9am: 3.5-mile Great Barrington loop hike. Beginning at the Mahaiwe, we will walk up Castle Hill to Lake Mansfield, take the Lake Mansfield Conservation Forest Trails to Welcome Street, and across 41 to George Street (beside the Housatonic R.) We will continue to downtown GB and enter the River Walk Upstream Entrance
11:15am: Snack at the Du Bois River Garden Park; Explore Du Bois: Champion of Rivers interpretative exhibit
12pm: Canoe paddle to Sheffield covered bridge*
*Join us for this family–friendly 6.6-mile paddle. We’ll paddle from Bridge Street, Great Barrington to the Covered Bridge in Sheffield. Enjoy a meandering stretch of the Housatonic River with mostly flat easy flowing water. Get your family out for a day of river exploration! Stop for a lunch break at the confluence with the Green River. Bring water to drink, lunch, and enthusiasm. Shuttle ride back to put-in location available. Suitable for ages 10yrs+. We supply canoes, PFDs, paddles, and leaders. For safety concerns, registration is available for 14 people, with an additional spot for 8 people in their own boats. For additional information call the Housatonic Valley Association at 413/394-9796.
12pm: River Walk tour to the W.E.B. Du Bois River Park. Enter upstream at 195 Main Street.
3:00pm: Transportation provided back to the Mahaiwe
9am – Bike Tour with Chris Rembold: Historic Highlights of Great Barrington and Housatonic Village
2.5 hours, 13 miles, rolling terrain, quick stops at sites of interest (including downtown sites, the Henry Knox Trail, Rising Mill, Monument Mills, Guthrie Center, Newsboy Monument, Mahaiwe Cemetery) and time for a longer tour of the Truman Wheeler Farmstead. Start and end at the Mahaiwe Theater on Castle Street. After the ride, grab a bite to eat at the downtown Great Barrington Farmer’s Market on Church Street.
9am-11am – Photo Walk at Great Barrington Fairgrounds with Bruce Panock and Lynnette Najimy
Photographers Bruce Panock and Lynnette Najimy will lead a walking tour of the Great Barrington Fairgrounds from 9am - 11am. The walk is geared towards the amateur photographer; enjoy the fairgrounds' many visually interesting nature, landscape, and historically significant photo opportunities under the guidance of two professional photographers, who will share their expertise as well as some of the history and lore of this historic site. Please note that due to safety considerations, access to buildings and structures is not permitted at the Fairgrounds and will not be allowed during the tour. Participants should wear clothing and footwear appropriate for walking in tall grass and bring insect repellent and a camera. Limited to 20 participants. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
9:30am – “An Alternative History Tour of Downtown Great Barrington” with Bernard A. Drew
1.5 hour sidewalk tour starting from Mahaiwe Theatre and looking at aspects of town history not widely known. Will look at the theater, where Blackstone the Magician appeared; the Berkshire Block, where Henry D.D. Roland, “The Human Fly,” scaled the outside wall in 1925; Town Hall, where the police chief’s patrol car, left idling one day in 1921, rolled into the street…; a stone wall, Great Barrington’s first public works project; an abandoned section of the original New England Fur Trail through town, on which three regiments of Scottish Highlander soldiers marched in 1757 on their way to Fort Carrillon and more.
10am; 11am; 12pm; 1pm – Truman Wheeler Farmstead, home of the GB Historical Society. Guided One Hour Tours
One hour tours of the House and Farm of Revolutionary War patriot Captain Truman Wheeler. Truman Wheeler Farmstead, 817 South Main Street.
10am – Great Barrington's Urban Forest
Take a tour of downtown Great Barrington’s urban forest, past and present, with Massachusetts Certified Arborist Tom Ingersoll. See the 50-inch American elm tree at Town Hall, the last of the historic street trees planted in the 1800s, the 52-inch Sugar Maple at St. James Place, and other significant trees in downtown. Learn about the new trees planted as part of the Main Street project, with highlights about the variety of species and their traits. Tour begins at the Mahaiwe Theater at 10:00 AM. Approx. one hour. Easy walking, wheelchair accessible. Starts and ends at the Mahaiwe.
10am – Classic Movie at the Mahaiwe Theater: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) (G)
12pm-1pm – Lunch Talk at the Great Barrington Farmers' Market with Alice Maggio, Susan Witt, Harry Conklin and others. The Story of Indian Line Farm: the birthplace of Community Supported Agriculture and an unconventional approach to land tenure. Church Street, downtown Great Barrington.
12pm and 1pm – Behind the Scenes at the Mahaiwe Theater
With Maia Robbins-Zust and Paul Kakley
12pm – W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite Guided Tour with David Glassberg and Camesha Scruggs
Explore the life and legacy of Great Barrington’s native son, W.E.B. Du Bois. Free, guided walking tour of the Du Bois Homesite, Route 23, Great Barrington.
Open to the public, no limit on participants, no pre-registration required – just arrive and enjoy. More information www.duboisNHS.org or email: info@duboisNHS.org
1pm – “How to Find Iron Industry History in the Woods” with Bernard A. Drew
2+ hour hike from Fountain Pond on Threemile Hill Trail, with some bushwhacking on an old charcoal road. Participants will learn about 19th century iron industry and the manufacture of charcoal in the woods. Charcoal was used at the iron furnace in VanDeusenville until it closed in the 1890s. Walk is suitable for families. Walk is uphill, moderate terrain, wear good hiking shoes, dress against ticks.
2pm – Onstage Story Circle
Guided reminiscences with Barby Cardillo at the Mahaiwe
4pm – Classic Movie at the Mahaiwe Theater: King Kong (1933) (PG-13)
5pm-7:30pm – Restaurant Specials, Food for Sale, Music, and Tastings
7pm – Classic Movie at the Mahaiwe Theater: Pretty Poison (1968) (R)
Collaborators include: BerkShares, Great Barrington Fairgrounds, Great Barrington Farmer's Market, Great Barrington Historical Society, Great Barrington Land Conservancy, Great Barrington Trails and Greenways, Housatonic Heritage, Housatonic Valley Association, Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, W.E.B.Du Bois National Historic Site, and the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.