New from the Museum Store

Gifts to the Museum

Annual Meeting Reports

Notes from Ashfield Gravestones

Ancestor Queries

Mary Lyon in Stockbridge, New York

Remembering Ester (Smith) Green

Preserving the Town Records

Website Update



CALENDAR 2006 — The AHS calendar for 2006 titled "Ashfield Historical Pictures" features scenes of Ashfield copied digitally by our President, Dr. Norman Pike, from postcards and other photos in our archival collection. Some were taken by Maude Dodge or the Howes Brothers and some by unknown photographers.

The 2006 calendar will be on sale at the AHS museum store during Fall Festival weekend for $10, tax included. After Fall Festival the calendar will be available at either Ashfield Hardware or Neighbors or it can be ordered from our website for $10 plus a $4 shipping charge.

POTTERY BOOK — On August 28th David Graci signed copies of his book, Thomas Crafts Pottery & The Ashfield Adventure. In the foreward Peter E. Schriber writes, "David Graci has produced a well-written and well-documented book on the two western Massachusetts potteries [Whately and Ashfield]. We finally have a good description of the ware that these potteries produced and the master potters that were responsible … a fascinating history of two of the most influential pottery families of New England and New York that thrived in the period from 1797 to nearly 1860: the Orcutts and the Crafts. This book is close to being the definitive work on the Whately and Ashfield potteries… identifying and correcting the past mistakes and wrong conjectures of earlier writers, and adding much new information." David Graci says in his introduction, "The main participants in the history of the Whately pottery enterprise are Thomas Crafts and his extended family and many of his work force, which moved to Ashfield, engaging in pottery operations there… the first participant to be mistakenly identified by previous writers is Mr. David Belding, or the three gentlemen with this name…"

One David Belding, potter, was born July 13, 1796 to John and Priscilla (Wait) Belding. He and his wife lived in Ashfield for 26 years. He died Sept. 2, 1865 at age 69. The other David Belding, potter, was born March 7, 1813 to Elisha and Abigail (Kellogg) Belding. He died at age 41 on Sept. 10, 1854. "Past historians have confused events and assumed that only one individual existed…. Another case of mistaken identity involves John Guilford, of Ashfield, who was an investor in the Ashfield pottery, not John Luther Guilford, labeled by all previous writers as the first man." David Graci explains in detail the history of these men, the Craft and Orcutt family potters, as well as others who worked with them. He has illustrated the 76+ pages of his book with many excellent photos of both Ashfield and Whately pottery. For anyone who owns and/or loves pottery, this is a "must-own" book.

David Graci's book is for sale at the AHS museum store for $22 plus tax. Or you can place an order through our website by e-mailing our curator. There is an extra charge for shipping.

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We sincerely thank all those who have donated items to our museum collection in 2005. We have received the following: