WHATELY – The city center will be buzzing on Sunday as the Historical Society hosts its fall festival, a silent street auction is held and the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library hosts a book sale.
The public is invited to celebrate the change of seasons and the city’s history with the Whately’s Historical Society showcasing the city’s 19th-century pottery, while the silent auction features a jug from the early 1800s.
Historical Society president Neal Abraham said the theme of the annual festival, which has been going on for decades, is Whately pottery.
“We skipped a year because of COVID,” Abraham said, “but we’re back with the proper COVID protocols, with distancing and masking inside the museum.”
The Historical Society Fall Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Town Hall grounds at 4 Sandy Lane and in the Historical Society Museum at 194 Chestnut Plain Road. Master potter Rick Hamelin will demonstrate pottery techniques at a booth outside the museum from noon to 1 p.m.
The museum will present special pieces from the Pottery collection of the Historical Society as well as pieces from private collectors. Participants are invited to bring shards of pottery they have found on their property to be analyzed by Deerfield Historical Curator Dan Sousa.
Masks are mandatory inside the museum and tours will be smaller.
“Tours of the museum will be limited,” Abraham said, “so small groups of people will pass by and it won’t be crowded.”
Festival food will be served by Tom’s Hot Dogs and Grill and free ice cream is available courtesy of Snow’s Ice Cream Co. Live music will also be performed by the Pandemic String Band and the Packing Shed.
Although the silent auction and sale of books at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library is separate from Historical Society events, Abraham said people can use the newly installed sidewalks to move around the city.
“It’s not just an easy walking distance, but a safe walk,” he said. “We can’t wait to have people in Whately with great weather, great food, great music and a bit of Whately history.”
The silent auction, which will benefit the Whately Congregational Church, will take place at 177 Chestnut Plain Road, along with a sale of jewelry and accessories. Gold and silver estate jewelry such as pendants, bracelets, earrings and charms will be available, as well as accessories in silk, cotton and wool.
The silent auction features several pieces of Whately’s history. There is a jug dated between 1815 and 1817 created by Stephen Orcutt Jr., who was one of the first Whately potters to switch from red pottery to stoneware. There is also a first edition of James M. Crafts’ 1899 guidebook “History of Whately”.
Masks are required for auction and purchases can be made by cash or check only.
To round out the day, the annual Library Book Sale at 202 Chestnut Plain Road will benefit Friends of the Whately Library. Hardcover and paperback books for adults and children will be on sale. The sale of books is done in cash only.
Chris Larabee can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4081.