Whately Historical Society’s Fall Festival timed with silent auction, book sale

  • The 2017 Whately Fall Festival. The event returns on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Festival-goers line up for free ice cream served out of the giant milk bottle during the 2017 Whately Fall Festival. The event returns on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 10/2/2021 8:54:19 AM

WHATELY — The town center will be buzzing on Sunday as the Historical Society hosts its Fall Festival, a silent auction is held down the street and the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library holds a book sale.

The public is invited to celebrate the changing of the seasons and the town’s history with Whately’s Historical Society showcasing the town’s 19th-century pottery, while the silent auction is offering a jug from the early 1800s.

Historical Society President Neal Abraham said the theme of the annual festival, which has been happening for decades, is Whately pottery.

“We skipped a year because of COVID,” Abraham said, “but we’re back on with appropriate COVID protocols, with distancing and masking inside the museum.”

The Historical Society’s Fall Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of Town Hall, at 4 Sandy Lane, and in the Historical Society’s 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 be showcasing special pieces from the Historical Society’s pottery collection as well as pieces from private collectors. Attendees are invited to bring pottery shards they’ve found on their property to be analyzed by Historic Deerfield Curator Dan Sousa.

Masks are required when inside the museum and tours will be smaller.

“The tours in the museum will be limited,” Abraham said, “so small groups of people will go through 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 played by the Pandemic String Band and the Packing Shed.

While the silent auction and S. White Dickinson Memorial Library’s book sale are separate from the Historical Society’s events, Abraham said people can use the newly installed sidewalks to get around the town.

“It’s not only easy walking distance, but safe walking,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having people in Whately with good weather, good food, good music and some Whately history.”

The silent auction, which will benefit the Whately Congregational Church, will be held at 177 Chestnut Plain Road, along with a jewelry and accessory sale. Gold and silver estate jewelry such as pendants, bracelets, earrings and charms will be available, along with silk, cotton and wool accessories.

The silent auction is offering up several pieces of Whately history. There is a jug dated between 1815 and 1817 created by Stephen Orcutt Jr., who was one of the first Whately potters to move from redware pottery to stoneware. There is also a first-edition print of James M. Crafts’ 1899 guide “History of Whately.”

Masks are required for the auction and purchases can be made by cash or check only.

To round out the day, the library’s annual book sale at 202 Chestnut Plain Road will benefit the Friends of the Whately Library. Adult and children’s books in both hardcover and paperback will be for sale. The book sale is cash only.


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