Historical Commission

Mailing Address: 325 Main Road, Gill, MA 01354

Email: ghc@gillmass.org

Visit us on FaceBook @GillHistoricalCommission

Commission: 7 members (currently 5 are filled with 2 vacancies) plus 2 Alternates - 3 yr. terms

Volunteer Opportunities: If you are interested in GHC membership or want to volunteer, please contact a member.

Meeting Schedule: The Commission generally meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 3:00 p.m. at the Riverside Municipal Building, 54 French King Highway, Gill. Please contact the Chair to confirm the meeting time and to be included on the agenda.

Next meeting:

Members

5 of 7 seats. 3 years each seat.

  • Kit Carpenter, Chair. June, 2023. Gill, MA 01354 - 413-863-2505
  • Charlene Currie. June, 2024.
  • Terri Rice. June, 2024.
  • Pam Shoemaker. June, 2025. Gill, MA 01354 - 413-863-4170
  • Robert Perry. June, 2025.
  • VACANT
  • VACANT

Alternate Members:

Bev Demars

Lynda Hodsdon Mayo

Previous meetings:

Joe Parzych Photo Exhibit

January Blues got you down?

Stop by the Discovery Center now through January 29th. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls. Open Tues-Sun 10-4pm

Great Hall Art Exhibit – Photo Beat, Past and Present: Moving Forward in Time, Capturing of the Moment by Gill Resident Joe Parzych.

Meet the artist reception on Saturday, January 28, 1-3 pm

Munn Diary 1873

1858 Map of Gill

Gill 130 Years Ago According to Local Diary
Do you wonder what life was like for one of our residents in Gill 130 years ago? Here’s a peak into Chandler Munn’s diary entries in January 1873. His handwriting wasn't always easy to transcribe, but our GHC members gave it a try!

His entries include reminiscing of 1872 ending with pleasant memories of the old year, going to singing school and writing sheet music for someone in Chicago, an Aunt sewing a new dress with “pea green” fabric, pleasant and warm weather for the beginning of January but a cold snap with temperatures 32 degrees below zero (hmmmm?) at the end of the month. Interesting to see what he felt was worthy of noting in his diaries.

Chandler S. Munn Gill, Massachusetts
Pocket Diary of 1873 - Given to Harriet Tidd for the Gill Historical Commission.
Transcribed by Pamela L. Shoemaker, July 2008 and 2011.

Chandler Severance Munn was the son of Lorenzo Patrick and first wife Ruth (Severance) Munn and the grandfather of Frances Munn. He was born in Gill on 31 July 1846 and died there on 24 January 1913. On 4 July 1876 (a centennial event!) in Brattleboro, VT, Chandler married Ellen Augusta "Nellie" Moore, born in Warwick, MA, on 17 June 1855, the daughter of Timothy and Fanny (Sheperdson) Moore; she died in Gill on 27 or 28 July 1936 or 1938. Their children were Lewis C. and Lucy Sophia. Lewis Chandler Munn married Lena Foster, and their children were Frances E. Munn, b. 12 July 1905, and Dorothy F. Munn, b. 18 March, 1917 (?) and died September 6, 1917. Chandler’s father, Lorenzo P. Munn always lived on the old Munn Homestead in Gill. During his minority he assisted in carrying on the farm and running the ferry across the Connecticut River. Chandler lived at the Homestead and farmed with his father.
Wednesday, January 1, 1873
Cloudy. We gave Bro Miller a donation of $20 in money & 20 in provision. Some 50 persons present
Thursday 2
Cold, below 0. Striped (sic) tobacco in the kitchen. There is some two feet of snow in the grounds.
Friday 3
Very cold. Striped tobacco. Sold it for 20 + 5. last month to Edward Janes of Greenfield
Saturday, January 4
Pleasant weather. Have had a lazy day. Last Tuesday evening we had a pleasant surprise by our neighbors to the number of 38.
Sunday 5
Cloudy. Did not go to meeting. ?uman Slate, Hendrick and Mother called here in the evening.
Monday 6
Cool. I went to mill PM and got a large load of meal. We went up to Chester Delvys in the evening. Mr. Hosley and wife and Eva were there. Charles Munn is sick with Pleurisis.
[Charles S. Munn was born on 26 May 1844 and married Sarah Ripley; they had three children: Grace J., Frank L. and Mary S. He owned and occupied a portion of the Homestead Farm.]
Tuesday, January 7
Cold. We had a surprise visit from our friends and neighbors in commeration (sic) of the wedding of S.P. and bride.
Wednesday 8
Cold. The old year has gone, and it has been full of pleasant memories. We have great reason to praise God for all his mercies.
Thursday 9
Cold. We striped tobacco in our kitchen and had a nice time. Sister Sarah is in Florence now in Mr. Porter's boarding house.
[Chandler’s sister, Sarah R., was born in Gill on 24 March and later lived in Florence, Hampshire County. She never married and died in Florence at a young age according to family historical notes. ]
Friday, January 10
Cold, 21 degrees. We striped tobacco, finished it. I went down to singing school.
Saturday 11
Cold. Did not break the World into, But Mr. Hosmer did give up his old Folk concert.
Sunday 12
Cold. Stayed at home. Wrote some sheet music for Mary Hill of Chicago and mailed it Tuesday at Greenfield.
"There's sweet rest in heaven."
[Lorenzo Munn’s sister Lucretia Patience (Aunt Lu) (1818-1900) married Uri Tracy (1818-1854); their daughter Mary Elizabeth (1848-1942) married David K. Hill of Chicago. They had three sons: Arthur, James, Paul. David Hill and a Willoughby, who was related to the Munns by marriage, owned a large department store in Chicago. Later in this diary Aunt Lu goes west to Chicago with Chandler S. Munn. She seems then to have lived in Chicago, appearing there in the census for 1880 and dying there on 22 March 1900.]
Monday 13
Cold, Aunt Lu worked on her new dress, "Pea Green" that Luther and Mary sent her with a new Astrachan Cloak.
Tuesday 14
Warm and Pleasant We killed a beef creature for Geo & Chester Delvy at 8 cents a pound. Wt 558 L.B.S.
Wednesday 15
Cloudy & Snowy. Mr Jones (Janes?) came up and "strip" Boxed Charlies tobacco. I kneed it. We had 5 Boxes. Father went to Bernardston and bought a pair of yearlings for $50.
Thursday, January 16
Warm, Misty. Cut up tobacco stalks. Sewed my shirt on the Machine. We boxed our tobacco wrappers to night.
Friday 17
Thaws very fast. Finished boxing tobacco to day. Went to singing school. Hendrick Slate is teaching school here.
Saturday 18
Cloud, and Hails
Father and Nelson drew our tobacco and Charlies to Bernardston and got the money6. Our tobacco Weighed 3421 LBS. price $530.35 Bought and got home a pair of yearling stears (sic) of Prestin (Prentice?) Slate $50
[Nelson was probably Nelson Burrows.]
Thursday, January 16
Warm, Misty. Cut up tobacco stalks. Sewed my shirt on the Machine. We boxed our tobacco wrappers to night.
Sunday, January 19
Warm & Pleasant Mother and I did not go to meeting to day. Hendrick came down here in evening.
Monday 20
Cloudy, looks snowy. Father went over to the turn out and drew a load of ashes for Chester Delvy. Sylas Scott sent 3 cows over here for keeping.
Tuesday 21
Snowy. Father and I went to Greenfield and got 38 Bushels of ashes of Mrs Reed
Wednesday, January 22
Cool, Pleasant. We went down to Bro Martins & striped tobacco and got our carpet for my room Aunt Lu & I went to Abels?t?s prayer meeting
Thursday 23
Cloudy PM. Aunt & I went up to Roswell Holtons down to singing in the evening. Father and Mother put down carpet.
Friday 24
A dark cold no E. Snow storm all day. I finished my shirts and sewed on Grandpas pants. Churned Have 17 head of cattle & 6 horses
Saturday, January 25

Pleasant sharp air. Had letter for Mary Hill. Pierce (?) came and brought over a colt for us to keep. We went visiting to Aunt Mary's.
Sunday 26
Pleasant day, 4 deg. Below 0. Went down to Cong. Heard Bro. Frost From Rom 2-10 A most excelent (sic) discussion. Henry and I went to prayer meeting. Father and Aunt Lu and mother went up to Uncle Harrys.
Monday 27
Another NoEast Snow
Father went to Northfield with 10 1/2 bu wheat for bread. We have papered Grandpas room and made and put down the carpet, looks very cosy.
Tuesday, January 28
Pleasant. 7 below 0. Special Town meeting for a new bridge at the Turners Falls. Instructed a committee to report the payment of 1/3 expenses
Wednesday 29
Pleasant cold Father went to Northfield and got his wheat grist, and bough 7 head cattle. Chester Delvy and his wife are sick. ?phalis
Thursday 30
The Mercury was 32 degrees below zero. The coldest that I ever remember. Our folks went down to Bro. Haywards to a sewing Society. Went to singing school in the evening.
Friday, January 31
Mercury 6 below 0. I went to mill and got a grist of 9 bu corn. Father went to Greenfield and got Mother some new parlor chairs. We expect pigs 16 weeks from the 1st and 31 of January.

Now Available! Gill Maps by Casey Williams

If you missed us at the recent Gill Harvest Festival we now have some beautiful hand designed Gill maps by local artist Casey Williams! These heavy weight prints are available in postcard ($3.00 donation) and 8x10 size ($18 donation).

Perfect for framing and gift giving. Contact us at ghc@gillmass.org if you are interested.

History of Gill Volume 1: 1793-1943 Digital Link

After almost a year of working together with Digital Commonwealth and the Boston Public Library, our book "History of Gill 1793-1943" (Vol. 1) by Ralph M. Stoughton is now available as a digitized version!

Published in 1978 as part of a 1976 Bicentennial Project, this book has been out of print for quite a while, but now you can access it here.

Three Historical Books of Gill Now Available

The Gill Historical Commission has three books now available:

Jennie Williams Bardwell: Life in Gill 1860-1950 A beautiful, full-color, hardcover book (published 2021) with more than 200 vintage photos, maps, artwork and documents. This book follows the life and times of Jennie Williams Bardwell and living in Gill through excerpts of her handwritten diary and letters. ($50 donation) Click here for order form.

Riverside: Life along the Connecticut in Gill, Massachusetts A full-color, 180-page coffee table book with over 300 vintage photographs, maps, artwork and documents. ($45 donation) Click here for order form.

History of Gill Volume II: 1943-1993 Originally published in 1993, this 300-page volume incorporates a collection 50 Gill residents’ reminiscence of life in Gill as seen through their eyes and in their own words. This includes over 100 photos, maps and images. ($10 donation) Click here for order form.

SEND DONATIONS FOR ORDERS TO:
GILL HISTORICAL COMMISSION
TOWN HALL • 325 MAIN ROAD • GILL, MA 01354

Please submit your check, payable to Gill Historical Commission, with
an order form. We will keep reprinting the book as we receive orders.
Sorry no credit cards. We will contact you when the books are available.
Donations will be used to cover printing costs, other expenses, and for
the work of the Gill Historical Commission. Please include an additional
$9.00 for Priority Mailing. Thank you for your order.

Additional Links:

Archaeological Accountability Policy Click here to read more.

Historical Research on Roswell Field, Gill Farmer (1804-1882) To view the complete paper click here. (Used by permission of, and many thanks to Robert Herbert.)

History of Gill (Vol. 1) 1793-1943 (digitized book) by Ralph M. Stoughton To view the entire book click here.

Calendar of Events
Planning Board -- SCHEDULED
Thu, Feb 9, 2023, 6:00 pm
2nd Floor Town Hall
Posted to: Planning Board
Fri, Feb 10, 2023, All Day
Posted to: Town Hall
Cementery Commission -- SCHEDULED
Wed, Feb 15, 2023, 5:00 pm
2nd Floor Town Hall
Posted to: Cemetery Commission
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, All Day
Posted to: Town Hall
Town Hall Closed -- HOLIDAY
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, All Day
Posted to: Town Hall
Fri, Feb 24, 2023, All Day
Posted to: Town Hall