Historic Northampton

February 2023 Events

Black Bears in Massachusetts

A Zoom Presentation by Dave Wattles, Black Bear

and Furbearer Biologist for Mass Wildlife

Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 7 pm

Dave Wattles will describe the history of the black bear population in Massachusetts and its remarkable recovery during the last fifty years. In addition to bear ecology, he will discuss the results of fifteen years of radio and GPS collaring research, some of it conducted in Northampton. The collar data has revealed information on reproduction, survival, causes of mortality, habitat use, and movement. Wattles will also talk about coexisting with bears.

Since 2016, Dave Wattles has been the Black Bear and Furbearer Biologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (Mass Wildlife). While a graduate student at UMass Amherst, he studied the habitat use and movements of moose in the state before becoming involved with the black bear research.

In partnership with the Broad Brook Coalition and the Rowe Park Commission, Rowe, Massachusetts. 

Register for the Zoom link.

Sliding scale admission $5 to $25.

Learn More | Register

Crows & Connecticut Valley's Crow Roost:

A Spectacular Winter Event with Naturalist Patti Steinman

Sunday, February 5, 2023

  • Zoom Presentation: 2-3 pm
  • Field Trip to a Crow Roost in Springfield: 4:45 pm

In colonial America, crows were considered pests and a serious nuisance to crops. Northampton's first crow bounty was in 1735, and bounties continued in the nineteenth century. Through the World War II era, crows were poisoned and hunted, and their roosts were bombed.


Recent new research about their intelligence and complex social behavior has led to a new understanding and appreciation for crows and their impressive fall and winter roosts. For the last two decades, Patti Steinman, a naturalist at MassAudubon, has been studying crows and the City of Springfield’s Crow Roost, one of the largest in the state. At this time of year, it is the nightly gathering spot for about 10,000 crows—including all the crows that you see in Northampton during the day.

Zoom Presentation

2 - 3 pm

An informational Zoom presentation about crows from the complex ways that different cultures and traditions have treated them to their natural history.

Sliding scale admission: $5-$10

Register Here

Field Trip

4:45 - 6 pm

A field trip to the Springfield Crow Roost to observe crows. To car pool or caravan, 4 pm departure from downtown Northampton. Limited to 20 participants.

Sliding scale admission: $15-$25

Register Here

Religion and Slavery in Colonial New England

A Zoom Presentation by Dr. Kenneth Minkema, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University and Editor, The Works of Jonathan Edwards

Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 7 pm

From 1729 to 1750, Northampton’s third minister was Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), an internationally known philosopher, theologian, and leader of the Great Awakening spiritual revival. While in Northampton, he enslaved three people –Venus, Leah, and Rose. After his move to Stockbridge in 1751, he enslaved three others—a married couple named Joseph and Sue, and a boy named Titus. In his writings and from the pulpit, Edwards defended the practice of slavery. How and why could a minister uphold the ownership of people and deny basic human rights?


In this presentation, Dr. Kenneth Minkema will examine some of the theological and religious justifications for, and critiques of, slavery and the slave trade, as they were expressed from the colonial incursion in the early seventeenth century to the eighteenth century when Jonathan Edwards and his followers were active.

With an introduction by Gina Nortonsmith, Historic Northampton Trustee and Slavery Research Project committee member and Project Archivist, Archives & Special Collections, Northeastern University.

Register for the Zoom link.

Sliding scale admission: $5 to $25.

Learn More | Register

Image credits:

Jonathan Edwards by Joseph Badger, Courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery.

46 Bridge Street
Northampton, MA 01060

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