Juneteenth Heritage Walk

A digital guide to an in person walking tour of historic landmarks, houses and neighborhoods associated with Black families, individuals and events important to Amherst's history. The guided walk on June 18th, 2022 will feature West Cemetery, the Leonard Mariner Hills House (now the Amherst Woman's Club) and the hat-making industry and Henry Jackson's role in aiding delivery and distribution of palm leaf from freight train to households, mills and back again; the Emily Dickinson Homestead for a discussion of Charles Thompson with musical interlude, and the Amherst History Museum hosting the encampment of the Peter Brace Brigade, a Civil War reenactment group organized by descendants of Peter Brace. The walking tour will conclude with a visit to the two historic Black churches in Amherst Goodwin Memorial Zion Church and Hope Church.

The museum will have an exhibit featuring the Civil War era items in the collection. It will also be a space to virtually explore more about the culture of the Black neighborhoods including the West Side Historic District, McClellan/Beston Streets and Northampton Road.

Research on this project was done in consultation with William Harris, Delores Benabou, Edythe Roberts Harris, Debora Bridges, Shirley Hebb, Anika Lopes and Ray Brooks.

Other sources include James Avery Smith's The History of the Black Population of Amherst , Massachusetts 1728 - 1870 (NEHGS, Boston, 1999) and Joseph Carvallo III, Black Families in Hampden County, Massachusetts, 1650 - 1855 (NEHGS, Institute for Massachusetts Studies, Westfield State College, 1984), The Consecrated Eminence, The Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College and Special Collections at The Jones Library, Amherst.