Historic Northampton is a museum of local history in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts. Its collection of approximately 50,000 objects is the repository of Northampton and Connecticut Valley history from the Pre-Contact era to the present. The museum maintains a permanent exhibit chronicling the rich history of Northampton in its main gallery and features changing exhibitions in its rotating exhibit space.
Historic Northampton constitutes a campus of three contiguous historic houses, all on their original sites. The grounds themselves are part of an original Northampton homelot, laid out in 1654. The houses are currently closed for renovation.
The Damon House (1813), built by architect, Isaac Damon, contains Historic Northampton's administrative offices. A modern structure, added in 1987, houses the exhibition area and museum store. It features changing exhibits and a permanent installation, A Place Called Paradise: The Making of Northampton, Massachusetts, chronicling Northampton history.
The Shepherd House (1796) is the headquarters of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The depth and breadth of Historic Northampton's collections attract historians, scholars and students of New England material culture from around the world. The museum's wide-ranging collection includes more than 10,000 photographs, documents and manuscripts from the 17th to the 20th centuries, fine art, furniture, ceramics, glass, metals, toys, tools and implements, and an important collection of textiles and costumes. Research Policy
Historic Northampton is located in downtown Northampton at 46 Bridge Street (Rt. 9). Take I-91 to Exit 18, left onto Rt. 5 (Pleasant St.), continue until main intersection, turn right on Main St. (Rt.9), continue under RR bridge, thru light. Museum is on left, across from Post Office. Follow signs to parking at rear.
The Museum and Gift Shop are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM until 5 PM and on Sunday from Noon until 5 PM. Historic Northampton is closed on Mondays & Holidays.
The museum features the exhibit, A Place Called Paradise: The Making of Northampton, Massachusetts, 1654-2009, and rotating exhibits.
SNOW CLOSING POLICY: Historic Northampton will follow the Northampton public schools closing schedule in the event of inclement winter weather. On weekends, please call the office telephone at 413-584-6011 during open hours to determine if the museum is open during inclement winter weather.
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