Historical Society Programs

Our programs are free and, except for our April joint program with the Hopkinton Historical Society, open to the public. Please feel free to attend.
Programs generally run about 1 hour.


Sunday Oct 21, 2018, 2pm

Gothic Ghost Tales by Candlelight

(Rita Parisi, Waterfall Productions)


Sunday Nov 11, 2018, 2pm

Worcester at the Turn of the 20th Century – The Photographs of William Bullard

(Frank J. Morrill, Historian)


Sunday Jan 20, 2019   (CANCELLED, will be re-scheduled)

Archaeology of Food: Reconstructing Historical Foodways in New England

(Karen Metheny, Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Boston University)

Dr. Metheny will discuss the role of maize (corn) in the lives of colonial New Englanders using evidence of 17th-century English culinary practice, printed and handwritten cookbooks and recipes, and the recreation of maize-based foods using period recipes and cooking technology.   She will also talk about how the archaeology of food has advanced the work of reconstructing both ancient and historic-period meals and food practices.


Sunday Feb 17, 2019, 2pm

DNA and Genealogy

(Tom Dreyer, DNA Expert for New England Historic Genealogical Society)


Sunday Mar 17, 2019, 2pm

Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England

(Corin Hirsch, Writer & Critic for Newsday)



Sunday Apr 14, 2019, 2pm

(Joint Program with Hopkinton Historical Society, Members Only Please)

Discovering Richard Potter’s Life Story

(John Hodgson, Historian & Author)

Apart from a handful of exotic–and almost completely unreliable–tales surrounding his life, Richard Potter is almost unknown today. Two hundred years ago, however, he was the most popular entertainer in America–the first showman, in fact, to win truly nationwide fame. Working as a magician and ventriloquist, he personified for an entire generation what a popular performer was and made an invaluable contribution to establishing popular entertainment as a major part of American life. His story is all the more remarkable in that Richard Potter was also a black man.

Richard Potter’s performances were enjoyed by an enormous public, but his life off stage has always remained hidden and unknown. Now, for the first time, John A. Hodgson tells the remarkable, compelling–and ultimately heartbreaking–story of Potter’s life, a tale of professional success and celebrity counterbalanced by racial vulnerability in an increasingly hostile world. It is a story of race relations, too, and of remarkable, highly influential black gentlemanliness and respectability.  As the unsung precursor of Frederick Douglass, Richard Potter demonstrated to an entire generation of Americans that a black man, no less than a white man, could exemplify the best qualities of humanity. The apparently trivial “popular entertainment” status of his work has long blinded historians to his significance and even to his presence. Now at last we can recognize him as a seminal figure in American history.



All Events are subject to date changes and/or cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen events.

Changes and cancellations will be posted on this site and emailed to Society members.