Past Events

Date: April 21, 2024 at 2pm

Has Anyone seen $500 Million in Art laying around Boston? Writer Bob Ainsworth on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist.

HAS ANYONE SEEN $500 MILLION IN ART LYING AROUND BOSTON? An hour or so after the 1990 St. Patrick’s Day ended, two men dressed as Boston cops entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, stayed for about 90 minutes, and left with 13 pieces of art. None of the priceless items have been found. Numerous suspects have been named over the years but none have been arrested. Many are now dead. Bob Ainsworth, the author of DUPED, a fictional account of the robbery, will review the actual details of the theft, the suspects, and the motives behind the world’s most valued art theft. He will also tell of his own brush with the infamous crime.

About the writer: Bob Ainsworth was raised in New Jersey, earned a BS in Accounting from Boston College,
an MBA in Finance from Northeastern University, and had his CPA. He worked in corporate
accounting as a CFO and Controller and taught accounting. He uncovered two fraud cases
during his career.
The idea for the Harry Bartlett stories sprang from his Accounting students’ positive
reactions to fraud anecdotes. He started to write his first story while commuting and then
continued after retiring. He has self-published 3 novels- DUPED, CONNED and
SCAMMED. A fourth, PONZI’d, is planned for 2024.
He loves reading mysteries and thrillers by authors such as John Grisham, Dennis Lehane,
Robert B. Parker, David Baldacci, Earl Stanley Gardner, Arthur Conan Doyle, Hank
Phillippe Ryan, and Elmore Leonard. He also likes to read non-fiction history.
He lives in retirement in Massachusetts with his family.

Date: March 24, 2024 at 2pm

Author Tom Ellis speaks on his newly published book, “Ashland’s Civil War Service.”

Author Tom Ellis speaks on his newly published book, “Ashland’s Civil War Service.” The book chronicles the history of the contributions of the Town of Ashland in the Civil War. It describes the actions taken by the town as a municipality. It enlightens the reader as to the involvements of the Women and service of men of African descent for the Town of Ashland, from 1861 to 1865. Through his research that included diaries and letters, Tom gives us stories of how the soldiers lived day to day, what their thinking was in deciding how to join the war, and what their families did while they were gone.

Date: February 18, 2024 at 2pm

WWII Family Victory Gardens and kitchens

In 1943, there were over 20 million Victory Gardens in the United States! What were those gardens? Who grew them and why? Come to The Ashland Historical Society’s free event on February 18, 2024 at 2PM to find out! The Society is proud to have Deborah and Ed Chrzanowski share their knowledge about the Victory Gardens of WW2 fame. With their WW2 Family Victory Garden & Kitchen display, the Chrzanowskis participate in many WW2 living history events each year. Their extensive knowledge, not only comes from years of research, but from their own family memories and stories. You will not want to miss this fascinating presentation on Victory Gardens and kitchens of WW2.

Sheryl Faye Presenting Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Date: Jan 21, 2024 at 2pm

The Ashland Historical Society is happy to welcome back performer Sheryl Faye. She will be bringing American Justice Icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg to life. RBG was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in September 2020. This show is an inspiring story of how RBG changed her life—and ours!

HISTORIC CEMETERY RESTORATION: A PATHWAY TO SUCCESS Date: November 19th, 2023     Time: 2:00 pm
Location: The Cemetery (Village Burial Grounds) behind the Federated Church, 118 Main Street, Ashland MA
Rain or Shine. Rain or inclement weather planned location change: Ocean House 2 Myrtle Street. Ashland MA A Historic Cemetery Restoration Speaking Event at The Ashland Village Burial Grounds behind the Federated Church
Presented by: TNT Gravestone Solutions LLC, Todd Baptista, Troy Rebello and Dawn Young
The Ashland Historic Society and the Ashland Historic Commission have partnered to bring this speaking event to you. If you are concerned about the conditions that currently exist in this historic cemetery in Ashland this is your opportunity to hear what the possibilities for restoration are.
This will be a walk and talk presentation we will speak to general issues, concerns, etc. right there in front of us. We will use actual gravestones in the talk and our explanations and can answer questions folks may have based on what we see and find. They will bring along some D/2 biological solution so that you can see exactly how the cleaning process works, too. Parking: Behind Town Hall located at 101 Main Street and Across from the Ashland Public Library located at: 66 Front Street
Light refreshments provided
We would suggest people who may not want to stand the entire time bring a portable chair.

Sunday, Sep 18, 2022, 2pm

John Galluzzo, Author and Historian – The Story of Stellwagen Bank

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, is a shallow, underwater plateau formed by a complex glacial deposit between 25,000 and 12,000 yrs ago (Image is attached below).  Located 25 miles east of Boston and just 5 miles from either Provincetown or Gloucester, the Bank has been a well-known fishing and whaling ground since the 17th century.  It is also the site of many sunken merchant and fishing vessels, lost at sea due to storms or accidents, and these wrecks are now being explored by maritime archaeologists to uncover their stories. Please join us to listen to John Galluzzo recount the history of the Stellwagen Bank and the stories surrounding some of the most notable shipwrecks.

Sunday, Oct 16, 2022, 2pm

Stephen R. Wilk – Lost Wonderland: The Brief and Brilliant Life of Boston’s Million Dollar Amusement Park

Lost Wonderland Link

Sunday, Nov 20, 2022, 2pm

Sheryl Faye Presents – Clara Barton: Civil War Nurse and Red Cross Founder

Sheryl Faye / Clara Barton Link


Sunday, Jan 15, 2023, 2pm

Anthony M. Sammarco – Boston’s Back Bay Through Time

In his new book, Anthony M. Sammarco outlines the Back Bay of Boston, a neighborhood of the city that is not just the quintessential Victorian neighborhood of the 19th century, but one that was infilled and planned as the premier residential and institutional development.
Begun in the late 1850s when the marshlands west of the Boston Public Garden were infilled through the ingenuity of John Souther, the Back Bay was to become a massive project that took over three decades to complete. With fill brought by gondola cars from Needham, Massachusetts six days a week, twenty-four hours a day, every 45 minutes, the fill had an average depth of 20 feet and the expanse of the Back Bay to be filled was roughly 460 acres. A monumental task, it was said that so successful was the venture that by 1885, only a small area was left to be infilled near the Back Bay Fens.

In this photographic history of the Back Bay of Boston Anthony M. Sammarco, with the contemporary photographs of Peter B. Kingman, has created a fascinating book that chronicles the neighborhood from the late nineteenth century through to today. Walking along Arlington, Boylston, Newbury Streets, Commonwealth, Huntington and Massachusetts Avenues and stopping at Park Square and Copley Square, this visually fascinating book offers a fascinating glimpse of the Back Bay of Boston Through Time.

Sunday, Feb 19, 2023, 2pm

Bob Frishman – Timekeeping and Timekeepers in Early New England

With more than 100 digital images, this lecture offers a history of mechanical clocks and watches in New England beginning with the arrival of the Mayflower up to the adoption of standard time by the railroads in the late 19th century.  Given Ashland’s connection to electric clocks, Bob has agreed to include some of the early history of battery and plug-in clocks before the emergence of Telechron synchronous clocks.

The program will also include a “Roadshow”-style appraisal session for anyone who brings a mechanical clock or watch.  Sorry, but no clocks with batteries or power cords will be appraised!

Bob Frishman, founder of Bell-Time Clocks in 1992, has repaired more than 7000 clocks and has sold 1700 vintage timepieces.  He writes and lectures about the history, culture, and technology of horology – the science of timekeeping.

Some of Bob’s Professional Associations and Activities –

Silver Star Fellow, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors

Liveryman, Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (London)

Member, Antiquarian Horological Society (London)

Life Member, Willard House & Clock Museum

Exhibit Curator, Horological Society of New York

Sunday, Mar 19, 2023, 2pm

Linda Hixon presents – Creating Community: The Woman of the Hopedale Sewing Circle

Although you couldn’t tell by the name of their group, the women (& men) of the Hopedale Sewing Circle were radical thinkers ahead of their time. Starting in 1848, and continuing for over 100 years, they advocated for abolition, pacifism, and for a fairer deal for women, including dress reform, equal rights and equal pay, women’s rights in divorce and child custody, and choice of last name. Linda Hixon tells how she has helped uncover a fascinating story of regular people trying to make their community a better place.

Linda Hixon has degrees in History, English Literature, and Communication Arts, and certificates in Paralegal studies.  Click Hopedale Women for more information.

Sunday, Apr 16, 2023, 2pm

Christie Higginbottom, Garden Consultant and Research Historian – The Family Nurse: Home Medical Care in the Early Nineteenth Century

This is a program illustrating the role played by home-grown, wild-gathered, and purchased herbal remedies in the treatment of common health problems in Early American households. Christie will describe plant varieties and preparation methods including infusions, decoctions, ointments, poultices, fomentations, and tinctures.

Christie worked many years as a costumed interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village. She coordinated the historic horticulture program researching, planning and planting the re-created kitchen and flower gardens at the museum’s historic households. Higginbottom also supervised the Village’s Herb Garden collection, a garden exhibiting over 300 varieties of historic herbs.