By Julia Beauregard
Hometown Weekly Editor
After much anticipation, Medfielders gathered together at various points throughout this past weekend to take part in Medfield Historical Weekend. Historical sites were open to the public during this weekend long event, after two challenging years; these sites had been previously shut down, due to the pandemic.
The weekend kicked off on Friday, April 28th with a children’s scavenger hunt at the Medfield Public Library. This was a recurring event throughout the weekend, as others took place on Saturday and Sunday as well.
The historical sites were open to the public on both Saturday and Sunday; these sites included the Dwight-Derby House, Kingsbury Grist Mill, Peak House Heritage Center, Medfield Historical Society, the town clock and steeple, as well as the Medfield Public Library, which housed an exhibit for Hannah Adams, a local celebrity from the late 18th century.
There were tours, open to the public on Saturday, which included a walking tour of downtown with Town Historian Richard DeSorgher. DeSorgher brought groups of Medfielders around downtown Medfield for a ninety-minute, narrated, walking tour to see where historical sites once existed or still do exist to this day, to see how the town has evolved over the years. Historical sites such as Baker’s Meetinghouse, Medfield Inn, the hat factory, First Parish, among many others were visited on this tour. With DeSorgher’s rich insight on Medfield history, he was able to fully immerse all participants within this experience, trekking through downtown.
At the Dwight Derby House, on Saturday, while tours of the house were offered, there was also a birthday celebration at the house for former resident George Horatio Derby, including a cake! DeSorgher held a talk and book signing at the Dwight Derby House that afternoon after the walking tours had concluded for the day.
On Saturday, walking tours of the town clock and steeple at First Parish were conducted as well. Medfielders gathered outside of the Church to take photos, as they eagerly awaited to learn about the rich history of the facility.
Down the road at the Medfield Historical Society, Medfielders were welcomed to reminisce with Tom Kelly, the former store co-owner of Lord’s Department Store, a former Medfield landmark. Kelly laid out various photos, signs, and pieces of decor from the department store. The public was welcome to walk through the Historical Center to see the display and chat with Kelly and Medfield Historical Society President David Temple.
The following day, Sunday April 30th, the same sites were open as the previous day. However, the historic Lowell Mason House was open to the public on this day. As Mason is known as the Father of Music Education in America’s public school system, there were performances by the Memorial Brass Quintet and the Medfield High School Jazz Combo, to pay homage to Lowell’s immense contributions to music education. There was going to be a walking tour of Medfield State Hospital on this day as well, however, due to poor weather conditions, it was rescheduled for May 21st.
Sunday afternoon held the most anticipated and popular event of the entire historical weekend: the trolley tours! This is a narrated trolley tour of historic Medfield, which was made possible in part by MEMO. The tour consisted of a 45-minute ride around the town narrated by DeSorgher, as riders learned about both notable historic sites around the town, as well as lesser known historical gems.
Between the walking tours, touring historical sites, and the popular trolley tours, history was truly in motion in Medfield this past weekend.
For more information about the Medfield Historical Society, check out their website: https://medfieldhistoricalsociety.org