June 23rd - 28th, 2015
Westfield State University
AGS holds an annual conference the third week in June. This conference, held in a different location each year, features lectures, demonstrations, exhibits, conservation and documentation workshops, classroom sessions, slide presentations, and guided cemetery tours. The 2015 AGS Conference will be held at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts from June 23rd - 28th.
Our 2015 Conference is less than four months away -- during the next few weeks, conference organizers will be meeting to assemble the program and draft the registration form.
Registration forms should be available, on-line, on the AGS website, by mid- March.
On our conference bus tours, we will provide several opportunities to sample the range of gravestone forms, styles and materials characteristic of the lower Connecticut Valley and southern Berkshire County, from the Colonial era, to present. We have planned a Wednesday bus tour to Berkshire County (that's marble country) and Friday bus tours to cemeteries in the Springfield area -- a Connecticut Valley Sandstone tour and a Metro-Springfield tour -- along with a Berkshire Hills tour in the uplands west of the conference site. We will, as usual, offer a Conservation Workshop and a Photography Workshop. On Thurs. June 25th, we have invited four stonecutters to come demonstrate and discuss their craft.
Nick Bellantoni, retired Connecticut State Archaeologist and a good friend of AGS, will be the lead-off speaker on Weds. evening.
Long Distance Travel Information:
By air -- Bradley International Airport, which serves the Hartford/Springfield area, is the nearest airport
By rail -- the Amtrak Vermonter provides daily service from Washington D.C. to Union Station in Springfield, and beyond
By bus -- Peter Pan Bus Lines, based in Springfield, serves much of the Northeast corridor; the Springfield Bus Terminal is located a short distance from the Railway Station
For local bus service from the Springfield Bus Terminal to Westfield State University:
Off-campus Lodging: For those who wish to stay off-campus, there are a number of hotels and motels to choose from in Westfield and West Springfield, a short (10-20 minute) drive from Westfield State University.
We’ll offer more details in the next issue of the AGS Quarterly, in our e-Newsletter and here on the AGS website.
We hope to see you in Westfield in June!
Westfield is situated in the Connecticut River Valley, a few miles north of the Massachusetts/Connecticut border. Originally part of Springfield, it was among the earliest English settlements in western Massachusetts. In Westfield, as elsewhere in the lower Connecticut Valley, gravestones were made from sandstone during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, but by the 1820s, marble markers and monuments were becoming increasingly popular. Much of the marble came from quarries in Berkshire County, just east of the Massachusetts/New York border. During the opening decades of the nineteenth century, as descendants of the English settlers joined the westward migration, immigrants from Ireland arrived in increasing numbers, providing much of the labor force for the burgeoning industrial revolution. Immigrants from other parts of Europe and from French Canada soon followed, and once established, each ethnic group established private sectarian cemeteries. On our conference bus tours, we will provide several opportunities to sample the range of gravestone forms, styles and materials characteristic of the lower Connecticut Valley and southern Berkshire County, from the Colonial era, to present.
To learn more about activities held at past conferences click here