Colrain, Massachusetts …where, in 1812, the American flag first was raised over a schoolhouse
The 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association was held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 13 at the First Baptist Church, 81 Foundry Village Road in Colrain. Those attending heard reports from our Officers and Board of Directors on the Association’s activities since last year’s reunion and learned of the Association’s new initiatives: implementing the new bylaws, founding of a Catamount archive housed in cooperation with the Historic Deerfield Library, beginning a new endowment fund, and continued development of our web site.
The business meeting was followed by a presentation by our Historian, Prentice Crosier, about the life of early Hill resident, “Elder” Edward Davenport (1774-1863), minister of Colrain’s Second Baptist Church.
The Catamount Hill Association sponsored a Rock Walk along the east forest loop of the Hill out to Devil’s Oven Cave, led by Muriel Russel and having its focus on man-made and unusual natural rock formations – stone bridges, foundations, stone walls and the caves. We explored the Shippee home site on our way in, lunched at the cave and visited the Patience Cannon (Fox) home site on our way out.
On the Saturday following Flag Day and in keeping with longstanding tradition, members of the Catamount Hill Association hiked to the monument and flagpole at the site of the first flag-raising over an American schoolhouse where we recalled the events of the time and the circumstances precipitating this demonstration of loyalty to our young republic. The weather was superb; the mountain laurel was in full bloom and were augmented with blue flags.
We expect to continue this tradition in 2017; details will be announced on the Upcoming Events page and we will hope to see you on the hike next year.
The fair and conference, sponsored by the Mary Lyon Foundation, Pioneer Valley History Network and Catamount Hill Association, was held at the Mohawk Trail Regional School, 24 Ashfield Rd. (Rt. 112), Shelburne Falls, MA. The participants, programs and events included re-enactors, paper marbling, antiques, books, a dynamic keynote speaker, face painting, historical societies, 4-H booth, “mudman” pottery, wood and metal working , 18 conference workshops, a history app station, demonstrations, exhibits, food vendors, great music and MUCH MORE!
Click Here to see photos from the Quinquennial Reunion
The Association has organized a reunion in five-year intervals since 1875. The Association’s 29th Quinquennial Reunion was held at the Colrain Central School, 22 Jacksonville Rd., in Colrain, Massachusetts on the weekend of August 1 and 2.
Saturday’s Program, August 1
9:00 a.m. Central School opened for early arrivals and for setting up displays. Descendant attendees signed our reunion guest book which has been maintained since the 19th century. Coffee and tea was provided and baked goods sold quickly, while sales the publications offered by the Association all helped to boost the Association’s treasury.
10:00 a.m. Genealogy information swap. Family information was shared to a background of guitar music and many folks joined a guided visit to the West Branch Cemetery where many of the early Catamount settlers and their descendants are buried.
12:00 noon. Picnic lunch. Attendees brought their own “basket lunch”, an old Association tradition.
12:30 p.m. A group photograph and photographs of family descendants were made to memorialize the reunion.
1:00 p.m. The Quinquennial Reunion Program began with the traditional ringing of a cow bell. The Board of Directors and officers reported on their many activities and the Association’s accomplishments since the last Quinquennial in 2010, as well as plans for the future. The agenda included the traditional Roll Call of the Families, a presentation on the importance of potash production on the economy and in daily lives in the 19th century as well as the business of the association in accordance with our new bylaws.
Sunday’s Program, August 2
A Hike on Catamount. Two groups hiked on Catamount, one from the south that visited the south end of McLeod Pond (the former Beaver Meadow) and the other from the east stopping at Cary Bridge, the Amasa Shippee homestead site, The Catamount Dens and The Oven.
In keeping with longstanding CHA tradition, on Flag Day, a group hiked to the monument and flagpole at the site of the first flag-raising over an American schoolhouse, where the American flag once again was raised.
Muriel Russell led the way, passing the stone foundations of some of the families who were at the first flag raising in May, 1812, including the Farley home and barn foundations and Peter and Dorcus Shippee’s rock wall house site. After leaving the monument, they walked to the south end of McCloud Pond and to a nearby vernal pool, then proceeded down to the huge Holden barn foundations, and to their cars.