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The Weekend Beat: Fort Mass, Anthony Anniversaries
By Gregory Fournier, iBerkshires Correspondent
02:04AM / Friday, August 20, 2021
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A replica of Fort Massachusetts built near its original location lasted about 30 years. The Historical Society is celebrating the 275th anniversary of the siege on Saturday.

Updated Friday afternoon to reflect the cancelation of Sunday's event in Williamstown.

Siege of Fort Massachusetts

The biggest anniversary event this weekend is undoubtedly the Susan B. Anthony Celebration in Adams but the oldest is in North Adams on Saturday with the marking of the 275th anniversary of the Siege of Fort Massachusetts. 

The North Adams Historical Society is hosting the annual commemoration at 10 a.m. Saturday at its new museum space on the first floor of the Holiday Inn. The Museum of History and Science reopened in July after being closed much of last year because of the pandemic. 

Fort Massachusetts is believed to have been located on the Hoosic River somewhere near what is now Roberts Drive. Part of a line of forts built by the British to protect settlers along the western and northern frontier, it was attacked by the French and their native allies during King George's War in 1746. 

A company of 21 was able to hold off hundreds of attackers for more than day before surrendering for lack supplies. Many of the prisoners were marched to Canada and the fort burned. Capt. Ephraim Williams, who oversaw the construction of the fort, had it rebuilt and it was used during the French & Indian War but fell into disuse as more colonists arrived and the native tribes were pushed out.  

A replica of the 1745 fort was constructed in what was the former the Price Chopper parking lot in 1933 but demolished three decades later when the Price Chopper plaza was built. The grocery chain saved the chimney and a small commemorative park that was donated to the city when the supermarket closed. 

The historical museum is now open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 to 4 and Sundays from 1 to 4.

Susan B. Anthony Day

After the learning about the fort, you can celebrate another stalwart icon of the Berkshires in Susan B. Anthony, who was born in 1820 on East Road in Adams.
The civil rights and voting rights activist will be recognized by her hometown on Saturday with a street fair from noon to 8 on Park Street. The street will be closed off to traffic from noon to 9 to provide a safe location for families attending the event.

There will be food vendors, crafters, and musicians throughout the afternoon and evening. Terry ala Berry will be performing at the event, as well as Melissa Brinton, Misty Blues, and Whiskey Treaty Roadshow.

Sheryl Faye, an actress who portrays the lives of famous historical women, will be performing the life of Susan B. Anthony at the Adams Theater. Fireworks will be launched at the conclusion of the event from Valley Street Field. 

There will be a concert Friday night to kick off the event. It's happening at the Olga C. Sommer Center for Music & Art (formerly St. Mark's Church) from 7 to 10 p.m. The admission is free and there will be beer and wine served by the Haflinger Haus. The bands are the Hotshot Hillbillys and Sample the Cat.

For more information on the Susan B. Anthony event, visit the event's homepage here.

Other things happening this weekend around the Berkshires:

Barrington Stage Comedy

Barrington Stage Company will continues the premiere of the comedy play "Boca." Performances will take place Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8; and Sunday at 5. The play will be performed outside at the Barrington Stage Company Production Center at 34 Laurel St., Pittsfield. Tickets start at $25 and can be found here.

Spooky Doings at The Mount

The Mount in Lenox is offering ghost tours this Friday from 8 to 9:30 p.m. They recommend the tours for adults and children ages 12 and up. The description from the website reads: "It starts with the sounds —creaking floors and slamming doors, fading footsteps down empty halls — a feeling of being watched, tingling taps on the shoulders, spectral shapes crouched in corners or gathered in front of fireplaces long gone cold.

"Tricks of the imagination in an old house once inhabited by a skilled writer of ghost stories … or something else? Take a ghost tour and decide for yourself."

Tickets can be purchased for $28 for adults and $23 for youth here.

'Art of Brewing'

The Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting its third annual "The Art of Brewing" event in Stockbridge on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 for members and $35 for non-members. Attendees will get 10 sample pours and a souvenir pint glass. In addition to beer, there will be music, lawn games, local food tucks, and label art from local brewers.

Lincon's Writings

Berkshire Community College is hosting a One Day University event on Sunday from 10 to noon, titled "The Mind of Abraham Lincoln." Louis Masur, professor of American history at Rutgers Unversity and author of "Lincoln's Last Speech," will present readings from Abraham Lincoln in a seminar-style setting.

"To understand Lincoln, we must read him," says the event's webpage. "This class provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in Lincoln's writings and to explore his ideas in seminar fashion, as we might in an advanced undergraduate course." Tickets cost $99 each and can be purchased here.

Backpack Giveaway

Berkshire Dream Center is hosting a backpack giveaway event on Sunday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at 475 Tyler St. in Pittsfield. The backpacks, some of them filled with school supplies, will be provided free to children. The even will also have food and activities. 

Meeting House Tours

The Adams Historical Commission is offering tours of the Quaker Meeting House on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The Meeting House was the place of worship of Susan B. Anthony's family when they lived in Adams. It is located at 74 Valley St., in the Maple Street Cemetery. 

Summer Sundays on Spring Street

Williamstown was to host its second Summer Sundays event of the year on Spring and Walden streets, but it has been canceled due to the impending storm. Organizers are attempting to reschedule the event for some time in September.

Music in Monterey

There will be a free outdoor concert in Monterey from 2 to 3:45 p.m. on Sunday at the Monterey Community Center on 468 Main Road. Folksinger and storyteller Tim Van Egmond will be performing with a 15-minute intermission.

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