The Greenfield Beat: Jesseca Timmons – Summer activities are getting started

Jesseca Timmons

Jesseca Timmons COURTESY PHOTO

Published: 05-24-2024 12:03 PM

On Saturday, June 1, Stephenson Library, the Friends of the Library, and the Friends of the Greenfield Community Meetinghouse will host a “Puzzle-Palooza” family puzzle tournament and bake sale at 4 p.m. at the library. There are room for four teams to compete, with a registration fee of $40 per team. Please email Ella at ellac@stephensonlibrary.org to register before May 31. 

Also on June 1, our neighbors to the north in Bennington are hosting the 11th annual Rhubarb Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sawyer Field (the baseball field behind the Sunoco station on Route 202). This delightful festival, which is a fundraiser for Dodge Library, is a highlight of the year in Bennington; be sure to stop by and check it out. 

The Greenfield Fire Department Pancake Breakfast is Sunday, June 9, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the fire station. Greenfield’s first summer concert is will June 18  at Oak Park (not on the town common that week) with The Pop Farmers.

Summer reading at Stephenson Library starts on June 21 with a program at 4:30 p.m. with the theme “Talewise: Adventures of Lost Treasure.”

The Greenfield Farmers and Crafters Market opened on Sunday, and will run through the fall. Please stop by and support your local vendors and enjoy some live local music!

July 4 in Greenfield

The Greenfield Select Board, the Oak Park Committee, Stephenson Library, the Friends of the Meetinghouse and the Greenfield Historical Society other groups in town are working together to organize an all-day Fourth of July celebration in Greenfield this year. Plans include a morning walk/run starting at Oak Park, a parade, children’s activities at Oak Park, and  the popular softball game between the fire and police departments.

This year, the Friends of the Greenfield Community Meetinghouse (FGCM) is hosting a Greenfield history scavenger hunt. The success of the recent spelling bee organized by Billie Jean Greene was very inspiring – we know people are excited for family events right here in town!

The FGCM has talked about holding a Meetinghouse scavenger hunt for years. One of the missions of the FGCM is to get people into the Meetinghouse, which is why we created Oktoberfest-- to get people in the door of our remarkable 1795 Meetinghouse. Many Greenfield residents have never been in the Meetinghouse at all, or they have only been on the first floor for voting or Town Meeting.

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Many people have never been in the sanctuary space on the second floor, the fourth-floor choir loft or the basement. The building is a lot larger than it appears from a drive-by view, and, unlike some Meetinghouses of a similar era, was divided into separate floors, so there is a lot to explore.  

The Meetinghouse is literally a living history of Greenfield; it includes elements from every era, from the 1700s to the 1990s. For this reason, the upcoming renovation and repair project is not a historic preservation.

While the exterior of the building has remained largely the same, the interior has been changed too many times to restore to try to restore it back to just one era. 

The Greenfield Meetinghouse scavenger hunt will have some expert clue writers, including Carele Mayer, who spent every summer growing up in Greenfield while her father, Wally Stone, was director of Camp Union (now the Barbara C. Harris Center). Carele’s mother Velma Stone was for many years the librarian at Stephenson Library, and Carele is a former teacher and longtime volunteer at Greenfield Elementary School.

Also helping write clues will be Lenny Cornwell, who grew up on a dairy farm in town and was the longtime president of the Greenfield Historical Society. Lenny knows everything there is to know about Greenfield history and the Meetinghouse in particular. 

Stay tuned for more information about July 4 festivities in Greenfield. Volunteers are always needed! If you would like to help, please email greenfieldmeetinghouse@gmail.com

Please email Jesseca Timmons at jtimmons@ledgertranscript.com if you have an idea for The Greenfield Beat.