About the Society

2017-2018 Monthly Programs

  • Annual Meeting & Soup Supper
  • Sunday, March 11
  • 3 PM
  • Gould Barn
  • Join in celebrating the Society’s accomplishments and plans and enjoy a delicious meal.

Previous Events

  • Life of Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Sunday, February 11
  • 3 PM
  • Gould Barn
  • Sheryl Faye presents one of the top ten most admired people of the 20th century. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first presidential spouse to hold press conferences, speak at a national convention, and she became one of the first delegates to The United Nations.
  • Boston’s North End: An Immigrant Neighborhood in the 19th Century
  • Sunday, January 14, 2018
  • 3 PM
  • Gould Barn
  • Patrick Leehey of the Paul Revere House museum will trace the history of Boston's North End neighborhood from 1800 to 1920, as its population transitioned from sailors and old Yankee families to successive waves of immigrants.
  • Christmas Party (members only)
  • Sunday, December 3
  • 5:30 PM
  • Pierce Farm at Witch Hill
  • Enjoy a special holiday gathering at this historic property! Last year’s party was the biggest crowd ever, so don’t miss it this year.
  • An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving at the Parson Capen House
  • Thursday, November 23
  • 10 to 12
  • Capen House & Gould Barn
  • Witness a Colonial Thanksgiving, with costumed interpreters, hot cider, hearth cooking demonstration and children’s crafts & games.
  • Masconomet People in the Contact Period
  • Friday, November 10
  • 7:30pm
  • Gould Barn
  • Researcher and author Mary Ellen Lepionka will share her research about the Algonquians living in east-ern Essex County at the time of European contact and the relationships between Native Americans and Europeans. Who was Masconomet really? She’ll relate what she has learned about the real history, which turns out to be different from the little we thought we knew.
  • “Atticus” - A Dramatization of To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Friday, October 13
  • 7:30 PM
  • Gould Barn
  • Atticus Finch steps from the pages of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and brings to life the tragedy and triumph of Harper Lee’s classic American novel. Actor Richard Clark has entertained us in the past as Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • Friday, September 15
  • 7:30 PM
  • Gould Barn
  • Historian Christopher Daley gives an entertaining overview of the 1920's; from the world of fashion to the world of politics, forces clashed to produce the most explosive decade of the century. The Jazz Age came about with artist like Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington. Youth ruled everything from the young styles of dress to the latest celebrities. If it was young, it was the thing.
  • Stuffed Animal Clinic
  • Wednesday, August 23
  • 2 to 4 PM
  • Capen House Lawn
  • Children are invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal or doll for a “check up” and enjoy refresh-ments, crafts and stories on the Capen House lawn.
  • Strawberry Festival
  • Saturday, June 10
  • 10 to 4
  • Topsfield Common
  • Enjoy strawberry shortcake and an array of crafters selling beautiful pottery, textiles, jewelry and more. There will be an antique & classic car show too!
  • Reformers, Educators, Writers and Artists:
    Boston Women’s Heritage Trail
  • Friday, May 12
  • 7:30pm
  • Gould Barn
  • Bonnie Hurd Smith, former executive director of the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, presents an en- gaging mix of women from different centuries, cultural backgrounds, and neighborhoods, who were engaged in important work in Boston. Patriots, reformers, abolitionists, suffragists, artists, and writers — Boston women have always played an integral role in shaping history.
  • Arbor Day Event
    Removal of the 100+ Year Old Capen House Ash Tree
  • Saturday, April 29
  • 10am - 2pm
  • Capen House Lawn
  • Celebrate the life of the Parson Capen House Ash Tree that has graced the lawn for many years, and be there for the historic moment when this beautiful old tree is taken down by a giant crane; having reached the end of its life, it is a potential storm threat to the house. There will be a family celebration, particularly for children, to learn about trees and watch the removal process. Many fun tree-related events are planned, including guessing the age of the Ash Tree, working on craft projects and learning how to identify various trees. Parents can “ask the experts” about our changing environment for plants.
  • For Kids Only!

    Tree Age Guessing Contest

    From April 14 through May 14, kids up through age 12 will have a chance to win an Essex County Coop Gift Certificate by guessing the ages of the Capen House Ash Tree and the Essex County Co-op Oak Tree. Contest Rules and a link to the online contest will be provided here starting April 14.

    Every family who has a child entering the contest will receive a free one year Topsfield Historical Society Family Membership. Parents must sign a consent form for their child's participation.

  • History of the Local Forest: From 12,000 BC to the Next 100 Years
  • Friday April 14, 2017
  • 7:30 PM
  • Gould Barn
  • Naturalist and Topsfield resident Bruce Bolnick will present how the forest developed following the retreat of the glaciers, how Native Americans managed the woodlands, how colonial settlement led to decimation of the forests, how and why they recovered, and how climate change may alter the character of the local forest. The presentation will describe the composition of the pre-colonial for-est based on “witness tree” records, and provide short “biographies” of several special trees, espe-cially the White Pine and the Sugar Maple.