To 1862 and back again…

Wintergreen Folk Trio

It was an engaged crowd that traveled back to 1862 last night as the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum offered a multifaceted Call Me Melville program.  Led by the musicians of Wintergreen the audience sang  songs of  the Underground Railroad, such as Follow the Drinking Gourd and Wade in the Water, as we learned about the background, historical as well as legendary, of these inspiring pieces. From there we considered the  nation’s bloody Civil War,  as we learned the origins of well known tunes such as Dixie and When Johnny Comes Marching Home.

Bernard Drew, Berkshire County Historian and Author

When Wintergreen ended their entertaining and educational set, local historian Bernard Drew gave a fascinating history of Massachusetts 49th – the All Berkshire Regiment, which led us into the final act of the evening’s program, an inspired dramatic reading of Herman Melville’s “The College Colonel”, tribute to William Bartlett, by Athenaeum Librarian & Technical Services Supervisor, Alex Reczkowski.

Alex Reczkowski, Athenaeum Librarian & Technical Services Superviso

At evening’s end we were hardly surprised to see this lovely program had drawn a uniquely distinguished guest of the past, whose spirit we hope is very much alive today.

President Abraham Lincoln

This program was made possible by a Pittsfield Cultural Council Grant, funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

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About Berkshire Athenaeum

We are the public library for the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
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