This year, join us for an ongoing exploration of VISION and INITIATIVE through an exciting variety of programs and events.
DIGITAL SPEAKER SERIES
Wednesday, October 7, 2020 @ 7:00 – 8:30 pm
The Lost Tunnels of the North End
Speaker: Jake Sconyers, Host of HUB History
If you’ve ever taken a walking tour of Boston’s North End, or if you’ve talked to the old timers in the neighborhood, you’ve probably heard stories about the network of so-called secret pirate tunnels or smugglers’ tunnels that connects the wharves to the basements of houses, Old North Church, and even crypts in Copp’s Hill burying ground. Sometimes the tunnels are attributed to a Captain Gruchy, who’s often called a pirate or a smuggler, and who is portrayed as a shadowy figure. The legends of pirate tunnels in the North End were inspired by a few subterranean discoveries in the late 1800s, but the fantastic details in stories told by tour guides and popular authors are just that: fantasy. However, there is truth underlying the legends, and there are tunnels underlying the streets of the North End.
Jake Sconyers hosts the weekly HUB History podcast, where he shares stories from Boston history that go far beyond the freedom trail. He is a past Back Bay tour guide, docent at the Shirley-Eustis House, and volunteer at History Camp Boston.
To register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/120274152227/
DIGITAL SPEAKER SERIES
Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 @ 7:00 – 8:15 pm
“For the Common Benefit of the Place”: Black Freedom in Early Boston
Speaker: Alex Goldfeld, Public Historian and Author
Public historian and local author Alex Goldfeld will give an illustrated presentation on Boston’s African-American community in the 1600s. He will draw on his graduate research in The History of the Streets of Boston’s North End to speak about life for Boston’s earliest black residents. The audience will get glimpses of free Black Bostonians as well as efforts to control them by law throughout Massachusetts.
Alex Goldfeld has been leading talks and tours in Boston for the last twenty years. He is the author of The North End: A Brief History of Boston’s Oldest Neighborhood (2009), a co-founder and current president of the North End Historical Society and publisher of its Journal (2012-), and the executive producer of the documentary film Boston’s North End: An Italian American Story (2016). Alex also served as a docent at the Old North Church and as Director of Operations for Boston’s Museum of African American History. Visit Alex’s website at www.tourswithalex.com
Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 @ 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Old North & the Sea: Merchants, Mariners, and Maritime Mania
Speaker: TJ Todd, Education Manager at Old North Church & Historic Site
As we focus on maritime history for the month of July, join our education manager T.J. Todd for our second webinar program. In almost every way, Boston was a city that relied on the maritime industry. The Old North Church was similarly shaped in many ways by its relationship to the sea. Using the church’s connection to the sea as a launching point, we will examine a narrative that goes beyond the walls of the building: how the sea affected the lives and fortunes of its congregants and even the look of the church itself. Specifically, we’ll dive in to the stories of Captain Samuel Nicholson and Captain Thomas Gruchy in addition to much more.
DIGITAL SPEAKER SERIES
Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 @ 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Maritime History + Active Citizenship: The Plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale
Speaker: Kelly Kryc, PhD
New England’s culture and identity is inherently and inextricably tied to the ocean. From the first nations that inhabited the region and gave our state its name to the arrival of the pilgrims at Plymouth on the Mayflower, our dependence on the ocean continues today. Our rich maritime history includes fishing, ship-building, and whaling to name just a few. In modern times, these traditions live on through world-class oceanographic research conducted at institutions throughout the state, including at the New England Aquarium. Nearly 40 years ago, Aquarium scientists discovered a pod of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine—a species that, until then, was thought to have been hunted to extinction. Despite the end of whaling, the threats to the North Atlantic right whale have only been increasing, and the species now balances on the precipice of extinction. Join the New England Aquarium’s Director of Conservation Policy and Leadership, Dr. Kelly Kryc, to learn more about the plight of the North Atlantic right whale and how you can help them survive.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Still Standing: The Story of the Clough House
Speaker: Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis, Co-Director of Education at Od North Church & Historic Site
As we focus on archaeology for the month of June, join us for our first webinar program! Our co-director of education Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis will share the fascinating story of the Clough House, located at the back of Old North’s property. While it was originally constructed as an elegant single-family home, the Clough House has served many purposes over time and has witnessed all the changes in its surrounding neighborhood over the past 300 years. Today, it serves as a testament to the architectural prowess of Ebenezer Clough, the master brick mason of Old North Church, the indomitable spirit of immigrants working for a better life, and the countless individuals who valued its history and fought to save it from demolition. This webinar will invite you to consider how this one small plot of land represents the experiences and domestic lives of hundreds of people while also serving as a microcosm of Boston.
SPEAKER SERIES + Q&A
Tuesday, June23, 2020 @ 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Hiding in Plain Sight: Researching Boston’s Oldest Buildings
Speaker: Joe Bagley, Boston’s City Archaeologist
Join Boston’s City Archaeologist, Joe Bagley, in a discussion of his quest to find and document the 50 oldest buildings in Boston. Seen through the lens of several buildings in his upcoming book, Boston’s Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them (Brandeis University Press, April 2021), this “how-to” lecture will show you the techniques for using free online deed, probate, map, and other digital resources to uncover the history of old places from your home computer. This lecture will help any budding or veteran researcher refine the techniques and overcome the challenges of online building research in Boston.
SPEAKER SERIES + Q&A
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 @ 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Jared Hardesty: Brief History of Slavery in New England
Speaker: Jared Ross Hardesty, PhD
Shortly after the first Europeans arrived in 17th-century New England, they began to enslave the area’s indigenous peoples and import kidnapped Africans. By the eve of the American Revolution, enslaved people comprised only about 4% of the population, but slavery had become instrumental to the region’s economy and had shaped its cultural traditions. In this concise yet comprehensive virtual talk, historian Jared Ross Hardesty will discuss his newest book Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds: A History of Slavery in New England by focusing on the individual stories of enslaved people in New England, bringing their experiences to life. He also will explore the importance of slavery to the colonization of the region and to agriculture and industry, New England’s deep connections to Caribbean plantation societies, and the significance of emancipation movements in the era of the American Revolution.
Afterward, stay online to be the first to hear new updates on Hardesty’s ongoing research into the seventeenth-century slave trading and smuggling ring centered at Old North. This research, originally unveiled in October 2019, touches on Captain Newark Jackson, the cacao trade, and other Boston business people and early parishioners at Old North will result in another book, slated to be published in 2022. He’ll also answer your questions about Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds, or his first book, Unfreedom. Both are available for purchase through Old North’s online gift shop. Don’t miss this candid experience with a rising leader in the history field.
POSTPONED: THE 2020 LANTERN CEREMONY
Sunday, April 19, 2020, 7pm
Keynote Speaker: Dave McGillivray
Honor the American spirit and support Old North Church & Historic Site on Sunday, April 19 at the 2020 Lantern Ceremony! Join us as we commemorate the night the two lanterns were held in our steeple launching the American Revolution. Truly a one-of-a-kind experience, The Lantern Ceremony brings together community leaders, history lovers, neighbors, and visitors from across the globe for an evening filled with pageantry and inspiration. This uplifting and enduring event supports the advancement of Old North’s mission and celebrates our legacy of courage, liberty, and civic engagement.
Click Here to learn more about our Third Lantern Awardee and Keynote Speaker, and reserve your tickets.
SPEAKER SERIES + COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm
10 on 10: Women in the Workforce
Speakers: Casey Baines, Elise Couture-Stone, Scarlett Hoey,Chloe Lin, Marie Palladino,Maddy Rodriguez, Rebecca Sivitz, Jodie Smith, Jen Steele, Dina Vargo, and Dr. Lisa Wong
Join us for a virtual celebration of influential women past and present! Old North Church & Historic Site is excited to offer its first digital speaker series program 10 on 10 Women in the Workforce on March 31 at 6:30pm. In this interactive webinar-style program you’ll hear from ten powerhouse women working in Boston today as they each offer a 5-minute spotlight presentation on a visionary woman from Massachusetts history. Presentations will explore the evolution of women’s professional identities and the ways in which each of these women have paved the way for equal rights. Afterward, stay online for a community chat about intersectional feminism, pay equity, and what we can each do today to advocate for equal rights for all in the workplace. Let’s commemorate one of 2020’s “Equal Pay Days,” March 31, with revelry and solidarity!
POSTPONED: OPENING RECEPTION AND ARTIST TALK
Thursday, March 19th, 2020 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm
The Vernacular & The Spectacular
Photographs by Peter Vanderwarker and Matthew Dickey
Join us for an opening reception of our new exhibit in Clough House, “The Vernacular & The Spectacular”, on view from March 6th until May 18th. Enjoy light refreshments as you meet Old North staff, and participate in an artist talk with the featured photographers, Peter Vanderwarker and Matthew Dickey. They’ll discuss their work in architectural photography, and how our cityscape shapes Boston. Free and open to the public.
SPEAKER SERIES + BOOK SIGNING/RECEPTION
Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 @ 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Founding Martyr: Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero
Speaker: Christian Di Spigna
Hear author Christian Di Spigna provide a fresh take on an unsung hero of the American Revolution. One of the most important and active revolutionaries in Colonial America, Dr. Joseph Warren helped spearhead the patriot movement against Great Britain that led to independence. By voice, pen, and sword, Warren was involved in every major insurrectionary event in the Boston area between 1765-1775. Killed at the battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, Warren’s decade of resistance activities became overshadowed by his martyrdom. Newly uncovered research discoveries highlight Warren’s importance as one of America’s first founding fathers.
Afterwards, join us for a book signing with the author and reception in Old North’s gift shop.
Christian Di Spigna is an author and historian. He holds a degree in History from Columbia University, where his research on Warren began more than two decades ago. Di Spigna volunteers at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and gives lectures about early American history.