December 6, 2020 –

MHSM is offering virtual programming for Spring 2021. See below for more details.  Replies to inquiries may be delayed until the museum re-opens.  


Virtual Author Lectures are all Co-sponsored by the Medford Historical Society & Museum and the Friends of the Medford Public Library. They will be presented on Zoom and you must register on Eventbrite in advance.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021–7:00 PM           
The Return of the Moguls:  Jeff Bezos, John Henry, and the Fate of Newspapers
With Commentator and Medford Resident, Dan Kennedy, Professor of Journalism at Northeastern University and regular panelist on Beat the Press, the award-winning weekly media program on WGBH-TV (Channel 2). Kennedy will speak about the powerful history and precarious future of newspapers.  Q & A to follow.
Register on Eventbrite.
Call 781-866-3155 if you need assistance.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021–7:00 PM
Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission, with Author, Historian Stephen Puleo

Stephen Puleo’s well-researched book tells the incredible story of the Irish potato famine, the USS Jamestown voyage, its captain Robert Bennet Forbes, the Irish priest who ministered to the starving in Cork city, and the commitment of thousands of ordinary Americans who offered relief to Ireland during the famine.  This remarkable story provided the blueprint for future relief efforts.

To purchase a copy of this book visit Haley Booksellers here.  

Register on Eventbrite.
Call 781-866-3155 if you need assistance.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021–7:00 PM
Bald Eagles of the Mystic Lakes with Medford Photographer John Harrison
Wildlife photographer John Harrison will present his newest book on the Bald Eagles of the Mystic Lakes, published as a part of a True Wildlife Series for Children and he will also include many of the other birds that populate the area.  His work appeals to adults and children, wildlife lovers, and those who enjoy the  Mystic Lakes. Harrison authors the Medford Wildlife Watch in the “Medford Transcript.”  Among his other well-known books is Dead in Good Company: A Celebration of the Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Register on Eventbrite.
Call 781-866-3155 if you need assistance.  

Wednesday, April 21, 2021–7:00 PM
Election 2020 with Writer/Researcher Robert Turner
Robert Turner will focus on the 2020 presidential campaign, from the tactics and strategies of the candidates to the impact of the pressures of the day—the Covid-19 virus, issues of racial justice and unrest, the threat of voter fraud— the integrity of the voting process and the role of the press.  He will also speak about the polls and how/why they got it wrong

Robert Turner has been a Research Fellow at UMass Boston since 2007.  Before his present assignment he worked for 42 years at the Boston Globe. During his time at the Globe he was a member of the Globe editorial staff and served as the Op Ed columnist.  He is a BA graduate of Columbia University and holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Register on Eventbrite.
Call 781-866-3155 if you need assistance.  

 Co-sponsored by the Medford Historical Society & Museum and the Friends of the Medford Public Library. They will be presented on Zoom and you must register on Eventbrite in advance. Books for each session will be available at the Library at the beginning of the previous month. Call the Library at 781-395-7950 to have a copy checked out to you for no-contact pickup or if you need assistance registering.

January 20, 2021–7:00 PM
Spying On The South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide
by Tony Horvitz
Discussion leader, Rich Carle

Frederick Law Olmsted did not begin his career as a landscape architect until he was 43, after the Civil War.  Among many jobs before the war he was a correspondent for the New York Times, which sent him on two journeys through the South in the 1850s to report on the widening divide over slavery.  Those trips had a profound effect on Olmsted, deepening his commitment to the abolition of slavery, but also on his ideas about the positive effects of natural beauty on human emotions, leading to his later career.  Tony Horvitz in 2018 re-traced Olmsted’s journey, in the process revealing much about the mind of Olmsted but also much about the issues that are dividing the country today, which are pretty much the same as 170 years ago.  

Rich Carle has been interested in the Civil War since his high school history class in Philadelphia, PA took a field trip to Gettysburg. He learned, from living in Virginia for 5 years, that many Southerners are still fighting it.  He learned from reading the selected book that he has played all the golf courses in the Chicago parks designed by Olmsted.  Their beauty did not help his game.

Register on Eventbrite for Spying on the South.


March 17, 2021–7:00 PM
At Home by Bill Bryson
Discussion Leader, Kathleen Kane

Bill Bryson is an American-British author of nonfiction books on travel, the English language, history, and science.  Bryson’s works are known for their witty and entertaining presentation of facts.

In “At Home…” Bryson aims to write a history of domestic life. He believes that history can be the story of “people doing ordinary things” and that the history of domestic life is largely a history of “getting comfortable.”  He proposes to examine the history of the domestic residence by exploring the rooms in his own home.  In each room he finds stories that form a fact-filled romp through history.  He traces the derivation of domestic terms in the hall, discusses spices in the kitchen (with a segue into the rise of cities and the influence of international trade), then moves to wallpaper and the arrangement of furniture as he enters the drawing room. “At Home…” is an entertaining stroll through history that will have readers quoting facts and telling stories at the dinner table, much to their families’ delight, or horror.

Kathleen S. Kane is a lover of nonfiction writing and the Assistant Director of the Medford Public Library.

Register on Eventbrite for At Home.


May 19, 2021–7:00 PM

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
Discussion Leader Elaine Fossett Rittershaus

To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Sarah Vowell investigates what that means-and what it should mean. What she discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoe buckles-and-corn reputation might suggest-a highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty people, whose story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance.

Vowell takes us from the modern-day reenactment of an Indian massacre to the Mohegan Sun casino, from old-timey Puritan poetry, where “righteousness” is rhymed with “wilderness,” to a Mayflower-themed waterslide. Throughout, The Wordy Shipmates is rich in historical fact, humorous insight, and social commentary by one of America’s most celebrated voices.

Elaine Fossett Rittershaus is a history buff who teaches K-4 instructional technology in the Malden Public Schools. The descendant of seafarers and librarians, she grew up in a small coastal Maine town in a family of educators, sailors, and fishermen.

Register on Eventbrite for The Wordy Shipmates.


Medford Historical Society | 10 Governors Avenue | Medford, Massachusetts | 02155