Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lecture Series: Irish Laborers and the Building of the Great West Railroad


As part of Wistariahurst’s Spring Lecture Series, Dennis Picard tells the story of the challenges of building the Western Railroad of Massachusetts linking the Boston & Worcester Railroad to the New York state line. The Western Railroad of Massachusetts was chartered in February of 1833. This transportation construction project was to link the Boston& Worcester Railroad to Springfield, across the Connecticut River and on to the New York state line. This undertaking, which only took five years to reach that goal, required hundreds of skilled and unskilled workers to complete. Though many ethnic groups were represented among the crews the vast majority of the labor was done by those of Irish birth or heritage. Come hear some of the stories of the trails and successes of this unique and very mobile workforce that called our area home for a few months and then was gone.

Dennis D. Picard has been a museum professional in the “Living History” field for over thirty-five years. He began his career at Old Sturbridge Massachusetts, in 1978, where he eventually spent twelve years filling various positions including “lead interpreter” where he researched and designed many public programs which are still offered by that institution today.

Tickets are $7 general / $5 members at the door. For more information call 413-322-5660.

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