A tin lantern with a lit candle, surrounded by text reading Historical Society of Greenfield

Greenfield is the county seat for Franklin County MA, giving us a unique local perspective on both the everyday actions of the town and the more dramatic events of the county and state.  Housed in an historic 1852 building, collections include photographs, local antiques, books, maps, paintings, memorabilia & artifacts about local and county history.  We have our beginning in the work of Mary P. Wells Smith, the  famous author of The Boy Captive, the Jolly Times  series and many other books.  She was a long-time resident of Greenfield, the first woman clerk in a bank in the state of Massachusetts, a member of the All Souls Church, and an eloquent speaker on behalf of women’s suffrage.  In 1907, she founded the Historical Society of Greenfield alongside her friend John A. Aiken, state supreme court justice. Wells served as president of the Society beginning in 1908, and stayed closely involved for the remainder of her life.

Hours:May to October: Fridays 10-2 and the 1st and 2nd Saturday of each month, 10-2. 2nd and 3rd floors by appointment. From November to April, the museum is open by appointment only.

Call or email to schedule an appointment.

Directions Greenfield is in western MA, 20 minutes south of the Vermont border.

From the north: take 91 South to exit 26 for Greenfield. This exit is a rotary; take the third exit for 2A East and Greenfield center. Proceed on this road, also called Main Street, through 2 lights and up a hill to the town center. At the intersection of Main and Federal, be in the left lane and turn left onto Federal. The next right is Church Street. We are two blocks up on the left.

From the south: take 91 North to exit 26. At the bottom of the off-ramp, bear right onto 2A for Greenfield center, then proceed as above.

From the east: take Route 2 east to Greenfield. Turn left at the bottom of the off-ramp onto Federal Street. Proceed approximately one mile to turn left on Church Street.

From the west: take your best route to 91, and proceed as above.

Officers and staff
President: Robin Yerkes

Vice-President & PR: Tilda Hunting

Treasurer: Karin Benson

Secretary & Social Media: Meg Baker

Librarian: Sharon Roth

Mission: The Historical Society of Greenfield, Massachusetts, is a non-profit historical and educational resource institution maintaining and communicating the diverse history of Greenfield by promoting its archival collections, exhibitions of cultural artifacts, documents, publications, educational resources and programs accessible and targeted to area residents, the wider public and students of all ages.

In addition to the above mission statement, we take as our guiding inspiration the words of our founder Mary P. Wells Smith:

"Today passes on and becomes history before we know it. We are making history all the time. [We must] look out and not in, look up and not down, look forward and not back."

Founded: 1907
Collection overview: The museum houses approximately 4000 records, 4000 photographs, and several rooms of artifacts. Records include information on the industry of Greenfield as well as founding families.
Policies: Researchers are welcome to schedule an appointment, or to request research on their behalf. Certain restrictions may apply in order to best preserve the artifacts requested, and to consider the volunteer nature of the institution.
Membership: We welcome new members! Membership is $25 a year per person, and is payable to the Historical Society of Greenfield, P.O.Box 415, Greenfield MA 01302, or by clicking the button below to give on-line. Membership gives you an invitation to annual meetings, advance notice of exhibit openings, occasional members-only rewards and opportunities, and the sense of well-being that comes from supporting the on-going work of the museum and the Society.
Historical Society of Greenfield
43 Church Street
Greenfield, Mass. 01301
Phone: (413) 774-3663