The Sons & Daughters of Hawley, Inc. (SDH) was founded in 1901 to connect current and former residents with each other and to preserve and celebrate the history of the town. Since 1981 its purposes have been to collect and preserve documents on the history of the town, to educate people about its history, and to maintain and renovate the East Hawley Meetinghouse. More recently, SDH renovated a former camp building to serve as a venue for community meals, tag sales, and educational programs. We are now renovating several rooms in the building to house SDH’s archives.

SDH functions as a volunteer organization. It has no paid staff, but its board members bring a variety of skills, a deep commitment, and abundant energy to the projects the organization undertakes. From 2008 to 2010, for example, SDH created a historic site on what was at one time Hawley’s town common. It consists of a kiosk and nine interpretive signs with trails linking the foundations of buildings that once stood on or near the common. The project won an Award of Merit for Leadership in History from the American Association for State and Local History. We encourage anyone interested in the history of Massachusetts hill towns to visit.

SDH’s archival collection consists of photographs, letters, town records and other documents related to the history of the Town of Hawley. There are fewer than 50 record boxes in the collection. The collection also includes a small number of artifacts, including a collection of artifacts unearthed during three seasons of archaeology excavation at the site of the Sanford Tavern at Hawley’s Old Town Common. Only a small percentage of the documents are currently organized and stored properly, and SDH is just beginning to catalogue them. Over the next several years, SDH volunteers plan to organize and catalogue the collection so that SDH will be able, for the first time, to make the documents and artifacts in the collection accessible for research into Hawley’s town history.

Mission: The Sons & Daughters of Hawley celebrate, preserve, and spread the word about the history of the small hilltown of Hawley, Massachusetts.
Founded: 1901
Sons & Daughters of Hawley
East Hawley Road/P.O. Box 206
Hawley, Mass. 01339