Events celebrate musical history

This year marks the 175th anniversary of Salem's Music Vale Seminary. To celebrate, the Salem Historical Society will be hosting a series of events throughout the summer and fall to showcase the history of the seminary and its founder, Orramel Whittlesey.

The Historical Society also hopes to raise $100,000 to create a museum in the former Whittlesey home.

"It is an exciting time but we have to raise a lot of money so that we can finish this house and make it into a worthy museum," said Historical Society President Dave Wordell. "Each one (of these events) is basically adding a phase to the history of learning about Music Vale."

The programs and events began in June with the debut of a restored antique stagecoach in the Memorial Day Parade, a piano concert by a great granddaughter of Whittlesey, and a program on the young women who attended the seminary.

On Thursday, June 26, Glenn Pianka, a colonial restorer, will present his plans to turn the Whittlesey house into a museum. The home, which is the oldest in Salem, was purchased in February by the Historical Society with private donations.

On July 26, descendants of the Whittleseys will host a Tent Party on Music Vale Road, which will feature restored clothing worn by Whittlesey's wife.

Other events will be held Aug. 28, Sept. 27 and Oct. 16. The Historical Society also is producing a CD of Whittlesey's recently discovered compositions, which will played on a restored Whittlesey pianoforte.

For more information, contact Wordell at (860) 859-5336.

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