Movie Nights! Fri Mar 21-Sat Mar 22

The Rowley Historical Society & the Rowley Grange are Proud to present:
CHOWDER FEST MOVIE NIGHT for 2 evenings – Friday, March 21, & Saturday
March 22, 2014 at the Rowley Grange Hall on Central Street in Rowley, from 4:30 -6:00 p.m. This evening will feature a dinner of Chowders – Clam & Seafood, Soups – Lentil & Minestrone, Corn Bread, Rolls & Butter & Oyster Crackers. Dessert will feature Pumpkin Delight with Whipped Cream.

After dinner is complete the Movie: 13 Rue Madeleine will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Grange Hall where Pop Corn & Water will be available.

This is a 1947 World War II spy thriller starring James Cagney some of which was shot at the Fenno Estate known to us today as The Seaview Retreat. Many of our citizens in Rowley remember when this event was happening right here in our town.

Tickets: Adults $10.00, Seniors $8.00, Children 5-12 $5.00, under 5 Free
Purchase at: Town Clerk’s Office or call 978-948-2070 or 978-948-5054

When Hollywood came to Rowley…

It was the year 1946 when our small, rural town had visitors from the film & entertainment world. They were creating a World War II flick call “13 RUE MADELEINE”. This was a full length feature film (95 minutes long) that was released in January of 1947. The movie starred James Cagney, Annabella, Richard Conte & Frank Latimore. After searching for different locations a connection was made with Mrs. Fenno for the use of her home in some of their location shots. Today we know this home, as the Seaview Retreat at the top of Kittery Avenue. The whole movie was shot on multiple locations in Boston & Quebec. But we are proud to have hosted and been part of this movie for a short period of time.

Many of our citizens who have grown up in Rowley, do still remember “the bright lights up on the hill”. And others who have viewed the movie long ago say they can recognize parts of the house, itself.

In celebration of Rowley’s 375th Anniversary
The opportunity has come for all the Rowley community to see this film as the Rowley Historical Society & the Rowley Grange presents: CHOWDER FEST MOVIE NIGHT.

Tickets are available for this “Dinner & Movie” 2 night event;
March 21st or March 22nd ; now at Town Clerk’s office
or by calling 978-948-2070 or 978-948-5054.

Annual Christmas Open House – Dec 7 & 8

The Rowley Historical Society invites friends and members to join us for our Annual Christmas Open House Gala on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7th and 8th from 1 – 4 pm.

Our theme this year will be “Christmas around the World” with an added bonus of an exhibit in the barn: “Ice Industry in Rowley” featuring artifacts pertaining to Rowley’s Ice Industry of the 19th and early 20th Century.

There will be live entertainment, home baked goodies, hot mulled cider, friends, family and fun.  Please join us for Holiday Tours of the House and Barn – Free Admission

Pine Grove School 2nd Grade Tours – As has been our tradition for many years now, we look forward to be hosting Holiday tours of our house and barn for Pine Grove School’s 2nd graders on Monday, Dec. 2.

Newsletter: November-December 2013

Read the November/December Newsletter
Download our latest newsletter (PDF) 

Help us get the word out about the Holiday Open House!


Quilt Documentation Project

On Thursday, October 10th, the RHS was delighted to participate in the Mass Quilt Documentation Project. 

According to their website:  “Since its establishment in 1994, the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project has documented over 6,000 quilts originating or currently owned in this state.  Dozens of historical Societies and hundreds of private owners have been served.

“MassQuilts encourages the study and preservation of quilts and demonstrates that these textiles convey important insights about the lives of Massachusetts women from the colonial period to the present.”

Documented quilt owners receive:
–       A copy of the documentation report including an approximate date, description of the fabrics, construction and patterns.
–       A photograph of the quilt
–       A special label to attach to the quilt signifying its inclusion in the documentation project
–       Instructions on the care of Antique Quilts

The ladies of the Documentation Project were very enthusiastic about the quilts we brought them, especially the Album Quilt that has hung on the quilt rack in the old kitchen for many years.  The Society, in the form of Shirley Todd, provided lunch for the Quilt Ladies and everyone had a lovely time hearing how passionate they are about the quilts they document.  By the end of the day, they had inspected over a dozen quilts owned by the Society – they even hitched a ride back to the house to assess the quilts still actually on the beds!

The painstakingly thorough process was fascinating to watch and the depth of knowledge and passion for their subject that these women possessed was impressive.

At the end of the day, as promised, we had all the promised documentation for each of our quilts and a primer on the care and preservation of antique quilts:

Displaying your Quilt:

  1. Display your quilts out of direct sunlight and bright indoor lighting – also away from kids, pets and other critters.
  2. Wall or standing quilt racks work well for displaying large quilts – however, quilts should not be in direct contact with wood, use acid free tissue paper or clean cotton sheets as a buffer.
  3. Muslins sleeves can be hand sewn to the back of a quilt for wall hanging.

Cleaning your Quilt:

  1. Clean your quilt with a very gentle vacuuming through a flexible plastic screen – or nylon stocking.

Storing your Quilt:

  1. Store in an acid free box with acid free paper or folded into a clean cotton sheet
  2. Do not stack
  3. Do not store in plastic bags or other air tight containers.
  4. Store in dry area away from extreme temperatures – not the attic or the basement!
  5. Quilts should be unfolded and refolded in a different orientation every three to six months.

We extend our thanks to the members of the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project who came from all over the state to assess our quilt collection.  More information about this project may be found at their website:

Pine Grove FALL FEST – Oct 25

The Rowley Historical Society would like to extend its Thanks to the Pine Grove School PTA for allowing us to participate in its wonderful FALL FEST. This is a fun filled event for the local children on Friday, October 25th a part of this festive occasion along with all the other contributors. The Society would like to offer our THANKS to Jeffery Head of the Chickadee Hill Farm in Rowley for his generous donation of all the pumpkins to give away to the children at our Pumpkin Decorating Table. WE are especially grateful to Jeff for his generosity.

Antiques Appraisal Night – Oct 24 @ 7pm

Thursday, October 24th @ 7 PM
Rowley Public Library – 141 Main St.

Robert Cianfrocca of Salt Marsh Antiques, Main St., Rowley

We invite you to join us for this always popular annual event featuring Rowley’s own Bobby Cianfrocca of Salt Marsh Antiques. As many of you know, Bob has been a successful antiques dealer and appraiser with in this community for over twenty five years and always presents a fun filled evening of historical insights, market trends, appraisal information and comic relief.

We invite you to bring any item or items – from a flea market finds to a cherished family heirloom – whatever you have questions about or need a professional’s opinion regarding value or history.

There will be modest donation of $5 per item or 3 for $10. Light refreshments will be served.

All proceeds benefit the Rowley Historical Society.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Rowley Historical Society 2014 Cookbook

The Rowley Historical Society is announcing their new 2014 Cookbook, RECIPES & REMEMBRANCES now available for sale for a $15.00 donation. The Cookbook chronicles Many of the tried & true local recipes & memories from our friends & neighbors. The Society has taken this opportunity in time, as we enter into 2014, Rowley’s 375th Celebration to create a historical record of the foods & memories of our time.

Quilt Documentation Project – Oct 10 & 11

October 10th & 11th
Advance Registration Required

The RHS is proud to sponsor the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project for the Town of Rowley. We will be holding Rowley Quilt Recognition Days on Thursday and Friday October 10 and 11 in the Conference Room of the’ Rowley Public Library. Advance registration is required. We are scheduling appointments between 1OAM and 3 PM Thursday October 10th for the public. The Quilt Experts set up four areas to complete the quilt documentation. Each area covers specific information regarding your quilt and each documentation session takes between 45 – 50 minutes and will include documentation and quilt photos.

Please bring along any information you may have about your quilt including: Where and When it was created and Who may have put it together.

To register, please contact Diane McMahan at 978 948 5054. We are asking for a $20 donation for each quilt to be documented.

Annual Meeting & Supper – Sept 27 @6pm

Friday, Sept. 27th @ 6 PM
Platts-Bradsteet House & Barn – 233 Main St

The Officers and Directors of the Rowley Historical Society cordially invite members and friends to attend the Covered Dish Supper and Annual Meeting to be held at the Platts Bradstreet House on Friday, Sept. 27’h at 6 PM. Dinner will be served at 6:30.

Standard Covered dish/Pot Luck Supper format:
Bring something to share – salad, bread, soup or entree – and we’ll supply the dessert and beverage. If you are unable to cook that night, a $5 donation
is requested, but we encourage you to bring something to share – it’s so much fun!

As always, in deference to our fragile septic system, we ask that you bring with you, as well, a place setting – china and silverware – to use and then bring home with you – saves on lots of dishwashing and all that water going through our septic system!

The Board of Directors will provide beverages and dessert – homemade pies! Always a favorite!

After dinner and following a short business meeting in our antique barn, we are proud to present Ms. Mary Ellen Smiley, Curator of the Salem Museum speaking on: “Courtship, Love and Marriage in the 17th Century”, an enjoyable, amusing yet thought provoking look at our Puritan ancestors.

How much do you think you know about the Puritans?

You might be surprised!