#TBT is this week's #FBF (it was a busy week...) so flashing back to 2005 when the Reverend Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield was listed as a Most Endangered Historic Resource. Samuel Harrison was born into slavery in 1818 and by 1850 found his way to Pittsfield and became pastor for the Second Congregational Church. Among his many accomplishments, Rev. Harrison is notable for being the chaplain for the Massachusettts 54th Regiment during the Civil War. This first all black infantry unit was portrayed in the 1989 movie “Glory”. His residence in Pittsfield had fallen into disrepair when it was listed in 2005, but through dedicated efforts, it received a “Save America’s Treasures” grant and state funding for the restoration work. It was listed on the National Register in 2006 and is now open as a museum operated by the Samuel Harrison Society
“It is the mission of the Samuel Harrison Society to restore and preserve Reverend Harrison's homestead; use it as a place to teach the values embodied in his noble life, his enduring beliefs, his extraordinary writings; and to define a chapter in the story of us as a people by providing greater insight into African-American history.”
And this past April marked the Rev. Harrison’s 200th birthday.
Massachusetts has many stories and histories that have made our communities what they are today, forming the tapestry that is our Commonwealth. There is much we can learn from the past. Thank you to the Samuel Harrison Society for their incredible dedication and contributions to history and preservation!
For more information visit the Samuel Harrison House FB page, @Samuel
HarrisonHouse, or visit online at www.samuelharrison.org