Springfield History Museum News

Springfield Museums Announce $4.3 Million Gift for the new Museum of Springfield History

Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History

September 23, 2009

At the close of the annual meeting of the Springfield Museums on September 23, Chairman of the Board Richard B. Collins announced a $4.3 million gift from an anonymous donor. The donor has requested that the gift remain anonymous until the spring of 2010, at which time the Museum of Springfield History will be named in the donor’s honor.

Mr. Collins noted that the new Museum of Springfield History building was the most significant initiative that the Springfield Museums Association has undertaken in many years and expressed the profound gratitude of the Trustees, Corporators and staff for this most generous gift.


The gift will be disbursed in three parts: an initial gift of $1.3 million, additional sums to be paid out over the next seven years, and an eventual legacy gift.


The new museum will open to the public on October 10, 2009.  The 40,000-square-foot museum presents exhibits that interpret Springfield history in the larger context of American history in the 19th and 20th centuries. Exhibits highlight the city’s role in transportation history, including the Indian Motocycle collection and Springfield-built automobiles such as the Duryea and American Rolls-Royce; the many nationally-known businesses that originated here, including Milton Bradley, Merriam-Webster, and others; the important role the city played in the cause of the famous abolitionist John Brown; the history of arms-making in the Pioneer Valley with a large selection of firearms and related objects manufactured by Smith & Wesson; and the growth of downtown as the thriving retail, cultural and commercial hub of the region.

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