As we turn the page to 2022 we still face so much uncertainty, but my firm belief is that
we need to keep looking forward, planning ahead, and finding things that make us
happy. For me that joy has always derived from history, art, and museums; in fact, if you
ever need to find me outside of my work hours at the Society, you’ll most likely find me
at a museum nearby. And I know that our museums and historic sites can be that place
for people, now more than ever.
For over 125 years, Lexington Historical Society has been a witness, steward, and
interpreter of history. How can you not feel immersed in history while crossing the
threshold at Buckman Tavern? Or meandering through the gardens at Munroe Tavern?
Or arriving at the Hancock-Clarke House knowing that Paul Revere did the same on a
moonlit night long ago?
Now I ask, how will we uncover and look anew at the stories of those who came before
us? How will we tell the stories of our time? How will we speak to future generations?
And how will we serve as a community resource for Lexington and beyond? It’s exciting
to think about learning and growing together.
One of my main goals as I began my tenure here was to map out our calendar of
programs and events for the upcoming year. I want to honor the mission of the Society,
while also expanding our vision and audience. History can mean 1775, but it can also
be now, and I want our museums to reflect the diverse and dynamic history of
That means our programming in 2022 will run the gamut from lectures on Alexander
Hamilton to historic tavern nights, to a month-long celebration about the history of
chocolate. We’ll also partner with organizations in town such as the Association of Black
Citizens of Lexington (ABCL), CAAL, CALex, LexPride and LexSeeHer to discuss and
represent contemporary issues and history. We’ll offer exhibitions that bring together
history and contemporary art, we’ll create opportunities for local artists to showcase
their work within our historic sites, and we’ll activate our gardens through programming
and partnership with the Lexington Field and Garden Club.
As we consider the next phase of the life of the Society there is no better way to focus
that energy than to transform the Depot into a space that will be accessible to all, and
allow visitors from Lexington and beyond to begin their historical journey with us right in the center of town. I am so excited to share that we have just received a significant
portion of funding needed for this large-scale project. State Representative Michelle
Ciccolo generously led the charge and secured $150,000 toward the transformation of
the Depot into an educational and exhibition space which will become the first
touchpoint for guests to the Society. The space will be a combination of permanent and
changing exhibitions showcasing all aspects of our collections, and be a space where
school tours can become immersed in history, where local residents can come together
for dynamic programming, and where national and international tourists can witness all
that Lexington has to offer.
The reason I decided to work in the museum field, and specially begin my career in the
museum education sector, was to share my excitement of art and history with people. I
personally wanted to know everything about the art and artifacts I was looking at, and
then by extension I wanted everyone else to be just as excited as I was about them.
This led me down the path of becoming the Director of museums - to lead and guide
organizations to showcase all the amazing items in their collections, and most
importantly, to make those collections accessible and thrilling to the public.
Our historic houses are the foundation, literally and figuratively, of our collection. They
are truly witnesses to close to 250 years of history in Lexington. We honor them, the
people that came before us, and the stories they tell; we also embrace the history we
are living through day to day. All of these moments are worthwhile, and what we have
planned in 2022 will bring the houses, collections, and narratives of Lexington to life. I
hope to have you come along on the ride with us and become part of history as well!
-Carol Ward, Executive Director
Featuring the voices of Lexington Historical Society permanent staff and occasional guest authors.