Welcome to the website of the Rowe Historical Society.
The Rowe Historical Society owns and operates the Kemp-McCarthy Museum located at 282 Zoar Road in Rowe, Massachusetts. It opened on June 30, 1963.
The museum has an extensive collection of local artifacts and antiques. Highlights of the collection include antique quilts, 19th century dolls, period costumes, china and glassware, sleighs, furniture, photographs, cookware, tools, farm implements, and an original 19th century hearse. Exhibits are updated regularly.
The Kemp-McCarthy Museum also has many valuable photos of townspeople and local sites, as well as literature from the Davis Mine and the Yankee Atomic Electric Company.
The Hoosac Tunnel has always been important in the history of Rowe. Although the tunnel did not pass through Rowe, the east entrance is just across the river from Rowe's Neck, the stretch of Rowe land where the Big Bend of the Deerfield River flows. Of special relevance to Rowe's history was the final engineering of the tunnel, because one of the eight stone lining towers was located on Rowe's Head, the mountain just across from the tunnel's east entrance. The famous Hoosac Tunnel station was located in Rowe. Many people from Rowe worked on the tunnel project and for the Boston & Maine railroad. The Kemp-McCarthy Museum has a large exhibit of Hoosac Tunnel artifacts and memorabilia, including photographs, timetables and a new G-scale model of a B&M F-3 locomotive. Noted Hoosac Tunnel historian Jerry Kelley and his wife Gayle have made many important contributions to the museum, including a large collection of rare stereo views of the tunnel. The museum also periodically hosts special programs related to the Hoosac Tunnel. The next Rail-Fan event will be in 2015. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to learn more about our involvement with the history of the Hoosac Tunnel.
The Rowe Historical Society publishes The Bulletin, dedicated to the preservation of local history by highlighting "bits of history, old letters, pictures, news clippings and anything of interest to the history of Rowe," and The Rowe Historical Society Newsletter, featuring information on upcoming events and programs.
Many books are published by the Rowe Historical Society, including The History of Rowe, Massachusetts by Percy Whiting Brown and Nancy Newton Williams.
The Kemp-McCarthy Museum is open to the public every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. from July through mid-October, and at other times by appointment. Concerts, holiday celebrations, literary programs, and other cultural activities are held at the museum throughout the year.
Our website also provides useful information on membership in the Rowe Historical Society and directions to the Kemp-McCarthy Museum.
If you've never been to our town or museum, you can learn more about us by visiting www.welovemuseums.com.
The Kemp-McCarthy Museum is closed until our Christmas concert on Saturday, November 29th. Thank you to the many people who visited our exhibits this season.
Rail-Fan III Comes to Rowe in 2015. Details to follow!
Our collection of Hoosac Tunnel antiques continues to grow. Below, is our recently acquired original 1911 photo of a Hoosac Tunnel switcher. This and many new items will be on display at Rail-Fan III in 2015.