April 2019 Society Meeting

On Saturday, April 13, Erin R. Corrales-Diaz, Ph.D. assistant curator of American art at the Worcester Art Museum presented: A Great National Painting: James Walker’s The Battle of Gettysburg.
Barbara Wicker and Erin Corrales-Diaz with the isometric map of the Battle of Gettysburg in the Society’s collection.

Six years in the making, James Walker’s twenty-foot long The Battle of Gettysburg debuted in Boston on March 14, 1870, but currently resides in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Commissioned by John Badger Bachelder, The Battle of Gettysburg captivated American audiences with its attention to detail and perceived veracity. Erin detailed the biography of the painting from its inception to its current location and all permutations in between.

Bachelder was a Hyde Park resident from 1880, until his death in 1894. Erin described Bachelder as the P. T. Barnum of the American Civil War – with his great showmanship and commercialization of the painting.

The presentation lasted a little over an hour and was delivered with a wonderful slide show and passion for the subject matter.
Collection on Display

In honor of Erin Corrales-Diaz’s presentation, the Gettysburg Cannon was on display for our members to view. The cannon was awarded to Hyde Park’s John Badger Bachelder for his work as the official historian of the Battle of Gettysburg – Read more.

The newly restored painting – A View of Camp Meigs from Fairmount Hill by Thomas Badger, 1863, was also displayed and the Society hopes to sell prints of this painting at a later date. Please contact the Society to register interest at info@hydeparkhistoricalsociety.org.

Hyde Park, Massachusetts 1890 Map – This famous map of 1890 shows all the buildings of the town in amazing detail. These prints are just $10 each. Proceeds from the sale will fund the cost of restoring the Badger Painting. To purchase a print please email info@hydeparkhistoricalsociety.org

Hyde Park’s Centennial Publication

In 1968, the centennial celebration of the towns first 100 years saw the publication of this 72 page commemorative large format book.

The front cover illustration depicts the town with the completed I-95 Southwest Expressway. Following protests from citizens in Dedham, Milton, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, the construction of this eight lane highway was cancelled. The Wake up the Earth (WUTE) festival, held every year in Jamaica Plain, was created to celebrate this community victory.

The book also reveals how heavy industry was still prominent in Hyde Park, with a full page advert for the Tilseton & Hollingsworth paper mill, “the most modern, progressive paper mill in all New England…”

This collection includes the scanned images of every page and can be viewed here. The digitization of the text will be available soon.