A Robert Wilder Memorial Presentation: Honoring Brookfield’s First Inhabitants

The Brookfield Historical Commission will offer a special multimedia program, “A Robert Wilder Memorial Presentation: Honoring Brookfield’s First Inhabitants,” Sunday, Aug. 27, from 2-4 p.m. at the Brookfield Congregational Church, 8 Common St. The program is free and open to the public.

Brookfield’s longtime historian, the late Robert Wilder (1933-2015) spent decades mapping early Brookfield and other towns of the original Quaboag Plantation. A collection of his maps and historical material is housed at Brookfield’s Merrick Public Library. To coincide with celebrations of Brookfield’s 350th anniversary, Wilder’s friends and collaborators organized this program to remember his legacy and to continue the conversation of how to recognize Brookfield’s Native American story.

Through live presentations, film clips, maps, and a display of artifacts, the program will focus on Brookfield’s past, present, and future through the lens of its first inhabitants, including the Quaboag and Nipmuc peoples. Speakers will include Donald Duffy, author of “The Quaboag and Nipmuck Indians” (2014) and “Around Pottequadic” (2011); tribal medicine man and spiritual leader Tom Silver Fox Morse, a Brookfield resident and member of the town’s Historical Commission; and Peabody Award-winning Smithsonian and PBS documentary filmmaker Ted Timreck, director of the “Hidden Landscapes” series investigating the archaeological history and the modern legacy of the Northeastern Native civilization. Dan Hamilton, actor and Emmy-winning director who published Wilder’s maps online directs the event.

“Bob Wilder’s dedication to studying and teaching history inspired many of us to continue his work. He worried history would be forgotten,” Hamilton said. “We hope this presentation will remind us of Brookfield’s place in early America as well as its significance as the home to Native people who have been living here for thousands of years.”

A reception with light refreshments will follow, and books and DVDs will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit https://robertwildermaps.com/memorial.