SCUA

Wetherbee, David Kenneth

David Kenneth Wetherbee Collection of New Salem
1980
3 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 305

David Kenneth Wetherbee was a naturalist and local historian who lived for many years in the small town of New Salem, Mass. Receiving a doctorate in ornithology from the University of Connecticut in 1959, Wetherbee worked as an adjunct instructor in Wildlife Biology at UMass Amherst and pursued his eclectic research agenda that ran from butterflies in the Caribbean to the history of his adopted New Salem. He died in 1997 at the age of 70.

This unusual collection is the result of David K. Wetherbee’s concerted effort to collocate data on the early settlement of New Salem, Mass., and his attempt to “reconstruct” the record book of the town’s Proprietors that had succumbed to fire in 1856. In addition to a scarce copy of his eccentric summary of his findings, Heare Lies Salim New Grant, the collection includes notes on the original divisions of land among the early settlers, arranged by division; and information on each of the early settlers and their landholdings, arranged alphabetically by name.

Background on David Kenneth Wetherbee

A naturalist whose research led him to locations from near-arctic Labrador to the tropical Caribbean, David Kenneth Wetherbee settled in the small, rural Western Massachusetts town of New Salem in the mid-1950s. Born in Worcester on Jan. 29, 1927, Wetherbee demonstrated a fascination with the Massachusetts biota at an early age, publishing his first book, The Birds and Mammals of Worcester County Massachusetts, while still in high school. Although delayed by military service at the tail end of the Second World War, Wetherebee avidly pursued his education in ornithology. Receiving his MA at Clark University in 1952, he earned a doctorate at the University of Connecticut in 1959 for his study, “Artificial incubation of wild birds’ eggs and developmental condition of neonates.”

After landing as an adjunct member of the faculty in Wildlife Biology at UMass Amherst, Wetherbee continued to publish — often self-publishing — in a wide array of fields, including ornithology, malacology, ichthyology, and ecology, with a focus on the Caribbean islands. At the same time, he pursued a vigorous interest in family and local history, publishing The Descendants of Israel Wetherbee’ in 1963 and Heare Lies Salim New Grant in 1980. The latter, a history of the English settlement of New Salem with a dose of natural history, is one of several publications emanating from Hop Brook Farm, his home and the oldest house in New Salem, which was then operating as a commune.

Wetherbee left New Salem in the early 1980s and ultimately died in the Dominican Republic in August 1997.

R

Contents of Collection

This unusual collection is the result of David K. Wetherbee’s concerted effort to collocate data on the early settlement of New Salem, Mass., and his attempt to “reconstruct” the record book of the town’s Proprietors that had succumbed to fire in 1856. In addition to a scarce copy of his eccentric summary of his findings, Heare Lies Salim New Grant, the collection includes notes on the original divisions of land among the early settlers, arranged by division; and information on each of the early settlers and their landholdings, arranged alphabetically by name.

Of special note, the publication and notes include transcripts of eighteenth century documents (roughly 1734-1763) as well as Wetherbee’s rough research notes on the demography and settlement of the town, all of which were used in preparation of Heare Lyes New Salim Grant.

Collection inventory
Wetherbee, David Kenneth: Heare Lies Salim New Grant, 1734-1763, Being a Geography and History of the Early Settlement of New Salem Between the Years 1734 and 1763 Together with a Reconstruction of the Lost Proprietors’ Book of Records, With a Description of the Flora, Fauna, and Terra. New Salem : Hop Brook Community
1980
Box 1: 0
A surrogate Proprietors’ Book of records of New Salem, Massachusetts
ca.1980
Box 1: 1
Original rights
ca.1980
First division
ca.1980
Box 1: 2
Second division
ca.1980
Box 1: 3
Third division, lots 1-70
ca.1980
Box 1: 4
Third division, lots 71-126
ca.1980
Box 1: 5
Fourth division, lots 1-95
ca.1980
Box 2: 6
Fourth division, lots 96-189
ca.1980
Box 2: 7
Fifth division
ca.1980
Box 2: 8
Grantors and grantees
ca.1980
Grantors and grantees, A-B
ca.1980
Box 2: 9
Grantors and grantees, C-D
ca.1980
Box 2: 10
Grantors and grantees, E-G
ca.1980
Box 2: 11
Grantors and grantees, H-J
ca.1980
Box 2: 12
Grantors and grantees, K-M
ca.1980
Box 3: 13
Grantors and grantees, N-P
ca.1980
Box 3: 14
Grantors and grantees, R-S
ca.1980
Box 3: 15
Grantors and grantees, T-V
ca.1980
Box 3: 16
Grantors and grantees, W
ca.1980
Box 3: 17
Documents (copies)
ca.1980
Assessment for minister’s salary
1759 (ca.1980)
Photocopy
Box 3: 18
Assessment for town and county taxes
1759 (ca.1980)
Photocopy
Box 3: 19

Residue

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Gift of David Kenneth Wetherbee.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2017.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: David Kenneth Wetherbee New Salem Collection (MS 305). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Gift of David K. Wetherbee
Subjects
  • Birds--Massachusetts--New Salem
  • Geology--Massachusetts--New Salem
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

© 2017 * SCUA * UMass Amherst Libraries

Log in | Site policies