The Ramapogue Historical Society is continuing to host events this summer, even though the Josiah Day House on Park Street in West Springfield is closed for renovations.

Reminder Publishing file photo

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Although everyone sees it, the Josiah Day House remains a mystery to most West Springfield residents despite the immense history it tells of the town.

“So many people drive by the house their entire lives and never stop by, whether for our events or when the house is open for tours,” said Samantha DePergola, president of the Ramapogue Historical Society, which manages the home. “It’s one of the oldest, if not the oldest, brick saltbox houses still standing on its original foundation in America. A house that old holds a sort of prestige. It’s not prestige that a mansion furnished with riches holds, but the prestige that a building that has stood for just about 270 years and has experienced the history of West Springfield firsthand holds. It’s a time capsule for many people and holds the secrets of our community’s history.”

Founded in 1903, the Ramapogue Historical Society has cared for the building for more than 100 years, dedicating itself to the preservation of the stories of people who can no longer tell their own stories.

“It represents 270 years of history. It’s a time capsule telling stories that no one is around to tell anymore,” noted DePergola. “The archives we have tell stories of everyday lives of people who lived within the community. This hidden gem is so much more than a brick house on a busy roadway — it is a beacon of history that shines brightly within our town.”

To preserve and share that history, the society leads tours of the building by appointment, works with grant funds and donations to maintain the building and hosts events throughout the year to give people a glimpse into life centuries ago.

On June 1, the First Congregational Church in West Springfield will present “I Now Pronounce You Lucy Stone,” hosted by the historical society. The play tells the story of the first woman to earn a college degree in Massachusetts, who had a passion for human rights.

“The Lucy Stone event has never been hosted by the RHS, and we are proud to be working with History At Play LLC and Judith Kalaora to bring such an amazing show to West Springfield,” said DePergola.

Tickets to the 1 p.m. performance are $10 for ages 12 and up, and include a free future admission to the Josiah Day House, when current construction work is done. Tickets can be purchased at www.josiahdayhouse.com.

On June 15, from noon to 3 p.m., the society will host its annual Strawberry Social on the grounds of the Josiah Day House, though the house itself will still be closed for construction. Tickets, also available online, are $5 for ages 12 and up, $2 for ages 5-11.

On Oct. 19, the society has its annual fall festival and cemetery tours, both of which are free; donations are accepted.

In addition to these events, the society is looking for ways to partner with other local historical societies and museums, to better preserve its artifacts and to participate in the America 250 celebrations, which will honor the country on its 250th birthday in 2026.

“The Josiah Day House and the Ramapogue Historical Society are integral to West Springfield,” explained DePergola. “We are constantly looking for people who want to be active on our board and businesses who may want to help sponsor parts of our maintenance or programming. Much like when the RHS was first founded in 1903, helping maintain the Josiah Day House is a community effort.”

Thanks to funding from the town’s Community Preservation Act account, the house has received repairs that will allow it to have new exhibits and keep its presence in the town for centuries to come.

“The repairs currently being done with CPA funding have been going well,” said DePergola. “Being that the house was built in 1754, we always anticipate repairs will need to be made, no matter how much money we spend on the house. Our goal is to preserve and protect the Josiah Day House, so we are constantly monitoring and doing our best to keep an eye on and find ways to fund repairs.”

Anyone who would be interested in volunteering for the Ramapogue Historical Society can email ramapoguehistoricalsociety@gmail.com.