Dickinson District Guidebook

Getting Your Guidebook

The guide books are free and available at the following locations:
  • Amherst Town Hall - 4 Boltwood Ave:
  • Central Services - First floor
  • Planning Department - Second floor
  • Amherst History Museum (Strong House) - 67 Amity St.
  • Emily Dickinson Museum - 280 Main St.

Guide to the Dickinson Historic District

The Amherst Historical Commission has published a new "Guide to the Dickinson Historic District," the first in a proposed series about Amherst’s 9 National Historic Register Districts. Written by architectural historian and Commission member Paul F. Norton, the 42-page book includes maps, an introduction, and information for a tour of the area.

The guidebook can serve as a resource guide or for walking tours, and introduces readers to the history of the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, the First Congregational Church, Masonic Hall, the Amherst Police Building, the Amherst Depot, Sweetser Park, as well as historic homes, former Amherst College fraternities now used as dormitories, and inns on Main St., Lessey St., Spring St., Tyler Pl., and Triangle St.

Author Paul Norton describes the architectural details and periods of the houses and buildings. He also includes information about the early builders and residents as well as the social history of the area.

Norton, a longtime professor of art at the University of Massachusetts, holds a doctorate in the history of art from Princeton University. He is also the author of "Amherst: A Guide to its Architecture," published in 1975 by the Amherst Historical Society. He is the co-author of "Arts in America: The Nineteenth Century," has written many journal articles, and contributed to the Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Guidebook Funding

This guidebook was funded by Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds approved by Amherst Town Meeting. It was published under the direction of the Commission’s Publications Committee, Gai Carpenter (Chair), and Paul Norton. Color photography and layout design are by Asha Kinney.