June 9, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum will celebrate its annual “Amherst Day” on Sunday, June 26, marking the second anniversary of the joining of the Homestead and Evergreens as a single museum. Regular guided tours on that day are offered to town residents at half-price admission from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Museum will also host a landscape walking tour of the historic Dickinson properties at 280 and 214 Main Street on June 26 at 2 p.m. Immediately following the outdoor event, the Museum will offer an open house at the Homestead and The Evergreens from 4 to 5 p.m.

The landscape walking tour, presented by John Martin, will discuss the significance and evolution of the historic landscape surrounding the Dickinson family homes on Main Street. Martin is professor emeritus in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

This year's “Amherst Day” focuses on landscape restoration, one aspect of the comprehensive master plan the Emily Dickinson Museum is compiling as a blueprint for restoration. The full master plan will provide guidance on future restoration of the Homestead, The Evergreens and the three-acre landscape they share. “The Emily Dickinson Museum has been working to establish a sound footing for the long-term preservation of the site, and especially the gardens that were so significant to all members of the Dickinson family,” said Jane Wald, the Museum's director for resources and collections.

“Documenting the historic landscape as it appeared and was used during the family's 19th century residence here will help us to revitalize the Dickinson properties as sensitively and appropriately as possible,” Wald said. “We'd like to share with the community what we're learning about the historic configuration of the property and the steps we're taking to develop a landscape restoration plan.” A grant from Community Preservation Act funds for landscape restoration planning at the Museum was recently approved by the Amherst Town Meeting.

Both the outdoor walking tour and the open house are free and open to the public, but reservations for the landscape tour are appreciated. For more information, please contact Patricia Gilrein at 413/542-2034 or pgilrein@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or visit the Museum's Website.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, comprising the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, two historic house museums in Amherst, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. Both properties are owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. The Emily Dickinson Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 until 5 p.m.