Juneteenth Re-Opening of The Robbins House!
June 19-September 6: Open 6 days/wk (closed Tuesdays)
September 10-October 31: Open Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays & Indigenous
Peoples’ Day Monday Oct. 11 th
From 11 am – 4 pm
Six visitors allowed inside the Robbins House at a time
Masks required by visitors until further notice
Cuban Plantation “Slave Bell” Comes to the Robbins House by Way of The Belmont Hill School
Students at the Belmont Hill School for Boys recently researched the history of the bell that has towered over their campus since 1927. In a 2017 independent study, seniors examined the school’s ties with a Concord family who were school founders, and the family’s sugar plantations in Cuba from the mid- to late-1800s.
What they discovered motivated an initiative to more publicly expose the difficult story of this bell, and to explore reparations along with its move. Through thoughtful discussions with the Belmont Hill School, Town of Concord, Concord Museum, the long-established New England family, and The Robbins House, the decision was made to move the bell to the Robbins House and here is where its history will be interpreted. The move will be observed at the Robbins House on July 4th, along with our Communal Reading of Frederick Douglass’s speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” and discussion about the deeper meaning of independence in the United States during the era of slavery and since.
Ella Altidor, the inaugural Thomas Dugan Curatorial Intern at the Concord Museum, in partnership with The Robbins House, will serve as the project manager for installing and interpreting the bell. Christopher Reynolds, a graduate student in Brandeis University’s Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) Program, is liaising with the Belmont Hill School team and creating a literature review of the Cuban Soledad plantation and the economic ties of the sugar trade to interpret the bell’s background.
“Under the old slave bell, Soledad, Cuba, ca. 1895.” Courtesy of the MHS.