Brooks Academy Marks 10th Anniversary Of Piano In The Woods

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

Dot Hemmings at the “Piano in the Woods” during a Wildlands Music and Art Stroll in 2014. MICHAEL LACH PHOTO

HARWICH – The 10th anniversary of the discovery of the “Piano in the Woods” will be celebrated Oct. 6 at “Piano Daze” at the Harwich Historical Society's Brooks Academy Museum.

On the grounds of the museum, three musicians will show off their talents on the piano found in the Bell's Neck Conservation Lands. At the same time, members of the Guild of Harwich Artists will paint plein air on the museum grounds. The paintings will then be raffled at the end of the event.

The small spinet piano was discovered by a hiker in the Bell's Neck Conservation Lands in November 2008. The piano was in good working order, and next to it was a bench, positioned as though waiting for someone to sit down and play. Where the piano came from and how it got there remains a mystery, but the discovery caused a sensation that even made the national news.

The piano found a home at the Brooks Academy Museum, and for many years it was loaned out for the annual Wildlands Music and Art Stroll, sponsored by the Harwich Conservation Trust and held at the trust's Robert F. Smith Cold Brooks Preserve in Harwich Port. Musicians took turns playing the piano, and painters and other musicians were stationed throughout the preserve.

Also on Oct. 6, HCT will sponsor a walk at the Bell's Neck Conservation Land, where the piano was originally found. Twelfth generation Cape Codder Todd Kelley will provide information on the area's natural and Native American history. The free walk begins at 8 a.m. Space is limited so advanced registration is required; email for more information.