Chapman Funerals & Cremations – Mashpee
Amelia G. Bingham
Mashpee – Amelia Grace (Peters) Bingham died Monday, December 20, 2021, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Plymouth at the age of 98. A beloved family matriarch and respected Elder of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Amelia was the Clan Mother of the Turtle Clan. In addition to being an extraordinarily loving wife and mother amongst many other things, Amelia was a dedicated and fearless advocate for the preservation of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe historically, culturally, and politically.
Amelia was born on February 6, 1923, in Boston, Massachusetts to Mashpee Selectman of 27 years, Steven Amos Peters and Clara Jane (Miles) Peters. She was the eldest child and last surviving of eight children. Amelia attended the Samuel G. Davis School in Mashpee and as a young teen she became a selectman’s secretary for her father, handling tribal documents and visiting elders gaining historical memoirs. She was a graduate of Lawrence High School in Falmouth, MA in 1941.
Following graduation, she married Lt. Col George G. Bingham Jr. together they had 8 beautiful children. Alongside her family her true passion was for art, fashion and design which was inspired from attending Vesper George School of Art, with a concentration in interior design. Her work as an interior decorator for the New Seabury Model Homes was featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, highlighting her creative expertise and flare for color to many Cape Cod homes. Her home in Mashpee, which runs alongside the Mashpee River, served as her beautiful family’s homestead. It was a unique gem that she maintained impeccably until her passing.
As a military wife Amelia, took up residence at several military establishments internationally and nationally before returning to Mashpee in 1966 where the then retired Lt. Colonel became the Mashpee Chief of Police. Upon returning to her childhood hometown Amelia was struck by the conditions of tribal landmarks. She became the founding director of the Mashpee Historical Commission and campaigned to preserve several historic buildings including the Parsonage, the Avant homestead, the One Room Schoolhouse, and the Old Indian Meetinghouse. She spearheaded the efforts to restore the Meetinghouse for community use and the Avant house where she established the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum, also becoming the Founding Director.
During this time, she had also become keenly aware of growth and development in Mashpee and began to oversee tribal interests which resulted in her becoming Principal Founder of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council Inc. in 1972. This is presently known as the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Inc. that to this day provides political leadership. Amelia was instrumental in the early 1970’s with a land lawsuit which was developed in efforts to preserve Mashpee tribal land. She was a firm believer that the future of the tribe was only as …….