The Westford Museum houses several permanent exhibits. Temporary exhibits highlight parts of our collections which cannot be displayed on a permanent basis. A large percentage of the collections are in storage and can be viewed by appointment if their condition allows.
Approximately 80% of the Westford historical Society's collections are in storage, not normally on display in the Museum. Each month we feature a different artifact from our collection.
Before the mills came to Westford, the town was mainly agricultural. A farm was home to many Westford residents. Apples were Westford’s major crop. Other profitable crops consisted of peaches, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, as well as many more small fruits. Common farming tools included the brush hook, buck saw, scythe, …Read more
Many thanks go out to Cori Ryan and all the people involved in yesterday’s History in Stone program! Over 80 people visited the Museum to hear Cori’s talk on the Stone Circle at Grassy Pond, view the ancient artifacts found here in Westford, listen to Spirit Dancer’s stories and revel …Read more
Nabnasset is the 5th and final theme in our Villages of Westford series. It started as a farming community and added the mills at Brookside. In the late 19th century the recreational land around Nab Lake was known as “Nabnasset Grove.” A summer community built up in the 1930s and …Read more
These are online-only exhibits, usually consisting of photos.
Step back in time and start your audio tour of Westford Center as it was prior to the Civil War. Your tour guides are Kate Hamlin (1847-1937) and Fred Fisher (1855-1941). Enjoy their remembrances of the town they grew up in and your stroll through historic Westford Center. https://museum.westford.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/WHs-Walking-Tour.m4a Start …Read more
May Balch Doors Exhibited in museum and from the collection The doors were pained by Mary “May” Gertrude Balch (1875-1961) in 1935. They hung in her home at 28 Boston Rd. One door features a rustic woodland scene, and the other features a deer woodland scene. The building was demolished in …Read more
Town Scale Exhibited in the museum The scale originally lived in the Westford Town Hall, and is enclosed in a large wood cabinet, which was painted somewhat recently. A standardized means of accurately regulating weight in the nineteenth century and later, it includes sixteen graduated weights, three liquid measures, five …Read more
Rainbow Hawk-Eye Camera From the collection Front (Closed) Top Front (lens extended) Opened (film still inside) Our Rainbow Hawk-Eye Camera is a No. 2A Folding Model B. It was made around 1930. Loosely comparable to today’s memory card or internal device storage, this camera loaded physical black and white film …Read more
Cold Spring Farm Photo From the collection Cold Spring Rd and Depot St in 1887 Google Maps: Today Some street corners like at Brookside Mill in Nabnasset have not changed much over the last century. Others have changed more dramatically. The intersection of Cold Spring and Depot Roads is a …Read more
Photo of Brookside Mill From the collection W.2002.7 — 1906 photo Brookside Mill 2010 (via Google Maps) This black and white photo of Brookside Mill (AKA Moore’s Mill) was taken in 1906. Notice the top level of the tower was removed, as well as the addition of another level elsewhere …Read more
Photo of Dr. Pamela Gay From the Westford Academy exhibit As a coed high school since its founding in 1793, the Westford Academy hosted several figures important to women’s history. Pamela Gay (1973 — ) was just one of them. She graduated from WA in 1992, received an Astrophysics BS …Read more
Abbot Worsted Keychain From the Industry Exhibit Security today may consist of electronic keycards or knowing the right password. Past security measures sometimes involved a chain of several unique keys to be carried by specific people. Our keychain has 14 keys attached. At least one of the keys was for …Read more
Slide Rule From the Westford Academy exhibit The 12″ polyphase slide rule made was by Keuffel & Esser Co., and was sometimes called a “slip stick.” It has a patent date of June 5, 1900. According to the International Slide Rule Museum, this was an analogue calculating device (“computer”), which was …Read more
Atwood Daguerreotypes From the online Atwood-Carlton-Millett exhibit This set of Daguerreotypes represents Westford’s Atwood-Carlton family around 1864. Within the wooden frame are twelve metal framed daguerreotypes surrounded by a velvet grid. At least four photographs were done by S. Shattuck of Lowell, MA. The Daguerreotype was invented in 1839 by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. …Read more
See highlights from past exhibits on our Past Exhibits page.