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.

 

Permanent Exhibits

Photo of Farming Exhibit

Farming

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, …

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Temporary Exhibits

Storyteller Spirit Dancer

History in Stone Recap

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 …

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Photo of mural

Nabnasset

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 …

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Online Exhibits

These are online-only exhibits, usually consisting of photos.

Let’s take a stroll through Westford Center with Kate Hamlin and Fred Fisher

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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 …

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Featured Artifact of the Week

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. …

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Past Exhibits

 
See highlights from past exhibits on our Past Exhibits page.