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

Have you seen the new exhibits?

Dear Friend of WHS,  We need your support in helping us fulfill our part of the Mass Humanities grant we received to fund our new exhibits: Road to Westford and Westford Academy. For those that have seen the exhibit in person, please fill out this survey and email it back to us. For those who haven’t see …

Read more

Graniteville

Querying in Westford started in 1600’s Westford was still part of Chelmsford – why the granite is called Chelmsford granite. Westford split from Westford when because it got too far to go to church in present day Chelmsford – Westford is west Chelmsford – spilt in 1729 Used granite used …

Read more
Photo of the Westford Knight Exhibit

The Westford Knight

Legend has it that a Scottish earl named Henry Sinclair took a crew of explorers and discovered America in 1398, a whole century before Christopher Columbus. According to the story, they explored regions of Nova Scotia and New England. Some even claim that the evidence of that is the grave …

Read more
Photo of Westford Doctors' Instruments

Westford Doctors

As in every town, disease and illness in Westford was inevitable. From 1850-1868 the #1 cause of death in Westford was consumption, the #2 cause was old age, and the #3 cause was Scarlet Fever. Life expectancy was approximately forty years of age. Fortunately Westford had a reliable doctor for …

Read more
Photo of the American Revolution Exhibit

The American Revolution

Notable items from the Revolutionary War period are: – Several items which belonged to Col. John Robinson. – Recently acquired drum sticks attributed to Jonathan Minot, Jr., Drummer in Capt. Minot’s company. – An epaulette attributed to David Goodhue, a Westford native and officer during the war.

Read more

Westford Academy

Westford Academy (WA) was founded in 1792 as a private secondary school for children “of any nation, age, or sex.” It was exceptional from its beginning, taking both boys and girls as students as long as they could read the Bible without sounding out words and pay 9 shillings per …

Read more
Photo of The Power of the Mills Exhibit

Power of the Mills

The opening of the Stony Brook Railroad brought new industrial activity to all three Stony Brook villages: Brookside, Graniteville, and Forge Village. The granite quarries above Graniteville now had a convenient and economic means to transport their stone to Lowell and from there to the rest of New England and …

Read more

Westford Women Dolls

Westford has an abundant history of outstanding and courageous women. Jean Downey (1925-2003),  conducted the Westford Women Doll project in 1985 to highlight women’s history and civil rights within Westford, with 12 women originally highlighted. A prominent resident in town, Jean was a nurse, involved with charities, and an accomplished seamstress. …

Read more

The Prescotts of Westford

The Prescotts were early settlers of Westford and Chelmsford, and by the end of the 1700’s there were many Prescott families that were related in one way or another. Abram, Olive’s husband who was born in 1769 was among the fourth generation. Abram was the third son of twelve children …

Read more

Country Store

The General Store not only provided residents with their common household supplies and luxuries, but also was located in the center of town to make it easily accessible. Many could get to the store by walking or on horses. The post office was located in the General Store as well. …

Read more
 

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 …

Read more
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 …

Read more
 

Online Exhibits

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

Photo of Westford Depot Bridge

Westford Photos

The Westford Historical Society owns a wealth of photos from both past and present. Your Westford photos are always welcome. Stop by during office hours or on a Sunday afternoon. All photo donations should be accompanied by your contact information and as much detail as you can provide on the …

Read more
Aerial view of Abbot Mills Buildings

Abbot Mills Photos

In 2006, prior to the conversion of the Abbot Mill buildings into residential units, Alan Chaffee received permission from the owners to complete a thorough photographic survey of the existing buildings. Alan generously made these photos available to the Westford Historical Society and the public. Enjoy your virtual tour! This …

Read more
Photo from 1929 pageant

Westford’s 275th Celebration

  The ladies of the “Bonnet Club” from the Chamberlin Corner section of Westford gathered in 1928 for this delight photo. Number 1 is Lucinda Prescott, who lived at 181 Main Street; #2, Ruth Johnson who lived at 88 Chamberlin Road; 3, Ida Fletcher; 4, Edna Moore; 5, Julia Knowlton; …

Read more

Past Exhibits

 
See highlights from past exhibits on our Past Exhibits page.