Featured Artifact of the Week


From the Collection

Round beaded medallion pincushion made by Emily Frances Fletcher (1825-1943) in 1854. She was only nine years old. The item also has the initials “S.D.F.”, which is likely of her father, Sherman Dewey Fletcher (1810-1886). The beads are white and gold, while there are still pins around the edge. It was presented by the Austin Fletcher family in 1983.

Emily entered Westford Academy at the age of ten and pursued her interest in nature that lasted into her adult years.  She scratched through Australian wool waste at Westford Depot looking for specimens of foreign grasses and became an accomplished taxidermist. Emily’s large collection of dried specimens from Westford is housed at the Gray Herbarium at Harvard University.

 Emily Fletcher was Westford’s first recorded woman botanist.