May Musings

Colonel John Robinson Memorial Highway Dedicated
by Bob Oliphant 

At 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 14th, the recently named Colonel John Robinson Memorial Highway was dedicated at a ceremony held next to the Robinson family burial plot in Westlawn Cemetery.  Nancy Cook served as the master of ceremonies for the dedication.  Speakers included Westford Fireman David Christiana, who was instrumental in getting Route 225 running from Beaver Brook Road to I-495 named the "Colonel John Robinson Memorial Highway;" Dan Lacroix, who gave an overview of Col. Robinson's life particularly relating to his service in the Revolutionary War; Lori Trahan, Westford's Congressional Representative; James Arciero, Westford's State Legislator; and Selectman Scott Hazleton.  The Westford Minutemen fired three volleys.  Former Westford Veterans Agent Terry Stader and Judy Cataldo placed a wreath beside Colonel Robinson's tombstone.

The ceremony was followed by a talk about Colonel Robinson at the Westford Museum given by Lt. Col. Dan Lacroix, commander of the Westford Colonial Minutemen and president of the Westford Historical Society.  Dan discussed in greater detail the Robinson family's move to Westford from Topsfield, John Robinson's service in the French and Indian War, his service on various Westford town committees, notably as selectmen in 1771-1773, his service during the Revolutionary War at Lexington & Concord, Bunker Hill and Newport, R.I., and his participation in Shay's Rebellion.

Read more about Col. Robinson and the Westford Minutemen at www.westford1775.org.

 

More Museum Musings

                                                                                                                                                                                     

New  to  our Website: Take a stroll through historic Westford Center
with Kate Hamlin and Fred Fisher. Start your audio tour here

 

 

Third Grade Tours

The Museum welcomed Westford's 3rd Grade classes.  In this picture, Jeremy Limbert, a sophomore at WA and a member of the Westford Academy Museum Club, is giving a presentation on Col. John Robinson, the Westford Minutemen and the Revolutionary War. A special thanks to Jim Bogue, Andy Norander, our WA Interns Leila and Josh and the members of the Westford Academy Museum Club.

                                      Westford Cultural Council Reception

 

Westford Historical Society's Development Director Deb Banerjee and Director Linda Greene attended the inaugural Westford Cultural Council Reception. The Cultural Council gave us the funds to produce a high quality reproduction print of our original painting of Gov. John Long. Governor Long was a preceptor of Westford Academy.

 

 

Meet our Capstone Interns                                 

Josh Wright has been in Westford since he was about six months old. Currently a senior in high school, he will be graduating from Westford Academy on June 7th. This fall, he will attend Roger Williams University in a six year Criminal Justice/Law School program.

 

Leila Warde is also a senior at Westford Academy. She has lived in Westford since 2005, when her family moved here from Billerica.  This fall, she will attend Union College in Schenectady, New York where she will study psychology and run on the Track and Field team. Leila enjoyed taking a class on Westford history which inspired her to intern at the museum.

Unheard Voices, Slavery in Colonial Westford

Thursday, May 9th 7 pm
at the Westford Museum

This one-person play about Peggy, a slave owned by a family in colonial Westford, is written and performed by Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti. She is an award-winning living history performer who, for the past twenty years, has engaged audiences with performances giving voice to real-life accounts, struggles, self-determination, and triumphs of women. Her work is deeply researched and based on Westford archival materials.

Unheard Voices is part of the Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures program. This event is free and open to the public.

There is a suggested donation of $5/person and $10/family.

This program is generously sponsored by the Westford Family FunFest and funded in part by a grant from the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

For more information on Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, please see her website.

Westford's Immigration Story Continues...

Early Westford Immigration

Wednesday, May 29th 7:30 pm
at the Westford Museum

Westford owes a large part of its character to the immigrants who came here for work in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The federal census records give places of birth over this same time period. Bob Oliphant has analyzed these records in detail and will tell us what they reveal about Westford’s early immigrant ancestors — from where they came, when they came, where they worked once they got here, and their impact on our town.

Be on the lookout for us at the following town events

May 18: Apple Blossom Parade

Grab your favorite hat. Bring your parasol or walking stick and join the Historical Society for a short saunter down Main Street  for the 51st Annual Apple Blossom Parade. Rumor has it the Westford Knight will be joining us!

Meet at Westford Museum at 9:15 am. Parade step off is at 10 am.

June 15: Strawberry Festival 

The 44th Annual Strawberries 'N Arts Festival, hosted by The First Parish Church United of Westford, will be held on the Westford Town Common from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. Look for our table with the opportunity to purchase items from our Museum Shop

April Musings

The museum staff and volunteers are looking forward to welcoming Westford's Third Graders for tours later this month! The Westford Academy Museum Club is also assisting with this fun annual event! Bob Oliphant is working on a program on early immigration to Westford, continuing our 2019 theme of Westford's immigrants. Our February History Discussion group was quite popular! Did you miss it? You can find the information on our website.

Thank you all who joined us for the sold out Wild Women of Westford. It was a fun evening of stories of notable Westford Women with wine from Aaronap Cellars along with cheese and sweets from Mill City Cheese Mongers.

The Westford Historical Society is blessed with a collection of Westford Remembrance Women Dolls that represents 13 notable women of Westford History. Each and everyone of these dolls and the women they represent have a story to tell and what better time to tell it than March, National Women's History Month.

Our storytellers Deb Banerjee, Penny Lacroix, Ellen Rainville and Lisa Sama reminded us of the strong dynamic leadership of a few of our wild women of Westford, Sarah Keyes, Emily McKniff, Ellen Swallow and Jean Downey. However, the true highlight of the evening was celebrating the contribution Ellen Rainville has made to our community and the future history of Westford.

A special thank you to our sponsors, Middlesex Savings Bank and Westford Family FunFest.

Can  you help us identify these school children from the Frost school about 1918? 

Thanks to Marylin Day, we know that the young girl in the picture below on the right end of the first row is Ruth E. Swenson (b. 1908) and was the daughter of Carl and Ann Swenson. Ruth graduated Westford Academy in 1923. Can you identify any of her classmates? Please email your responses to Linda Greene.

Col. John Robinson~ Westford's Patriot Leader

Sunday, April 14
Dedication 1:00 PM at Westlawn Cemetary
Lecture 2:30 pm at the Westford Museum

Did you know that Concord Road between Route 495 and Beaver Brook Road is being dedicated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Westford as "Colonel John Robinson Memorial Highway" recognizing the heroic service of this Revolutionary War Commander?

Who was Col. John Robinson and why should we remember him?  Why did he and other Westford militia and minutemen turn out on the morning of April 19th, 1775?  How else did he contribute to the effort to gain independence from Great Britain?  Following the dedication of the Col. John Robinson Memorial Highway by the Westford Remembers Committee, Dan Lacroix will discuss Col. Robinson's significant, and largely unrecognized, contributions to the fight for independence and to the town of Westford.  He will also provide an overview of the Robinson Trail March from Westford to Concord's North Bridge that occurs on Patriot's Day.

The Memorial Highway Dedication is one of the first steps in recognizing Westford's role in the War for Independence as well as all of our Minutemen and Militia who served.  The cemetery service will include some speakers and the State sign will be unveiled.  It also gives you an opportunity to see Col. Robinson's headstone alongside his family as well as see the need for preservation of this National Registered Historic Place, which includes new fencing, new granite posts, new flag poles and a Minuteman Memorial Statue.  Westlawn Cemetery is located at Concord Road and Country Road. For more information on the Dedication please see The Westford Minuteman website.

Dan Lacroix leads the Westford Minutemen and is president of the Westford Historical Society.  Free admission.

P.S. Curious about Mrs. Robinson? Learn a little about her here!

Unheard Voices, Slavery in Colonial Westford

Thursday, May 9th 7 pm

This one-person play about Peggy, a slave owned by family of Joseph Hildreth, Jr. of colonial Westford is written and performed by Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, an award-winning living history performer who, for the past twenty years, has engaged audiences with performances giving voice to real-life accounts, struggles, self-determination, and triumphs of women. Her work is deeply researched and based on Westford archival materials.

Gwendolyn’s website: http://www.quezaire-presutti.com
Video: On Liviing History https://youtu.be/y1i9iwP0Zio

Wish list

Our wish list is getting shorter thanks the generous donations from society members: Phylis Carrow, Linda Bailey and John Forcucci.

Your museum volunteers are still  looking for these items:

Wireless keyboard and mouse (2)
Mouse pads (4)
Electric or Battery Operated Pencil Sharpener (2)

Look for us!

Be on the lookout for us at the following town events

May 18: Apple Blossom Parade
June 15: Strawberry Festival

 

 

 

 

September 2017 Museum Musings Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Horrible Histories starts October 1, 2017
  • Annual Meeting
  • Native American Storytellers

View Newsletter

Spring 2009 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • President's Message
  • Revolutionary Westford
  • Music at the Museum
  • Westford Academy's Revere Bell

Spring 2009 Newsletter

Summer 2008 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • WHS Celebrates 50 Years
  • 1950's Sock Hop
  • Wine and Cheese Anniversary Reception
  • Atwood-Millet House
  • Lend a hand for the bandstand
  • 2008-2009 Programs announced
  • Music at the Museum

Summer 2008 Newsletter

Fall 2007 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Adventures of the Museum Director
  • Music at the Museum
  • Membership Update
  • Coming Events
  • Lois Scheyder: 3rd Grade Tour Guide Extraordinaire!
  • A Treasured Family Recipe Bakeoff and Bake Sale
  • Remembering Roland Pendlebury
  • Walking tour of Fairview Cemetary book review

Fall 2007 Newsletter (PDF)