September 2020 Museum Musings

Thank you! Our Street Sign has been restored!

Our street sign has quite a history! It was originally the street sign owned by Brad Emerson of Emerson Real Estate located at 70 Boston Rd. When Mr. Emerson sold his agency to DeWolf Realty Co in 1984, Gordon Seavey, a member of the Westford Historical Society board, approached Brad and asked if the historical society could have his street sign. It has been proudly representing the Westford Museum ever since!

Thanks to your generous donations, local artist Mary Jane Bruenlle skillfully restored the lettering on the Museum sign, we purchased replacement panels for our very worn A-Frame signs, and Newell Tillman donated his time to repair the street sign frame and secured the structure. Thank you ALL.

Re-opening Museum and Pop-up Museum

The Westford Museum is now open Sundays 2-4pm. Have you visited the Westford Museum recently? Schedule a tour. We are offering 2pm and 3pm guided tours. Face masks are required.

See our temporary exhibit: Women Rights in Westford
Researched and prepared by Lynn Cohen, Exhibit by Deb Banergee
On-line link: https://museum.westford.org/womens-right-in-westford/

Our docent would l to give you a tour! Book one for the following Sundays
Click on the dates to book your tour
September 6 (Labor Day) 
September 13
September 20
September 27

Visit our open air Pop-up Museum, located in the parking lot of the Westford Museum (Face Masks Required) Hosted by the Westford Academy Museum Club on Friday September 4th and 11th from 9:30am-1pm

 

 

 

We had a great Walking Tour of the heart of Graniteville

Great turn out for our Graniteville Tour. A Special Thanks to our incredible tour guides and life-long Graniteville residents, Geoff Hall, Jim VanBever, Paul MacMillan, and John Healy for a very entertaining and informative tour. We are working with Westford CAT on
a documentary of Graniteville with Geoff, Jim, Paul and John. It will be available soon

Have you gotten your copy of Marilyn Day’s new book on Graniteville?
The Companion guide to the Graniteville walking tour.

Graniteville, A Tour with Aime Gervais
Compiled by Marilyn Day

In 2002 Aime Gervais, who was born in Graniteville in 1930, traveled back in time and provided a glimpse of the Graniteville where he had grown up. From barbers to bakers, Aime’s stories are a wonderful look back at the Village. Now in 2020, we have preserved his memories in a booklet with his stories and pictures.

Available on-line through the museum stores: $10 ea (sales tax included)

 

Capture the Moment~ Photo Contest

We are living through a historic moment, the first time in 100 years the world is under the threat of a global pandemic. Coming generations will want to know what life was like at this time. The Westford Historical Society has created a time capsule to be opened in May 2040 showing what life was like during this period. We are collecting images for the time capsule through a series of monthly photo contests. We will be asking each month for your photo submissions that reflect the things you are doing in Westford during this time. We will be judging photos submitted each month and posting the top three winners for the adult category and top three winners for the youth category. Judging will be based on originality, quality, and subject.

Rules:
Photos must be taken in Westford, MA.
Each photographer may enter a maximum of two photos.
All submissions must list the location where the photo was taken, descriptors such as the subject photographed, and a title.
Photographers consent to allowing the Westford Historical Society to use their photos on our website, across social media, in publications, and other materials.
Your photographs will be added to our Digital Time Capsule to be opened May 2040.
Submit photos as a high-resolution JPG/JPEG file.
Categories : Youth 6-18, Adults 19 and up
Submit entries via email to: director@museum.westford.org
Photo Contest submissions are due by 15th of each month.
Submissions are due September 15th

Do you like taking pictures? Submit your Westford related pictures to our COVID-19 Digital Time Capsule or Capture the Moment Photo contest by September 15th. Details can be found on our website.

Geoff Hall, dispatcher for the Westford Fire Dept, the “Cottage” 4 Boston Rd (1976-1978)

Westford Notable of the Month: Geoffrey Hall 

When one thinks about prominent citizens in Westford over recent years, one name that comes to mind is Geoffrey Hall. Geoff was born and raised on North Street in Graniteville and has lived in Westford for his entire life. He now resides in Forge Village where he has lived with his wife Pam for many years. A 1966 graduate of Westford Academy, Geoff has never really left the halls of W.A.. If you go to any Westford Academy event no matter what the weather, you will probably find Geoff on the sidelines or in the audience. Mr. Hall was also very instrumental in the foundation of the Westford Academy Athletic Hall of Fame and currently serves as president of the Westford Academy Board of Trustees. In short, he bleeds maroon and grey.

After graduating from W.A., Geoff went on to receive his teaching degree from Salem State College and soon after was hired by the Chelmsford school system as a junior high and high school social studies teacher. His long and dedicated service to the students of Chelmsford led him to be inducted into the Chelmsford High School Hall of Fame.

Aside from his teaching career and his dedication to Westford Academy, Geoff also served the town in various committees and in 1983 was elected to the Westford Board of Selectmen where he served for nine years. After his service as a Westford selectman, Geoff ran and was elected as state representative for the 2nd Middlesex District in 1992. The district covers Westford, parts of Chelmsford and several other towns. Geoff served 16 years as state representative before retiring in 2008. Following his retirement from state government and teaching, Hall continued to be active in town affairs. He served as president of the Westford Museum and Historical Society and is still quite active in the activities of the Westford Museum where he serves as a volunteer and uses his teaching skills to conduct various seminars about the history of Westford. The town of Westford and Westford Academy has been extremely lucky to have had Geoff Hall for all these years. There is nothing he will not do for the town he loves; he always puts the interest of the town above everything else. Westford is made up of many dedicated and great people, Geoffrey D. Hall is certainly one of them.(Jim VanBever, 2020)

Meet Lucy Stone ~ Westford Celebrates Women’s Right to Vote Event~ A Virtual Event
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 7pm

For any History Lovers who are unfamiliar with Lucy’s story, Mrs. Stone is a pre-eminent leader in the Abolition and Antislavery Movements and began her career speaking to the interests and rights of People of Color around our nation. When President Lincoln enfranchised the Southern Slaves in 1863, Lucy NEVER gave up fighting for the rights of our Black Brothers and Sisters.

Lucy Stone definitely resisted Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s acceptance of fiscal resources from known racists, such as George Francis Train, and steadfastly pleaded for the rights of our African-American Citizens for her entire life, with a career in activism and advocacy lasting from 1847 to 1893. If it were so-called in the 19th Century, The Black Lives Matter Movement was, in large part, spearheaded and fearlessly led by Stone, along with Mr. William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Philips, who had originally hired her to lecture for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. Lucy worked side-by-side with Frederick Douglass for many years of her life.

Interested to learn more? Want to see Lucy come to life? Register HERE for our virtual performance. Space is limited and every spot is a front row seat! $5 program donation requested

Sponsored by The Westford Cultural Council and Middlesex Savings Bank

1920s Victory Rally and Promenade

On Sunday August 23rd we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. We heard inspiring speeches from Linda Greene, Director, Westford Historical Society and Museum, Westford Suffragettes Kate Hamlin portrayed by Jazmin Rodrigue and May Balch portrayed by Olivia Dunn. We also heard from former Select Board members Ellen Harde and Madonna McKenzie,  Select board members Andrea Peraner-Sweet and Anita Tonakarn-Nguyen,  Laura Dickey, President, League of Women Voters of Westford and Westford resident Emily Teller.

Read the speeches and see pictures of the event on our website at: https://museum.westford.org/westford-celebrates-womens-right-to-vote1920-victory-rally-and-promenade/

The Westford Historical Society was a sponsor of “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.” The Illumination of the Westford Town Common and Public Buildings in Suffrage Colors (purple and gold) August 23-27, 2020. The lighting of public buildings and landmarks  also took place all throughout the United States in honor of the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment.

Additional Generous financial support for the Westford Suffrage Centennial lighting project was given by the Westford League of Women Voters and friends

Upcoming Event

Westford Historical Society’s Annual Meeting: Wild Women of Westford
Wednesday October 21st at 7pm

Women throughout Westford’s history have stood up for what they thought was right, whether it be improving the school system, blocking/advocating undesirable businesses in town, volunteering on a Town board, or improving the lives of individuals in some way.

The Westford Remembered Doll project began as a fundraiser by Jean Downey and other needlewomen of the First Parish Church in 1985. They created doll likenesses of 12 historic Westford women. The needlewomen researched and wrote biographical papers of all twelve women, and credited the program with launching the study of Westford women.
We will be telling the story of some these remarkable women at our Virtual Annual Meeting this year.

Link to the on-line Museum’s Westford Women Dolls Collection

Zoom login link will be available on the society’s website soon. We will keep you posted.

Living and Working in a New Way ~ Digital Time Capsule

What would you like your children and grandchild to remember or know about the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your reflections, adventures, pictures and videos, and with your permission, we will post them on our website. Then on December 31, 2020, we will lock your submissions away in a digital time capsule to be posted on the historical society’s website 20 years from now in May 2040. Your contribution to the time capsule does not need to be posted to our website at this time, but we would like to share it in 20 years. To see some examples and submit your story, click here.

We are here!

We are open for research Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s  9am-1pm. Call (978-692-5550) or email at: director@museum.westford.org. to schedule an appointment.
Face Mask Required Follow us on Facebook or check the historical society’s web-page for updates. You can also check out our video resources here.
Stay Healthy,
Linda Greene, Museum Director