September 2019 Musings

Time to Renew Your Membership!

 It’s time renew your membership to the Westford Historical Society!  You may renew online with a credit card or pay by check. If paying by check, please follow the instructions on the website to mail in your payment.

Think about a Time Travelers Membership!
For WHS Memberships of Bronze level ($100) or higher, you receive the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Membership. Members from one of the NARM institutions who present a validated membership card are entitled to the following privileges at participating museums: Free/member admission during regular museum hours, member discounts at museum shops, and discounts on concert/lecture tickets. Please note: Some museums restrict benefits. Please see notes at the bottom for more information. Click here for a printable version of the list. This is a great benefit if you travel or love to visit museums!

Some of the member museums in Massachusetts include: Fruitlands Museum, Concord Museum, the Mount, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Worcester Art Museum.

Westford Museum Sign Update
Thank you to all of our generous Westford Museum sign donors! We raised enough money and we will have a “Westford Museum” building sign on the front of our museum soon.

225th Anniversary of Westford Academy

Saturday, September 28 at 1:00 pm

Join us for a Progressive Tour of the four Westford Academy Buildings!
Meet at Westford Academy (Patten Rd) to begin your experience back in time.
Stop 1: Westford Academy, 30 Patten Road
Stop 2: Abbot School, 25 Depot Street
Stop 3: Roudenbush, 65 Main Street
Stop 4: Westford Museum, 2 Boston Road

For more information, please visit the event website. Reserve your seat on the bus no later than September 21, 2019.

Westford Alumni ~ Who, What and Where are you NOW!
Let us know, (click here)  Please fill out the google doc

The 225th Westford Academy Anniversary Celebration is sponsored by The Westford Academy Trustees and The Westford Historical Society & Museum.

Events Recaps!

Kate Hamlin’s Walking Tour of Westford Center

The year was 1919 and Kate gave us a tour of the Westford she grew up in. See the YouTube video below! You may also read her Reminiscences here.

Kate Hamlin’s Walking Tour of Westford Center

Westford Notable of the Month~ William C. Roudenbush

The following is from a 1937 news article on William Roudenbush

 Retiring Principal honored at Annual Meeting of Alumni Association

Westford, June 21, 1937

The annual reunion and banquet of the Westford Academy Alumni Association which was held in the assembly hall on Saturday evening with 242 people in attendance was the largest and most successful gathering to date.  A large number made a special effort to attend because of the farewell to Principal William C. Roundenbush [sic], who has retired after 25 years as principal of Westford academy.  Pictures of the graduating classes, programs and other items of interest were on exhibition in the classrooms where the guests gathered before the banquet.
A meal was served at 7 o’clock in the assembly hall, with daisies and yellow candles attractively decorating the tables.  Community singing opened the program with Mrs. Daisy Precious Perry as pianist and leader, Alexander Belida, piano accordion, Richard Hall and Paul LePage, banjoes.  William R. Taylor, president of the Alumni Association, was in charge of the program and introduced the toastmaster, Gordon B. Seavey.  The report of the secretary and treasurer, Mrs. Elva Judd Rollins, was read and accepted.  The nominating committee as appointed by Mr. Taylor were Miss Mary G. Balch, Miss Bernice Gould and Gordon B. Seavey.
The officers elected were: President, John Fisher; vice president, George A. Drew; secretary and treasurer, Mrs. Elva Judd Rollins; executive committee for three years, Charles L. and Richard L. Hildreth.
Mr. Seavey, who has recently been made a trustee of Westford Academy, introduced Dr. Warren Stearns of Billerica, a member of the board, who spoke for the trustees.  Miss Lillian B. Atwood, 1877, spoke briefly for her class and was followed by Miss Clara Fisher, 1882, John Fisher, 1887, Albert Hall, 1937, Reginald T. Steeves , and Alfred Gay, former teachers, class song, 1937, Dennis Baretto, 1932, John Hall, 1897, Robert W. Barclay, superintendent of schools, Miss Lucinda Prescott, 1907, Mrs. Edna MacLeod, 1927, John Kimball, 1922, and Mrs. Elva Judd Rollins, 1917.
Principal Given Radio.
As a token of gratitude and affection to the beloved principal of Westford academy, a radio was presented to Mr. Roudenbush from the trustees, by the Hon. Herbert E. Fletcher, a sum of money and field glasses from former students, teachers and friends, and a radio table from the Alumni Association.  Mrs. Roudenbush was given a lovely bag and a bouquet of flowers, the presentation being made by Mrs. Daisy P. Perry.
Mr. Roudenbush spoke of his 25 years at Westford Academy; during this time, 380 young people had been graduated under him.  Forty-one women teachers and 14 men have served under Mr. Roudenbush and the attendance of the school increased from 55 to its present numbers.  He also asked for support for the Alumni Loan Fund which now amounts to $343.52.  A motion was made and enthusiastically accepted to make Mr. Roudenbush honorary president of the Westford Academy Alumni Association.
A suggestion was made that letters be sent to Baaliss Blaisdell, 1897, who is at the Veterans hospital in Togus, Me.  Greetings from Wm. F. Davis, Mrs. Persis Sunbury Hersome, Arthur G. Robbins, Julia E. Hall, Agnes O’Brien, Persis Ormsby, H. L. Blaisdell, Miss Emma J. Stevens, Joseph Ackermann, Miss Adelaide M. Baker, Katherine Ott, Mary J. Connors, Mabel I. Osborne, Bertha Lang Geiseler, Marion Moreland, Ruth M. Smith, Gertrude Bartlett Wilson, Daisy B. Hilton, Mary G. Hickey, Lawrence W. Holbrook and Fred Amesbury.

Docent Academy

The Road to Westford: The Native Americans can hardly be said to have had proprietary right to the land.
By Jim VanBever

Passaconaway, “the child of the bear”, a man of considerable ability, was the earliest Indian chief whose subjects dwelt upon the banks of the Merrimack River and whom history had made known to us. He is quoted as saying “We must bend before the storm: peace with the white man is the command of the Great Spirit, and wish-the last of Passaconaway.  Passaconaway died in 1679.Wannalancet (1619-1697) became chief of his tribe when his father Passaconaway died in 1679. In accordance with the death bed wish of his father, Wannalancet resolved never to fight the English settlers in New England and refused to participate in King Philips War of 1675.

The first minister in Chelmsford (parts of which included Westford) Reverend John Fiske, and Major Henchman, an influential magistrate are said to cultivated Wannalancet’s friendship “with successful assiduity”.  At one time, after a long absence, Wannalancet called on Mr. Fiske, and inquired of him whether the people of Chelmsford had suffered greatly during the war. “No, thank God,” to which the chief replied: “Thank me next”, meaning that through his influence the whites had been spared.

“Some of the favorite haunts of the Indians are still known, where they built their wigwams and planted their corn. These were generally near a stream or spring, but sometimes on a warm hillside. One of their resorts was on the eastside of Boutwell Meadow, about one mile from the Centre.” Boutwell Meadow marsh area is located just east of the road junctions of Concord and Beaverbrook Roads.

It appears that that the last remnants of the Native American tribes were driven back over the Canadian border after the War of 1812.

Source: History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts
By Waters, Wilson, 1855-1933; Perham, Henry Spaulding, 1843-1906


Save the Date: Annual Meeting

Wednesday, October 23 at 7:00 pm at the Westford Museum

The Westford Museum will be hosting a “Pop-up Museum” in conjunction with its annual meeting.

“The idea of a pop-up museum is that it can happen anywhere, anytime, and with any theme,” said Penny Lacroix, the event organizer. “Our theme for this event is ‘Older Than Me.’ So if you’re 60, bring something from before 1959. But if you’re 10, anything from before 2009 is fair game!” For this event, planners are suggesting that the items also be related to Westford.

There will be no fee for participation, but registration is recommended. Registration will open later this month. Participants should be ready to tell the story of their item and why it’s interesting. All items will remain the property of the participant.

The event will be held at the Westford Museum and will be open to people of all ages. Doors will open at 6:30 for set-up.

Let us know about your Older than Me” family treasures or personal keepsake. Register your item here.


More Upcoming Museum Programs

September 15: Scavenger Hunt!
September 28:  225th Anniversary of WA Progressive Tour- Reserve your seat on the bus!
October 23: Annual Meeting – Pop up Museum Older Than Me
October 26: Two Truths, One Lie, Three Pours
November 13: “A Short History of Westford” talk by Geoff Hall and Rich McLaughlin
November 17: David Brody Book Signing and Discussion
December 1: Common Tree Lighting, WHS Store Open  4-7pm
December 7: Westford Academy Holiday Bazaar
December: Family Funfest Festival of Trees