A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
“Center. The academy has two weeks’ vacation for the holidays, the same as the elementary
schools, and not one week as was stated last week.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank C. Wright entertained a family party for Christmas day which, including
themselves, made a gathering of eighteen. There were seven grandchildren to assist in making a
merry Christmas. Those present besides Mr. and Mrs. Wright were Burt Decatur, of Springfield;
Mr. and Mrs. Frazer, of Groton; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wright and three children, of Lowell; Mr.
and Mrs. Warren Wright and little girl, of North Chelmsford, and Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Wright
and three children, of Westford.
“The last of the state guard men doing police duty in Boston returned home for good on
Thursday of last week. Their home friends are glad they were released in time to enjoy the
“Although the extreme cold had relaxed somewhat by last Sunday, attendance for the special
Christmas services at the churches was somewhat affected. Special sermon, music and
decorations were arranged for at both churches….
“J. Herbert Fletcher shot a fine fox while out hunting one day last week. The skin was one of
the best he has ever secured in a long experience of hunting.
“Mr. and Mrs. Oscar R. Spalding entertained a large family party Christmas day at dinner,
followed by a Christmas tree.
“Albert W. Heywood is visiting in town, having recently received his discharge from service
in the navy. He has traveled extensively in the time that he has been in service, and has just come
from Honolulu, where he was on a submarine. Mr. Heywood started from that distant point for
Westford the night after Thanksgiving and has just arrived this week.
“Winter apples are being steadily removed from storage and being carried to their buyers in
“At the Tadmuck club next Tuesday afternoon … the calendar committee have arranged for a
pleasant home afternoon. A play, “Michael and his lost angel,” [published in 1895] will be read.
This play, by Henry Arthur Jones [1851-1929], was one that was much enjoyed in the reading
circle of the club. The members are invited to bring their work and an informal social tea will be
“The Oscar Anderson family are in quarantine, one of the younger children having scarlet
“The first cold snap of the season last week, coming so early, was unexpected and intense.
From 14 to 18 below zero temperatures were reported last week Thursday morning, and many
frozen water pipes had to be dealt with.
“The committee for the welcome home celebration of Westford’s men who were in service
have held some preliminary meetings, and while plans are in the formative, tentative stage, it
promises to be an event worthy the cause. It is expected … that Gen. [Clarence R.] Edwards will
be the speaker. There will be a banquet and fine music. The date scheduled is January 29.
“About Town. The funeral of Miss Harriet B. Rogers, who for six years was a teacher at
Westford academy, took place from her home in North Billerica…. [See “The Westford
Wardsman” of Dec. 20, 1919, for her impressive obituary.]
“Farmers’ Institute. The farming community was well represented at the farmers’ institute
at Lowell last week Wednesday. The morning session was largely devoted to an informal
discussion of the best varieties of apples for Middlesex County and other fruits. Some of the
largest fruit growers in the county were present.
“Graniteville. The children of St. Catherine’s Sunday school held their Christmas tree
exercises on Monday evening and the church was filled to the doors. A very pleasing musical
program was given; also, recitations and selections by the choir. Through the kindness of the
Abbot Worsted Company each child received some pretty gift. Of course Santa appeared in
person and this part of the program proved very agreeable to the children.
“The Christmas tree exercises for the children in the Methodist church were held on
Wednesday evening [Christmas Eve] and a large number were in attendance.
“Forge Village. Last Saturday the local soccer team went to Lawrence to play the Amoskeag
team of Manchester, N.H., and once more the game ended in a tie score—1 to 1. There was a
special car to accommodate the crowd going from this village to the ball grounds in Lawrence.
“At 8:30 Christmas morning holy communion was celebrated at St. Andrew’s mission. The
church was tastefully decorated with greens and red berries.
“Miss Helen Lord has now received her discharge from the service and is enjoying a rest at the
home of her parents. She has been stationed at the naval hospital in Newport, R.I., for the past