A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
“Center. George H. Cadman has gone to California for the winter months.
“Postmaster J. Herbert Fletcher is out again after being confined to the house with an attack of
grippe [i.e., influenza]. Just at the Christmas season wasn’t the most convenient time to be sick,
but Mrs. Fletcher and John M. Fletcher [J. Herbert’s father] managed most capably at the
postoffice with Miss Eva E. Fletcher [J. Herbert’s sister] assisting in the store. The largest
amount of mail ever handled at the Christmas season is reported for this office. The bulk of the
letters and packages congested into the last two days, which shows people are slow to heed the
warning to mail their Christmas matter early.
“Westford post, A.L., held its second annual meeting at its headquarters in Graniteville
Monday evening, December 27. The same officers who served during 1920 were reëlected for
the year 1921 with the exception of the vice commander to take the place of William Buckingham
whose absence from town makes it impossible for him to serve. The officers are as follows:
Frank C. Johnson, c.; Joseph Costello, Richard Pickin, v.c.; Harold W. Hildreth, adj.; Arthur G.
Hildreth, fin. of.; Dr. Harry R. Coburn, John Gray and Joseph Murphy, ex. com. It was
unanimously voted to exchange the quarters of the organization to the Cavalry association
building at Westford Center….
“A very enjoyable musical under the auspices of the Tadmuck club took place Tuesday
afternoon at the Unitarian church when Miss Mary MacMartin gave an organ recital. The
numbers chosen by her were well chosen and well grouped and were from the best composers,
and her rendering of the same was a treat to all lovers of good music. Owing [to] the prevalence
of colds and other sickness in various families the attendance was considerably affected, which
was to be regretted….
“Good times for the children of both churches were provided Christmas eve. At the Unitarian
church there were games and frolic from four to six and at six a supper for the children, followed
by the Christmas tree and a program of recitations by the children. Santa Claus was impersonated
by Harold W. Hildreth….
“About Town. West Chelmsford Sunday school and the usual generosity of Oak hill,
Westford, contributed $144.09 for the relief of starvation in Europe. For a small village this
looks like heading the list in generosity.
“Guy R. Decater had a valuable young cow break her neck in the barn. She was tied with a
halter rope and broke her neck jumping over a board, the sudden contraction of the halter causing
the neck to snap.
“Miss Sargent, who has been going to Amherst college, while home for the Christmas
vacation has had her vacation extended via the measles….
“As per report plans have been made to transport part of the scholars at Brookside and
Westford Corner by the electrics to the school at West Chelmsford at the early beginning of the
new year, about January 3.
“The new snow scraper, which is pushed by an auto truck as seen on the Lowell road, is a
success for clearing the road from snow for automobile traffic. Of course it cannot serve well all
kinds of vehicles and what is good for the automobile is bad for the sleigh method of
transportation. We are not criticizing this new departure, it but caters to the majority method of
“The road department has been hauling gravel onto the Francis hill road. It has not had much
done to it since the landing of the Pilgrims, not because of any unwillingness to do, but
insufficient funds to cover.
“Graniteville. The bowling season is on in full swing here and large crowds gather afternoon
and evening at Richard’s bowling alleys, where some interesting matches are run off. At the
three-string roll off held last Thursday night the following were the prize winners: G. Hanson,
first prize, a turkey, 288; W. Hanscom, second prize, a box of cigars, 278; ‘Jack’ Healy, third
prize, a box of chocolates, 265. After the roll-off a match game between Graniteville and North
Chelmsford players resulted in a victory for the North Chelmsford five. The three-string roll-off
is held at Richards’ alleys every Thursday night….
“The Abbot Worsted Co. soccer team played the Hendee Indians of Springfield at Holyoke on
last Saturday and the game resulted in [a] 2-2 tie. This game will have to be replayed and if
weather conditions are favorable it will probably be pulled off this week.”
In 1920 Conrad Richard (1884-1943) was granted a license for two pool tables and three
bowling alleys on First St., Graniteville. His bowling alley later became the Idle Hour Club.
Courtesy Photo / Westford Historical Society.