A look back in time to a century ago
By Bob Oliphant
“Center. Next week, March 24 to March 31, under the auspices of the Westford Red Cross
branch, there will be a campaign for clothing for immediate relief in the Near East. The drive
will be in unison with the other towns in the North Middlesex chapter and it is hoped that
Westford will do her full part. Used clothing, shoes, knit goods and any pieces of outing or other
flannel are all earnestly solicited. Mrs. H. V. Hildreth is in charge at the Center, all articles to be
left with her; Mrs. William Baker at Forge Village, and Mrs. Wall in Graniteville.
“A group of seniors at Westford academy went to Boston Wednesday with one of their
teachers, Mrs. Harold W. Hildreth, in charge of the day’s outing. Lunch in the city, attending a
matinee at the Hollis Street theatre, at which they saw George Arliss in [the plays] ‘Mollusc’ and
‘The well remembered voice,’ visiting the public and state house and Trinity church was the
day’s program. The party were taken on the trip by Perley E. Wright in his auto. Those who
went were Mrs. Hildreth, Ethel Collins, Ethel Ripley, Ruth Sargent, Morton Seavey and Austin
“Quite a few sick ones in the village are reported….
“Just as wind and sun after good rains and with very little frost in the ground had made the
roads in very good shape, Sunday’s snow storm made bad work and the mud and ruts are pretty
bad in places.
“Good record of Edward Blodgett, formerly of Westford, as a soldier comes to his friends
here. Just previous to the signing of the armistice he was cited for promotion from second to first
lieutenant. While in action his captain and first lieutenant were wounded and he took command
most creditably. Lieut. Blodgett does not expect to remain in the army but to return to his former
“While the final papers have not been passed a real estate transaction of much interest this
week is the sale of a large amount of land and some buildings of the Prospect Hill farm [10
Hildreth St.], owned by Miss Ella F. Hildreth, to Timothy Sullivan. This includes land going
through to the Boston road, the house formerly occupied by Mr. Robinson and family also the
house and buildings occupied by Peter Clement. Miss Hildreth retains her own big house and
buildings on Hildreth street, also the small house on the same side owned by her and the one on
the opposite side of the street that Mrs. C. D. Colburn and son and daughter have occupied this
winter, also some orcharding.
“About Town. The large elm tree so prominent on Pigeon hill on the Stony Brook road
[peaks at 73 Stony Brook], and which has century marks of its age, has been cut down to a
precautionary ‘safety first’ movement.
“Arthur O’Brien has been kept to the companionship of the fireside by an infringement on his
rights by indigestion at his home on Pigeon hill [76? Stony Brook Rd.].
“John C. Abbot has received an interesting letter from Clarence Hildreth, who is in the
airplane brigade in Germany. He gives a description of conditions as far as allowable and
expresses the opinion based on conditions that peace terms should have come sooner.
“The Red Cross and French Relief have finished the work assign them. They had so many
garments to make that required button holes, that since last August Miss Emily Fletcher has made
757 button holes.
“Forge Village. Westford academy and Cameron school closed last week Friday for a week’s
vacation. They will re-open on Monday for the spring term.
“The picket fences that have been so familiar for many years on Pleasant street have recently
been removed by the Abbot Worsted Co. This will be quite an improvement when the work is
“Mrs. Margaret Wilson, a resident here for many years, and who recently moved to
Graniteville for the purpose of conducting a boarding house when her son entered the war, has
returned to this village and is now occupying one of the new houses on Pershing square, erected
by the Abbot Worsted Co.
“Private Thomas Costello, [Jr.,] who has recently arrived from overseas, is at the home of his
parents, Mr. and Mrs. [Thomas] Costello. He was severely wounded in the last few months of the
war, and has just been released from a hospital in Baltimore, Md., and will return to Camp
Devens for his discharge. His many friends gladly welcome him back.
“Work will commence on Abbot hall, shortly, to enlarge it. This will be a much needed
“Graniteville. Work at the machine shop of the C. G. Sargent Sons’ Corporation has resumed
full time once more.”