Curator’s Corner


Update January 2017 (Lura Provost, Curator)

In December Ron Arntz donated a glass milk bottle marked Geo. R. Fearing, Fox Hill, Westwood.  It is even has the “Mass Seal” marked on it, also.   What a delightful addition to our Collection relating to the farm community that Westwood used to be!

Recently donated items will be on view at our programs throughout the winter and spring season.

Many thanks to Jack Patterson who donated two delightful items. The first is a framed map of Westwood, a ‘picture chart’ by Clara Holland. The second is a sign, or perhaps an early license plate, ‘Westwood/ Islington, Fastest growing town in Mass’. Both items were given to Jack’s father, founder of Patterson Insurance, by Alfred Magaletta and always hung in the Patterson office.

Also donated to the collection were framed pictures from the Magaletta family that were left in the Blue Hart Tavern before it was mothballed and moved to Church Street.

Many thanks for your donations and keeping the Historical Society in mind. We are so pleased to add these items to the collection and build a picture of Westwood life in the past.

The summer was a season of answering inquiries about the history of Westwood and about particular historic houses both by Marilyn and Lura. Now that the Past Perfect program for the collection is upgraded, new Board member, Kevin Bean, will be working on logging in new donations. If you would like to help with this process, please contact Marilyn or Lura. We plan to set up a regular day to come in to assist with the collection and archives. There are plenty of jobs from organizing our files on historic houses to locating items that are logged in the computer but not in their designated places.

Update April 2015 (Lura Provost, Curator)

Since the last Historical Society newsletter, some wonderful donations have been given to the Society. Marilyn Freedman, along with John Pritchard, have been assisting with getting the items logged into the computer and properly accessed.

The most spectacular is the collection of vintage hats and hat boxes donated by Julie Pinel.  The hats date from the 1930s to the 1960s and were originally collected by Westwood resident Kay Schram.  Susan Dyer and Julie presented them in an outstanding exhibit last fall along with some jewelry.  Julie and her husband Roger also donated a delightful miniature early sewing machine.

Patricia Nelson donated a lovely framed map of ” The Clapboard-Trees Parish”.  It was originally printed in Dedham on March 20, 1818 and reproduced from the original in the Library of he Dedham Historical Society for the Register in April 1897.  The map shows the existing houses in 1818 so will be a great reference in the future.  The reproduction in 1897 was at the time of Westwood’s incorporation as a town.

Arlene Bonura brought in the “Orders of Service for Communion, the Baptism of Infants and Confirmation” from the Islington Community Church.  The booklet is marked, “Please leave in church pew.  It is a principal document from the church and shows the beliefs of parishioners.  This donation will be a great source of information about the church for future researchers.

Patricia Gould of Peterborough, NH sent us a delightful, stenciled, unused burlap bag which originally held long grain rice and marked “PACKED FOR SAMUEL KURR COMPANY WESTWOOD, MASS.” It adds to our Collection relating to former Westwood Industries.

Last but not least are Patty Stewart’s donations.  The dresses. hats, and photographs from her family are an important addition to the Society’s Collection showing two periods of history, that of 1908 and the 1950s.  One of the early feathered hats has its original label of “Paris and New York.” The most spectacular of her donations is a green velvet 2 piece woman’s skirt and long jacket with frog clasps along with a photo of Georgianna Chamberlain Stewart in the dress in 1908 in Boston.  In addition, Patty donated ten evening gowns from the 1950s of various styles and fabric.

In addition to accepting donations, Marilyn and I have responded to inquiries that come to the Historical Society’s website.  Most recently the questions are why the town seal has the logo of the town pound and what is the history of certain houses.

Thank you all for your donations and keeping the Historical Society in mind. We are so pleased to add these items to the collection and build a picture of Westwood life in the past.