If you have donations you’d like us to consider, please e-mail us at:
In 2021 (Lura Provost, Curator)
A wonderful collection of Westwood’s history was donated by Ann Brown. Her family lived in an 1830s house on the corner of Mill and High Streets for 61 years (that has since been demolished). The house was originally built for the men who worked in the nearby mill. One photo is of Ann’s great grandfather, George Gauderer, in front of the house. She also donated books from the Colburn School, an old photo of an early Westwood firetruck, and various items of women’s and children’s clothing.
In addition, Gary Noyes sent us an interesting 1956 Zoning map of Westwood along with two photos of their prior home on Farm Lane in 1950.
We also received several other donations to add to our collection and knowledge of Westwood: a 1939 illustrated map of Westwood and neighboring townships, a Westwood bicycle license plate, and the 250th Anniversary edition of Tales from Parish Kitchens.
In 2020 (Lura Provost, Curator)
Genie Thorndike, the former owner of the fabulous historic property at 229 High Street, met with us to donate photographs of the interior and exterior of the house plus letters from the Forbes family who were previous owners. The photos show the various additions to the house, the beautiful fireplaces, and the interior features as well as serving to document the extraordinary features of this historic house.
Neil Simoni donated a soda fountain stool from Lily’s Drugstore that used to be on High Street at the current Comella’s location. Certainly, it’s a replica of days gone by! John Pritchard remembers that his friend and classmate was one of the store’s first “Soda Jerks.” This commercial building was really the beginning of Westwood’s business boom consisting of the two store blocks and the hardware store across the street.
Former Westwood resident, Carole Wallace, donated framed prints of some of Judi Ciardi’s paintings of Westwood scenes during the seventies and eighties. Judi did such a wonderful job of capturing the flavor of Westwood.
Fall 2019 (LuraProvost, Curator)
Westwood High Memorabilia. Barbara Thurston donated a wonderful collection of Westwood High School yearbooks from the early 1950s, as well as class and reunion photos. Barbara’s father was Edmund Thurston: the first superintendent of Westwood schools. The Middle School was named in his honor.
Fall 2018 (Lura Provost, Curator)
Wooden Bench. We received a wonderful wooden bench from General Clarence Edwards’ Stone Cottage, which was donated by Pamela Layton. During World War I, General Edwards was head of the 26th Division. After the war, General Edwards owned a property on Grove Street and built the stone cottage as a replica of his headquarters in Ardennes, France.
Traveling Trunk and Books. Another recent acquisition is a traveling trunk from the Nancy E. Colburn family, an early Westwood family. Paula Kline donated the trunk along with several leather bound books with Nancy’s name plate. Some of these gold embossed volumes are: Edgar Allan Poe’s Criticism, Tales and Poems. The other donated books were published between 1854 and 1890.
Spring 2018 (Lura Provost, Curator)
Some of our wonderful donations included:
- Judith Liberman donated a complete collection of her many books. She is a renowned author of books for children and also writes on inspirational and historical subjects. The Society was pleased to acquire a set of all of her publications, especially as she is a Westwood resident.
- Corine Spinale donated her copy of the 1970s Westwood Young Woman’s Club cookbook, along with the Club’s newsletter: Highlighter. They give a picture of Westwood at that time.
- Roger Christian donated some delightful photos of the 1845 Fisher School move: from Milk Street, down Clapboardtree Street, and to its new home on High Street. The photos help us recall the tremendous task to move a building and all the coordination required.
- Jack Patterson donated a framed picture chart of Westwood by Clara Holland that always hung in his insurance office in Islington.
- Maureen Sleight donated an ornate Victorian silver tea service.
- Lura Provost donated a child’s tall wooden ring toss, complete with the fabric rings.
- A collection of Dorchester Pottery was discovered in Waldo Hodgdon’s barn and donated to the Society by Fox Hill Village.
January 2017 (Lura Provost, Curator)
In December 2016, Ron Arntz donated a glass milk bottle marked Geo. R. Fearing, Fox Hill, Westwood. It even has the “Mass Seal” marked on it. What a delightful addition to our Collection relating to the farm community that Westwood used to be!
Many thanks to Jack Patterson who donated two delightful items. The first is a framed ap 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.
Spring 2015 (Lura Provost, Curator)
A special mention to Marilyn Freedman, along with John Pritchard, who have been assisting with getting recent items logged into the computer and properly accessed…
The most spectacular donation is the collection of vintage hats and hat boxes given to us 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, we respond 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 for keeping the Historical Society in mind. We are always pleased to add items to the collection and build a picture of Westwood life in the past.