Past Programs

William Martin, author of Back Bay

On October 9, 2018, William Martin talked about his book, Back Bay, a historical fiction novel that follows six generations of a Boston family through tales of mystery and intrigue. As Martin says: “Boston is a city where you feel history vibrating beneath your feet” – and this novel allows us to share the experience through the eyes of the fictional Pratt clan.

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1800s School Days Program: Every May

Charlie Donahue oversees our School Program each May. In preparation, the Fisher School is transformed into a historic classroom with antique school desks and chairs plus a dunce cap and stool. We welcome every Westwood third grade class to an 1800s School Day. Students dress in period clothing and bring an old-fashioned lunch (no plastic wrap allowed!). During the day, they step back in time to read from McGuffey’s Third Reader, use individual slates to complete problems from Warren Colburn’s 1847 arithmetic book, write with quill pens and ink, participate in a spelling bee and play old-fashioned games.

In 2018, 24 volunteers assisted Charlie, including past and current school principals, school and town administrators.

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For more about the 1800s School Days Program, click here.

The Birth of the Boston Subway

On April 24, 2018, Doug Most shared the amazing story of the building of Boston’s MBTA system. Doug is the author of “The Race Underground: Boston, New York and the Incredible Rivalry” and he intrigued us with his stories of two brothers from one of the nation’s great families – Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York – each pursuing the dream of digging America’s first subway.

History of Ceramics Program

On March 20, 2018, Nancy Carlisle presented a program on the history of ceramics in New England. Nancy is Senior Curator of Collections at Historic New England and gave us the history of ceramics dating back to ancient times. She had wonderful stories to tell about the ceramics that have been found in local historic homes and those that have been showcased in museum exhibitions.