Historical Society Program: Classical Ballet and Music from Southern India

On Monday, MARCH  4, 2024 at 7:30pm at The Willows Auditorium, One Lyman Street, The Westborough Historical Society will present “Classical Ballet and Music from Southern India” performed by Guru Sridevi Ajai Thirumalai, Artistic Director of the Natyamani School of Dance, which she established in 1992. Thirumalai’s dedication and contribution to the community was recognized by India New England News when she received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

The Bharathanatyam dance form originated 2000 years ago in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu. The technique and beauty of this dance consists of intricate footwork, meaningful hand gestures, and facial expressions. This program is co-sponsored by the Willows and is free and open to the public.

Historical Society Program on January 8, 2024

On Monday, January 8, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westborough Library, the Westborough Historical Society will present “Anything Goes—America During the Jazz Age: ‘The Roaring Twenties’” with historian Christopher Daley.

Daley will present an entertaining overview of the 1920s that showcases World events, political events, prohibition, organized crime, as well as the style, fashion, and trends of the Jazz Age.

Christopher Daley is an historian, author, and public speaker. He recently retired from a 25-year career teaching history in the Silver Lake Regional School System in Kingston, Mass.  He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Bridgewater State University in Political Science and History.  He was formerly the President of the Pembroke Historical Society and Chairman of the Pembroke Historical Commission.  Chris has written articles on historical topics for local publications and recently published his first book, Murder and Mayhem in Boston: Historic Crimes in the Hub.  Chris has also served as historical consultant on the Sacco-Vanzetti Case for the Travel Channel’s “Time Traveling with Brian Unger,” and has appeared on the Travel Channel’s “Kindred Spirits” program as a historian on the Lizzie Borden Case.

Chris and his wife Cathy, a professional photographer, reside in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Upcoming Historical Society Events – November 2023

The Westborough Historical Society has some exciting programs coming up in November:

Monday, November 6 at 6:30pm at Westborough Public Library:  The Westborough Historical Society will present “Printing and Revolution: The Role of Printers in Revolutionary Boston,” featuring printmaster Gary Gregory, the founder of Edes and Gill, a colonial living history printing museum on the grounds of the historic Old North Church in Boston.  His presentation will discuss the connections between colonial newspapers, the printing business, the American Revolution, and citizens, as well as the juxtaposition of liberty and enslavement in the Colonial era.  Gary’s reproduction 18th century print shop is one of only three working colonial print shops in the United States, and the only one in Boston.  This program, in the Westborough Library program room, is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, November 8, 3:45-4:30pm: “Chalk It Up to History” a neighborhood history walk, led by Historian Kris Allen.  As part of Westborough Connects’ Kindness Week, Kris Allen will lead a downtown walk, stopping at vintage homes of notable Westborough personalities.  The walk will point out historic homes along Parkman, Grove, Church, Ruggles and West Main Streets.  Words of Kindness will be chalked at each location. Rain or shine, the tour departs promptly at 3:45pm from 13 Parkman Street.

Sunday, November 26, 1-4pm: Historical Society Open House, 13 Parkman St.  Visit period rooms exhibiting four centuries of artifacts that capture Westborough’s history. As part of the Westborough Holiday Stroll, docents will give guided tours, and a Holiday Ornament can be crafted by children.

Two Upcoming History Programs in April 2023

Eleanor Roosevelt–The First Lady of the World

On Monday, April 10th at 7:00 p.m. at the Willows, the Westborough Historical Society will present “Eleanor Roosevelt–The First Lady of the World.” The dynamic, beloved First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, will be brought to life by Sheryl Faye. This program is co-sponsored by The Willows of Westborough, 1 Lyman Street, and is supported in part by a grant from the Westborough Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. It is free and open to the public.

* * *

“America in the Philippines”: An Historical Talk by Jennifer Hallock

On Thursday, April 13, 6:30—7:45 PM in the  Galfand Meeting Room, Westborough Public Library, Jennifer Hallock will present a historical talk on “America in the Philippines.”

Hotly contested stump speeches on transpacific trade, immigration, and national security are not new to American political discourse. Join historian, teacher, and author Jennifer Hallock to learn how our first experiment in overseas empire in the Philippines (1898-1946) launched the American Century and still shapes our country now. She will discuss this chapter of our shared history, and lead a Q&A on the effects we continue to see today.

Interested in a more high-level analysis? Read her article, “Army Trenches and School Benches: The Philippine-American War in the Sugar Sun Series.”   Copies of her books will also be available for sale and to be autographed at her talk.

To learn more, and to register for the talk, visit https://westborough.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/america-in-the-philippines-historical-talk-by-jennifer-hallock/

Historical Society Program: “Worcester’s Role in the American Revolution”


Below is a notice from the Westborough Historical Society about an upcoming program. Westborough also had an important role to play in the closing of the Worcester court house in 1774, so this program should also be highly relevant to our town.


Many students learned in elementary school that the American Revolution began in April 1775 at Lexington and Concord. There are others, however, who believe with good reason that the Revolution actually began the previous autumn in Worcester. Like every town in Massachusetts, Worcester had a Committee of Correspondence that led opposition to the British, but Worcester also had a radical group (the American Political Society) that pushed for Independence.

Please join us on March 7th, at 7pm, as Robert Stacy, Site Manager for Worcester’s Salisbury Mansion, describes some of the places associated with the beginnings of the American Revolution in Worcester. These include the homes of Stephen Salisbury and Isaiah Thomas, the Court House that the Worcester militias closed, and the taverns where the Patriots and Tories gathered. This program is free and open to the public on ZoomTo register, please use this link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwucumsqzwoE93CrvnmRHruXP7TFutax_u4

Historical Society Program: “Made in Worcester” [Corrected Link]

Did you know that Worcester is often celebrated as the birthplace of shredded wheat, the envelope, Robert Goddard’s rockets, Harvey Ball’s Happy Face, and American romantic valentines?

On Monday, February 7 at 7pm, the Westborough Historical Society will present “Made in Worcester” with William Wallace. Wallace is the Director of the Worcester Historical Museum, and he will describe the creativity and enterprising spirit of Worcester natives whose inventions have changed our lives while sharing the truth about Worcester’s firsts, famous, and “also rans.” The program is free and open to the public on Zoom. To register, please use this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kcOuurD0iGtTpChcK7KupczfpJdM9isZ1 [Updated on 2/7/2022].

Westborough Historical Society Program: “Remembering the 1918 Influenza Pandemic”

On Monday, January 10, 2022 at 7pm on Zoom, the Westborough Historical Society will present their Civic Club Lecture: “Remembering the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in the Age of COVID,” by Professor Ben Railton, Professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University. This lecture explores why the “Spanish Flu” of 1918-1921 was both misunderstood in its own era and largely forgotten for the next century, although five times as many Americans died in this global pandemic than did in WWI.

Prof. Railton is a dynamic speaker with a passion for American collective memories and national narratives. He is the author of six books, most recently, Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism (2021). His scholarship includes the daily “American Studies” blog, the bimonthly “Considering History” column for the Saturday Evening Post, and contributions to online conversations including HuffPost and We’re History. He’s also a prolific public scholarly tweeter @AmericanStudier.

This program is generously sponsored by the Westborough Civic Club. It is free and open to the public. We hope you can attend! To register for this Zoom presentation, please click this link:



AAS Program: “Before COVID: Illness in Everyday Life in Early New England”

The American Antiquarian Society is holding a virtual program tonight (12/2/20) at 8:00 p.m. that promises to highlight Westborough’s first minister, Rev. Ebenezer Parkman.

The program is titled, “Before COVID: Illness in Everyday Life in Early New England,” and will feature Ben Mutschler, author of The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England, in conversation with Ashley Cataldo, Curator of Manuscripts at the American Antiquarian Society. Mutschler relied on Parkman’s diary and the Westborough Public Library’s Ebenezer Parkman Project website while researching his book. The program is free, but requires advanced registration.  Click here for more information about the talk and to register for it.

Also be sure to check out a short video of Ashley Cataldo talking about Parkman’s diary to promote the program. It’s a chance to see how the American Antiquarian Society houses the Parkman diary and to follow along as Cataldo reads entries that discuss pandemics and illnesses from actual pages in the diary.

The Westborough Public Library Celebrates Women’s Equality Day!

August 26, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote nationally in elections. In 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day both to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment and to draw attention to the work that still needs to be done to reach full equality for women.

Learn more about Westborough and the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the online exhibit, “The Fight for Women’s Suffrage in Westborough.”

Also add to your calendar a talk by Barbara Berenson on “Women’s Rights after the 19th Amendment” on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. Berenson is the author of Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement and other books. The program will be a Zoom event, so advanced registration is required. This special program is co-sponsored by the Westborough Center for History and Culture and the Westborough Historical Society.

Advertisement for the National Woman Suffrage Convention in Westborough, 1884.

Join the Westborough Decade Project

Since we are just entering a new decade, the Westborough History Working Group will be selecting a different decade from the 20th century and exploring what life was like in Westborough during that time. As a group, we will select which decade we want to explore, learn how to use the resources here at the library to research that decade, and then create a final project to share what we have learned with the Westborough community.

The Westborough History Working Group generally meets on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Library.

If you are interested in joining this project, please e-mail Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian, at avaver@town.westborough.ma.us. The first meeting, where we will select which decade we want to explore, will be on Wednesday, January 15 at 2 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the library.

Arcade Building, 1977