Jabez Rice

Jabez Rice

Ezra Beaman was one of West Boylston’s town founders. A veteran of the Revolutionary War and a fierce advocate for West Boylston’s independence, Ezra Beaman became a local hero. Below are photographs of Ezra Beaman’s grandson and his wife. Jabez Rice (1793-1867) was Ezra’s grandson through his daughter Betsey Beaman and her husband, Luther Rice.…

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Town Politicians


There are a variety of photographs of local “celebrities” down in the West Boylston Room. Below are two local residents who also served as politicians. Horatio Houghton (1821-1896) served as Town Clerk from 1870-1895, a span of twenty-five years. He was elected as state representative in 1884. Andrew Scarlett (1849-1935) owned a large farm in…

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Town Borders


The story of West Boylston’s incorporation is one of shifting town boundaries, independence movements, and long treks to attend church. At one time, West Boylston was part of the town of Lancaster, as were most of the other towns in the surrounding area. More and more Europeans immigrated to Massachusetts in the 17th and 18th…

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Watering Trough


On the small triangle of grass in front of the library sits the Beaman Watering Trough. We’ve mentioned the trough in past posts. Maj. Ezra Beaman, Esq., our Town Founder, placed it in 1808 outside Beaman Tavern in the shade of a buttonwood tree. According to local legend, Ezra filled the trough with rum punch…

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Beet Sugar

davidleechild portrait

David Lee Child (1794-1874) was born in West Boylston. He and his wife Lydia Maria Child were prominent abolitionists who co-edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard. A portrait of David hangs in our Reading Room, seen below. David graduated from Harvard in 1817 and headed for Europe where he served as secretary of legation for the…

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Mary A. Cook

marycook, newspaper

Mary A. Cook moved to West Boylston in 1893 from New York following the death of her husband and one of her sons. Her other son, Carleton, moved with her. They both worked for the Telegram & Gazette. Starting in 1897, Mary A. Cook wrote daily columns on news in West Boylston, Boylston, and the…

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Sgt. John Emerson Anderson Biography


Sgt. John E. Anderson was a resident of Oakdale in West Boylston born in 1838. He served in the army as a sergeant and, in his spare time, worked at local boot shop. In 1860, John kept a diary of his thoughts and day-to-day activities which was donated to the library by his family. His…

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Pre-reservior Painting (1890s)

Pre reservior painted mage

Here is a scene painted by local artist April Whitcomb. The scene depicts the town’s pre-reservoir common in the valley on a snowy night. Sawyer’s general store stands in the background while townspeople in traditional 1890s garb stride through the slick streets. Everything is calm and serene, except for the two dogs playing while a…

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Old Stone Church (1890s)

oldstonewinter painted image

Here is a dazzlingly white scene painted by local artist April Whitcomb. The scene below is an aerial view of the area around the Old Stone Church in the 1890s. We can see houses, factories, and streets which no longer exist coated in fresh snow. If you look closely, you can see children playing, a…

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Old Stone Winter

OldStoneWinter painted image

Here is a dazzlingly white scene painted by local artist April Whitcomb. The scene below depicts winter at the Old Stone Church. Families are out and about, people are going for a sleigh ride, and dogs are enjoying sniffing at and playing in the snow. While horse rides and dogs are no longer allowed near…

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