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 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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Trains (1889-1908)

Photograph of trains in West Boylston

More trains chug through West Boylston as the reservoir’s construction comes nearer and nearer. The first image depicts a hillside covered in tree stumps, a symbol of the construction already underway. Within a few years, the water would rise to consume the land and the rails.  Second is a postcard from 1898: “West Boylston from…

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Oakdale (1900’s)

Oakdale, photograph

We have a lot of old photographs in our local history room, and they tell the story of our town from 100 years ago. Below are a few photographs of long-gone buildings in Oakdale. Unfortunately, none of these structures survived the past century, and the places where they once stood yield little to no evidence…

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The Library (1912-2017)

Library, photograph

Here’s another Then & Now view: first, the library from 1912 after its construction and dedication. Second, the library now, taken this past Wednesday evening. Though relatively the same view, there are a few notable changes. The most recent addition sticks out in the back, and some of the trees along Newton Street are now…

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Trolley Lines (1905)

TrolleyLines, news article

For several decades, the trolley was a vital method of transportation for people across the country. Central Massachusetts had numerous trolley lines. Worcester’s citizens especially relied on its trolleys. Today, little evidence remains that they ever existed. West Boylston had a trolley line running through it starting in the 1900s. On July 19th, 1905, construction…

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Town Halls (1900’s)

Townhalls, booklet

West Boylston has had a series of town halls in its history. After the reservoir had stripped the valley of its buildings, the town decided to construct a new, permanent town hall. Below is a picture of the Program from the new Town Hall’s Dedication on January 18th, 1904. The town hall stood where the…

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Town Hall

TownHall, photograph

Shortly after construction on the reservoir began, the town of West Boylston decided to build a new Town Hall in an area that would remain above the water level for at least a few decades. So, construction began on the brand new, beautiful town hall just down the road from the modern location of our…

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Town Change (1897)

Town Changes, news article

1897 is a critical year in West Boylston history. That year, construction officially began on what would become the Wachusett Reservoir. Businesses were sold or moved. Homeowners sold their property to the state and went elsewhere. But, despite these new changes, the real destruction of the town had yet to begin. Below are two clippings…

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