Everyday Life and Fun Facts

grapevines 2

    Grapevines (before 1620)     Farmers’ Almanac (1792)                     Before The Reservoir (1800’s)     Statues (1800’s)                     Railroads (1890’s)     Oakdale Hauntings (1899)                    …

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Town Life Before the Reservoir (1800’s)

BeforeRes 1

Here are some cool pictures of West Boylston before the reservoir. First, a man drives a horse-drawn cart up a dirt road. The description attached to the photo is “Driving Up From the Valley.” The valley housed many of West Boylston’s businesses, mills, and houses; now, of course, it is the Wachusett Reservoir. Though this…

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Then and Now (date not known)

ThenvsNow, photograph

Have you ever looked around West Boylston and wondered, “What did this look like 100 years ago?” In some places, it looks relatively the same. For example, take a look at the “Then & Now” photo below of the fill near the Old Stone Church. One is a photo from only a few years after…

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Statues (1800’s)

Satchues 2

The south entrance of the Beaman Memorial Library houses two beautiful bronze statues. The Rawsons received “La travail” as a wedding gift in 1888 from Eli Holbrook, a local mill owner, grandfather to George Rawson, and a prominent resident of town. Then, years later, in 1943, Mrs. Rawson donated the statues to the library. The…

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Railroads (1890’s)

Railroads, photograph

In the 19th century, the railroad played a critical role in West Boylston’s economy. Trains transported goods in and out to the local store, they brought people to work in the town’s factories and mills, and they provided a fast, efficient transport system to connect the little town to the rest of the state. The…

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Oakdale Hauntings (1899)

Oakdale hauntings, photograph from newspaper

A series of eerie hauntings plagued the village of Oakdale in 1899. Three woodchoppers who lived together in a shabby barn begged the sheriff for help after a spirit began terrorizing them in the dead of night. They believed the ghost was that of Fett Gilman, a thief who died two years prior, months before…

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Farmer’s Almanac (1792)

The Old Farmers Almanac Cover, photograph

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the oldest consistently published periodical in the United States, first published in 1792 by Robert Bailey Thomas. Published annually, the Almanac provides meteorological, astronomical, and botanical information—as well as a slew of recipes, anecdotes, and related articles—of that current year. But what makes The Old Farmer’s Almanac so important to…

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Grapevines (before 1620)

Grapevines, photograph (modern)

If you enjoy spending time exploring the various rail trails and pathways around our town and those nearby, you might notice some grapevines mixed among the trees. These plants were cultivated and eaten by Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans. It’s also possible that, at one time, these grapes were cultivated by local mill…

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