Northborough Historical Society

Northborough Historical Society Welcome to the Northborough Historical Society of Northborough, Massachusetts. Please visit our web site at http://www.northboroughhistoricalsociety.org!
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Please visit our web site at http://www.northboroughhistoricalsociety.org. 52 Main Street Northborough, MA 01532 508.393.6298

Mission: We have been dedicated to preserving the history of Northborough for more than 100 years.

Today we are waving to you from the North West corner of Main St and Church St A Mobil gas station is now located on a s...
06/08/2020

Today we are waving to you from the North West corner of Main St and Church St A Mobil gas station is now located on a site that previously was the site of a hotel.
In 1860, it was the Assabet Hotel and then the Northborough Hotel in 1890. The main building burned down in 1927. The stables and barn had been part of the R&T building, but that business burned down in 2018.

What a stunning morning to be speaking you from atop Mount Pisgah!  The weather is perfect. We got our start from 24 Smi...
06/07/2020

What a stunning morning to be speaking you from atop Mount Pisgah! The weather is perfect. We got our start from 24 Smith Road where we parked.
Mount Pisgah is the highest point in Northborough at an altitude of 715 feet. The name has a biblical origin (Deuteronomy 34:1), where Moses first viewed the "promised land" from present-day Jordan.
Mount Pisgah is lined with old stone walls that mark the edges of formerly cultivated fields that are now white pine woods. The former fields and pastures have been abandoned for at least 80 years.
Boston Skyscrapers can be seen from here on clear days.

Good morning!  This is a curious stop today for those who live on Milk Porridge Circle and Indian Meadow. We are standin...
06/06/2020

Good morning! This is a curious stop today for those who live on Milk Porridge Circle and Indian Meadow.
We are standing at the intersection of Davis Street and South Street looking just west of South Street. This area was known as the Milk Porridge Plain lying along Hop Brook.
It was farmland in earlier years where many Native American artifacts have been found and are on display in the Historical Society Museum.
More recently this region was developed as the Indian Meadows neighborhood. The Indian Meadows Golf Course used to be 18 holes, but the 9 holes that were in Northborough were used to develop the Indian Meadows neighborhood.
The current Indian Meadows Golf Course in Westborough is now a 9 hole course.

Today we have a bonus Facebook posting as a follow up to our posting on Tues, June 2 about the “Gov. John Davis House Lo...
06/05/2020

Today we have a bonus Facebook posting as a follow up to our posting on Tues, June 2 about the “Gov. John Davis House Location”.
As mentioned in the posting, “He (Gov John Davis) spent his childhood at the home previously located at 375 Davis Street”. Our curator, Ellen Racine, has located a photo of the original house “previously located at 375 Davis” that John grew up in, which was built around 1740 and torn down in 1852.
Isaac Davis was Honest John’s father and was the owner of the house that was torn down.
George Clinton Davis, a grandson of Isaac, built his house in 1851 close to the site of the original home. It is the George C Davis home that is currently listed as 375 Davis St.
This house was auctioned off earlier this year.

On this morning's virtual stop, we are taking a walk over to West Main St Between Jubilee Trail Head and Borderline of N...
06/05/2020

On this morning's virtual stop, we are taking a walk over to West Main St Between Jubilee Trail Head and Borderline of Northboro with Shrewsbury to the Mastodon site!
On November 17, 1884, workmen digging a trench on the farm of William Maynard on West Main Street, near the Shrewsbury line, uncovered teeth and bones of what turned out to be the fossilized remains of a mastodon, the first to be found in Massachusetts!
Mastodons roamed the earth 27 to 30 million years ago and became extinct about 10,000 years ago. Do you ever wonder how many other artifacts of our past have yet to be discovered? In this case, you are invited to come to the Historical Society when it opens and see these items for yourself!
The wetlands are believed to be the site of the mastodon discovery that is slightly south and west of the Jubilee hiking trail on West Main St in Northborough (see Jubilee Trail Map).

Good morning friends!  We're so happy you can join us!This morning, we are going to head over to 6 Davis Avenue, so jump...
06/04/2020

Good morning friends! We're so happy you can join us!
This morning, we are going to head over to 6 Davis Avenue, so jump on your horse (or wagon) circa 1781 and come take a peek with us!
In the area by 6 Davis Avenue was a tannery built by Isaac Davis ("Honest John" Davis' father) in 1781.
This area became the homestead of the Davis family for many years. They sold a significant amount of leather annually and this business was in existence for nearly 100 years.
Deacon Isaac Davis moved to Northborough during the Revolutionary war and has been for a long succession of years one of our most distinguished citizens.
Davis died on April 27, 1826, at the age of 77 years.

Good morning friends!  Today we are speaking to you from atop the Horse Block located behind the Unitarian Church at 40 ...
06/03/2020

Good morning friends! Today we are speaking to you from atop the Horse Block located behind the Unitarian Church at 40 Church Street!
The horse block located behind the Unitarian Church was used for mounting and dismounting from a horse or carriage. It was used for parishioners attending church services or visiting the Howard St graveyard.
Watch your step!

Good morning to all our early risers and virtual visitors today!  What a beautiful sunrise to watch overlooking the form...
06/02/2020

Good morning to all our early risers and virtual visitors today! What a beautiful sunrise to watch overlooking the former home of Gov. John Davis at 375 Davis Street (Corner of Davis St and Davis Ave).
John Davis (1787-1854) was an American lawyer, businessman, and politician.
He spent 25 years in public service, serving in both houses of the United States Congress and for three non-consecutive years as Governor of Massachusetts.
Because of his reputation for personal integrity, he was known as "Honest John" Davis.
He opposed the Mexican American War and worked to prevent the extension of slavery to the territories.
He spent his childhood at the home previously located at 375 Davis Street.

We are going to have to calculate all our miles on this virtual tour one day!  We have zigged and zagged so much all ove...
06/01/2020

We are going to have to calculate all our miles on this virtual tour one day! We have zigged and zagged so much all over town we're probably up to 100 miles!
Today we are going over to The former First Evangelical Congregational Church (now a private residence) at 71 Church St (Corner of Church and Pleasant)
This private home was originally built as a church.
From 1744 to 1827, only the Congregationalist beliefs were practiced in town. In 1832, New England Congregationalists split into two groups; the conservative Evangelicals and the liberal Unitarians. When the Evangelicals split they looked for land to build their meeting house and were given land by Mr. Asa Fay at the corner of Pleasant and Church Streets. The first photo shows a diagram of the location of pews within the church (Courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Dagle). The building was used as a church until 1847, when the congregation built a larger church on the corner of Main Street and Hudson Street (now the Trinity Church). The second photo shows what the private residence looks like as of May 22, 2020.

Today we're floating on over to Bartlett Pond for our virtual visit!Bartlett Pond was initially formed by placing a dam ...
05/31/2020

Today we're floating on over to Bartlett Pond for our virtual visit!
Bartlett Pond was initially formed by placing a dam across Three Corner Brook in 1713. The pond was enlarged and raised by Daniel Wesson in the 1880s because he used it as the water supply to his mansion on Main Street (now called White Cliffs). He built a pump house along the brook just beyond the dam for pumping the water to his property. The photo of the Pump House is from April 12, 1897. The Pump House is now in ruins.
The other two photos are current day Bartlett Pond and the slipway under Bartlett Street.
We hope you enjoy the scenic view today!

Welcome to the Old Railway Station on Main Street this morning!The railroad line from Framingham to Northborough was com...
05/30/2020

Welcome to the Old Railway Station on Main Street this morning!
The railroad line from Framingham to Northborough was completed in 1855. It was built as the "Agricultural Railroad". During this time, Northborough was primarily an agricultural community that shipped vegetables, fruits, milk, and meats. The railroad vastly improved the shipping of these goods to the large markets of Worcester and Boston.
The photo is a picture of the old railway station back in its day.

Today it is our privilege to bring you over to Memorial Field on East Main street to look at the marker in honor of Nort...
05/29/2020

Today it is our privilege to bring you over to Memorial Field on East Main street to look at the marker in honor of Northborough's baseball legend, Mark Fidrych.
Mark Fidrych (1954-2009) was a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. He was popular with his fans for his antics on the field; he "manicured the mound" by fixing cleat marks on the pitcher's mount and often talked to himself or the ball.
In 1976, Fidrych won the American League Rookie of the Year Award and was the starting pitcher in the 1976 All-Star game. As a youth, Mark played baseball at Memorial Field in Northborough and his pitching style earned him the nickname "The Bird".
The flagpole in Mark's memory at Memorial Field was donated by the Jaxtimer family. The Northborough Historical Society Museum has a short video of Mark in action pitching.
The museum also has a Detroit Tigers jersey that Fidrych wore, and a limited number of Fidrych players' cards for sale - including a few cards Mark signed.

Good morning Everyone!  And welcome to this morning's virtual stop, the aqueduct on Hudson Street.  This is without a do...
05/28/2020

Good morning Everyone! And welcome to this morning's virtual stop, the aqueduct on Hudson Street. This is without a doubt one of our most photographed spots in town!
This aqueduct was built to increase the water supply for the City of Boston. Construction started in 1896. It is 12 miles long, connecting the Wachusett Reservoir in Clinton to the Sudbury Reservoir in Southborough. At that time, it carried 300 million gallons of water each day.
The Northborough Trails Committee is opening sections of the aqueduct for hiking.
The entire Aqueduct is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Today lets pop over to 36-39 Main Street!This building is remembered fondly as Cyrus Gale's General Store.  In the early...
05/27/2020

Today lets pop over to 36-39 Main Street!
This building is remembered fondly as Cyrus Gale's General Store. In the early 1800s, this Greek Revival building, with the Tuscan-columned porch, served as both a stagecoach stop and post office on Boston Post Road.
In 1813, Cyrus Gale opened a general store and sold potatoes, grain, milk, and butter, which were all products of his farm.
Gale and his son, along with various partners, kept the store open until 1909.
From 1912 through 1918, the building was used as a social club.

Welcome to this morning's stop, the Cold Harbor Bridge!The original Cold Harbor Brook Bridge was built during the Civil ...
05/26/2020

Welcome to this morning's stop, the Cold Harbor Bridge!
The original Cold Harbor Brook Bridge was built during the Civil War era, when the stone-slab construction technique was common for short, town highway bridges. This one was unique for its use of quarried granite instead of the usual fieldstone slabs. Presumably, since the bridge served as a gateway to the town center and connected it with the Meeting House, it was deemed important enough to warrant more expensive stone.
The bridge was replaced in 2016, due to safety concerns. The photo on the marker, taken from the bridge on May 30, 1896, depicts the Gibson Mill in the background, where combs were manufactured.
The mill no longer exists.

Today we have a few stops on our tour and hope you have enjoyed the various stops we have made this past week in observa...
05/25/2020

Today we have a few stops on our tour and hope you have enjoyed the various stops we have made this past week in observance of Memorial Day.
We are thankful for all those who serve and always remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Our first stop today is at the Veteran's Memorial site which is located in the Howard St. Cemetery. The site was dedicated in 1975 to honor the men and women of Northborough who served their nation in times of war and peace and those who may be called upon to serve in the future.
The Vincent F. Picard American Legion Post is located on West Main Street, near the Davis Street intersection. The Post honors all those who have served or are currently serving our country. It was named after Vincent F. Picard who died in battle in WWI. There is a tank on display at the property which was opened in the past for people to visit.
The Memorial Field located on East Main Street is in memory of veterans of all wars. There is a plaque at the base of the flag pole.
Northborough Cable created a virtual Memorial Day tour which can be viewed here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faU6btqo1GY

This morning we are taking our tour to the Gulf War Monument in the Northborough Town Common There are two memorial plaq...
05/24/2020

This morning we are taking our tour to the Gulf War Monument in the Northborough Town Common
There are two memorial plaques there. One remembering SPC Brian K. Arsenault who was killed in action serving our country in Afghanistan in 2014 and one remembering Maj.Andrew J. Olmsted who was killed in action serving our country in Iraq in 2008.

Today we are sharing with you the September 11 Fallen Heroes Marker at the corner of Church and Pleasant Street.It.is in...
05/23/2020

Today we are sharing with you the September 11 Fallen Heroes Marker at the corner of Church and Pleasant Street.
It.is in honor of our police, firefighters, and fallen heroes of the September 11, 2001 attack on the U.S.

Today we are taking a walk along the path of our beautiful Town Common to look at the Civil War Memorial.The Civil War M...
05/22/2020

Today we are taking a walk along the path of our beautiful Town Common to look at the Civil War Memorial.
The Civil War Memorial lists the names of the twenty-nine residents who gave their lives to preserve the Union. Northborough's first casualty was Warren Eames. His father was on the committee that erected the monument you are looking at today.
It was dedicated on September 17, 1870, the eighth anniversary of the battle at Antietam where five Northborough soldiers were killed.

This morning we have several stops on our tour.  Our first stop is the monument at the corner of Hudson Street and Pierc...
05/21/2020

This morning we have several stops on our tour. Our first stop is the monument at the corner of Hudson Street and Pierce Street. This monument is to honor the Northborough residents who served in WWII 1941-1945, the Korean War 1950-1955, and the Vietnam War 1961-1975. Please take a moment to recognize the special plaques at this site which specifically honor: SSGT Charles A. Newton, WWII; PFC Joseph F. DeMont, WWII; 1st Lt Maxwell J. Stadler, WWII; PFC Raymond J. Boudreau, WWII; Captain James W. Gregg, WWII; and Pvt Robert E. Robertson, WWII.
Now we will head over to the corner of School Street and Main Street which honors Captain Francis E. Flanders, WWII.
The plaque at the corner of Main Street and East Main Street honors PFC Francis McShane, WWII.
As mentioned yesterday, S/Sgt Pasquale Acampora, WWII, and PFC William Hinkson, Korean War, have special plaques at Picard Square.
Ellsworth Square on the corner of Church Street and Whitney Street honors PFC Neil Ellsworth, Vietnam. McAfee Square on the corner of Northgate Street and Jethro Peters Street honors PFC David A. McAfee, Vietnam.
Ellsworth-McAfee Recreational Park on South Street is also a place of remembrance for Neil Ellsworth and David McAfee.

Today we're taking a moment to share the World War I Memorial, at the corner of Church and Whitney Streets.  The memoria...
05/20/2020

Today we're taking a moment to share the World War I Memorial, at the corner of Church and Whitney Streets. The memorial to World War I veterans on the corner of Church and Whitney Streets was dedicated on October 12, 1932. The monument is of Westerly granite and topped with a bronze eagle.
The center tablet has marching doughboys in relief along with the names of the two Northborough fatalities: Vincent F. Picard and Adolph C. Nelson.
The side tablets list the honor roll of the other 71 citizens who served, including Flora B. Murray, the only woman listed, who was a nurse in France.
The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917.
Thankfully this is a virtual tour so now we'll share the other end of town at the corner of Davis Street and West Main Street, Picard Square. This plaque honors three Northborough veterans: PFC Vincent F. Picard, WWI; S/Sgt Pasquale Acampora, WWII; and PFC William Hinkson, Korean War.
Last stop today, we'll head back to the intersection of West Main Street and Lincoln Street. This is known as Buchanan Square in honor of PFC James Buchanan, WWI.

We would love to direct your viewing eyes this morning towards the Wesson Fountain, on Main Street in front of Old Town ...
05/19/2020

We would love to direct your viewing eyes this morning towards the Wesson Fountain, on Main Street in front of Old Town Hall.
The fountain in front of the Old Town Hall location was donated by Mr. Wesson (the original owner of White Cliffs) in 1882. In 1883, water flowed from the lion's mouth, which was remarkable since very few local homes had running water at that time.
The fountain underwent a major restoration from 1991-1995 thanks to the Northborough Village Improvement Society.

Today we are happy to welcome our virtual guests to the Charles Winn Mansion Site at 24 & 25 Winn Terrace.The Charles H....
05/18/2020

Today we are happy to welcome our virtual guests to the Charles Winn Mansion Site at 24 & 25 Winn Terrace.
The Charles H. Winn House was located at 3 Park Lane from 1870 to 2006. It was built by Mr. Winn for his bride, M. Elizabeth Hunt Winn of bricks from the local brickyard. Overlooking the Assabt River, the house had 17 rooms and a slate roof.
Charles Winn was a cabinetmake who also built the Winn-Whitaker building on the corner of Main and South Streets. The marker for the Charles Winn Mansion is in front of the houses at 24 and 25 Winn Terrace.

As a bonus today, we have an additional posting as a follow up to a couple of previous postings this month. For the Assa...
05/17/2020

As a bonus today, we have an additional posting as a follow up to a couple of previous postings this month.
For the Assabetville post, people asked for some images of combs that were made at that location. These pieces of tortoiseshell combs and jewelry were made at Milo Hildreth’s shop at the corner of Main St and River St.
Related to the Hunt’s Shoe Shop posting, the second picture shows a sample of a shoe made using wooden pegs to connect the sole to the shoe. The shoe could be worn on either foot. The items are all in our NHS Museum. Be sure to check them out whenever we are able to open our museum doors again!

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52 Main Street, Northborough, Ma
Northborough, MA
01532

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Comments

As a "follow up" to the hunt and video posted below, I returned to the Bennett home to present the "finds". I spent another hour out in a recently harrowed field and found a coin that was dropped by someone in (or working for) the Samuel Camwell family. This coin matches up perfectly with the mid 1700's home. I will add it to Ken's growing collection. :-)
I thought that I might share my passion with the group... Ken and Debbie Bennett allowed me to metal detect on their property recently and I've left them with a fairly diverse collection of relics... 18th, 19th and 20th century items of all shapes and sizes. I'm recently retired and found something that I can enjoy mentally and physically. My real love is sharing my passion, and my "finds", with the homeowners. After cleaning, preserving, labeling and displaying, I present the finished "treasure" to whomever was kind enough to let me onto their property. I'm sure all of you are familiar with the 1735 "Samuel Gamwell" house on Howard St... well here's a taste of what's just below the surface. If you know of an old property and have any interest in what's hidden in your dirt, I would be delighted to do the same for you. PM (message me). https://youtu.be/yxdwXEOacmQ
GREAT job creating this page...Love it. Thank You...