PROGRAMS

(All programs are held at the Historical Society, 52 Main Street, usually on the fourth Friday of the month.)

The Northborough Historical Society museum will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays in September and October. The museum is located at the corner of Main and School streets.

For more information, contact us at: Info@NorthboroughHistoricalSociety.org or 508.393.6298.

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2017-2018 PROGRAMS

2017-2018 Programs (PDF)

  • December 1, 2017: — A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS
    featuring Diane Taraz, on Friday, December 1 at 7:30 pm. Diane Taraz presents beloved carols and the fascinating stories behind their origins, performing in a hand-sewn 1850s dress and playing dulcimer and parlor guitar. For years, Diane Taraz has been writing her own original songs and breathing new life into traditional ones. She draws inspiration from Celtic, British, French-Canadian, American folklore and jazz. She has made over a dozen recordings and performs frequently. A specialty is “Singing the Past to Life,” programs that explore historic eras through the music of the time. Born in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts. Diane has long made her home in the Boston area. She directs the Lexington Historical Society Colonial Singers and sings with Vox Lucens, a 12-member a cappella Renaissance choir, and the UUlations, a women's a cappella group.
    Join Us! Meeting and program at:
    7:30 p.m. Friday, December 1, 2017

    Northborough Historical Society, 52 Main Street
    The program is free and open to the public.
    Northborough Historical Society
    52 Main Street, Northborough, Massachusetts
    www.northboroughhistoricalsociety.org


  • PAST EVENTS
  • programOctober 27, 2017: —ROUNDERS TO BASEBALL
    Presented by Anne Barrett

    From Opening Day to last "out" at the World Series, baseball has excited and exasperated generations of its fans.  When were the rules of play standardized, where were games played before Fenway Park, and who won the first World Series? Join us as we trace the game’s evolution from the 19th century’s local “townball” teams to the formation of professional leagues and the emergence of early baseball’s greats, with a focus on New England’s own home team. This lively presentation includes slides that will make you feel as if you’re really there in the midst this fascinating history.

    Anne Barrett enjoys entertaining audiences with her lectures on a number of historical topics. She has brought her presentations to a variety of groups including the Kittery Historical & Naval Museum, Beverly Public Library, New London Historical Society, Nichols Village and Springfield Museum.

    Anne is Vice President of the Topsfield Historical Society, publisher of its newsletter Local Lore, and a monthly history columnist in Community Newspaper’s Tri Town Transcript. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a former Mrs. Essex County. Anne was named Storyteller of the Year by the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau for her collaboration in developing the groundbreaking Spotlight on History pre-show education series for the North Shore Music Theater.

    She holds a B.S. cum laude from Colby-Sawyer College and an M.S. from Boston University.
    Join Us! Meeting and program at:
    7:30 p.m. Friday, October 27, 2017

    Northborough Historical Society, 52 Main Street
    The program is free and open to the public.
    Northborough Historical Society
    52 Main Street, Northborough, Massachusetts
    www.northboroughhistoricalsociety.org


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  • programSeptember 22, 2017: — 50 YEARS ON THE RAILS
    50 Years on the Rails as a Conductor on a Steam Train – Ken Ethier presents an interview with the late John Boudreau who was a conductor on a steam train on the New York-New Haven-Hartford Railroad.
    Join Us! Meeting and program at:
    7:30 p.m. Friday, September 22, 2017

    Northborough Historical Society, 52 Main Street
    The program is free and open to the public.
    Northborough Historical Society
    52 Main Street, Northborough, Massachusetts
    www.northboroughhistoricalsociety.org


  • programApril 28, 2017 —THE BUILDING OF THE AQUEDUCT
    The Northborough Historical Society will present its monthly program on Friday, April 28 at 7:30 PM. The program is, “The Building of the Aqueduct” presented by members Normand Corbin and Forest Lyford. They will present a program on the building of the Wachusett Aqueduct on Hudson Street in Northborough.
    Join Us! Meeting and program at:
    7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2017
    Northborough Historical Society, 52 Main Street
    The program is free and open to the public.
    Northborough Historical Society
    52 Main Street, Northborough, Massachusetts
    www.northboroughhistoricalsociety.org


  • programMarch 24, 2017 —THE MOLASSES FLOOD OF 1919
    The Northborough Historical Society will present its monthly program on Friday, March 24 at 7:30 PM. The program is, “The Molasses Flood of 1919” presented by Doris Parker Blais Bonnell. On January 15, 1919, a large molasses storage tank burst in Boston, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 miles per hour. Twenty-one people were killed and 150 were injured as a result of the flood. Doris Parker Blais Bonnell will recount the story of this horrific catastrophe at the next meeting of the Northborough Historical Society, 7:30 p.m. March 24. For decades afterward, North End residents claimed that on hot summer days you could still smell molasses.
    Join Us! Meeting and program at:
    7:30 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2017
    Northborough Historical Society, 52 Main Street
    The program is free and open to the public.
    Northborough Historical Society
    52 Main Street, Northborough, Massachusetts
    www.northboroughhistoricalsociety.org


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  • programFebruary 24, 2017 — “TORNADO! 84 Minutes, 94 Lives ” Come hear the story of one of the most devastating storms in Massachusetts history. Although Northborough missed the brunt of the tornado that swept central Massachusetts in June of 1953, many residents recall the devastation of the storm in nearby towns. John O’Toole, author of TORNADO! 84 MINUTES, 94 LIVES, will present the eyewitness story of this historic storm at the next meeting of the Northborough Historical Society.







  • programJanuary 27, 2017 — “The Topographical Engineer and Civil War Era Mapping ” by Greg Webster, Lt.Col. and Commander of the Northeast Topographical Engineers. Greg will present the historical role of the Topographical Engineer during the Civil War, the making of maps and surveys; from scouting and reconnaissance and making of field sketches, to finished map production and methods of map re-production.
  • may programDecember 2, 2016 — “A Portrait of the Victorian Age: Letters of the Holbrook Family of Northborough” by Beth Finch McCarthy. Town figure, Levi Holbrook (m. Eliza Grout), was a very interesting character. Beth Finch McCarthy has obtained a small collection of family letters which colorfully illustrate the life and times of Victorian Northborough. Themes include rail travel in New England, private school culture, Victorian medicines, slavery, boarding in family homes, local commerce, infidelity, and the intricacies of being an independent-minded woman in a male-dominated society. This program promises to be a veritable soap opera.
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  • may programOctober 28, 2016 — “History of Route 20” by Bryan Farr. Stretching from Kenmore Square in Boston to Newport, Oregon at 3,365.3 miles in length, Route 20, is the longest highway in the United States. Northborough’s Main Street is a minuscule segment of this historic highway. Bryan Farr, founder of The Historic Route 20 Association, will lecture on the historical and cultural significance of the highway and will highlight landmarks and less-remembered points of interest in Northborough and neighboring communities.
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  • SPECIAL EVENT:
    Old Fashioned Harvest Supper

    As part of the Town’s 250th anniversary celebration, The Northborough Historical Society will be hosting an old fashioned harvest supper on Saturday, October 22, with two sittings, one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 each and are available for purchase at Shattuck Pharmacy, 17 West Main Street, and at the Historical Society Museum , 52 Main Street, on Sunday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., September 11 through October 16. The menu will feature roast turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, roast pork loin, soup and salad, several side dishes, cider, coffee, tea and gingerbread. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. For further information, call Forest Lyford at 508-393-6680 or Jane Fletcher at 508-393-2414.
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  • September 23, 2016 — “John and Abigail Adams: An American Couple” by Gary Hylander. During their courtship and marriage, John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters, many filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics considered an invaluable account of the Revolutionary War. Abigail, a fierce advocate of rights for women and African-Americans, was an important partner throughout John's political career. Gary Hylander presents an animated lecture that brings this historic couple to life.
    Pot Luck Supper beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. The meeting and program will start at 7:30 p.m.
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  • fashion showMay 22, 2016: 1:00 PM — “Our Founding Fashions” a fashion show of men’s and women’s period clothing, will be presented at 1 p.m. May 22 at the Northborough Historical Society building, 50 Main St. Clothing featured will be originals from the museum’s collection as well as reproduction styles made by the society’s 250th Anniversary Sewing Circle. The models will portray past town residents who may have worn such styles during their lifetimes, beginning in 1766. The museum will be open for touring following the show. Refreshments will be served. Admission is $10.



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  • may program May 20, 2016 — “Living in Northborough” as recorded in the Northborough Historical Society Archives and remembered by several members of the Northborough Historical Society Members. After a Pot Luck Dinner listen to highlights of Northborough’s past. Anyone with special memories of Northborough, come prepared to share a story or two.









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  • SPECIAL EVENT:
    Hunt for History - May 14 and 15

    On May 14 and 15, the Historical Society will sponsor a Hunt for History. Participants will be given a map and a description of 10 historic places to locate near the center of town. Results will be recorded and returned to the Historical Society for scoring. Hunt packets will be available from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, and and must be returned by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15. An Ice Cream Social will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, which is open to all. Results of the Hunt for History will be tallied and a prize awarded at 4:00 p.m. during the Ice Cream Social.
  • April 22, 2016 — “The Lost Art of Etiquette” by Megan MacNeil. With quotes from the Phillips Family (Phillips House is one of the Historic New England’s properties) Megan MacNeil, Registrar of Historic New England Association, will use journals, diaries and letters to discuss dining room and parlor etiquette, letter writing, how to pay a visit, calling cards and other behavior expected of the different members of the family and household staff. This lecture covers the period of time from 1880s to 1940s.
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  • History of Fire Dept.March 18, 2016 — “History of Northborough Fire Department” by Paul Desautels. Joining the Northborough Fire Department in 1965, Paul will share his first hand knowledge of the Department to include how the department grew as Northborough grew and major fires that happened in town over the years. Most recently, Paul has been instrumental in having an historic fire “engine” returned to town.
    Host for meeting: Beth Finch-McCarthy
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  • old burial ground February 26, 2016 — “Who is Buried In Northborough’s Brigham Street Old Burial Ground?” by Beth Finch McCarthy. The colonial-era Old Burial Ground on Brigham Street in Northborough was established to accommodate the burials of the town’s first families. Through genealogical research Beth Finch McCarthy has identified many of the individuals buried there. Highlights of the program will look at early colonial life in Northborough to include some good gossip about the early families.
    Program Flyer
    Hosts for meeting: Frank and Judy Bissett
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  • Algonquin January 22, 2016 — “Algonquin Regional High School Presentation” by ARHS students. In this two part program, students studying US history under Stephen Godbout will do a presentation on a research project with resources from the NHS museum. The evening will also include a performance by the ARHS Chorus under the direction of Katherine Waters.
    Hosts for Meeting: Janice Ferenchick and Suzanne Williams
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  • Pearl HarborDecember 4, 2015 — “Pearl Harbor” by Gary Hylander. Seventy-four years ago, December 7, 1941, FDR declared the attack on Pearl Harbor as a ‘A Date Which Will Live in Infamy’. In his dramatic presentation, Professor Gary Hylander recounts the facts of this historic event.
    Hosts for meeting: Rick and Gerri Cayer
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    • Mark TwainOctober 23, 2015 — “An Evening with Mark Twain” portrayed by Richard Clark. This solo performance about the life and work of America's foremost humorist, Mark Twain, is full of wit and wisdom and the special brand of storytelling that made Mark Twain a legend in his time. Hosts for meeting: Christina Kennedy and Mary Fortin
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    • museumSeptember 25, 2015 — “A Night at the Museum” hosted by the Museum Trustees. After an (optional) pot luck supper take a guided tour of the Northborough Historical Society Museum. The evening will include a scavenger hunt and a quiz at the end of the meeting.

      This program is free and open to the public.


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    • Sunday, September 13th at 2:00 PM — Organ Concert at the Northborough Historical Society?s building. Entitled “Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving” will be presented by Peter Brockmann, Organist and Director of Music Ministry at St. Rose of Lima Parish with soprano Frankie Mueller. There will be refreshments downstairs after the concert. The event is free, but a free-will donation will be appreciated.
    •   •   Northborough Historical Society   •   P.O. Box 661  •  Northborough, MA 01532  •   508.393.6298   •  Info@NorthboroughHistoricalSociety.org  •   Cairns Designs