Westminster Historical Society

Overview: The Westminster Historical Society’s collections focus on the history of the town of Westminster. Materials within its archives include photo files, town reports, maps, books, and archives related to the town’s history. Since the town was primarily agrarian prior to the nineteenth century, the Society possesses a number of materials related to farming, including tools, equipment, and business records. There is also a number of documents related to Wachusett Mountain, a major regional tourist attraction.

The Society is also home to a variety of genealogical research resources including biographical files and obituaries, photographs, business and industry archives, genealogies, manuscripts, documents from the Revolutionary, Civil, and World Wars, vital records up to 1850, cemetery records, diaries and business account books, and town reports beginning in 1852.

American Revolution Materials: The Westminster Historical Society’s American Revolutio manuscript collection includes letters from the Revolution War written by John Woodward to his wife in Westminster while serving in the militia. There is also a government document discussing the treatment of loyalist lands and a proclamation regarding Continental Army supplies.

There are also several artifacts from the American Revolution at the Westminster Historical Society. These include drawings (portraits) made by a Hessian soldier who lived in Westminster as a prisoner-of-war during the Revolution, as well as a backpack decorated with thirteen gold stars and a British gun supposedly taken by an American from a dead British soldier at Bunker Hill.

The Historical Society also houses some commemorative materials related to the Revolution including a postcard of a monument to the Revolution located in Westminster and a photograph of the Whitney House, where German soldiers were housed as prisoners following the Battle of Bennington.

Key Words: artifacts, Bunker Hill, commemorations, Continental Army, Germany, government documents, letters, loyalists, portraits/paintings, prisoners, soldiers/militia, Westminster, John Woodward

Collection Policies: The Westminster Historical Society is actively expanding its collection and accepts donations. The Society uses the PastPerfect database as an index for its materials and does not create finding aids. It also lends materials for exhibits and has participated in exhibitions in the past.