Thursday, September 26, 2013


Once again it is time to make plans to attend The Backroads Studio Tour the weekend of October 5th and 6th.  This annual event provides an opportunity for visitors to view local artists and artisans in their studios, and enjoy Fall foliage, local cuisine and shops, while enroute to the various stops in the Brookfields, Warren, New Braintree and Barre.  While in West Brookfield, why not stop to view the newly restored Rice Memorial Fountain on the town common on the way to Rob Lyon's Blacksmith demonstration. 

J. P.  Ellery has written an article about this annual event published by the Worcester Telegram.   The article may be found online at Art Abounds on Backroads Studio Tour Through Brookfields

This annual event is worth the trip.  Click on the Backroads Studio Tour link above for information.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

From - Shayna Seymour's visits West Brookfield

  .A Visit to West Brookfield, MA with Shayna Seymour See Shayna's interviews with Martha Salem, and Chef Robert Thackaberry of Salem Cross Inn,  Roger Slobody, and minature horse trainer, Clinton of Sawmill River Farm, artist Kara Bigda and her husband Dan, a model train enthusiast, and Lauren Kostantin, proprietor of Troubadour, a local gift shop.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nipmuc Indian Nation Considering an Educational Facility in West Brookfield

See J.P. Ellery's article Nipmucs eye West Brookfield site for education center from Wednesday April 17, 2013 edition.  Still in very early planning stages, the proposed center would be located on what is now McRevey property in the Shea Rd./Birch Hill Rd. area.  I will be updating developments here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Jedediah Foster Homesite Approved for Nomination to National Register of Historic Places

Jennifer Robert has written an article on page 2 of the April 11th Quaboag Current. Foster homesite nominated to NRHP.  She interviewed Amy Dugas who has spent much of the last six years working toward this nomination.

Jedediah lived in what is now West Brookfield in the mid 1700's and was involved in local and state legal and political affairs.  He was one of three men chosen to draft the original constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Jedediah Foster biographical information may be found on the West Brookfield Historical Commission website.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Olmstead - Quaboag Corset Company

West Brookfield had a corset industry from the early 1860's until the early 1920's.  The Olmstead-Quaboag Corset Company operated for over 25 years (1894 - 1922) at the end of Pleasant St. The modern three story factory was well lit, with 135 windows, and for night work, dozens of oil lamps, suspended from the ceiling.  Electric lighting was installed in 1903 improving working conditions by eliminating the heat from the oil lamps.  The factory, powered at first by steam, was capable of producing 200 corsets per day, and employed 250 workers.  During World War I, the factory experienced difficulty in finding workers for the West Brookfield factory, and that was the reason cited for its closure in 1922.

Google Books has digitized the Corset and Underwear Review, Vol. 18 published in Oct. of 1921. .  Originally published by Haire Publishing Company, 1921, this publication features advertisements and industry news.  Pages 19 contains  a Silver Seal, which a letter on the following page explains was "the mark of a quality, not necessarily a brand," associated wih the Olmstead- Quaboag Corset Company of West Brookfield.  Melodye Shore posted these on her Blog, JOYFUL NOISE.  Photos of the factory, as it appears today are also on the blog.

Source: A History of West Brookfield, 1675 -1990; by Jeffrey H. Fiske; West Brookfield Historical Commission, 2009; pp.91-97

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pelatiah Gilbert Family Information

See information on The Gilbert Family on the Quaboag Plantation website.  This site contains biographies and a few photos.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Quaboag Current this week

This week's Quaboag Current features images of postcards featuring the head- on-collision of two trains which occurred in West Brookfield on Nov. 9, 1907.  Another article details the progress of the effort to have the Rice Memorial Fountain restored. The article is accompanied by a photo of the fountain. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Today's Worcester Telegram Article about Funding for Rice Fountain Repair

Today's Worcester Telegram online has an article written by J. P. Ellery which may be of interest.  See the article at and read the linked article, as well.

The beautiful Rice Fountain has been located on the town common in West Brookfield for over 100 years.  Expensive repairs are needed to preserve it.  Money from the state will be a tremendous help in that effort.