All about the Quaboag Historical Society - we're 120 years
By Ruth M. Lyon
The Quaboag Historical Society was begun in 1895, by a group
of residents of the original Quaboag area who saw the need for preservation of
its history and artifacts. Some of the original towns - North and West
Brookﬁeld, Brookﬁeld, Warren and New Braintree (East Brookﬁeld had not yet
separated from Brookfield) - had historical societies and even museums. Still,
residents of each town met, discussed, and agreed to form a society
representational of the history of the "Old Quaboag District". The
artifacts and papers of that brand new Quaboag Historical Society found a home
in the upper room of the West Brookﬁeld library, so voted by town meeting
action on April 1, 1895.
The group followed local historical tradition over the next
three decades; regular meetings held, programs planned and presented with
featured speakers and activities. By 1930, though, interest had waned; the
materials and artifacts from our historic early times were relegated to a
corner of the room, and little or no action by the society took place for
That changed when, in anticipation of the Quaboag
Plantation's 300th celebration in 1960, Dr. Louis E. Roy became chairman of the
organization and named a committee to identify and label the contents of that
pile in the corner, with an eye to reopening the museum in the library.
Mover and shaker that he was, his mission was accomplished:
the museum opened on February 1, 1961. Miss Anna O'Day, committee chairman,
announced that in the future the museum would be open to the public on the ﬁrst
Wednesday of the month, from two to ﬁve.
During the ensuing years, the museum languished at times,
with spurts of activity and then of disinterest. However, the venerable
institution eventually found its own home in West Brookﬁeld's old train
station, and strong leadership.
The Society board meets monthly, publishes a newsletter, and
works to maintain interest in the Society and the Museum. Additionally, it
promotes an interest in Quaboag Plantation's beginning and continuing
existence. The museum is open monthly (ﬁrst Saturday) and always by
appointment. Reference materials are available, artifacts are on display, and
attendance and participation are welcomed.