Westford: A Sense of Community

The League is excited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1979 premier of the original slide-tape version of “Westford: A Sense of Community” at the Elks Hall in Forge Village on February 9.

This project started when League Members Ellen Harde and Beth Shaw chaired a committee of a dozen other League members who created a multi-media presentation called Westford: A Sense of Community. This presentation on Westford’s history was shown hundreds of times to school children, community organizations and cable television viewers. It was digitized onto a DVD in 2007 and in 2019, it is now available for streaming on YouTube.

A book was then created based on this material, and was first published in 1996 by Arcadia Publishing. The book is now on its fourth printing. From the back page of the book:

“Westford, Massachusetts
From its incorporation in 1729 through the late nineteenth century, Westford, Massachusetts, was a farming community sparsely populated by families of English ancestry. But in the first years of the twentieth century, a significant change occurred in Westford when mills that had opened in the town’s Forge Village and Graniteville sections began to recruit workers from Russia, Poland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Canada. Westford depicts what the arrival of the mills and the mill workers meant to the town and its evolution in the twentieth century. The book also describes the effect of the mills’ demise in the 1950s, and chronicles the town’s recent development into a very appealing bedroom community for workers in Boston.

Accepting and appreciating the diversity of newcomers–whether immigrants from foreign lands or merely out-of-towners looking for a convenient place to relocate–has not always been easy for Westford. In the late 1970s, the Westford League of Women Voters put together a slide-tape history of the town in old photographs. That presentation which emphasized the town’s potential as a vibrant, diverse community of residents working together, formed the basis for this exciting new volume. Residents and historians alike will surely delight in the League’s thoughtful and enduring compilation, produced under the guidance of League members Ellen Harde and Beth Shaw.”

The Westford book is available for purchase from our website. The cost of the book is $23 (which includes sales tax) and we can arrange to get it to you if you live in Westford. If you would like to have it shipped to you, that option is available, but costs $5 to cover the time and expense to ship it to you. The book is also available at the Westford Museum and at Muffins on Main.

Westford book, $23.00

Shipping for book, $5.00