65 Worcester St. West Boylston, MA

Welcome to

The West Boylston Historical Society

The West Boylston Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and honoring the town’s history through programs, exhibitions, collections and publications.  We operate the 18th-century Bigelow Tavern as our headquarters and museum.

The Society was founded in 1972 “to keep alive and increase interest in the early history of the town of West Boylston and its people, to preserve in enduring form its items of general value in local history, as well as traditions and curiosities, and to encourage general public interest in the work.”

One of the Society’s original goals was to work with the town’s Historical Commission in the successful preservation of the Old Stone Church, which appears in the Society’s seal.

The building has been restored to its 18th century appearance. Click on the photo for a larger version.

For a more detailed history of the tavern, read The Story of the Bigelow Tavern, available from the Historical Society.

The building at 65 Worcester Street was originally the Bigelow Tavern.  The tavern was built in the 1770s by Deacon Amariah Bigelow for his son Abel, who was the first innkeeper.  Later the property was owned for a time by Ezra Beaman, West Boylston’s founder and landlord of the other inn in town.  At that time his grandson, Ezra Bigelow (Abel’s nephew) was the proprietor.  It was then run for years by the Temple family and then by the Spoffords – all Bigelow descendants.

When the center of town moved farther north, it became a private home, then Shepard’s turkey farm.  When the Wachusett Reservoir was constructed, the 65 Worcester Street building was spared the fate of the Beaman Tavern and other structures in the town center.

Now the headquarters of the West Boylston Historical Society, the building is has taken on yet another identity.  Our collection of historic documents and West Boylston memorabilia are stored here. 

Over the past few years, the main house has been refurbished by members of the Society.  Also a much larger project – the preservation and restoration of the ell attached to the tavern has been completed.  This involved a new foundation and extensive reconstruction.  We have created a true museum – with a library, a reading room, work rooms and display space.  The most valuable documents and artifacts are protected in a fireproof vault built in memory of Edgar Whitcomb.

We invite you to visit the Bigelow Tavern and the Jacob Winn Barn at our headquarters.

At the time of this photo, the property is being used as a turkey farm.  Originally, the building was the Bigelow Tavern.  The porch is no longer on the structure and the barn has been replaced.

Click on the photo for a larger version.

About Us

The Biggest Museum of
Historical Museum

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Recent News

New Old Stuff

Local residents of West Boylston occasionally find a treasure in their attic that they want to donate to our collection. Here are some of the recently donated items with information about them.