in 1808, West Boylston was created from parts of Shrewsbury, Boylston,
Lancaster, Sterling and Holden. These lands had been parts of earlier grants
made to the settlers of the region.
18th century witnessed the arrival of pioneers attracted to the area by the
fertility of the soil and the opportunities for development afforded by its
location at the site where the Quinapoxet River joins the Stillwater River to
become the southern branch of the Nashua River.
names that date from that period include Jonathan Fairbank, Edward Goodale,
Robert B. Thomas, founder & editor of the FarmerвЂ™s Almanac, and Ezra
Beaman, who is referred to as вЂњthe father of West BoylstonвЂќ. Many of the
streets in town were named after these people.
and rye farms flourished with a gradual change in the latter part of the century
from agriculture to manufacturing as a mill complex grew along the
to travel to the Congregational Church in Boylston for church services and town
meetings, thirty families, led by Ezra Beaman, constructed a church three miles
west of Boylston on the site of the present common in West Boylston.
State Legislature was petitioned and precinct status was granted in 1796.
Finally, in 1808, the General Court incorporated West Boylston as a town. Ezra
Beaman served simultaneously as Selectman, Treasurer and the first
Representative of the Town to the Legislature.
Boylston prospered through the 19th century and by 1890 contained 3,000
residents, five churches, ten schools and many mills and factories which
included the Warfield Saw Mill, L. M. Harris Cotton Mill, West Boylston
Manufacturing Company of Thread & Wire, the Cowee Grist Mill, the Clarendon
Mill and Holbrook Mill where Erastus Bigelow learned about looms and invented
the technique to improve carpet manufacturing. Boots and baskets were also
availability of waterpower, which attracted the mills here, was responsible for
the selection of West Boylston as the best site for a much-needed reservoir to
serve the needs of the city of Boston.
1896 through 1905 West Boylston endured the building of the reservoir and the
destruction of its mills and farms, including the Beaman Farm and its famous
Beaman Oak, four churches and eight schools as well as acres of fruit trees.
Twenty-five houses and a cemetery were moved and over seventeen hundred
residents were displaced.
decade and $11,000,000 later the Wachusett Reservoir was completed with the
impressive Old Stone Church standing as the last remnant of the town which was
once in the valley.
longer the industrial mill town it once was, West Boylston has grown in
population and renewed vitality into a lovely residential community enhanced by
the beauty of the tree-bordered Wachusett Reservoir.