Gateway to the Blackstone Valley
The Millbury Historical Society
Incorporated 1972
Millbury, Massachusetts

Preserving Millbury's Past for its Future
Our Mission

"As a bridge from the past to the future, the Millbury
Historical Society is committed to preserve, protect,
present and promote the history of Millbury."
P.O. Box 367
Millbury, MA

The Millbury Historical Society hosted a presentation on the history of the Olive Branch Freemason Lodge Thursday
night, October 18th.

Ross Weaver went into great detail regarding the roots of the Olive Branch Lodge along with the connection with the
Masons organization. Assisted by Richard Townsend and several other Masons in attendance, he read some of the
history compiled by Randy Mogren Sr.

The group began with meetings held in 1796 at Campbell Hall, near Main Street in Oxford. They officially charted
September 14, 1797 and the charter was signed by Paul Revere, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts, and by Isaiah Thomas, Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge. The lodge was official named the
Olive Branch Lodge in 1799.

Their first hall was built in 1815 as an annex to an old tavern in West Sutton called Samuel Waters Tavern. In 1845 they
relocated to a building at the corner of Boston & Providence Road in Wilkinsonville.  In 1859 they moved to their first
Millbury location, the Old Arcade Building, located above the Methodist Church on Elm Street (presently the Elm’s
Draught house Theater).  In 1872 a new hall was constructed in the Rhodes-Simpson block on South Main St.  

On March 11, 1882 the lodge was completely destroyed by fire. The original charter and a few other items were the
other things saved. A new building was built in the same location, but out of brick this time and was ready in 1884.

The Olive Branch Lodge AF&AM merged with the Mumford River Lodge in Douglas and continues with their mission “to
make good men better”.  
Masons Donate Charter Replica (signed by Paul Revere) to The Millbury Historical
The Millbury High School Class of 1958 recently
held their 60th Year Reunion from September 28-30
with two events held in Millbury: a "Drop In" at A &
D Restaurant and a talk and visit to the Museum of
the Millbury Historical Society in the Asa Waters

In addition, there was a buffet lunch at J.
Anthony's Grille in Oxford and a breakfast brunch
at the Post Office Pub in Grafton. A great time was
had by all!

Six classmates traveled from out-of-state:
Vermont, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina,
and Oklahoma. One of them even drove
cross-country from Seattle, Washington to attend!

The class has met every five years since 1963, and
some local members continue to meet monthly at
Scales Restaurant in Millbury.
To My Dearest
The Civil War Letters of George and Emily Ward

On Thursday, June 13, 2019  the Annual Meeting of the Millbury Historical
Society took place. The program was very well attended and refreshments
were served.

Here is more about the program: when the Civil War broke out in 1861,
George Ward was asked to raise the 15th Massachusetts Regiment.

In August 1861, he left his wife, Emily, and their two small children to go to
war. They wrote to each other frequently.

In all,116 letters survive in the collection of the Worcester Historical Museum.
They detail the pain of prolonged separation, the challenges of single
parenting and the horrors of the battle front.

Lynne McKenney Lydick and Thomas R. Lydick shared the personal and
poignant letters of this
The real Emily Mayo Ward and her husband George Hull

Courtesy of the Worcester Historical

FIRST ROW: Louise (Lebel) Green; Harriet (Hamilton)
Ducharme; Susan (Stewart) Daley; Ann (Bradshaw)
Taylor; Carol (Scott) Ilic; Linda (Milliken) Masterman;
Betty McGee; Judith (Matthews) Modig; Cecile
(Salois) Hicks; Patricia (Claxton) Gonyea.

SECOND ROW: Ronald Army; Jean (Grenier) Stone;
Doris (Jackson) Wilczynski; Carolyn (Ellis) Moore;
Janet (Wahlstrom) Whittier; Carolyn (Quail) Bianchi;
Margaret (Faron) Boldrighinl; William Hayes.

THIRD ROW: Marc Arsenault; Claude Goodreau; Leo
Gravel; Wayne Modig; William Erickson; Conrad
Goodreau; Leonard Lawson; Paul Gauthier.
Some photos from our
Scavenger Hunt which was
held in Downtown Millbury on
Saturday, September 28th!
Nowlan from
Maryland and
Jacqueline from
Long Island! Playing
a game in Millbury!
The St. Johns
The Kupcinskases
The Butlers with Their Own
Cool T-Shirts!
The Girl Scouts

Millbury's Million-dollar World War II
Landing Craft! Who Knew?

Be proud, little town of Millbury!

In August of 1944, your seven-thousand residents
(one-thousand of whom were in the armed forces)
over one million dollars in the Fifth War Bond
Drive of the war! Enough to sponsor its very own
Landing Craft: the
LCI (L) 173!

This summer of 2020, your Millbury Historical Society
will exhibit a display about this little known feat, and
then hold a program in September upon the 76th
Anniversary of the craft's commissioning.

Stay tuned and be sure to attend both!
September 18, 1944: the commissioning of Millbury's LCI (L)
713 attended by a  proud Millbury contingent.
The LCI (L) 713 today in Portland, Oregon

The Millbury Historical

The Millbury Historical Society has won a
Partnership Grant through the
River Valley National Heritage Corridor
BRVNHC offered grants this spring to
area nonprofits to help provide equipment
and services for remote activity during
these socially distant times when it's
difficult to run programs and impossible to
open things like our museum.  

This grant will allow the
Millbury Historical
to provide video content later this
summer, possible remote programs in the
fall via Zoom, and expand the footprint of
celebrating Millbury's history beyond the
walls of
Asa Waters Mansion and the
Grass Hill School. Stay tuned for more

If you would like to learn more or get
involved, please contact Jeff Raymond at
The Millbury Historical Society sincerely
thanks the
Blackstone River Valley
National Heritage Corridor
for providing
the funds necessary to get this endeavor
off the ground.
This photo is from Millbury's 150th Anniversary Parade held in June
of 1963. THUS this snow "contraption" is fifty-six years old now!

This and many other photos are currently displayed in the lobby at our Town Hall is
an exhibit of more of that parade and the other festivities that accompanied the
150th anniversary!                                                                                            


The Fourth Annual Grace M. Laflash/Millbury
Historical Society scholarship was recently
presented to William Savoie, an eighth-grade
student at Assumption School in Millbury.

   The scholarship was established in honor of
Grace M. Laflash, a charter member of the
Historical Society and a former teacher at
Assumption.  It is awarded annually to the top
history student at the School.

   William is the son of Aaron and Tracy Savoie
of Northbridge, and will be attending
Marianapolis Preparatory School in the fall.