On October 25, 1921, as recorded in the minutes of that day, "a number of townspeople met in the Town Hall to discuss the advisability of forming a Historical Society in Westminster." It was decided to do so, and the Constitution & By-Laws state the purpose of the organization was to "collect and preserve manuscripts, letters, books, pamphlets, papers, historical relics, facts, anecdotes, legends, etc. relating to the history of Westminster, to locate sites of historic interest in... Town, and... to stimulate research into the local history of the town and its people."
The Westminster Historical Society has remained true to these words since 1921. Hundreds of people have been part of this "collection, preservation and outreach" by donating time, money, and expertise to the Society's work. We look back with pride to those who worked so industriously in these pursuits before us. And just as fervently, we tell our story today so that those who share this love of Westminster will be moved to join us in whatever way they can to continue this effort.
Monthly meetings of the Historical Society have been held regularly except for a few months during WWII and the years 1962-1972. The meetings were usually held in the Reading Room of the Forbush Memorial Library, although there were a few years during the 1950's and 1960's when meetings were held in members' homes or occasionally held at other locations of interest to members. They enjoyed "pilgrimages by automobile" to other historical societies and private homes and outings which often included picnics in the Spring or Summer.
In the first days of the Society, the founding members "solicited" new members and within a few months there were more than 72 members for a town of less than 1,000.
The programs at the earlier meetings often consisted of "historical papers" written by members about buildings, businesses, roads, places or events in Town. It is these recollections and stories of "old Westminster " that have helped us understand what life in our community was like.
In 1960, The Westminster Historical Society was officially incorporated as a non-profit 501C3 organization in Massachusetts, with memberships in other organizations such as the Bay State Historical League, the American Association of State and Local History, Historic Massachusetts, and other Historical Societies throughout the Commonwealth.
The Society has been active in publishing historical books as well. Beginning in 1959, the Society has published several books including "Homestead Heritage of Westminster" in 1980 which won a statewide award. More recently, the Society created an "Images of America: Westminster" book, and well as our latest "History of Westminster", which was published in 2009, in time to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Town.
It was due to the efforts of The Westminster Historical Society that The Westminster Historical Commission was formed. In 1973, the Society requested that the Selectmen request the formation of a commission on the Town Warrant. The Westminster Historical Commission was formed in 1974 with several members of the Society being Charter Members.
The Historical Society has promoted Westminster in many ways, and is committed to further the understanding and appreciation of the history and current life in Town.
The Westminster Historical Society furthers its mission through the presentation of programs and events, lectures and publications that increase an awareness of the Town's architectural, artistic and cultural heritage and lends its support for projects designed to strengthen and preserve these legacies.
Board of Directors
Barry E. Roy
These books, along with many other unique, Westminster-related gifts are available at our Gift Shop or online @