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.
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
To My Dearest
The Civil War Letters of George and
Emily Ward

On Thursday, June 13,  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
Worcester couple.
The real Emily Mayo Ward and her husband
George Hull Ward

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.

The Museum of The Millbury Historical Society is located in The Asa
Waters' Mansion
and houses an extensive collection of Millbury photos and

Our next opening is:

Saturday, October 19th from 9:30 until Noon
Some photos from our
Scavenger Hunt which was
held in Downtown Millbury
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