The Museum and Archives are currently located on the second floor of the Town Hall in the center of Westfield. Here we have established the Town's main repository of Westfield lore. One of the most exciting possibilities for us to contemplate is that at some future date the Reeve House at 314 Mountain Avenue will become the permanent home of the Historical Society. When that happens our ability to serve the Town of Westfield will dramatically increase.
The Westfield Historical Society archives house thousands of artifacts and memorabilia, including books, documents, letters, photographs and slides, maps, and newspapers, postcards, scrapbooks, architectural drawings, posters, flags, historic uniforms and attire, and tools. Exhibits are of special interest to all visitors. Recent presentations included well designed retrospectives of the schools in Westfield through the years, Westfield's participation in the World Wars, and "Lost Westfield," which depicts buildings and landmarks that no longer exist.
Instilling a sense of local heritage and roots to Westfield residents and school children is a major focus of our education initiative. We have assisted the schools in preparing a prospectus and textbook on local history for third graders. We also provide speakers to school classes and other organizations. The Society conducts historic tours, hosts visits to the museum and archives, and produces programs for the public to highlight local history in an accurate, yet entertaining manner.
The Westfield Historical Society Supports Important Historic Activities
One of the earliest accomplishments of the Society was to assist the Miller-Cory Volunteers with their purchase of the historic Miller-Cory House at 641 Mountain Avenue. The Circa 1740 house is operated as a living museum. The Society has also made contributions to the rehabilitation of the Revolutionary Cemetery, the restoration of the Town Clock in the First United Methodist Church, the structural restoration of the Presbyterian Church steeple, the creation of a memorial plaque for those from Westfield who lost their lives fighting in World War II, and the replacement of the Boulevard historic mosaic street signs. We also oversee the storage, maintenance, and exhibition of the recently restored Town Bell which was cast in 1869. Now resting on a special trailer, the bell, weighing almost a half ton, is displayed at important Town functions and parades. The Society played a key role in the Town's gala Bicentennial Celebration throughout 1994 .
The Society also sponsors or co-sponsors:
The Museum and Archives are open to the public on Tuesdays from 10am-12pm. For other than these times, call 908-654-1796 for an appointment to have the archives available for your visit. Leave your name and a telephone number where we can reach you.
(This information has been compiled and edited by John R. Panosh from original documents supplied by Ralph H. Jones, Curator, Westfield Historical Society Museum and Archives.)