As issued by the Quaboag Historical Society. Pictures taken by Rebecca Chickering.
This area was inhabited by the Quaboag tribe of the New England Algonquin until 1660 when the General Court granted the land to four men from Ipswich. They secured a deed from the Quaboag Tribe and by 1665 had established an isolated settlement called "Quaboag Plantation". The settlement had grown to twenty families in 1675 when during a three day siege by the Indians, it was obliterated. After several years a new settlement was established in the area highlighted by this tour. There is such incredible history in this area. And enjoy the beautiful common.
1. Helen Shackley Bandstand
This Bandstand, dedicated in 1972, was given to the town by Helen Paige Shackley. Many of the best area bands have entertained large crowds here during the summer months.
2. First Congregational Church
The Congregational Church traces its history back to the first church of Quaboag Plantation, organized in 1717. The present building is the fourth to stand on this site. The church was partially demolished by the 1938 hurricane. It was rebuilt and dedicated April 12, 1942.
3. West Brookfield Town Hall
This building was built in 1859 and has been used by the Post Office, the Library, a General Store, and Insurance Agency, and the Catholic Church. The cupola was restored in 1994 and the building renovated in 1997.
4. Merriam-Gilbert Library
In 1880, Charles Merriam built, furnished, and gave the library to the town. In 1960, Helen Gilbert left her estate to the library, since then known as the Merriam-Gilbert Library.
Mon/Wed 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tues/Thurs 2:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday 9:00am to 12:00pm
Telephone #: 508-867-1410
5. George Whitefield United Methodist Church
This church was bought in Templeton, dismantled and moved to town in 1859. A bell was added in 1878. It was remodeled and an "E. & G. G. Hook" organ installed in 1885. The West Warren Methodist Church merged in 1996 with the West Brookfield Church.
6. Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church
Father Murphy of the Brookfield Parish was responsible for the building of this church in 1889. It remained a mission until June 5, 1950 when it was designated a parish and Father Michael Shea served as the first pastor. Bishop Harrington rededicated the church on July 14, 1985.
Rev. David B. Galonek, Pastor
Masses: Saturday, 4:30 pm;
Sunday, 7:30 & 11:30 am;
Jun1 to Sep 1, 10:30 am
7. Ye Old Tavern
Ye Olde Tavern. Built in 1760, was a center of colonial life in Massachusetts. The tavern was located on the Olde Bay Path, where sped the stages between Boston and Albany. George Washington was a guest in 1789 and James Adams came in 1799. Some 238 years later, Ye Olde Tavern is still extending hospitality.
8. Rice Memorial Fountain
This fountain, built in the center of the common, was given to the Town by George M. Rice in memory of his parents in 1886. In 1938 the "Lady Atop the Fountain" was destroyed in a hurricane and was restored in 1985 by J. Irving England.
9. Ben Franklin Markers
These markers were placed at one mile intervals on three routes between Boston and New York in 1753. They were used by letter carriers to determine the postage rates which were based on mileage in those times.