Bill Cummings' new book can   be purchased at the Burdett   Mansion, 7 Mishawum Rd.   Woburn. Books are $16.95 ea.   with proceeds going to the   Woburn Historical Society.

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Website updated November 19th, 2019



Monday, June 13, 2011


In June we did a Powerpoint presentation as we rounded the bases of America's favorite pastime...and Woburn'!  Beginning in the playing fields of their childhood and maturing to the fields of leadership, Woburn's children caught the spirit of baseball as it became ingrained in the life and culture of our city through early high school teams, city leagues, PONY league, American Legion league, and the start of Little League in 1952.  Program included a filmed interview with George Berardi, Massachusetts Director of Little League.

Monday, May 9, 2011 - Woburn: A Farming Community

Tilden Farm c1910

In May we once again covered the ever popular topic of Woburn farms with a Plasma Films production of "Woburn: A Farming Community".  This brand new look at the farming industry in Woburn included new interviews, new pictures and farms that were not covered in the 2007 PowerPoint presentation.  Written by Bob Maguire and Kathy Lucero, the film, produced by Brian Ouellette drew a large crowd.

April 11, 2011 ~ Annual Election of Officers and Board of Directors

WHS Five Year Review Presentation

Special Guest Appearance by "Irish" Micky Ward - The Fighter!!

Arturo Gatti & Micky Ward

February 14, 2011 ~ Forgotten Sports Stars from Woburn's Past

Jimmy Connolly

John McElhiney brought to life some of Woburn's past athletes in our first sports program.  The PowerPoint slide show highlighted Jimmy Connolly (Connolly Stadium) and some little known baseball players that made it to the major leagues.


The Woburn Shamrock Athletic Club, 1935-1941 (Football) was last to be shown.  This short film produced by Brian Ouellette of Plasma Films and Kathy Lucero captivated the audience as they listened to Mike McGann (Woburn Shamrocks) and Andy Crawford (Nashataugs) reminisce about their rivalry between the South End and West Side of Woburn.  The contests were competitive and thrilling until their last game on December 7th, 1941, when world events would forever change all of their lives, especially the seven members of the team that would pay the ultimate sacrifice during WWII.  


This kicks off the first of a series of sports programs that will be coming in 2011. 

Woburn Shamrock Athletic Club

January 10, 2011 ~ Woburn Crimes and Mysteries

Sue Ellen Holland narrated a PowerPoint slide show depicting the photographs and headlines of crimes, mysteries and murders of Woburn's past with the help of the Woburn Public Library's Farino photo collection.  There were many surprises as Sue Ellen detailed the outrageous behavior of a Hollywood star that lead to the closing of the curious "Mishawum Manor".  There was also the legend of a good old fashioned curse and a ghost story.

Bank Robbery

December 12, 2010 ~ SCI Holiday House Tour

The Burdett Mansion, home of the Woburn Historical Society, was one of the beautifully decorated homes open for tours during the SCI Holiday House Tour.

Ellen Hamilton Photography

Decorated Burdett Mansion from Brian Ouellette on Vimeo.

The Burdett Mansion, home of the Woburn Historical Society, decorated for the SCI Holiday Tour. Thanks to Malvy's Florist for the decorating help and to Roma's Bakery for the donated refreshments. Special thanks to John and Kathy Flaherty for their continued support. Tour was held on December 12, 2010.

December 4, 2010 ~ Woburn Holiday Faire

Woburn Holiday Faire featured all things Woburn.  A perfect opportunity to do some holiday shopping.   Books by local authors, Historical Society DVDs, photos, art work, souvenirs, collector's items, and ornaments were displayed for purchase. 

November 8, 2010 ~ CHRONICLES OF WAR: Korea

This Plasma Films production commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Korean conflict by highlighting the experiences of three Woburn veterans: Cpl. Robert F. Cannon, Cpl. Fred C. Brown, Jr, and Cpl. Angelo J. Piazza, all serving with the 1st Marine Division.  Sometimes referred to as the "forgotten war", this program was a reminder to all of us to always remember Woburn's sons and daughters who served

Ellen Hamilton Photography

On November 8, 2010 we payed tribute to our veterans as Kathy Lucero and Brian Ouellette teamed up to create a Plasma Films production: Chronicles of War - Korea.  Three of Woburn's veterans of the Korean War recounted their experiences on the front lines.  The film started with a sobering introduction from Woburn's Veterans Agent Larry Guiseppe and included  an interview with Korean Consul Jooseok Kim from the headquarters of the Republic of Korea, in Boston.


The film ended with the short bios of the seven soldiers from Woburn who never returned.

October 11, 2010 ~ "FIVE FORMER MAYORS-Reflections from the Corner Office."

This Plasma Films production included a frank and open discussion about the issues and decisions that have shaped Woburn over the past 50 years.  John Gilgun, John Rabbitt, Robert Dever, John Curran and Thomas McLaughlin provided insight on the tough decisions that were made during each of their administrations.  All five former mayors joined Mayor Scott Galvin at the end of the program to answer audience questions.  A DVD of the program is available for purchase.

September 12, 2010 ~ Trolley Tour

In September we had another Trolley Tour The tours were held in association with the Woburn Historic District Commission and were generously sponsored by John Flaherty, Lennon Insurance and the Woburn Historic District Commission.  Four trolleys in the morning and four trolleys in the afternoon departed from and ended at the Woburn Public Library and featured two historic districts in North Woburn.  Over 280 passengers enjoyed the two hour trek!


Read about it in the Woburn Advocate here.

Monday ~ June 21, 2010

A History of Horn Pond

Horn Pond

On Monday June 21st, 2010, John McElhiney presented a PowerPoint presentation all about the history of Horn Pond.  A capacity crowd enjoyed over 200 slides that featured the pond from the early native American myths to the present day.

Monday ~ May 10, 2010


A Walk Down Main Street in the 1950's

From Lucia's Market to Town Line, Inc.

Sue Ellen Holland took us back to the hey-day of Woburn's downtown.  There was a time when Friday and Saturday night meant a visit to the Strand Theater and a walk through a busy and vibrant Woburn Center.  Cars lined the streets and pedestrians in passing or stopping to share the news of the day. 


The PowerPoint presentation was presented in conjuction with the Woburn Public Library and featured photographs from their Farino Collection from the Glennon Archives.  Many thanks to library volunteer Linda Olsson for her hard work on this program.


Patrick J. Farino of Woburn was a professional military recruitment photographer who became a local freelance photographer during the 1950's and 1960's.  He donated his collection of approximately 43,000 negatives to the Woburn Public Library and now lives in Florida.


Also, the award winning film "YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR LIBRARY" was shown.  This documentary film highlighted the current and future library services in anticipation of the planned expansion of the Woburn Public Library.  Sponsored by the Trustees of the Woburn Public Library, the film was written by Claire I. Murphy and produced by Brian Ouellette of Plasma Films.


You can view the film in its entirety here: "Your Community, Your Library".   

Saturday ~ May 1, 2010

Pathway of the Patriots

Tar & Feather

History came alive once again at the 4th annual Pathway of the Patriots event.  The crack of muskets was heard as the drama of an 18th century skirmish began between Colonists and Redcoats.  The event was sponsored by Arbella Insurance/Lennon Insurance and Northern Bank & Trust.

Monday ~ April 12, 2010

"Ever Ready in Time of Danger"


This Plasma Films production was written by John McElhiney and edited by Brian Ouellette and Kathy Lucero.

Monday ~ March 8, 2010

Guest Speaker: William M. Bulger

Join the Woburn Historical Society's Annual Meeting for their Annual Election of officers and Directors followed by a short slide show celebrating some of the Society's most memorable events of the past year.  Author and former president of both the Massachusetts Senate and the University of Massachusetts, William M. Bulger, will then speak about his new book, James Michael Curley: A Short Biography with Personal Reminiscences.  Bulger was inspired to enter politics by Curley, who was a lightning rod for controversy throughout his political career, spanning from 1897 - 1955.

Monday ~ February 1, 2010

Great Disasters from Woburn's Past

7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Did you know that in 1925, a tornado ripped through Woburn, forever altering the City's landscape?

Please join the Woburn Historical Society on Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Woburn Memorial High School Auditorium as John McElhiney revisits this and other disasters from Woburn's past. The program kicks off Woburn Reads 2010, where residents across the city will read Stephen Puleo's "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919" and participate in a number of city-wide events.

Monday ~ January 11, 2010

Building Route 128


Do you remember the building of Route 128? Can you believe it opened almost 60 years ago?  This fascinating program focused on the building of the highway that changed metropolitan Boston, and Woburn, forever.

“What was once ‘the road to nowhere’ quickly became a major commercial nexus for eastern Massachusetts and a critical link in the region's highway network. The visionary highway project permanently altered the character of the two dozen towns through which it passes.”


Saturday ~ December 5, 2009

Woburn Holiday Faire - featuring all things Woburn

The Woburn Holiday Faire, which was held at the Woburn Mall, featured items that were "All Things Woburn", including books, photos, souvenirs, DVDs, art work, collector's items, etc., provided a perfect opportunity to do some Holiday shopping.

Monday ~ November 16, 2009

Count Rumford - The Life and Legacy of Benjamin Thompson

A Plasma Films production on Count Rumford: Scholar, Soldier, Spy, Statesman and Scientist

DID YOU KNOW that “Count Rumford,” born Benjamin Thompson, was considered one of the leading scientific figures of his day (late 1700s/early 1800s), but that he was on the wrong side of the Revolutionary War? Or that his house, built in 1714, still stands in North Woburn, and that it contains many of the papers and artifacts from Thompson’s remarkable and diverse career?

Join the Woburn Historical Society on Monday, November 16, 2009 as they take a close-up look, on film, of Count Rumford and his nearly 300 year-old home whose contents shed light on this controversial, yet world-famous, figure who hailed from Woburn.


Sunday ~ October 4, 2009

Fourth Annual Cemetery Tour


at Olde Woodbrook Cemetery

100 Salem Street, Woburn, MA

DID YOU KNOW that Woodbrook Cemetery was so beautiful when it opened in 1845 that a number of people had the remains of their loved ones dug up and moved from elsewhere in the town to Woodbrook? Or that the word “Woodbrook” has a common meaning and special relationship with the word “Woburn?”

See its beauty and learn other interesting facts on Sunday, October 4, 2009 for their scheduled walking tour of “Woodbrook Cemetery.”

This year there will be two starting times 1 PM and 3 PM and they will tour three different sections of the Cemetery with "re-enactors" playing the parts of several people buried in each section. Each section's tour will take about 30 min. and we will have a "Shotgun Start" at the beginning. (that is the group will be divided in to thirds and each group will start at a different section). Not to fear, we have cut the walking part down a bit as the sections will be connected by busses supplied by Mr. John Devine.

See you on Sunday!!

A sampling: "Origin of the word Woburn"

Woburn is a word whose origin is Anglo-Saxon. The Saxon rootword "burn" means, "brook." The prefix "Wo", is Anglo, or in Old English, "Wode", in modern English means, "Wood." Therefore, the name "Woburn' is the name, "Woodbrook." "now you know the rest of the story"


Monday ~ October 19, 2009

Origins - Presented in conjunction with the Burbeen Free Lecture Series

DID YOU KNOW that while the Pumping Station at Horn Pond (built in 1872) was originally designed to pump water directly from the pond into a reservoir, it didn’t actually pump any pond water for over 35 years? Or that the first Halloween Parade included lots of trick or treaters, in their costumes, who were allowed to march in the parade?

Find out interesting facts on the early years and beginnings of a number of different Woburn institutions and organizations at “Origins”, to be held in association with the Burbeen Free Lecture Series, on Monday, October 19, 2009.

Presented by the Woburn Historical Society in Association with The Burbeen Free Lecture Series

Joyce Middle School
55 Locust Street, Woburn MA

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Program begins at 7:00 p.m.

Origins topics to be presented (not necessarily in this order):

~ The Burbeen Free Lecture Series - presented by City Clerk, William C. Campbell
~ The history of the City of Woburn Water Department - presented by City Engineer, John E. Corey, Jr.
~ The Woburn Daily Times - presented by Peter Haggerty, grandson of the founder of the Times
~ The first mayoral election, held in 1888 - presented by John D. McElhiney
~ Woburn Little League - presented by Robert E. Maguire
~ The Halloween Parade - presented by Joseph Elia
~ The history of the Woburn District Court - presented by Robert W. Tedesco, Esq.

Monday ~ September 21, 2009

Back to School

Did you know that the present Goodyear School was the second Goodyear School in East Woburn, with the first one being an older, wooden schoolhouse located accross the street?  Or that the Cummings School in the South End led all schools in the city in the year, 1900, in the number of instances where corporal puishment was administered (251 times) throughout the school year? 

Sunday ~ June 28, 2009

Trolley Tour of Woburn

Come out and learn the history behind historic and interesting places throughout the City of Woburn, including the Baldwin Mansion, the Middlesex Canal, old burial grounds, grand homes of the tannery owners, historic monuments and much, much more on Sunday June 28th from 12:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Tours start and end in front of The Woburn Public Library located at 45 Pleasant Street in Woburn, MA.  Three tours departing at 1:00, 2:30 and 4:00 pm


Monday ~ June 8, 2009

Woburn's Historic Homes and Mansions

There was a time when Woburn was an industrial giant and its wealth was reflected in the stately homes and mansions of rich factory owners and influential businessmen.  Relive those days on Monday, June 8, when the Woburn Historical Society presents “Woburn’s Historic Homes and Mansions”

Sunday ~ May 3, 2009

Third Annual "Pathway of the Patriots"

Come join the Woburn Historical Society for tours down the battle road (between 11 and 1) with re-enactors playing the parts of historical figures telling their stories from April 19, 1775.  There will be a British encampment manned by His Majesty's 10th Regiment of Foot and a Colonial Militia encampment manned by members of the Charlestown Militia.  Each camp will show what life was like at camp back in the 18th century and perform all the tasks that were done.  Lots to see and do and there will also be a food vendor there to keep you refereshed, so come on down.  The event will run from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday May 3rd at The Old Tarky School Lot off Russel St and Silver Mine Rd.

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