Welcome to the Boxborough Historical Society

Nashobah Praying Indians: A Living People, A Living Landscape: May 5

On Sunday May 5, the Boxborough Historical Society will conduct its annual “Hidden Treasures” event. Every May for the last 9 years, Freedom's Way, a consortium of 45 cities and towns that were involved in the events of 1775, has sponsored a "Hidden Treasures" event to highlight notable items and places in each municipality.

Boxborough (and Littleton) was originally the Praying Indian Village of Nashobah, a place of spirit and vision. Join Sagamore Strong Bear Medicine of the Nashobah Praying Indians and local historian Daniel V. Boudillion at the Boxborough Town Hall, 29 Middle Road, starting at 2:00 p.m. They will discuss the Nashobah people, their spirit, their journey of survival, the village, and the sacred landscape that is all around us.

Strong Bear Medicine is Sagamore of the Nashobah Praying Indians and the founder of the Friends of the Nashobah Praying Indians. He is a noted Native performer, dancer, singer, craftsman, and public speaker.  Daniel V. Boudillion is an avid historian and author with a wide knowledge of early Nashobah history and the locations associated with them, has given numerous talks and walks in the area on Nashobah history, and is a featured speaker. His work has been featured the NEARA Journal and Weird Massachusetts, and he has recently published "History of the Nashobah Praying Indians: Doings, Sufferings, Survival and Triumph".

The event is free and registration is not required.

Boxborough Schoolhouse #2 Open June 9

Boxborough’s School House #2 will be open to the public on Sunday, June 9 from 2-4 p.m. With kind permission of Nancy (Robinson) Morrison, who co-owns the property with her sister Jane Sawisch, you will be able to visit Schoolhouse #2 at 339 Picnic Street (corner of Hill Road), tour the 1857 building, and see exhibits specific to this building. You will receive a one-page history of the Schoolhouse. The Boxborough Museum at 575 Middle Road will be open also from 2-4 p.m. to provide a restroom—to save you from the outhouses behind the Schoolhouse!

Books on Boxborough History


During the 241 years of Boxborough’s existence, there have been two books written about the Town’s history.

Late in the nineteenth century, a comprehensive history of Middlesex County was published by Samual Adams Drake, titled “History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts containing carefully prepared histories of every city and town in the county.” Encouraged by this work and by her friends, Lucie Caroline Hager felt “that a history of Boxborough printed in a small volume separately…would be favorably received” and set to work to write one. 

Lucie was born in Littleton and moved to Boxborough when she married in 1882. She was a school teacher, bookkeeper, and a writer of prose and poetry. “Boxborough: A New England Town and its People,” the product of her efforts, was published in 1891.


As indicated by its title, the book is divided into two sections. The first half tells the history of the town for its roughly first 100 years. The second half presents biographical sketches of the prominent families who lived in town during that period. A biography of Lucie and a selection of her poems are included in the section on the Hager family.


Boxborough celebrated its Bicentennial in 1983. As part of that commemoration, four residents, Janet Calhoun, Susan DeStefano, Katherine Talmadge, and Elizabeth West, spent 18 months working with others to create “Boxborough: A Portrait of a Town: 1783-1983”. 


As its introduction states, “Portrait” is a combination of thousands of pages of written records with hundreds of hours of oral interviews documenting the memories of people living in town.  This sprightly written, copiously illustrated volume is organized by topic rather than chronology, e.g., “Government,” “Schools,” “Library.”  It brings to life Boxborough’s history as a small farming town up until the 1960’s, and documents the changes in Boxborough as it grew rapidly through the 1970’s and early 1980s.


There are multiple copies of each book at Boxborough’s Sargent Memorial Library. Copies can also be purchased at the Boxborough Museum or by emailing the Boxborough Historical Society at BoxboroughHistoricalSociety@gmail.com.

Boxborough Tongue in Cheek Honors  - John Fallon 7/11/2023

The Massachusetts State Legislature has passed numerous bills created the “official” State insect (ladybug), flower (mayflower), and so forth. The Boxborough legislature (town meeting) has never done this but if it was so inclined three candidates might be:

The Town insect: BEE

From time immemorial, Boxborough with a “B” has been confused with Foxborough with an F (“where the Patriots play football”) leading to misdirected packages, missed furniture deliveries, and other inconveniences. In tribute to the “B”, Boxborough has had t-shirts, tote-bags, and at least two newspapers with the bee as its logo. To see the “official” 6 foot Boxborough bee, visit the Boxborough Museum at 575 Middle Road.

The Town plant: Poison Ivy

As new residents to town quickly realize, any weed removal project runs the risk of rash and itching. As a tribute to this humble but ubiquitous plant, when the Boxborough Quilters produced their “Boxborough at a Glance” masterpiece in 1994, the border was composed of a pattern of poison ivy. To see this quilt, visit the local history room of the Sargent Memorial Library.

The Town crop: Rocks

In the early nineteenth century Boxborough had the reputation as the largest hop-growing town of its size in New England. From the Civil War until World War II, it was famous for apples and other fruits which were shipped to Boston and even overseas. Today, to the great chagrin of contractors and residents alike, the main crop in town appears to be rocks, giving the town the nickname of “Rocksborough” in some quarters. To see an outstanding example of the glacial role in depositing rocks, visit the Boxborough Conservation Trust website for information on the Boxborough Esker also known as the Beaver Brook Valley Preserve.


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