Category Archives: Press Releases

The latest information from the Grafton Historical Society.


Morning Coffee and Discussion Group – Sunday, September 24th 10AM – 12PM.

Join us next Sunday for an interesting discussion over coffee and doughnuts. We are excited to get this monthly program up and running. Week one will focus on World War I. We will share stories we have about Grafton residents Roger Warren and Joseph Sampson and encourage you to learn if any family members served that you can share stories about. Reservations are welcome at 508/839/0000. Can’t join in person but would like to participate? We could look into setting up zoom. Please email to request that service.


54th Annual Antique & Arts Show: Saturday, June 17, 2023 9 am – 3 pm

The best vendors know about the successful show held on beautiful Grafton Common, Route 140, Grafton, MA each June and are lining up to show their products for your shopping pleasure. The gates open at 9 am and the show runs until 3 pm, rain or shine. As in the past we will have Antique Appraisals by Thomas Tomaszeck at $5.00 each. There will be plenty of Grafton related items to bring home found at the society’s table. Our admission fee of $5.00 goes directly to support the 501(c)3 non-profit organization for yearly expenses and interesting monthly programs. Food, music and demonstrations will be available. Our popular Silent Auction table will have some great baskets for you to bid on.


Little Bank Day, Sunday, May 21st 1 – 4 pm

It is with great pride that we are hosting Little Bank Day on Sunday, May 21st from 1 – 4 pm at Mill Villages Park, 61 Main Street, South Grafton.

We are able to present this special occasion as a way to honor the generous donation from the builder’s son/grandson for upkeep of the exterior paint and skirt boards. The inside is a work in progress and will be able to give you a sneak peek at what it once was, A functioning bank for the people of South Grafton. The beautiful Iron grate that once served as a separation screen from the bank tellers, will be placed in a spot of importance close to its original location but not directly in the same spot. The story of the builders is fascinating, come find out for ourself.

A few mannequins will be placed for visual effect and we encourage you to have your photo taken with Elvis! He will be in the building.

Children’s activities such as story time, a story walk and hula hoop contest will be taking place. A assortment of items considered non-electric will be on display. Vintage cars should be on site as well but due to the weather that could make it prohibitive.


2023 Volunteer of the Year Awards

The Grafton Historical Society’s Volunteer of the Year award will be presented to two dedicated volunteers on Friday, May 5th at our Annual meeting at the Post Office Pub. Join us to celebrate their commitment and dedication to keeping Grafton’s history alive for future generations. Call 508-839-0000 or email for more information.

Kristen Remillard: When we met, she was an acting scout leader and made a request for us to share our knowledge of the history of Grafton Common. I developed a scavenger hunt for the scouts and leaders to find clues to identify each building, and the fun began, but that wasn’t the end of their research, she set up a visit to the museum. I was very happy to give them a tour and share some stories. Other troops followed her lead and soon we were doing more of what we love best, sharing our town’s rich history. Kristen joined our board a few years later and we saw her eagerness to be involved in something that would promote a unified community spirit. Observing and listening she soon found there were lots of places for her to help. Her knowledge of tech played a huge part in the success of last year’s Annual Antique show. You need constant updates to social media to have an impact and not everyone does that well, Kricky is a wiz at it. On the big day, Kristen was very busy. She filled in for many different people so they could take a break, there were also many errands and small details that she would observe and then volunteer for. You never had to ask, she saw the need and took action. Getting to know more about her and seeing the ease at which she shares her thoughts in words along with actions, I realized she could be the perfect candidate to represent the society by writing short stories for The Community Advocate. She didn’t hesitate and has done some wonderfully informative articles. A part of our First Friday tea, Kristen is there to help with all the details, and she learned quickly how easy it was to just sit and converse with ladies of all ages. She and daughter Chloe took charge of an event for young children at Grafton Celebrates the Holidays in 2019 and this year assisted with the Holiday Tea that has become a favorite.

Pam Hollander: You would think that as Chair of the Education Department at Worcester State University, time to engage with outside commitments could be limited, but since 2018 she has volunteered to help with our yearly programs, looking for a way to engage the youth of our community. I first met Pam at our History in Bloom 2017, when she and her daughter came to see our wonderful collection of wedding gowns. Upon learning we were moving, she and Megan Webber helped me pack the museum. Pam understands the value of retaining our town’s history. For our 2018 – 2019 events schedule, she came up with an idea to invite a Steam Punk group to come to the museum. What a fun night it was. We were able to clear a space, allowing tables to be set in an atmosphere similar to a small nightclub. Our presenters were dressed in their finest Stem Punk as well as our many guests. Another program highlighted Grafton’s diverse culture by engaging the Cultural Club at Grafton High School. I remember the first meeting with the students who had no understanding of the work it takes to curate and present items with enough detail to make an enjoyable experience for the viewer. Pam set up several additional meetings and on April 27th & 28th the museum hosted several students as they proudly offered a peek into each one’s culture, not only with a display, but some traditional food from each participant. The event, although not as well attended as we had hoped, led the kids to request a second chance to do that program again the following year, but due to Covid protocol it never happened. She has participated in third grade enrichment for the past few years covering subjects like our shoe industry that made Grafton the second largest shoe manufacturer in Worcester County in the mid 1800’s, and the textile mills that brought workers from Europe to our little town. Pam has helped organize many other programs, like this year’s Retro Fashion program called, “Pretty Powerful: 100 Years of Voting & Style. Our guests were encouraged to participate by wearing clothing that could tell their own personal history through style. Everyone attending got a chance to share a little piece of their past. What fun! Pam has proven that history does not have to be boring!


“The History of Baseball” Saturday, February 18th 2 PM

On Saturday, February 18th the Grafton Historical Society will host historian Joe Kuras presenting “The History of Baseball” at 2 PM in the Community Room at the Grafton Public Library. At one point there was a baseball field out behind this current library. As the Red Socks head back to MA, we can’t forget the contribution our town of Grafton made to “America’s Favorite Pastime”! Joe will amaze you with a power point presentation covering the story of a community whose love for this sport is still strong. Light refreshments will be served at this free presentation. A snow date of Saturday, February 25th has been set aside if needed.


Genealogists: Check Out the Museum!

Marc Leuenberger recently completed research on the family history and relations of Graftonite Jonathan Warren and had it published in the MASSOG Journal of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists. At one time Warren was the richest person in Grafton, responsible for construction of the town house on the Common, a.k.a., the Warren Block.

Marc kindly sent the Society a copy of his paper, you can read it here:

Come to the museum and dig up your own roots! Marc’s work is a great example of what can be accomplished with the myriad resources available in the museum – you can do it too. Beginning with Pierce’s “History of Grafton”, and is citation 1 in Leuenberger’s journal article. From there you can branch out into tabular records, newspapers, and photos. Yearbooks in the library are good resources for studies of more recent family histories. Musuem volunteers are constantly finding new information and adding to the index.

The museum also holds information beyond geneology, including houses, buildings, business, farms, and maps. We’re open Sundays from 2-4 and by appointment – see the About page or our Facebook page for the latest information.

Happy researching!


Pretty Powerful: The History of Fashion – October 22 2- 4 pm

Place: Grafton Library Community Meeting Room

Co-Sponsors: Grafton Historical Society & Grafton Public Library

Most people have lots of historic fashion moments happening right in their own closets.  After all, fashion designers are always bringing styles back.  The Grafton Historical Society and Grafton Public Library are betting that some folks will enjoy wearing, talking about and learning more about retro fashion and what fashion tells us about the values of the people wearing it.  They are throwing a Retro Fashion in Your Closet event at 2:00-4:00 on Saturday Oct.  22 in the Community Room at the Grafton Public Library.  Participants are invited to raid their own closets to find some clothing that has retro elements.  Think high waisted jeans, frilly blouses, goth clothes, steampunk outfits, 1990s hip hop attire, gingham picnic shirts, etc.

Historian Dr. Charlotte Haller from Worcester State University will explain what style changes over the decades have said about the people wearing the clothing.  Dr. Haller will draw on her work as curator of the exhibit Pretty Powerful that was on display last year at the Worcester Historical Museum.  “One of the reasons why fashion designers may take inspiration from the past is that power that clothes have to define an era so compellingly.” Haller explains. 

“I’m really excited about the interactive nature of this fashion event,” Pam Hollander, Grafton Historic Society program planner, said.  “I love the idea that a mixture of younger and older people from the area will get together dressed up in clothing that references an earlier time period.”  Each of the style elements from earlier times can be associated with a certain aesthetic or even values and beliefs.”

The Grafton Historical Society Museum, at 71 Main Street, in South Grafton, has a collection of historic clothing that the public can come and take a look at during open museum hours.  There are garments worn by women and men, as well as some children’s clothing.  “Our clothing collection ranges from the early 1800’s through the mid 1900’s with some special attire like wedding gowns, cheerleading outfits, scouting uniforms,  very early bathing suits, along with one band uniform that is very patriotic” explains Nancy Therrien, President of the Grafton Historical Society.  “The average daily outfits reflected the moral culture of each time period.”

For more information about the event, contact Pam Hollander at or call the Historical Society at (508) 320-1173.

This program was funded in part by the Grafton Cultural Council, a local agency that is part of the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.


Volunteers Wanted, June 18th

Join the members who have discovered how much fun volunteering can be. On Saturday, June 18th we will hold our 53rd Annual Antique & Arts Show.

  • Help collect entrance fee at gates
  • Assist with services at food table
  • Dress in costume and work at the Society table selling books or maps
  • Setup 7:30 am or psckup at 2:30 – 3:30 (Some heavy lifting required)
  • email graftonmahistory
  • text or call Nancy 508-320-1173

Your volunteer service will help our mission of keeping Grafton History alive and well.


Annual Antiques & Arts Show – June 18 9am – 3pm

Join the Grafton Historical Society on Saturday, Junne 18th for the Annual Antique & Arts Show. Antique & Art vendors will line beautiful Grafton Common offering high quality Antiques and craft items for sale. Music and food will be available to add to the festive spirit. An admission of $5.00 goes to the society for maintenance and monthly programs.


Sunday, April 3rd Book Signing

On Sunday, April 3rd at 2 PM, the Grafton Historical Society will host author Claire Gem as she presents “Electricity” a romance novel with a supernatural twist. When your inspiration comes from a creepy old building on the grounds of Grafton State Hospital the story is sure to keep you in suspense. You can pre-order books that will be selling for $12.00 by calling 508-839-0000 or by emailing