Category Archives: Press Releases

The latest information from the Grafton Historical Society.


Ask Me Anything: Thursday, 7PM, March 7th

Join Select Board members Ann Marie Foley & Mark Alimo, along with Bob Berger, Inspector of Buildings at the Grafton Historical Society to ask your questions about our town. A perfect opportunity to see the very special “Hidden Gem” housing some of Grafton’s most important artifacts, documents, textiles and maps. Our displays highlight the many fascinating stories that showcase this special town.


Coffee & Discussion Group, Sunday, February 18th: 10 am-12 pm – THE 1970’s!

Add to the fun history of remembering the 1970’s by sharing your personal stories, photos, clothing items, and music so the groovy memories can be shared by all. Hard to believe this period is creeping into the category of “Historical Times”!


Grafton Celebrates the Holiday’s: Sunday, December 3rd

The Grafton Historical Society will be hosting a Holiday Tea at our museum location from 1 – 3 PM. Stop by to see some newly accessioned items and photos for you to identify. Then, sit down with friends and enjoy a nice cup of tea and pastries. Our museum is located at 71 Main Street, South Grafton, or catch up with the crew at the Grafton Community Barn at 37 Wheeler Road, North Grafton where our guides will display a variety of unusual items, documents and maps. Our newest ornament along with books about this amazing town will be available for sale. Sharing stories and artifacts is how we have fun. Come and join us from 12 – 3:30 PM.


Vampires in Early New England: Saturday, November 4th, 2 -4 PM

The Grafton Lions Club at 68 Brigham Hill Road has made a generous offer to be the site of our next event being held on Saturday, November 4th from 2 – 4 PM. Thomas Kelleher will present a Power Point presentation on Vampires in Early New England. The question of why scores of people opened graves of their sweethearts, sons, or daughters, along with husbands and wives will perhaps not be what you expect. What terror would drive these people to take this extreme stance? How does Count Dracula fit into the picture? Answers to these and many other questions will be revealed.


Art in Bloom: Saturday October 21st & Sunday, October 22nd, 1 – 4 PM – Highlighting Nature Artist, Rita Martin

Stop by the Grafton Historical Society to view some wonderful depictions of nature through the artist eye. Our featured artist, Rita Martin lived her live absorbed in the beauty of the world around her. She recognized the need to preserve open space for recreation and was a founding member of the Grafton Forest Association, now known as the Grafton Land Trust, creating their original logo. She served proudly on the Grafton Conservation Commision and became a member of the Grafton Historical Society. With total commitment she dedicated close to thirty years of her life to these causes, which is a great reason to dedicate this Art in Bloom to Rita. Her artistic talent emerged early as she followed a path studding at Rhode Island School of Design majoring in Costume Design. Rita actively created artwork up until the end of her life. Her works were in watercolor, pencil, ink, and conte crayon. Rita Martin passed away in Grafton on December 2, 2011, at 91 years of age. Rita’s contribution to the Grafton Land Trust has been memorialized by a 94-acre Rita Martin Preserve between Potter Hill and Brigham Hill. the Lake Ripple Conservation Area and Boat Ramp on Goddard Street, just off Brigham Hill Road honors Rita R. Martin for her 24 years of service to the Town of Grafton.


Morning Coffee & Discussion, Sunday, October 21st 10 – 11:30 AM

On Sunday, October 21st the society will start by discussing stories of our World War II heroes. Join us and share some of your family’s stories. Reservations are welcome but not necessary. Can’t join in person? Contact us at 509-839-0000 or to arrange a Zoom session.


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!