Incorporated in 1673, the town of Brookfield was part of the original Quaboag Plantation land grant of 1660 and is situated at a crossroads of the Boston Post Road that connected New York and Boston. Brookfield grew from a farming community to an industrial town, with early factories producing shoes, boots, bricks, and paper. When the factories were in full swing in 1880, Brookfield was one of the wealthiest and most populated towns in the area.
The town has since returned to a quiet state, and today residents and visitors enjoy the pastoral atmosphere while remembering some of Brookfield’s more noteworthy characters: Bathsheba Spooner, who was found guilty after a sensationalized 18th-century trial of conspiring to murder her husband; author Mary Jane Holmes, whose books about daily life sold more than two million copies; and Borden Company’s bovine mascot, Elsie the Cow, who was raised on Elm Hill Farm and made her way to Hollywood.
Highlights of Brookfield:
• The book contains a scan of the actual 1778 document of a confession for the infamous Joshua Spooner murder case.
• Also included in the book are class photos from the Blanchard School, Brookfield High School, and Brookfield Elementary School, including a photograph of a girl with the horse she rode to school every day in the early 1900s.
• A photograph of townspeople surveying the remnants of the original town hall, destroyed by fire in 1902, is included.
• The book will be used as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library.
Brenda Metterville is director of the Merrick Public Library in Brookfield, and Kate Simpson and Andrea Faugno are library assistants. They have gathered images from the collections of the library, the Brookfield Historical Commission, the Blanchard Means Foundation, and from many private residents.
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or
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