I was first drawn to Westford by the beauty of the Browns River as it winds through the Village to the north. Westford is very proud of its 158-year-old covered bridge. This bridge is one of two bridges which were located in the center of town. Its twin burned around 1900. By 1987 this bridge was in need of major restoration work. The Westford Historical Society contracted with Graton Association of Ashland, New Hampshire, nationally known bridge restorers, to do the restoration work. The restoration and return of the bridge became a truly successful community effort, led by the Westford Historical Society in cooperation with the Town of Westford. The bridge work has now been completed and the bridge returned to its original site on the Cambridge Road.
Picturesque landscapes remain throughout the community. Many roads provide historic and contemporary views of farming and rural living. Most of the roads we use today are the original ones laid out by the early townspeople.
Cambridge Road came into existence in the late 1820s, when the Vermont Supreme Court appointed a committee to survey a market road from Burlington to Derby. Route 128 was first hard-surfaced in the 1940s. In 1989, improvements to Route 128 improved access to Westford. Many attempts to improve Route 128 have followed, with the road resisting each of them, as anyone who travels this road during the Spring can confirm. Perhaps the resistance to travel accounts for the many home-based businesses located in our town.
Westford was granted as a town on June 8, 1763. The town, as granted, covered 36 square miles (23,040 acres). The first settlers did not arrive until the 1780s. By 1791, the town's population was only 63. At last census our population was 1740. The town has approximately 600 households.
The Browns River afforded good mill privileges to the early nineteenth century residents. Westford has always been an agricultural town. In an 1881 gazetteer listing of some 311 households, only 64 did not list farming as an occupation. Today only 6 active dairy farms remain in the Town.
The Town's first school districts were established in 1797. By the 1960s, the village school was serving nearly all the children in town. Two of the old one-room school houses still stand.
Westford's library was started in 1895-96. The Baptist, Congregational and Methodist churches were organized between 1798 and 1821. Each group had a building in the village. Two and one-half acres for the Common were given to the town by the estate of Elizabeth Camp in 1819. Located at one end of the Town Common is the lovely Brick Meeting House, which was built in 1822 as a Baptist Church. The Westford Market has been located in the center of the Village for 135 years. Today this remains the place to meet and greet your neighbors!
In the spring of 1921, interested townspeople brought electricity to town. Electric lines were not installed in the more remote parts of town until 1935.
Although Westford is a relatively small community, we have a number of fine small businesses. To learn more about Westford's business community take a look at the Westford Business Directory.
Browns River Covered Bridge Artwork © Copyright 1996, courtesy of