Membership & donations

The Worthington Historical Society receives no Town funds and is run entirely by volunteers. We have a small endowment – and earn occasional revenue from building rentals or publication sales – but are mostly supported through memberships and financial donations. We invite everyone to join and help us explore and preserve Worthington’s history.

We are a 501(3)(c), tax-exempt organization. All memberships and donations are fully tax-deductible.

Individual memberships are $20, family memberships are $35, and of course we welcome donations in any amount. All memberships and donations to WHS can be paid through the Paypal button below. If you prefer to mail in your contribution, please send a check made out to “Worthington Historical Society” to Worthington Historical Society / P. O. Box 12 / Worthington MA 01098. Include a piece of paper indicating your name, mailing address, email address, and whether you are already a member. 

Memberships and Donations to WHS

Donating items

We welcome donations of letters, diaries, scrapbooks, postcards, photographs, paintings, drawings, needlework, furniture, household and farm items, clothing, business records, organizational records, and anything else with a clear connection to the history of Worthington and the people who have lived here. We can scan and return to you any photographs or documents you wish to keep.  

The WHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and gifts are tax-deductible. However, WHS does not provide appraisals. It is the donor’s responsibility to appraise any donated property for tax purposes.

If you wish to donate an item to the Historical Society, please email us at or fill out our downloadable Donation Form. In 2006 the Board developed a collections policy that can also be downloaded.

Recent donations

Great thanks to all who have donated items to WHS. Some recent acquisitions are itemized or photographed below.

In January 2020, the family of John and Marion Sweeney donated a massive three-volume biography and compendium of Russell H. Conwell, titled The “Acres of Diamonds” Man: A Memorial Archive of Russell H. Conwell; A Truly Unique Institutional Creator, by Joseph C. Carter. Carter was a journalism professor at Temple University, which Conwell founded in Philadelphia, and these books were privately printed there in 1981. Also among the Sweeney materials are several South Worthington photographs and an RHC autograph stamp, photographed above. 

Thank you Betsey and Nicholas Willis Howes for donating a treasure trove of materials from the family of C. K. Brewster and his store in Worthington Center, mostly from the late 19th century. The Howes purchased these materials at auction around 40 years ago (at Senas’ auction house in Worthington), and we look forward to scanning, cataloguing, and sharing all the old letters and unique documents.

This sign was mounted in 2019 along Sam Hill Road. The Watts family owned property surrounding the stream. John Watt and his son, John Watts, had a mill operation upstream from this location from the late 1790s into the 1850s.

Thank you Donald E. Watts, whose extremely generous financial contributions in 2019 enabled us to buy a new large-format scanner and several years’ worth of “virtual machine” support for our website and online archive. The donation of Mr. Watts will also enable us to paint the cupola of our building, publish a corrected reprint of our book Papers on the History of Worthington, and provide stipends for a guest speaker and an archiving intern.

Mr. Watts writes: “My mother, Lucy M. (Gaynor) Watts, died last October (2018), 95 years old. She outlived my father, Julius I. Watts, by 45 years. Julius (‘Bud’) was the grandson of William I. Watts and great-grandson of Henry Law Watts. I wish to support the Society in my mother’s memory. Remembering the life that she shared with a northerner, she being a West Virginian by birth. She had a great life.”

Thanks also to Christopher and Carol Powell for the recent donation of a historic Hampshire County map, an architectural and historical tour booklet from Worthington’s 1968 Bicentennial, Lois Ashe Brown’s 2000 Worthington Map from the Boston Globe, and several other newspaper articles of importance.

Surveyor’s level with “inclinometer” at the center as well as a sighting tube and compass. Donated by Arlene and Charles Cudworth in 2011.

Inclinometer from surveyor’s level, manufactured by Edward Helb of Railroad, PA, and patented in 1904. Donated by Arlene and Charles Cudworth in 2011.

Candle mold, masher/ricer, skimmer, and egg beater from Cudworth Farm. Donated by Arlene and Charles Cudworth in 2011.

Burr letter

Letter from the Burr Family Archives, loaned to the WHS by F. Andrus (Andy) Burr for scanning, cataloguing and study. WHS received a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities for this project.


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