Historical Film on Lyman School For Boys

Over 200 people gathered on Monday, March 26, 2018 in the WHS auditorium for the world premiere of the newly discovered film about the Lyman School for Boys! Watch the film online here. Reverend Bob Brown, the former Lyman School chaplain and administrator from 1959 until the school’s closing in 1971, introduced the film, talked about the purpose of the school, told some stories and answered questions at the end of the 26-minute film. This world premiere event is sponsored by the Westborough Public Library, Westborough TV, and the Westborough Historical Society.

Background: While reorganizing the Westborough Room in the Westborough Public Library, Local History Librarian Anthony Vaver discovered a film in a plastic bag labeled “Lyman School” and gave it to us here at Westborough TV to digitize.  The film turned out to be a silent black-and- white movie of boys from the Lyman School performing chores, playing games, and preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner.  Westborough TV asked Rev. Frederick “Bob” Brown, to add narration to the film which put the scenes depicted into context.  When the Lyman School for Boys replaced the former Westborough Reform School in 1884, delinquent boys aged twelve to seventeen were sentenced to this facility on Route 9 to be rehabilitated, educated, and trained in useful jobs. At one point, the Lyman School housed as many as 590 boys. Below are some photos of Lyman School for Boys courtesy of the Westborough Library.


One Response to "Historical Film on Lyman School For Boys"

  1. Robert Gates   October 25, 2022 at 11:29 am

    From June to December 1963 I was sentenced to Lyman. I was put in Wachusett cottage. Mr. + Mrs. Lyons cottage masters, or I should say tyrants. Child abuse ran rampant both physically and mentally. Thankfully during weekdays I worked at the laundry, Mr. Cleaves was a nice man and I never heard him yell at anyone, unlike back at the cottage. Mr. Conners was night man and a bad man. He would slap your face for no reason other than to laugh. Looking at the film circa 1938, bears no resemblance other than the buildings to my experience at Lyman.


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