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 was sponsored by the Westborough Public Library, Westborough TV, and the Westborough Historical Society. (*Note: Months after this film was released, Rev. Brown was contacted by a former student who wanted his Lyman School story told. You can watch that conversation here.)

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.


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