Ray Farrar wrote articles on his memory of Shirley people, places, and events for our local newspaper. These were published along with photos and we now have copies in a scrapbook.
If  you want to see the entire article, come visit us on Mondays or Saturdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm or contact us at mail@shirleyhistory.org about making copies.

1/10/2012 John Harris Farm Parker and Little Turnpike Margaret Harris, Horace Harris,  Working farm until 1970's
1/17/2012 Overlook Between Center and Benjamin Roads John Soltesz  Called overlook due to view of Ft. Devens.  Originally built in 1920's. Used as entertainment for army officers during WWII.
1/24/2012 Henry Dodge Farm Little Turnpike Road Henry and Bell Dodge In its glory in 1800s. 
1/31/2012 Hazel Cummings Farm Little Turnpike Road Cummings Family, then daughter Hazel Built 1700s. Large Apple Orchard. Suicide.
2/7/2012 Ice Cream Parlor Corner of Chapel and Porter Streets Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Parlor was built by Mr. Thomas so wife could make money in the 1930s
2/14/2012 Ayer Junction Electric trolly car from Shirley to Ayer   Gave mobility in 1900s
2/21/2012 Cooperage Across from todays Pheonix Bar & Grille Ran by Gran Fairbanks Cooperage is a mill to make wooden barrels.
2/28/2012 Tavern Little Turnpike Road Mr. Little. Wilfred Chevrette in 1920s-1930s Built for travelers unable to pass between Rt. 2A and Lunenburg in spring due to mud.
3/6/2012 White Mill Dam     Built 1856 to power saw mill off Rt. 2A. Taken out by flood of March 1937
3/13/2012 Race Track Peabody Road   Proposed in late 1950s. Voted down 3 times.
3/20/2012 Crowne House Lawton Road 1716 Mr. Lawton, 1904 purchased by John Crowe House built in 1716. Burned down in 1965 
3/27/2012 Pound Shirley Center next to the Meeting House and the Center Town Hall. Jack Farrar, pound keeper Jail for loose farm animals: cows/horses
4/3/2012 Horse Pond Road Shirley Center near Walker Road   Burial ground for large animals.
4/10/2012 Hole in the Hill Center Road Mort Lawrence Built 1930. Refused to move house for power lines.  Moved land across the street for many years to fill in around the house.
4/17/2012 Max Pit North side of Catcunemaug Railroad Crossing Frank and John Max 1936 used fill to rebuild Center Road.
4/24/2012 Granite Posts North side of Front Street near Train Depot Pat Walsh and Doris Wheeler: Green Committee Donations from townspeople and 25 volunteers beautifed Shirley 1980s
5/1/2012 Big Move in Shirley Road replaced trolley line to Ayer   Route of Fitchburg and Leominster railway
5/8/2012 Highway Department Clark Road Frank Westover, ed Onners, James Devine, Bill Wilson, Harry Wheeler, Tony and two unidentified. Built 1930s. Nine employees.
5/15/2012 Paul Farrar House Benjamin Road Meylands: 1920s, Nowokenski's, Julia & Ed Sweetser House moved from Benjamin Road to across the street around 1980
5/22/2012 Monument Picture Shirley Center Civil War veteran Bill Jubb Memorial Day Celebration
5/29/2012 World War I Veterans Camp Devens Book provided by Hollie McGrath Photo
6/5/2012 Shirley High School Lancaster Road  Teachers 1936: Middle School, Sara James & Nellie McNiff Used in 1800s as high school
6/12/2012 Farrar Farm Benjamin Hill   Asparagus grown on the farm
6/19/2012 Shirley Train Depot     Now gives good impression.
6/26/2012 Mrs. Tidd's Kitchen Main Street J. Walter Desmond, Richard T. Lilly, Sylvester J. Tidd: Selectmen Met in Mrs. Tidd's Kitchen for comfort.
7/10/2012 1930 July 4th Parade Shirley Center Truck owned by the Longley Family 1930 Ford Model A Truck carried the Girl Scouts
7/17/2012 Rebuilding a House Leominster Road Ray Farrar, Bill Blair, Donald "Red" Farrar and Michael Gray 1965 2 houses moved from Haskell St. to Leominster Road. Repairs took a year to complete.
7/24/2012 Shirley's American Express Front Street Laudromat   Company ran until 1950. Railroad brought the packages and cars delivered until they got small trucks. Original building had no windows just storage and was torn down when company closed.
7/31/2012 Coal Sheds South side of Main Street. Now a parking lot for Lambert's True Value Hardware Business run by Amy Wheeler.  Delivered by Kenneth Longley. 1930's sheds lined the edge of the railroad tracks. Housed coal and coke (charcoal)
8/7/2012 Bull Run Fair Grounds Dr. Eddy's practice on 2A Ray Farrar's great, great-grandfather, George Farrar and wife Mary ran the balcksmith shop and coffee shop where Shirley Package Store is today. Used in 1800s as Bull Run Fairgrounds. Prize bulls would fight and wagers were made.  This is how the Bull Run got its name.
8/14/2012 Rags to Riches 48 Ayer Road Original owner Artie Adams, Current owner Scott and Diane Renstrom New owners are restoring the home.
8/21/2012 Miner's Blacksmith Shop 10 Main Street Mr. Miner  Owned and ran the blacksmith shop in the 1880s and 1890s
8/28/2012 Wells Livery Stable Fredonian Street Mr. and Mrs. (Abbie) Wells 1920s and 1930s the stable was a good place to rent a horse and buggy to go for a Sunday ride or Shopping in Ayer. The house and stable was torn down in the late 1930s.
9/4/2012 Dr. Lilly's Office Main Street Dr. Lilly 1920s, Mr. Brackett 1940s, The Olivers 1950s The home had an office in the front and living quarters in the rear.
9/11/2012 Desmond Livery Stable Davis Street   Barn/stable three stories high: wagons & buggies 1st floor, horses on the 2nd and hay on the third.
9/18/2012 Grist Mill Route 2A on the Ayer Town Line Del Waterman, Current owner Bob Gonynor Mill in 1700s and 1800s to ground corn, rice, oats or wheat into meal.
9/25/2012 George Morin House Corner of Center Road and Davis Street George Morin Built late 1800s-early 1900s.  Purchased by Geoge Morin about 1930s.
10/2/2012 Ned Harkins Home Center Road Ned Harkin Ned was the Postmaster of Shirley and Time keeper for the town during the 1930s.
10/9/2012 Cranberry House Center Road   Used in 1800s to dry cranberries grown on Holden Road.
10/16/2012 Munson Mansion Corner of Center Road and Mundon Avenue Norman C. Munson in 1800s then Quinty Family 1930s Norman worked in Boston filling in Back Bay Boston.
10/23/2012 Goodrich-Jordeen Home North Corner of Center Road and Hazen Road Mr. & Mrs. Goodrich. Miss Jordeen moved in when Mr. Goodrich passed Mrs. Goodrich was an R.N. and was said to have a two-digit license number.
10/30/2012 Little Tug Saved Ben Davis     Story: Repair of wagon using a tug connected to the horses in 1840s.
11/6/2012 Broom Factory Shirley Center across from Trinity Chapel Longley Family 1800s
11/13/2012 Shorty's Market Corner of Fredonian and Phoenix Streets Mr. & Mrs. Cuttler then Paul "Shorty" Cornoyer Ran from 1930s to 1940s
11/20/2012 John Soltesz Home Center Road Mansion Soltesz family Picture from 1910
11/27/2012 Brookside Intersection Main Street and Center Road Mr. "Chappy" & Mrs. Chapman Rooming house in 1908
12/4/2012 Now Is The Hour Where the Shirley Garage now stands George Sanderson Sr., George Sanderson III Profile of farmer G. Sanderson.G. Sanderson III took the farm on Lancaster Road and made it into an airport
12/11/2012 Chicken Pox on the Farm The Farrar Farm Amos, Donald "Red", Ray Farrar Story: digging potatoes and catching chicken pox
12/18/2012 Christmas in the 1930s Legion Hall   Story: Christmas during the Great Depression
1/8/2013 Shirley to Ayer in the Teens Road between Shirley and Ayer   Roads changed between 1910 and now
1/15/2013 Shirley 1910 Overview of Shirley   Snow in 1910. Town rolled it, not plowed.
1/22/2013 #8 School House Church Street Sarah Stevens/James, Sadie Gately White History of the school building
1/29/2013 Church Street School Church Street Lura A White, Miss Hood, Miss Carson, Miss Ross, Miss O'Meara, Frank Westover, Mr. Lincoln History of the school building
2/5/2013 The War Memorial Building Church Street Lucien Gionet War Memorial Building was part of the WPA during the Great Depression
2/12/2015 Lake Shirley Was Once Called Shirley Reservoir Lake Shirley Dam off Catacunemaug Road   A dam used to power mills and factories, and there was a reservoir there
2/19/2013 The Old Dam Shoddy Mill off Catacunemaug Road   A dam in the early 1800s ran the Shoddy Mill, which reclaimed wool
2/26/2013 Old Lady Pickles Corner of Catacunemaug and Leominster roads Swiryda family Swiryda's Store was the only one in west part of Shirley
3/5/2013 Tom Seaman's House Catacunemaug Road Seaman family, Charlie, Tom, Annette Condominiums replaced the house
3/5/2013 Johnny Jock's Gas Station and Store North Shirley on Rt 2A Johnny Bjorklund, Mr. Farrar Gas station accident where Mr. Farrar was burned
3/5/2013 A Little Blarney     St. Patrick's Day card passed around. Basketball Game Ku Klux Klan vs. Knights of Columbus for benefit of Jewish Relief Fund
3/19/2013 The Hyman Perlstein Home Corner of Clark and Ayer Perlstein family, Lou, Zeus, Anna; Dr Lilly; Eric Shapiro Mr. Perlstein collected metals and had a farm
3/26/2013 Whiteley Park Whiteley Park, Corner of Front and Phoenix Mr. Whiteley, Shakers History of the park
4/2/2013 Farrar's Blacksmith Shop Great Road Mr. Little, Farrar Brothers 1844 the brothers moved and built the blacksmith shop
4/9/2013 The Old Hazen Bridge Old Hazen Bridge Police Chief Moss, Sergeant Beechy, Max Gionet The bridge was once part of Route 2
4/16/2013 The Townsend Pool Townsend Road near 2A   There was a sandy area that was good for swimming and/or bathing
4/23/2013 Shirley Fire Station #2 Corner of Leominster and Lancaster roads Dave Holden History of the building
4/30/2013 Farnsworth Saw Mill Great Road Lou Farnsworth, Bill, Waldo, Skip, Kenneth 1930s or so the author went to the mill to cut some logs into boards
5/7/2013 Governor Bradford Visits Shirley Lancaster Road Governor Robert Bradford, Selectman Gordon T Banks, Stanley Gallagher, Beulah Warmbolt, Nelson Warmbolt, Robert Lambert, Jim Thibault 1940s the governor visited Shirley
5/14/2013 Can You Name Anyone? Church Street School Lura White, Mr. Lincoln, Miss Hood, Marian Carson, Sara Ross, Pearl O'Meara, Frank Westover, Beatrice Peneseau, Joe DeVarney, John Hebert, Ed Riley, Gladys Leary, Allen Bradford, Walter Lambert, Lyle Wheeler, Bertha Reed, Alice Pauley, Harriet Blair, Beatrice Peneseau, Jackie Colburn, Mary Nowokunski, Marion Dailey, Kristine Kubiak, Herbie Riley, Robert Artus, Lawrence Credit, Richard Evans, Vern Hillman, John Bobbin, Kathryn Young, Marie Sideleau, Ruth E Chesbrough, Ruth A Chesbrough, Ruth Keathing, Beverly Keffel, Jackie Sampson, George Sanderson, Freddie Quinty, Robert McCollister, Wade Longley, Homer Stahl Class photo from 1931
5/21/2013 The House Stops Here Benjamin Road Mr. Nowokowski, Gus Potenius, Paul Farrar 1975, author moved a house he bought across the street
5/28/2016 Memorial Day in Shirley Center Shirley Center William Jubb Memorial Day Celebration
6/4/2013 The Davis Orchard Lancaster Road Davis Family, John McIntire, Donald Chase Two orchards that are both gone now
6/11/2013 The Desmond Farm Lancaster Road Pratt family, Edward "Bill", Burt, Charlie, Fannie; Dr J Walter Desmond, children Patricia, Jack, Phylis, Barbara; Henry Sampson, children Doris and Jack; Noyes Family Ownership of the farm
6/18/2013 The Buella Wormbolt Home Southwest corner of Chapel and Mill streets Buella Wormbolt, Nelson; Sherman Mudget; Reed Chesbrough, wife and dauther Ruth E, Lester Holden, Sybil, Jackie Ownership of the house
6/25/2013 The Chapel on Chapel Street Chapel Street Richard Pontbriand, Judy Lamoreaux Ownership of the chapel
7/2/2013 Last House on Chapel Chapel Street Ray Farrar History of the house
7/16/2013 Pop Tracey's Ice Cream Stand Ayer Road near Tremblay's Garage Pop Tracey,Emma Hanson, Wallace Hanson, Bertha, Sally Ice Cream stand in the 1940s
7/23/2013 The George DeVarney House Corner of Chapel and Porter Streets George DeVarney, Bob Lambert, Ann Lambert DeVarney ran an auto repair shop
8/6/2013 The Davis House Corner of Davis Street and Center Road Davis Family, McGrath amily Davis Family were farmers who branched out into real estate
8/13/2013 Umbagog on the Catacunemaug Catacunemaug Brook just east of George Frost/President's Building Mr. Pauley, Chet Pauley, Vernon Bealeau Factory building in Shirley Village, once held turbines that powered President's building
8/20/2013 Stanley Gallagher Parker Road Stanley Gallagher, Buella Wormbolt Mr. Gallagher was an Irish salesman who drove a 1928 Model A Ford
8/27/2013 The Barnard House Center, Parker, Brown roads intersection in Shirley Center Barnard Family The house changed hands many times and was put to many uses due to its location
9/3/2013 White Oaks off Ayer Road off Ayer Road Moody Parker Town purchased land and used it for a baseball field. It was later a mill - Bemis now owns it
9/10/2013 Shaker Road Shaker Road   Photo from 75 years prior, when Shaker Road was a dirt road
9/17/2013 Trinity Chapel  Shirley Center   Brief history of the chapel
9/24/2013 The Hole in the Hill Center Road near power lines Morton E Lawrence Mort refused to move his house for power lines, and every day moved dirt from across the road to his house to fill in the hill
10/1/2013 The Lester Berry House Hazen Road, near Warren Road Lester Berry, Arthur Holden, Kay, Phil, Arthur Jr. Holden History of the location - current house is not historical
10/8/2013 The John Hebert House Hazen Road John Hebert, Alice Hebert, George Holden, Lester Holden, Alice Pauley, John Jr. Jay, Jack Hebert  
10/15/2013 The John Coleman House Clark Road, just past Bruce Street John Coleman, Annie, Hilda; Gordon Hatch, Juanita Brief background on Coleman family
10/22/2013 The Doctor Steicher's office Front Street Dr. Steicher, "Hack" Noyes Brief background on Dr. Steicher
10/29/2013 The End of an Era Main Street Joe Tremblay, Robert Tremblay History of the Main Street Garage
11/5/2013 Camp Devens, 1918 Ayer Train Station   Men heading to Ayer train station to go to Devens
11/12/2013 Ye Old Cock and Bottle Great Road Benjamin and George Farrar, Lester Berry, Guercios Building is now the Shirley Package Store, and it was where the Farrar brothers lived
11/19/2013 The Edmond Januskiewiecz House Center Road Pepe Lambert, Wilfred Gionet, Edmond Januskiewiecz, Phyllis Januskiewiecz, Peter, Paul, John and David, Mary and Susan Families that lived at the house
11/26/2013 Thanksgiving Day 1918 Townsend Road John H Farrar, Parents Henry and Clara The town meetinghouse was burnt in the 1930s. Was the home of John Farrar
12/3/2013 Amos Farrar's Indian Motorcycle Town Meeting Road Amos Farrar His first new bike he owned - stop driving it after he nearly broke his leg
12/10/2013 1903-2013 Center Townhall Susan Baxter Grange Christmas Party in 1930s
12/17/2013 A Wedding Photograph n/a Amos W Farrar, Mary Harris, Daughter Eva Farrar Ray's grandparents wedding picture from mid 1800s
1/7/2014 The Old Shaker Laundry MCI Shirley Lynch Family Industrial School for Boys - it is now MCI Shirley
1/14/2014 Welcome Home Day Parade, 1946 Lura A White School to Phoenix Street.  Edward and Edith Farnsworths - Children Eleanor, Alston, and Roy. Alphee Levesque, Jimmy Richardson, Ernie Michaud Parade to welcome soldiers home
1/21/2014 Shirley Center Common Shirley Center Common   History of Shirley Center Common
1/28/2014 Shirley 1915 Shirley   Overview of Shirley Winter 1915
2/4/2014 Raising Money for Cerebral Palsy Fire House  John "Beansy" Conway, Joe Lemire, Paul Bliss, Milton Westover, Harvey Westover, Charlie Hartman, Albert Chevrette, Dick Hatch, Ray Farrar, John Welton, Gerald Fitzgerald, Skip Farnsworth, George Sanderson, Everett Barnard Fire Department and Police Department Fundraiser
2/11/2014 Lower Main Street to Bridge Old Main Street    
2/18/2014 A Storm in 1920 Shirley   Pull rollers used during winter storm
2/25/2014 Civil War Monument Shirley Common   Restoration of monument after being decapitated
3/4/2014 Share Volunteer Jenny Westover Shirley Fire Department Jenny Westover, Barbara Eubanks Jenny Westover volunteered for Shared program
3/18/2014 Welcome Home Day Lura A. White School Alice Gilbert Alice Gilbert was Lady Liberty on float during Welcome Home Day Parade in 1946
3/25/2014 The Flowering Crab Benjamin Road Heather Steele, Carol and James Steele, Ray Farrar  
4/1/2014 Spring Rains and Melting Snow Walker Road Dam   Sometimes the roads would flood in the spring when the snow melted
4/8/2014 The Brookside Brookside Dr. Steicher, Lucien Gionet History of Building
4/15/2014 Parade in Shirley Front Street  James Steele, Ben Farrar, Heather Steele  
4/22/2014 The Lambert Farm Ayer Road (then known as Main Street) Merlin Lambert, Raymond Lambert, William Lambert, Oscar Sidleau, Henry Gendron, Bruce Family, Ray Farrar History of the Farm
4/29/2014 The Shop Building MCI Medium Joe Landry, Mr. Wells  The shop building housed shops for boys at the school
5/6/2014 The Old Shirley Depot Benjamin Road Ray Farrar, Cracker Jack, Ernie Michaud, Wilfred Michaud History of Old Shirley Depot
5/13/2014 Ray Farrar's First Car Shirley Ray Farrar, Wally Hansen, Carl Loomer Details of the new car Ray bought
5/20/2014 Waiting for the Trolley Shirley Depot   Where Phoenix Bar and Grill is today
7/1/2014 The First Shirley Fire Station Chapel Street   The first Fire Station was built by volunteers
7/15/2014 Shirley Drum and Bugle Corps Main Street Donna Farrar There are no more Shirley Drum and Bugle Corps
7/22/2014 Fourth of July Celebration on Town Meeting Road Town Meeting Road Farrar Family, Thompson Family, Minnie Farrar, Joe Thompson  
7/29/2014 Dental Inspectino at Camp Devens Camp Devens   Dental Inspections were part of new recruiting process
8/5/2014 Corn Field Farrar Farm on Ayer Road   Description of the Farrar Farm
8/12/2014 Church Street School Church Street School Bob Hartwell, Mr. Hartman, Roy Hatch, Fred Hebert, "Popeye" Colson, Edward Riley, Landry, Beatrice Keffel, Rockwell Craig, Francis Colsen, Alan Bradford Class Photo from 1932
8/19/2014 The Old Lubritorium is Gone   Joe Tremblay, Viola (Ray's aunt) Was once Tremblay's Garage - new owners are Absolute Auto Repair Center
9/30/2014 Priscilla Jubb Lived on Holden Road Priscilla Jubb, Barbara (Priscilla's Daughter), Grandfather William Jubb, Bob Brockelman - Children Curt, Barbara, and Bruce Biography of Priscilla Jubb
10/14/2014 Plowing Land on Town Meeting Road Town Meeting Road Amos Parkhurst Farrar, Alice Gould 1920
11/18/2014 Tidd's Drug Store Tidd's Drug Store Mrs. Jurga, Sylvester Tidd, John Farrar, Young Family - Anna, Edwin, Bernard, Mary, Kathleen (children from Young family), Mr. and Mrs. Tidd - son named Jackie, Gladys Leary  
12/2/2014 Moody Parker   Moody Parker, Israel, John Bresnahan, Horace Legacy, Paul Farrar Biography of Moody Parker
2/10/2015 Remembering the Blizzard of '78 Farrar Farm   Flooded the barn at Farrar Farm
3/31/2015 Do You Remember the Green Committee? Started near Benjaming Road Crossing and went to Depot Square Rhonda Caissie, Jackie Esielionis, Ray Farrar, John Farrar, Amelia Gionet, John Guthrie, Stanley Jurga, Melissa Lynch, Lisa Marino, Pat Walsh, Doris Wheeler, Robert Adam To replace glass enclosure for the Depot Station
4/14/2015 The Coal Station Where the Train Depot now stands Charie Shepherd  
7/14/2015 David Gray from Center Road Center Road David Gray, Fran (wife) High-wheeler bicycle ridden by David Gray - Photos around 1960