Center Historic District

Included with the Center District as of July 2006

The Railroad District

The Center village of West Brookfield occupies a broad plain with Wickaboag Pond on the west, the Quaboag River on the south, and Coys Brook on the east. Foster Hill, the location of the town’s first settlement, rises to the southeast. Route 9, including remnants of the old colonial Bay Road, skirts the southern edge of the pond, passing east-west as South Main Street through the center village. A town common is located at the fort of Route 9 and North Brookfield Road, the latter also known locally as North Main Street.

Soil on the plain around the village is Merrimac sand loam, formed as a result of glacial action and deposited under shallow moving water. These soils are well suited to cultivation of hay and grasses, grains and potatoes.

West Brookfield Center Historic District comprises approximately 85 acres, encompassing resources primarily north, south, and west of the common, the district’s major open space. The intersection of Pleasant and Central Streets with Main Street is the focus of commercial and institutional activity. Town Hall and public library are located at the commercial core, and the district’s three churches are ranged along Main Street.

Industry, though no longer active in the district, is represented by a single factory at the southern end of Pleasant Street. A number of barns, small workshops, and outbuildings survive, normally at the rear of lots and usually visible from the street. Generally, buildings are oriented toward the street. Building setback ranges from shallow in the commercial area and one side streets to the deep setbacks and ample side yards for houses on larger lots across from the common and on West Main Street. Building placement reflects patterns of development: regular on Cottage and High Streets, both largely developed is single periods, and more haphazard on other streets, illustrating the subdivision of larger properties and continual process of in-fill construction.

The West Brookfield Center District is listed with the National Register of Historic Places.

Copyright 2001 West Brookfield Historical Commission Last Modified: January 10, 2002