Wayland High School History Project

Learning through history.
Learning about ourselves, our heritage, our country.
Learning about our neighbors, world cultures, other countries.

Locked In: The Sick Spring as We Lived It With our schoolyear derailed by the 2020 Corona virus pandemic, the Wayland High School History Project decided to leave our 2070 counterparts a time capsule of our experiences during the shutdown. Unlike all other WHSHP efforts, Locked In: The Sick Spring as We Lived It documents snapshot thoughts and images of 50 high school juniors for historians and others down the line. Like all other projects, Volume XIII is a memory-based community service project that we expect will become more meaningful with each passing year.

Wayland Woman's Club Intending to explore the Wayland Woman’s Club as part of our suffrage centennial celebration, the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown corrupted those springtime plans. Still, in order for the public to see what a remarkable group they were, we present a curated selection of the Wayland Historical Society’s minutes collection in Volume XII of the Wayland High School History Project. We intend to return to this cache in the near future in order to gain a glimpse of what certain Wayland women were thinking and doing from about 1900-1950.

Second World War Stories: A Collection Featuring Wayland’s Own On this 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Wayland High School History Project students embarked on a research mission to excavate and tell the mostly-forgotten stories of the local men and women who joined the armed forces in the fight again Fascism. Called Second World War Stories: A Collection Featuring Wayland’s Own, Volume XI features 40+ short biographies and hundreds of supporting documents that together provide a window into the world of 1940’s Cochituate.

METCO at 50, 1968-2018 A half-century ago, the Town Wayland's school committee unanimously voted to join the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, or METCO, now the most enduring voluntary school desegregation program in the country. To recognize this important community milestone, the Wayland High School History Project set out to discover and tell some of its stories in Volume X, METCO at 50, 1968-2018. The site includes twenty interview podcasts, ten documentary films examining each of the five decades, and scores of articles and documents. Continue on and discover how the Civil Rights Movement's energy and legacy has impacted one small Boston suburb in great ways and small.

The Great War Story of Herman Allen After a cache of 90 World War I letters came our way, the 2017 Wayland High School History Project team added a third year to our Over here and over there 100th anniversary series. Two years back we featured pioneering home front suffragist and social activist Jessica Henderson, and last year we wrote a dozen Wayland soldiers’ biographies. Volume IX, The Great War Story of Herman Allen, tells the story of an everyman from Natick and Wayland, who regularly wrote home as a member of the 55th Coastal Artillery Corps. The site features each letter and document in full, a collection that reveals much about life during wartime for the quintessential “kid next door”.

Doughboys of Wayland: Stories of the Great War is the second half of a two-year effort the Wayland High School History Project team tackled in the Spring or 2016 in recognition of the 100th anniversary of World War I. To complement suffragist Jessica Henderson's homefront biography written last year, Volume VIII reveals the largely forgotten stories of the Wayland boys who went off to fight in 1917, including four who never made it home. As always, we have included scores of primary sources that student researchers discovered and interpreted in order to tell stories with evidence.

Called Over here and over there, the Wayland High School History Project team once again set out to explore how national trends and developments played out in our small town and region. Our Volume VII story (spring, 2015) features but one person: Jessica Lord Cox Henderson, suffragist, pacifist, mother of six, and general hell-raiser who somehow history largely forgot. Read her five-chapter biography, researched and written entirely from scratch by 70 high school juniors, and you will tire just imagining how one person could possess such a fiercely action-oriented life.

The Wayland High School History Project team took advantage of a unique opportunity in the Spring, 2012 to create Volume VI: as we were packing up to move to a new high school, we uncovered a briefcase loaded with the personal document collection of Lt. Col. Martin W. Joyce, whose fascinating life story reached its peak when he was appointed C.O. of Dachau Concentration Camp upon its liberation in April, 1945. We present the Lt. Col. Martin W. Joyce Papers to the public, an archive of unpublished primary sources from this pivotal period in world history. You will also find Martin Joyce's "e-Biography", the riveting journey of one man's life through the first half of the 20th century.

Started in spring of 2010 and improved in 2011, the Wayland High School History Project team presents Volume V, another project-based learning initiative that takes us into the realm of digital storytelling. 20th Century American Stories is a collection of more than eighty 6-10 minute movies that place individuals stories into the larger context of American history.

After moving chronologically through the decades in WHSHP Volumes I-III, the 2008 and 2009 teams decided to turn the clocks back to the 1930's and created our fourth volume Growing Up During Hard Times. Similar to our other three projects, "Growing Up During Hard Times" is a collection of oral history, scanned images, and audio files. What can we learn about our recent troubles from the most severe economic crisis in American history? Hit the link and you will find out.

We started Volume III, An Age of Disillusion: Wayland in the Vietnam Era in the spring of 2006 finished the project in June 2007. The site currently includes full-text interview transcripts of 31 men and women who lived through the 1960's as young adults and whose lives were profoundly shaped by what they experienced. We also have dozens of pictures and audio clips that can teach each visitor about trying times for both individuals and for the nation.

After a two-year effort, we completed Volume II, Post-War Life in a Small Northern Town: Wayland, Massachusetts 1946-1960 in the spring of 2005. The site is a graphic archive of select chapters from everyday life during the Cold War and traces national trends and developments in one locale.

Volume I, War on Their Minds: Memories of the World War II Years was completed over the course of two academic years, from 2000-2001 through 2001-2002. It includes fully transcribed interviews of 51 men and women on the homefront and overseas, and is complete with audio clips, scanned images, and photographs.