Betty F. Slade Scholarship

The Westport Historical Society shall offer one $1000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior.  This award was established in honor of Betty F. Slade whose research and preservation activities have greatly benefited the town of Westport. The scholarship is offered as a one-time award only.

The applicant must live in Westport. Applications must be received by May 18.

Download application HERE.

A committee of three Westport Historical Society members shall be appointed annually to review applications.

The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of the following criteria:

  • An essay of 350  –  650 words, see topics listed on application
  • Academic record
  • Community service activities
  • References


A completed application will include:

  1. A completed application form signed by the applicant
  2. Attached to the application, a typed essay.
  3. Attached to the application, a resume.
  4. Attached to the application, transcript of school record.
  5. One reference (relatives and friends are not appropriate references). References should be sent directly to the Westport Historical Society.


Application should be sent to:

The Westport Historical Society

PO Box N188, Westport MA 02790

Applications must be received by May 18.

The scholarship will be awarded by the end of May.

Contact: Jenny O’Neill, Executive Director 508 636 6011

Please attach an essay of 350 -650 words on one of the following topics. Students are encouraged to contact Jenny O’Neill Executive Director 508 636 6011 for guidance on research. Information about Westport’s history can be found at and local history research resources can be found at

Suggested topics for essay: 

Explore Westport’s Town Records

Many town officials through the decades and centuries have saved and protected some documents relating to the history of the town and the area. Many of these documents are now available on the Westport town website, Documents include personal papers of Paul Cuffe, the Town Farm (Almshouse), and town meeting records. Find a document/s that interests you. What does the document tell you about Westport’s history and why does it interest you? Students are encouraged to contact Betty Slade with any questions about the town documents. Please contact her by email: [email protected]

Your Family’s History

Research your own family history. How did your own family come to live here in Westport?


Interview an older person about how their daily life has changed during their lifetime.


The hurricane of 1938 devastated the town of Westport. How did people take a stand against the forces of nature during the event and how did they react to the aftermath of this catastrophe? How did it influence the creation of Horseneck Beach State Reservation and the current East beach?

The Civil War

The Westport whaling ship The Kate Cory was burned in the Civil War by Confederates. How does the fate of the Kate Cory illustrate the larger issues faced by the United States during the Civil War?


How did Westporters react to Prohibition? Why/how was rum running practiced in this area?


Westport is notable for the quantity and quality of its historic buildings. Is there a historic structure, place, building that you feel is important to preserve and why? What are the motivations and benefits for Westport to save an historic place versus demolition, alteration or neglect?

Explore the collection of the Westport Historical Society

Thousands of historical photographs and documents in the collection of the Historical Society can be accessed through an online database.  Explore the database and find photos or documents that interest you. What do they tell you about Westport’s history and why does it interest you?