Learn about the ‘Mother of America’s Romantic Valentine’


Learn about the ‘Mother of America’s Romantic Valentine’
Westborough’s Town Hall is located at 34 West Main Street. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough Women’s Club will present “Esther Howland: Mother of America’s Romantic Valentine,” by historian Kristina Nilson Allen on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

Howland (1828-1904) is recognized as one of the first and youngest female entrepreneurs in the region. After graduating from Mt. Holyoke Seminary in 1847, Howland became intrigued by the beautiful, lacy romantic valentines from England.

Only 19, she won the support of her father, Southworth Howland, a successful stationer in Worcester. Howland began the cottage industry of creating and selling ornate, handmade valentines in her home. By 1870, Esther Howland’s business had grown into the New England Valentine Company at 425 Main St., with annual sales of $100,000.

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