Events

Special Event

Unveiling of the Shick House historical marker

Sunday, June 26, 2022
1:00 PM
183 Grove Street
Watertown, MA 02472

The Historical Society of Watertown, with funding from the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, has commissioned the creation of a sign to commemorate the house and farm once owned by Jacob and Mary Shick.  The Shicks operated a dairy in Watertown for decades early in the 20th Century on what was one of the few Jewish-owned farms in Massachusetts.
 
The house, built in the 1850s, was in the Italianate style with elaborate interior plasterwork and a gracefully curving staircase, among other distinctive elements.  The house was demolished in February 2022.  The sign will identify the location of this historically significant property and its importance to Watertown’s history for generations to come.

As an homage to the Shick's dairy farm, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream located at Arsenal Yards will offer buy one, get one free cup or cone vouchers to attendees of this event.  Free parking will be available in the Filippello Park lot.

All HSW meetings and events are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Joyce at 781-899-7239 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Special Event

Placement of marker commemorating the bravery of Boston Tea Party participant Major Samuel Barnard

Saturday, June 18, 2022
11:00 AM
Common Street Cemetery
Common and Mount Auburn Streets
Watertown, MA 02472

Samuel Barnard (1737-1782), a blacksmith, farmer and someone who was active in town affairs, headed the Watertown militia in the years leading up to the American Revolution.  He is one of the few Watertown men known by name to have participated in the Boston Tea Party in December 1773.  He had charge of drilling the Watertown militia, part of Colonel Gardner’s Regiment, two hours a week and more in the autumn of 1774.  Then, when word arrived of the fighting on Lexington Green, Captain Barnard gathered his men by the Meeting House and led them toward the front.

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is gearing up to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party on December 16th, 2023.  In honor of this important anniversary, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum hopes to commemorate the bravery of all known Boston Tea Party participants by placing commemorative markers at their graves throughout the Commonwealth and the nation.
 
Please join the Historical Society of Watertown and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum for this significant event, which will include a brief ceremony.

All HSW meetings and events are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Joyce at 781-899-7239 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Annual Members Meeting with Election of Board Members and May Public Program

Tufts Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children
A slideshow lecture by Daniel Bird

Sunday, May 1, 2022
2:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children comprise the third oldest hospital in the United States.  Founded as the Boston Dispensary in 1796, it provided free medical care to indigent patients.  The hospital has been a leader and innovator in the medical field ever since.  Mr. Bird's program, based on the book from the Images of America series titled Tufts Medical Center that he co-authored with HSW board member Bob Bloomberg, will walk attendees through the history of this institution, highlighting many of its accomplishments and firsts.

Daniel Bird is a graduate of Boston University's School of Communication.  He has served as General Manager at Great Bear Spring Co. and held the roles of Business Development Consultant, Director of Volunteer Services and Historian at Tufts Medical Center.  Mr. Bird has designed several historic photographic exhibits at Tufts Medical Center.

Bob Bloomberg received a B.A. in History from UMass Boston and an M.A. in History from the University of Chicago.  He has served as Director of Grants and a member of the Board of Governors at Tufts Medical Center.  He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Quincy Historical Society.  Mr. Bloom has authored several book reviews, as well as journal and newspaper articles on local history.

This meeting and program are free and open to the public.
For more information, call Joyce at 781-899-7239.

 

March Public Program

The Swingin' Sixties Fashion
A virtual slideshow lecture by Karen Antonowicz

Sunday, March 6, 2022
2:00 PM
access via Zoom

Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Mary Quant, Biba and the list goes on!  Discover the fashions of the Swingin' Sixties, beginning with the mod styles of London, traveling through the hippy era and culminating in the bohemian styles and hot pants of the early '70s.  The driving force behind these changing styles and the impact they had on people of all ages during this turbulent time will be explored.

Karen (Ren) Antonowicz received her Master's Degree in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design with a concentration in Historic Costume and Textiles from the University of Rhode Island.  She taught History of Fashion and other courses full time at the college level for 13 years, then taught part time in the Continuing Education Program at the Rhode Island School of Design.  Ren continues to follow her passion for historic costume by conducting fashion era presentations at libraries, senior centers, schools, historical societies and historic homes.

All HSW meetings and events are free and open to the public.  If you are interested in attending this virtual lecture, please RSVP with subject line fashion lecture by using the HSW Contact form or emailing Joyce at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  A Zoom link will be distributed approximately 24 hours prior to the event.

November Public Program

The Gilbert Payson House: A Watertown Reinvention Story
A slideshow lecture by David J. Russo

Sunday, November 21, 2021
2:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Built in 1882 and designed by the noted architectural firm of Van Brunt & Howe, the Payson House has a significant and surprising history that includes housing, schools and even a library.  Learn the compelling survival story of how this building evolved to meet the demands of the changing environment around it.

David J. Russo, J.D., is passionate about Watertown history and architecture.  He became interested in one of Watertown's most famous native sons, Charles Brigham, researched all aspects of the architect and developed a web site to make the information available to researchers the world over.  David served as a member of the Watertown Historical Commission from 1999-2020.  He has made numerous presentations on the designs of Charles Brigham and other aspects of Watertown history and has won several awards, including the Hero for History award in 2009 and the Bay State Legacy Award in 2021.

All HSW events are free and open to the public.  No registration is required for this in-person lecture.
For more information, contact Joyce at 781-899-7239 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Special Event

Open House
Unveiling of Edmund Fowle House & Museum sign and artifact wall labels

Sunday, October 17, 2021
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Edmund Fowle House
28 Marshall Street
Watertown, MA 02472

A new exterior sign identifying the Edmund Fowle House & Museum as the headquarters of the Historical Society of Watertown, founded in 1888, has been installed.  The painted, wooden sign, which will be unveiled at 1:00 PM, incorporates green, cream and yellow hues similar to the paint colors used on the exterior of the house itself.

After the unveiling of the sign, guests will be welcomed into the Fowle House for a self-guided tour of the artifacts on display, complete with new wall labels created using funds from a generous, late-2019 grant from the Watertown Community Foundation.  The new labels are intended to communicate the significance of each object to museum visitors through historical facts and stories.

MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THOSE ENTERING THE EDMUND FOWLE HOUSE.

All HSW meetings and events are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Joyce at 781-899-7239 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..