Events

March Public Program

Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse
A slideshow lecture by Eric Jay Dolin

Sunday, March 19, 2023
2:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

In a work rich in maritime lore and brimming with original historical detail, Eric Jay Dolin presents the most comprehensive history of American lighthouses ever written, telling the story of America through the prism of its beloved coastal sentinels.  Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Brilliant Beacons traces the evolution of America's lighthouse system, highlighting the political, military and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines.

Mr. Dolin grew up near the coasts of New York and Connecticut.  Since an early age, he has been fascinated by the natural world, especially the ocean.  He earned a bachelor's degree from Brown University, where he majored in biology and environmental studies.  He also holds a master's degree in environmental management from Yale University and a Ph.D. in environmental policy and planning from MIT, where his dissertation focused on the role of the courts in the cleanup of Boston Harbor.  He enjoys telling stories and has authored fifteen books.

This program is funded by a 2022 grant from the Watertown Community Foundation.

This program is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Joyce at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

November Public Program

Rendezvous with Rachel Revere
A live portrayal by History At Play™ LLC with Judith Kalaora

Sunday, November 6, 2022
2:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

It is May 2, 1775, and Rachel Revere has only heard from her beloved husband Paul once since his legendary midnight ride.  Isolated from one another due to the Siege of Boston, Rachel creates a plan to remove from the reach of the British Regular Army her newborn baby and six stepchildren from Paul's first marriage.  Find out if she is successful through this one-woman immersive living history experience.

Founded in 2010 by Judith Kalaora, History at Play™ LLC chronicles the lives of influential and often forgotten figures.  Kalaora is a professional living historian, actor, award-winning playwright and educator.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and is a graduate of the education program at Shakespeare's Globe, London.

This program is funded by a 2022 grant from the Watertown Community Foundation.

This program is 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..

September Public Program

Meet John Adams: A Lively and Revolutionary Conversation with the Second President
A live portrayal by George Baker

Sunday, September 25, 2022
2:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Join the Historical Society of Watertown and the Watertown Free Public Library for a live portrayal of John Adams, the second President of the United States (1791-1801), by George Baker.  Adams will describe his life and times in a humorous and inspiring presentation that will include performances of several historic songs.

George Baker, a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, practices law in New Canaan, CT.  In 2008, Mr. Baker created a one-man show to highlight the humor and patriotism of President John Adams.  His performances have taken him to venues large and small across the United States, including several Presidential Libraries.

This program is funded by a 2022 grant from the Watertown Community Foundation.

This program is 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

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.