Events

Special Public Program

A talk by Stephen Kendrick, author of The Lively Place:  Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents

Sponsored by:
The Watertown Free Public Library
The Historical Society of Watertown

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
7:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Author Stephen Kendrick will talk about his new book, which celebrates a vital piece of our nation's history.  The Lively Place tells the story of Mount Auburn's founding, its legacy and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets and reformers.

Kendrick is a senior minister at the First and Second Unitarian Universalist Churches in Boston.  He is the author of Holy Clues (Pantheon, 1999), Sarah's Long Walk (Beacon Press, 2004) and Douglass and Lincoln (Walker & Co., 2008).

The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery will provide books for purchase at this event.

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

March Public Program

Documenting Sand Banks Cemetery in Watertown's East End
A slideshow lecture by Bill McEvoy

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
7:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

After four years of work, Bill McEvoy's research of the Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery, also known as Sand Banks Cemetery and Cottage Street Cemetery, is complete.  Sand Banks Cemetery, a less than 7 acre parcel, is owned by and receives minimal care from the Archdiocese of Boston.  The cemetery has many exquisite and finely carved monuments erected to residents from all walks of life.  Not all of the graves are marked and many of the monuments are weathered, in need of repair, have fallen or are at risk of falling.

This presentation will provide a sampling of the monuments in the cemetery and the people they commemorate.  It will also provide a detailed description of the difficult times faced by the Irish immigrants from the Great Famine in 1847.  Bill's study is based on data he collected for 22,000+ people buried from 1854 to 1920.  His talk will impart a better understanding of the state of residential and economic conditions, lack of proper sanitation, substandard to nonexistent healthcare, ethnic prejudices and mortality rates.  Bill entered all of the information he gathered into a downloadable Excel spreadsheet.

Mr. McEvoy was presented with a Historic Resources Preservation Award by the Watertown Historical Commission for this work in 2013.  Click here for more info on this project.

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

November Public Program

Memories of Marash: The Legacy of a Lost Armenian Community
A documentary film by Roger Hagopian

Sunday, November 22, 2015
2:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

This 68 minute documentary film was originally created in 2002 and is presented on the 100th year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.  Producer Roger Hagopian remastered the film in 2015 to widescreen format with high resolution photography, hundreds of new high resolution images and animated maps.  The film traces the ancient history fo the city of Marash, Turkey, from its Hittite, Roman and Crusades periods, through a series of massacres from the late 1800s to the final expulsion and genocide of the Armenians by Ottoman Turkey between 1915 and 1923.  "I wrote and edited this film with the initial desire to tell my family story within the context of history, " Hagopian said.  "In the process of my research, the theme of the story shifted from the plight of my grandmother and uncle to the tale of a vibrant way of life that had once existed in Marash and is now forever a memory."

A history lover since his youth, Roger is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he received his degree in music.  His films include:  Journey Along the Middlesex Canal (1996), Journey of an Armenian Family (1999), Victory at Van (2006), Our Boys, Armenian-American World War II Veterans (2006), Memory Fragments of the Armenian Genocide (2007), Destination Watertown: The Armenians of Hood Rubber (2009), The Canal that Bisected Boston (2011) and A Company of the Committed: The Armenian Memorial Church of Watertown (2012). Hagopian has presented his films at high schools, universities, libraries, community centers and private homes. "For me, video is a way of telling history that is educational, multidimensional, and compelling."

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

Special Event:  1945 Watertown Sun Newspaper Volume Auction

Faire on the Square 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saltonstall Park
149 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Does the year 1945 hold special significance for you?  Maybe you were born that year or a relative got married or ran for office.  During Faire on the Square 2015, the Historical Society of Watertown will be holding a silent auction of a bound volume of all of the Watertown Sun's issues from 1945.  Peruse stories about what was going on at Town Hall, the High School and the Library, find out what buildings were built or razed and see what stores had on sale.  Read about Watertown veterans that served during WWII.  All of this and more can be found in the pages of the 1945 Watertown Sun.

Bidding will start at $20.  Please stop by the HSW table to sample the stories included in this historic volume.

 

September Public Program

A Tour of the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
6:30 PM
Armenian Library and Museum of America
65 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

You are invited to attend a tour of the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA), which was created to locate, collect, preserve and present the culture, history, art and contributions of the Armenian people during the past 3,000 years.  The Library holds a vast collection of titles, including rare books and historical and literary publications.  The Museum has amassed an expansive treasure trove of inscribed Armenian rugs and textiles, ceramics, metalware, Urartian objects, medieval illuminations, ancient and medieval Armenian coins, and various other creations by the Armenian people.

This program is free and open to the public.
For more information, call Peggy Anderson at 617-924-1563.

 

Special Event:  Ringing of the Bells

Boston Charter Day

Monday, September 7, 2015
4:30 PM
Church of the Good Shepherd
Redeemer Fellowship Church
Watertown, MA 02472

About Boston Charter Day:  Each year, the Partnership of the Historic Bostons commemorates the naming of Boston, Dorchester and Watertown that occurred on September 7, 1630, by holding a series of events to educate the public about life in the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  The theme of this year's program is Food and Drink in 17th Century Boston.

Boston Charter Day events begin on September 7 with the ringing of the bells at Watertown's Church of the Good Shepherd and Redeemer Fellowship Church, among others.  Most events are free, but registration may be required.

The Historical Society of Watertown is a member of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons and is grateful to all of the participants celebrating this event.

Declaration of Independence and Treaty of Watertown Commemoration

Saturday, July 18, 2015
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Edmund Fowle House
28 Marshall Street
Watertown, MA 02472

This annual event marks the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence to the citizens of our new nation in Watertown on July 18, 1776.  The signing of the first treaty negotiated by our new nation with a foreign power, namely the St. John's (aka Maliseet) and Mi'kmaq Tribes of Nova Scotia, at the Edmund Fowle House on July 19, 1776, will also be celebrated.

The Nugumij (Grandmother) Drum from the United Native American Cultural Center in Devens, MA, will be present and drummers and singers will perform several songs to mark the occasion.  Center members and guests, dressed in their native regalia, and colonial reenactors will be present to share their stories.

The Edmund Fowle House will be open for free tours.  Visitors will also be able to view two ongoing exhibits: Watertown and the Civil War and A Mi'Kmaw Woman's Award Winning Legacy.

A basket for donations of non-perishable food items to the Watertown Food Pantry will be available.

This event is partially funded by a Watertown Community Foundation Block Party Grant.

This program is free and open to the public.
For more information, call Audrey Jones Childs at 617-926-2577.