Events

Special Public Program

Through the Heartland on U.S. 20
A slideshow lecture by Bill and Mary Lewis

Thursday, May 22, 2014
7:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Have you ever driven across the country on a two-lane highway and attempted to recapture the romance from half a century ago?  No?  Well, meet two authors who have!  Join us in welcoming Bill and Mary Lewis, authors of Through the Heartland on U.S. 20: Massachusetts: A Historical Travel Guide.  They will share info on the development of the road, various towns' historic events, people of renown who lived there, things to do and see and the best restaurants.

Presented jointly by the Historical Society of Watertown and The Watertown Free Public Library.

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

 

Annual Members Meeting with Election of Officers and May Public Program

The Hub's Metropolis: Greater Boston's Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth
A slideshow lecture by author James C. O'Connell based on his book of the same title

Thursday, May 8, 2014
7:00 PM Annual Members Meeting
7:15 PM May Public Program
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

The Hub's Metropolis is the first comprehensive historical overview of Boston's suburban development, from the earliest country estates to suburban sprawl and the smart growth movement.  This book provides historical context for understanding the region's contemporary planning efforts that are addressing the challenges of low-density sprawl, climate change and the global information age economy.  It explains how each era of suburbanization produced a distrinctive land use development pattern and describes how Boston has been a national pace-setter in this area.

Jim O'Connell is a planner for the Boston Regional Office of the National Park Service.  He earned a B.A. from Bates College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Urban History from the University of Chicago.  He has written five books and many articles on planning and New England history.  His books include Becoming Cape Cod, Creating a Seaside Resort and The Pioneer Valley Reader.  Jim served as Economic Development Officer of the Cape Cod Commission and worked on urban redevelopment in Springfield, MA.  He is chair of the Massachusetts Zoning Reform Working Group and has taught Smart Growth Planning in the Sustainable Design Program of the Boston Architectural College.

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

March Public Program

Arthur Buckminster Fuller: Watertown's Civil War Martyr
An illustrated talk by Mark S. Harris

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
7:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Arthur Fuller was the brother of America's first feminist, Margaret Fuller.  Fuller was a Unitarian minister who served churches in Manchester, NH and Boston, then Watertown's First Parish, from which he resigned to become a chaplain in the 6th Massachusetts Regiment.  He was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg in 1862.

Mark S. Harris is Minister at First Parish of Watertown and Adjunct Professor at Andover Newton Theological School.

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

Rededication of the Soldiers' Monument

Monday, November 11, 2013
10:00 AM
Saltonstall Park
149 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

The Historical Society of Watertown invites the public and residents of Watertown to attend the rededication of the Soldiers' Monument, located in Saltonstall Plaza.  The Society organized a campaign that successfully raised funds to restore and conserve the Soldiers' Monurment, built in 1889.  Join us in our remembrance of those who served and those who died during the Civil War.

This program is free and open to the public.
In case of inclement weather, the ceremonies will be held in the Watertown Town Council Chamber.

 

November Public Program

A talk by Marilynne K. Roach, author of Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials

Thursday, November 7, 2013
7:00 PM
Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room
Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Between February, 1692, and May, 1693, a series of prosecutions, trials and hangings of people accused of witchcraft in the Massachusetts colony traumatized the region and spoke of the dangers of mass hysteria.  By the end, beyond the twenty who were executed and the five who perished in prison, about 200 individuals had been accused, at least 70 had been "afflicted," and more than 30 had officially accused their fellow neighbors.  A total of 255 ordinary people had been inexorably drawn into the ruinous and murderous vortex, and this doesn't even include the ruling religious, judicial and governmental leaders.

Six Women of Salem is the first work to use the lives of a select number of representative women of varied origins and fates as a microcosm to illuminate the larger crisis:  Bridget Bishop, Mary English, Rebecca Nurse, Ann Putnam, Tituba and Mary Warren.

What was it like to be there and, if you were lucky, to live through it?  In a compelling combination of narrative and groundbreaking historical research, Salem Witch Trial scholar Marilynne K. Roach vividly brings the terrifying times to life, while skillfully illuminating the lives of the accused, the accusers and the afflicted.

Ms. Roach, a lifelong resident of Watertown, is an independent scholar and works as both a historian and illustrator.  She was one of the associate editors of the definitive Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt and is the author of the classic The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege.  She also serves as President of the Historical Society of Watertown.

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

Special Event:  Ringing of the Bells

Boston Charter Day

Saturday, September 7, 2013
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, and holds a series of events to teach the public about the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Participating historic sites and churches include:
• Old South Meeting House, Boston
• King's Chapel, Boston
• First Church in Boston, Boston
• Church of the Good Shepherd, Watertown
• Redeemer Fellowship Church, Watertown

On September 7th at 4:30 PM, bells will ring in Watertown at Church of the Good Shepherd and Redeemer Fellowship Church.

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.

 

September Public Program

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

Thursday, September 5, 2013
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.

The Reading of the Declaration of Independence and Celebration of the Treaty of Watertown

Thursday, July 18, 2013
6:30 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 Watertown on July 18, 1776.  The signing of the first treaty negotiated by the new nation with a foreign power, namely the St. John's (aka Maliseet) and Mi'kmaq Tribes of Nova Scotia, at the Fowle House on July 19, 1776, will also be celebrated.  Colonial and native reenactors will be on hand and the sacred drum will be playing to mark the occasion.

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