Historic Newton

Historic Newton Historic Newton tells the story of Newton's people & places, from the 17th century to the current Garden City, inspiring discovery and engagement by illuminating our community’s stories within the context of American history.
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The Jackson Homestead and Museum is located at
527 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02458
617-796-1450
Open Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. The Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds is located at
286 Waverley Avenue
Newton, MA 02458
617-641-9142
Open Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.

Operating as usual

07/14/2021
July 14th Virtual Storytime: Guest Reader - Yajuan Zhang

Virtual Storytime is geared towards 0-3 year-olds and is an online version of Historic Newton’s Storytime at the Museums program. Each program includes a reading from a children’s book. Virtual Storytime is underwritten with generous support from Hampden Design+Construction.

Join us for a special guest reader edition of Storytime! Today's guest reader will be Yajuan Zhang! She will be reading Little Tadpoles Looking for Mama!

A group of tadpoles is looking for their mother in this traditional Chinese folktale! They find a carp, a tortoise, and a swan, but not their mother! Will they ever be able to find her? Find out in during this week's Storytime!

Announcement: The Jackson Homestead and Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds are reopened to visitors! Our regular hours are Wednesdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

#TBT Two beloved restaurants in Newtonville, circa 1970: Cottage Doughnuts and the Pewter Pot (at least the left side of...
07/08/2021

#TBT Two beloved restaurants in Newtonville, circa 1970: Cottage Doughnuts and the Pewter Pot (at least the left side of it). Both are long gone but we'd like to hear your memories of them.

#TBT Two beloved restaurants in Newtonville, circa 1970: Cottage Doughnuts and the Pewter Pot (at least the left side of it). Both are long gone but we'd like to hear your memories of them.

We're happy that we received a grant from the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom to help us share our rese...
07/07/2021

We're happy that we received a grant from the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom to help us share our research into the lives of enslaved and freed people in Newton. We're planning a professional development program for teachers, and will also update our exhibit at the Jackson Homestead, "Confronting Our Legacy: Slavery and Anti-Slavery in the North."

We're happy that we received a grant from the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom to help us share our research into the lives of enslaved and freed people in Newton. We're planning a professional development program for teachers, and will also update our exhibit at the Jackson Homestead, "Confronting Our Legacy: Slavery and Anti-Slavery in the North."

07/07/2021
July 7th Virtual Storytime: Nature Part 1

Virtual Storytime is geared towards 0-3 year-olds and is an online version of Historic Newton’s Storytime at the Museums program. Each program includes a reading from a children’s book and a demonstration of an activity that can be completed at home. Virtual Storytime is underwritten with generous support from Hampden Design+Construction.

Today we will be talking about Nature! Our book will be Dragonfly Kites by Tomson Highway. And don't forget to check out our Part 2 video for this week's craft!

Announcement: The Jackson Homestead and Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds are reopened to visitors! Our regular hours are Wednesdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

07/07/2021
July 7th Virtual Storytime: Nature Part 2

Virtual Storytime is geared towards 0-3 year-olds and is an online version of Historic Newton’s Storytime at the Museums program. Each program includes a reading from a children’s book and a demonstration of an activity that can be completed at home. Virtual Storytime is underwritten with generous support from Hampden Design+Construction.

Today we will be talking about Nature! Our craft today will be Construction Paper Dragonflies! We have provided a materials list and set of step-by-step instructions for the craft below. But please remember that these are just guidelines and you can use whatever you have on hand.

And don't forget to check out our Part 1 video where we will be reading Dragonfly Kites by Tomson Highway!

Announcement: The Jackson Homestead and Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds are reopened to visitors! Our regular hours are Wednesdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Construction Paper Dragonfly
What You’ll Need:
Construction Paper
Cupcake Liners
Googly Eyes
Scissors
Glue
Any Additional Decorations

Make-ahead instructions for parents/caregivers:
You can cut out the dragonfly’s body and the notches in the wings for your little one so that they just have to assemble the craft.

Step-by-step instructions:
Cut out a large rectangle from the construction paper. This will be the body of the dragonfly.
Cut out a notch in your cupcake liners (they should look like a pie with a slice taken out.) These will be the dragonfly’s wings.
Glue the wings to the dragonfly’s body. You should glue them about a third of the way from the top.
Glue on two googly eyes.
Add any additional decorations you’d like. You could add glitter glue to the wings to give them a shiny look. Or maybe add a fun pattern using crayons/colored pencils/markers.

A photo in our Archives inspired one writer to take a closer look at Newton history. Read more about the Nathaniel Allen...
07/06/2021
Historic photo reveals progressive Newton school's pioneering students

A photo in our Archives inspired one writer to take a closer look at Newton history. Read more about the Nathaniel Allen School, whose founder's home is now the headquarters of the Newton Cultural Alliance.

A vintage image of the progressive Allen School in Newton shows how it pioneered mixed-race coeducation and introduced many innovations.

Happy July 4! This photo labeled "Ruben's July 4 cookout" comes from our Archives and appears to be from the 1950s.
07/04/2021

Happy July 4! This photo labeled "Ruben's July 4 cookout" comes from our Archives and appears to be from the 1950s.

Happy July 4! This photo labeled "Ruben's July 4 cookout" comes from our Archives and appears to be from the 1950s.

We're hosting a reading of the speech Frederick Douglass gave in 1852 that asked "What to the Slave is the Fourth of Jul...
07/01/2021
Douglass Events Planned in Twenty Communities - Mass Humanities

We're hosting a reading of the speech Frederick Douglass gave in 1852 that asked "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" on Saturday, July 3 at 2 p.m. at the Jackson Homestead. The museum is open from noon to 5:00 p.m. that day, and we welcome your visit, too.

An unprecedented number of readings scheduled for 4th of July speech.

#TBT These women knew how to stay cool in a Newton back yard in 1955!
07/01/2021

#TBT These women knew how to stay cool in a Newton back yard in 1955!

#TBT These women knew how to stay cool in a Newton back yard in 1955!

06/30/2021
June 30th Virtual Storytime: Sports: Part 2

Virtual Storytime is geared towards 0-3 year-olds and is an online version of Historic Newton’s Storytime at the Museums program. Each program includes a reading from a children’s book and a demonstration of an activity that can be completed at home. Virtual Storytime is underwritten with generous support from Hampden Design+Construction.

Today we will be talking about Sports! Our craft today will be Baseball Handprints! We have provided a materials list and set of step-by-step instructions for the craft below. But please remember that these are just guidelines and you can use whatever you have on hand.

And don't forget to check out our Part 1 video where we will be reading Baseball on Mars by Rafael Riviera Jr.

Correction: Both the Jackson Homestead and the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds will be open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays this summer!

Baseball Handprints
What You’ll Need:
Brown, Red, and White Paint
Construction Paper

Make-ahead instructions for parents/caregivers:
This craft uses paint. Be sure to have a painting station set up for your little one . And be sure to have lots of paper towels/wet wipes/ etc. to clean your little one’s hands between steps.

Step-by-step instructions:
Make a fist with one hand. Dip it in the white paint and press your fist onto the construction paper. (If you need to, fill in the fist so that it looks like a circle. Clean off your hand.
Dip a finger into the red paint. Use it to make stitches on the baseball by painting lines on the white circle. Clean off your hand
Place your hand palm side down into the brown paint. Press it onto the construction paper near the white circle. Clean off your hand.
Dip a finger into the brown paint. Draw two lines connecting the fingers on the handprint to make the baseball glove. Let dry.

06/30/2021
June 30th Virtual Storytime: Sports Part 1

Virtual Storytime is geared towards 0-3 year-olds and is an online version of Historic Newton’s Storytime at the Museums program. Each program includes a reading from a children’s book and a demonstration of an activity that can be completed at home. Virtual Storytime is underwritten with generous support from Hampden Design+Construction.

Today we will be talking about Sports! Our book will be Baseball on Mars by Rafael Riviera Jr. And don't forget to check out our Part 2 video for this week's craft!

Correction: Both the Jackson Homestead and the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds will be open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays this summer!

In 1818, a woman named Pamela Sparhawk petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to be recognized as heir to her brothe...
06/25/2021

In 1818, a woman named Pamela Sparhawk petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to be recognized as heir to her brother’s estate. What makes this remarkable? Pamela Sparhawk was a formerly enslaved Black woman, separated from her brother in childhood. After more than a decade of bo***ge in Boston and Newton, she was determined to build a life of her own in freedom. By her petition, she was asking the state legislature to acknowledge who she was and what slavery had taken from them both. Now, more than 200 years later, careful sleuthing has uncovered her life story. See our new online exhibit! Made possible by a grant from the 400 Years of African American History Commission. http://ow.ly/eMm350FiKhn

In 1818, a woman named Pamela Sparhawk petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to be recognized as heir to her brother’s estate. What makes this remarkable? Pamela Sparhawk was a formerly enslaved Black woman, separated from her brother in childhood. After more than a decade of bo***ge in Boston and Newton, she was determined to build a life of her own in freedom. By her petition, she was asking the state legislature to acknowledge who she was and what slavery had taken from them both. Now, more than 200 years later, careful sleuthing has uncovered her life story. See our new online exhibit! Made possible by a grant from the 400 Years of African American History Commission. http://ow.ly/eMm350FiKhn

#TBT Did you ever play Skee-Ball? The game of rolling wooden balls up a ramp towards holes in a target was patented in 1...
06/24/2021

#TBT Did you ever play Skee-Ball? The game of rolling wooden balls up a ramp towards holes in a target was patented in 1908. It was so popular that Atlantic City built a Skee-Ball stadium. This booth was one of the midway games at Norumbega Park in Newton in this circa 1930 photo. Historic Newton members get a special First Look at our new history book about Norumbega Park Tuesday June 29 at 5:30 p.m. Info: http://ow.ly/epxw50FhXhs

#TBT Did you ever play Skee-Ball? The game of rolling wooden balls up a ramp towards holes in a target was patented in 1908. It was so popular that Atlantic City built a Skee-Ball stadium. This booth was one of the midway games at Norumbega Park in Newton in this circa 1930 photo. Historic Newton members get a special First Look at our new history book about Norumbega Park Tuesday June 29 at 5:30 p.m. Info: http://ow.ly/epxw50FhXhs

Our new book, "Norumbega Park and the Totem Pole Ballroom," has arrived at the Jackson Homestead! Authors Sara Goldberg ...
06/23/2021

Our new book, "Norumbega Park and the Totem Pole Ballroom," has arrived at the Jackson Homestead! Authors Sara Goldberg and Clara Silverstein signed copies while Museum Shop manager Kate Bresee packed mail orders. Pick up an autographed copy at the Jackson Homestead when the museum is open today (or any Wednesday or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Or order a copy online to be mailed to you: http://ow.ly/jkdB50FgR3a

06/23/2021
June 23rd Virtual Storytime: Summer Part 2

Virtual Storytime is geared towards 0-3 year-olds and is an online version of Historic Newton’s Storytime at the Museums program. Each program includes a reading from a children’s book and a demonstration of an activity that can be completed at home. Virtual Storytime is underwritten with generous support from Hampden Design+Construction.

Today we will be talking about Summer! Our craft today will be Paper Plate Sunflowers! We have provided a materials list and set of step-by-step instructions for the craft below. But please remember that these are just guidelines and you can use whatever you have on hand.

And don't forget to check out our Part 1 video where we will be reading And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner!

Paper Plate Sunflowers
What You’ll Need:
Paper Plate
Bubble Wrap
Yellow and Black Paint
Glue
Scissors

Make-ahead instructions for parents/caregivers:
You can cut out the bubble wrap circle and the flower’s petals for your little one. This way they only have to paint and assemble the craft.
This craft uses paint so be sure to set up a painting station for your little one and remember to leave time for the paint to dry between steps.

Step-by-step instructions:
Paint the paper plate yellow. Let dry.
Cut a circle from the bubble wrap. This should be about the same size as the center of the paper plate. Paint the bubbles black. Let dry.
Cut slits around the edge of the paper plate to make petals.
Glue the bubble wrap to the center of the paper plate. Let dry.

06/23/2021
June 23rd Virtual Storytime: Summer Part 1

Virtual Storytime is geared towards 0-3 year-olds and is an online version of Historic Newton’s Storytime at the Museums program. Each program includes a reading from a children’s book and a demonstration of an activity that can be completed at home. Virtual Storytime is underwritten with generous support from Hampden Design+Construction.

Today we will be talking about Summer! Our book will be And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner. And don't forget to check out our Part 2 video for this week's craft!

"Writing a New History: Recovering Stories of Slavery and Freedom," our lecture on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. on Zo...
06/22/2021

"Writing a New History: Recovering Stories of Slavery and Freedom," our lecture on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom, shares exciting new research into the life of Pamela Sparhawk. After more than a decade of bo***ge in Boston and Newton in the 18th and early 19th centuries, Sparhawk was determined to build a life of her own in freedom. Made possible by a grant from the 400 Years of African American History Commission. Register: http://ow.ly/sUcM50Ffcou

"Writing a New History: Recovering Stories of Slavery and Freedom," our lecture on Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom, shares exciting new research into the life of Pamela Sparhawk. After more than a decade of bo***ge in Boston and Newton in the 18th and early 19th centuries, Sparhawk was determined to build a life of her own in freedom. Made possible by a grant from the 400 Years of African American History Commission. Register: http://ow.ly/sUcM50Ffcou

Thanks to the four readers from Newton North HS (three recent graduates, one current student) who gave a public reading ...
06/21/2021

Thanks to the four readers from Newton North HS (three recent graduates, one current student) who gave a public reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Newton's Juneteenth celebration. Mayor Ruthanne Fuller was also one of the speakers at the event. Photos by Harry O. Lohr, Jr.

What interests you most at Historic Newton and what would you like to see in the future? Tell us by taking our 12-questi...
06/21/2021

What interests you most at Historic Newton and what would you like to see in the future? Tell us by taking our 12-question community survey! As thanks, receive a $5 credit to use in our Museum Shops. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HistoricNewton2021

What interests you most at Historic Newton and what would you like to see in the future? Tell us by taking our 12-question community survey! As thanks, receive a $5 credit to use in our Museum Shops. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HistoricNewton2021

Just in time to celebrate Juneteenth as a new Federal holiday, hear Newton students read the Emancipation Proclamation o...
06/18/2021

Just in time to celebrate Juneteenth as a new Federal holiday, hear Newton students read the Emancipation Proclamation out loud Saturday, June 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Hyde Playground in Newton Highlands. Also stop by Historic Newton's booth to learn more about the history of the holiday. Speakers, music, and more! Register: http://ow.ly/6SJw50FcW7e

Just in time to celebrate Juneteenth as a new Federal holiday, hear Newton students read the Emancipation Proclamation out loud Saturday, June 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Hyde Playground in Newton Highlands. Also stop by Historic Newton's booth to learn more about the history of the holiday. Speakers, music, and more! Register: http://ow.ly/6SJw50FcW7e

#TBT Construction of Exit 17 on the Mass Pike in Newton Corner in 1964. The hotel that spans the pike (originally a Howa...
06/17/2021

#TBT Construction of Exit 17 on the Mass Pike in Newton Corner in 1964. The hotel that spans the pike (originally a Howard Johnson's, now Four Points by Sheraton) had yet to be built. It held its grand opening in 1970.

#TBT Construction of Exit 17 on the Mass Pike in Newton Corner in 1964. The hotel that spans the pike (originally a Howard Johnson's, now Four Points by Sheraton) had yet to be built. It held its grand opening in 1970.

Address

527 Washington St
Newton, MA
02458

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Our Story

Historic Newton inspires discovery and engagement by illuminating our community’s stories within the context of American history. Visit our two museums or join us for a walking tour, lecture, concert, family activity, education program, or another special event.

The Jackson Homestead and Museum is located at 527 Washington Street Newton, MA 02458 617-796-1450 The Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds is located at 286 Waverley Avenue Newton, MA 02458 617-641-9142

Both museums are open Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Comments

Looking for descendants of Frances Elizabeth "Fannie" Breck and Willard Brackett, to return a family momento. An extensive family tree has been created on Ancestry, so know all about the marriages, deaths, births, etc, prior to 1940. Fannie's grandfather was famous horticulturist, Joseph Breck. But the living members are "private." Family names include Hartley, Blakeslee, and Townley. Most of the family stayed in Massachusetts. Thank you.
Thank you Historic Newton for inviting me! I had so much fun reading Sumo Joe at the Durant-Kenrick House! https://bit.ly/3uPqgjN #NewtonMA
You know you are from Newton if you got takeout food from Midnight Foods, Washington St. near Newtonville. (1960s)
As a kid growing up in Nonantum I experienced a community that really can't be explained without writing a book. I remember Fat saying that he wanted a museum to have that period of time memorialized. It will never happen again. If you didn't live it and participate in it like the kids and adults of that time did then you really can't understand what was so special about that time and how the people (not only from Nonantum) came together for causes and events and it didn't take a ton of money to do it. I always wanted to see a memorial for Fat and something on display in Newton. Surprisingly, even though tons of pictures and videos were taken, they are hard to come by, though I have a lot in my collection. I'd like to know if there is anything that recognizes that time, say 1960's to the 1990's, and up to today, that recognizes what happened in "The Lake" Multiple large annual parades, annual Senior Cookout and Elvis Presley Concerts, kids runs, Halloween and Christmas parties, The Festa and other park events. Please let me know if there is anything at The Jackson Homestead that relates to this and if not, how something can be added.
Hi! I am looking for any pictures or public data on Harry Quint Florist 1189 Centre St. This was owned by my godfather and I would love to see if anyone has something that the family may not have seen.
Hi there. I just found this site. I was doing research on a great-grand-Uncle of mine on Ancestry.com and saw that he had been put in the Newton Working Boy's Home. I found his name on a 1900 census and he was 15 years old at the time. Is this still around? Better he was there than with that awful woman he had has a mother.
This is a fun map! It shows how Newton looked 100 years ago.
Walk in the ancestors' footsteps with a family tree and personal travel itinerary. facebook.com/familyfootstepsthroughtime
Does anyone have any links to the story of the creation of the fig Newton In Newton???? Thanks
We've got 2 AWESOME family events happening for New Year's Eve. Check them both out: https://dnb.ticketbud.com/woburnnye1 https://dnb.ticketbud.com/woburnnye2
DEMOLISHED HOME on WASHINGTON & WAVERLY ? On the corner of Washington & Waverly there are two home lots. One is #3 - still standing. The other is empty. Was this lot always empty ? It seems to have enough room for a house.