The Waltham Museum

The Waltham Museum Currently volunteers are inside working on the collection. We are not open for drop in hours to tour. We can answer questions about group rental and more in the message section.

New volunteers are welcome to apply.

Operating as usual

Kirwin's Livery Stable
11/24/2021

Kirwin's Livery Stable

Kirwin's Livery Stable

Hardy Pond
11/24/2021

Hardy Pond

Hardy Pond

Emerson's Blacksmith Shop corner of Main and Lyman Sts in the 1860s.
11/23/2021

Emerson's Blacksmith Shop corner of Main and Lyman Sts in the 1860s.

Emerson's Blacksmith Shop corner of Main and Lyman Sts in the 1860s.

OLYMPIC BOXER JOHN DALEY OF WALTHAMDuring the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Holland, John Lawrence Daley of Waltham repres...
11/19/2021

OLYMPIC BOXER JOHN DALEY OF WALTHAM

During the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Holland, John Lawrence Daley of Waltham represented the United States as a bantamweight boxer. As the oldest of eight children, he lived near 250 South Street. He graduated from Waltham High School in 1927. He defeated Harry Isaacs of South Africa in the semi-finals. His fight for the gold medal was against Vittorio Tamagini of Italy on August 11, 1928. After a prolonged period of heated discussion by the Olympic judges, the Gold Medal was awarded to Tamagini and Daley got the Silver Medal. The crowds steamed with some ringside fans fighting each other. Not even the presence of Major General Douglas MacArthur, president of the American Olympic Committee, could change the outcome. After the Olympics, Daley settled down with his wife Helen at 5 Norumbega Terrace in Waltham. He had a daughter, Brenda (Daley) Carr. He worked as a stockbroker. During World War II he served as a marine in the battle for Saipan. He died in 1963. He is in the Waltham Museum Hall of Fame.
(Taken from the March 20, 2008 Waltham Museum Newsletter)

OLYMPIC BOXER JOHN DALEY OF WALTHAM

During the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Holland, John Lawrence Daley of Waltham represented the United States as a bantamweight boxer. As the oldest of eight children, he lived near 250 South Street. He graduated from Waltham High School in 1927. He defeated Harry Isaacs of South Africa in the semi-finals. His fight for the gold medal was against Vittorio Tamagini of Italy on August 11, 1928. After a prolonged period of heated discussion by the Olympic judges, the Gold Medal was awarded to Tamagini and Daley got the Silver Medal. The crowds steamed with some ringside fans fighting each other. Not even the presence of Major General Douglas MacArthur, president of the American Olympic Committee, could change the outcome. After the Olympics, Daley settled down with his wife Helen at 5 Norumbega Terrace in Waltham. He had a daughter, Brenda (Daley) Carr. He worked as a stockbroker. During World War II he served as a marine in the battle for Saipan. He died in 1963. He is in the Waltham Museum Hall of Fame.
(Taken from the March 20, 2008 Waltham Museum Newsletter)

11/12/2021

(From the Waltham News Tribune Tuesday, February 20, 1945)

BEARDED MCKENZIE BOYS HOLD REUNION IN GERMANY

Two Bearded Waltham brothers, both Army veterans, held a surprise foxhole reunion in Germany recently, according to a letter received by their parents this week.

Pfc. Charles P McKenzie and Staff Sgt. Joseph A McKenzie, sons of Mr. and Mrs. John J. McKenzie, Sr., of 27 Alder Street met for the first time in three years in a dramatic twilight incident described as follows by Charles:

“Last night after chow, I was waiting for my buddy to finish his coffee before we were to go back to our holes, when two soldiers came down the path toward where we were eating. I didn’t recognize the first one, so I decided they were a couple of M Co. boys sponging on our chow.

Pretty soon the first soldier asked if there were a McKenzie in the crowd. I soke up and said, “Here.” The second fellow, whom I hadn’t noticed, said “No, that’s not the one. He must be somebody else.”

As I turned around to look at him, we both finally recognized each other. It was Joe! I was so surprised to see him that I just whispered a feeble “Joe” and automatically shook his hand before I actually knew what I was doing. He had a beard, and I guess he didn’t recognize me either because I was sporting a beard too. (I haven’t had a chance to wash or shave since long before Joe came to see me.)

“Joe had received my letter of Jan. 17 with my new address, and he promptly got a three-day pass to come to see me. Actually he was almost right next door all the time. He slept in my foxhole with me last night, and we talked long into the night of home, of Waltham, and our friends in service, of where they are and what they are doing. He gave me the lowdown on John’s outfit and how the war was going on other parts of this front.

“Last night we fed him some not too warm stew, and this morning we tramped all around the woods looking for the chow. We finally found it just after the food was all gone, so we had K rations for breakfast. He left about noon today. I had to lead him out of the woods to the road where he could pick up a ride to the town where his two buddies and a truck were waiting for him, and I know how pleased you will be with the news.

Pvt. McKenzie enlisted in the Army in December 1942, while a student at Boston College. His brother, Sgt. Joseph is starting his fifth year in service, and has been 30 months overseas.

The third brother, Staff Sgt. John J. McKenzie, Jr., has also been in the Army more than four years. Stationed in Germany at the present, he visited his brother, Joe, last November, but had less than an hour to spend with him. It was their first meeting in two and a half years.
The three sons are graduates of St Charles High School.

11/12/2021

The origins of Veteran’s Day come from the end of WWI on November 11, 1918, and an armistice between the U.S.-led Allies and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. “Peace Day” (Armistice Day). The day was originally celebrated with parades and a brief suspension of work. In 1954, Congress passed the bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.

(From the Waltham Museum Newsletter of July 10, 1990)
Recently the Waltham Museum received a letter from Don H. Smith of Waialua, Hawaii, Waltham High School Class of 1930……

In this letter, Don submits a copy of an essay entitled “Peace Day” written by his cousin, Dorothy I Smith of 32 Chester Avenue in Waltham on November 11, 1918 when she was only 17 years old.

The Waltham Museum feels this essay was so good, that it should be shared by all. In the essay, Dorothy Smith recounts her exciting day on November 11, 1918, when the end of World War I was announced in Waltham. In doing so, she has preserved forever this one day in Waltham’s history for all future generations to know.

So let us go back 70 years (103 years today 2021). Here now is her story.

WALTHAM ON NOVEMBER 11, 1918 (PEACE DAY)

I feel that I must sit down and express my feelings while I yet feel the glow of fervent patriotism. That is what it is, and what is inspiring all Waltham today.

At 4:445 this morning we were awakened by the fire alarm. It rang three sevens, the military call which had been the agreed signal for Peace Day. That was only 1 1/2 hours before the end of the 72 which the Kaiser was allowed to sign the armistice in. Almost immediately people began to be heard upon the street. In half an hour, the military call was again sounded, three times, and the Watch Factory bell began to ring. So did various other bells. Knowing that it was useless to attempt any more sleep, we arose, and I quickly dressed and hurried out. This was 5:50. I took a horn and blew it at Grandma, who was in bed, and at Grandpa, who was not in bed. Then I went up to Moody Street. Everywhere flags were being hung out, and a great number of people were out on the street. (I neglected to mention that the chimes had started to play at 5:15 and were still at it. They started with the “America” and then the “Marseillaise”. They continued to play at intervals all the morning).

I went down as far as Cherry Street to buy a paper and then hurried home to breakfast. Papa was just putting out his flags. All during breakfast, the bells blew, whistles rang, trains going by, tooted, and there was a perfect bedlam of noises. We were constantly interrupted by an auto that would go by the head of the street honking and crowded with people who yelled lustily.

At 6:445, we had the first parade of the day. A dozen children with flags and a drum marched by.

Not wishing to miss any of the fun, I had decided to go down street with Catherine Fuller when she went to school, but I had about given it up when the factory bell began to ring again. The factory had shut down for the day!!! That decided me so I started for Central Square at 7:30.

Arriving at the vicinity of the common, we saw the flag staff surrounded by people, all with flags in their hands. They were singing and shouting by turns and I joined them. There Catherine left me only to return saying that school did not keep. Sammy also joined us. Just then the crowd began to run only to form into a parade. Falling into line, we marched down Main to the Public Library, where, again turning, we retraced our steps to Central Square. From there, we proceeded up Moody Street, down Crescent. At Prospect, we left, as the parade turned down Prospect and we didn’t care to go as far as that. Sammy stopped at her home and found that Mr. Kirwin, where she is to work, had told her not to come.

Going back to the Square, we saw a parade marching up Elm Street. Hastening our steps, we succeeded in seeing most of the Watch Factory parade. This was the longest one this morning.

Hoping to see the first of this parade, we walked up Moody Street. On our way, we met several minor parades. But we did not see the beginning of the Watch Factory parade as it disbanded before reaching Moody Street again.

At Hall’s corner we met Mama who had come down to see what was happening. After waiting for a while, we decided to return home, but when we reached High Street we saw what appeared to be a big parade turning downs Adams towards Main Street. Immediately we turned around and ran back to Hall’s corner to see it. It was the remains of the factory parade.

Again we started for home and this time were accompanied by a parade of grammar children who shouted all the way. I had just reached home and was preparing to sit down and rest, when Catherine called to me. Looking out, I saw her running up the street. I heard a drum in the distance, so I decided to what it was. So I seized my hat and coat, and, putting them on as I ran, I reached the corner. There I saw the best parade of the day.

First, came the Home Guard. Then followed a long line of men and women all wearing funny caps. Some were holding a flag. Others were carrying different parts of an air-ship made at the Metz Factory.

Returning home, I went on the sofa for an hour. At 12, I got up and wrote this. I will finish it tomorrow and tell about the parade to-night. (Robinson’s office did not work today. The girls went into Boston at 8:50. I was not with them because this is the first day of a two week vacation which I am taking to get rested. Lots of rest at this rate).

After dinner, Mama and I trimmed up my hat, made a rosette for my m**f, and wound my megaphone with red, white, and blue ribbon, Then I went over to Grandma’s to show her my decorations and to do some sewing. At 4, I came home and went on the sofa again. I was so tired. All Waltham seemed to be recuperating in the afternoon for we hardly heard a horn until 6.

At that time, Papa came home. He had had to work all day, but he told us tomorrow was to be a holiday, but that November 11, was to be national holiday. Really, it doesn’t seem possible that I have seen the beginning of a national holiday,

We ate our supper, and at 6:30 started once more for the Square. Everyone in Waltham appeared to be headed in the same direction. Arriving at our destination we found several hundred already assembled, and we took our place among them. This was at 7, and the parade was scheduled to begin at 7:30. Different divisions constantly passed and repassed. There was a continuous line of autos, all decorated. At 7:45, the parade reached Central Square. It was headed by the police and followed by a band. I cannot give the order of marching, but all the schools were represented, nearly all the industries including a large delegation from the factory and the Boston Mfg. Co, and smaller ones from the B.C. Ames Co., H.M. Sawyer & Co., Superior Corundum Wheel Co., the Metz Co., who carried an air-ship complete, and the J.L. Thompson Co. There were one or two floats, but the time had been too limited for much decorating. There were an Italian and Hebrew delegations, several Red Cross units, and a few organizations. It was the largest parade ever seen in Waltham for it took 45 minutes to pass, and the end of the parade had only been gone 6 minutes when the beginning appeared. As the line of march was about two miles, it meant that the parade was practically two miles long.

I neglected to mention that the Home Guard appeared near the beginning, and the Grand Army, in autos, near the end.

There was a perfect bedlam of noise from the parade nearly all the time, although, at the Square, the excitement was not as great as I had expected. Marjorie and Garland took part, and Aunty Margaret carried some of the Grand Army in her auto.

It was the coldest night we have had above 20 and my feet were nearly frozen. Otherwise we might have stayed to hear the speeches which were delivered from the band-stand on the Common. There was also a band concert.

We left for home about 9:30. On the way, we were passed by autos, their occupants still loudly shouting, As we reached the head of the street, we could hear the West Newton bells start ringing again. Presumably they continued off and on until midnight.

My feet and legs were so sore and lame that I could scarcely stand, so I quickly retired.

So ended the first celebration of November 11, and it is a day which I shall never forget, and the significance of which I do not wish to forget. I hope there may never again be occasion for such rejoicing as we felt in 1918.

Dorothy Smith

All these goings on so inspired Mama that she had to express her feelings in a “pome”. She made it while getting dinner.

PEACE
“At early morn, the gladsome horn
Sounds out upon the frosty air;
Seven blows three times, and, then, the chimes
Their message gloriously declare.”

“Each bell rings out, mankind doth shout,
A feverish joy lies in each breast,
All whistles blow, to let men know
That Peace has come, Fair Peace—and Rest.”

The Stirring Times of 1861 in WalthamOn April 2, 1861, confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter in the harbor at Charl...
11/09/2021

The Stirring Times of 1861 in Waltham

On April 2, 1861, confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina. Three days later President Lincoln issued the first call for troops.

On the morning of April 16th, five young Waltham men waited for the eight o’clock train to Concord. They had learned that the Concord Company, 6th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers had a few vacancies in the ranks. On the following day, the 6th and 8th Regiments left Boston for Washington, D.C. On the 19th of April these troops were involved in skirmishes with unruly crowds in Baltimore.

Shortly after, Waltham had its own three-year call for troops. A patriotic rally was called in Rumford Hall for the formation of a company (our current City Hall replaced Rumford Hall). Following the rally, a recruiting office was opened and within one week, one hundred men joined Company H. 16th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of Waltham.

Captain Gardner Banks, brother to Nathaniel Banks, was in charge of the company. William Smith was the 1st Lieutenant and Francis P.H. Rogers was the 2nd Lieutenant. Waltham women made the men’s uniforms on sewing machines setup in Rumford Hall. The cloth used was a cadet gray of good quality. The men were drilled right on Waltham Common by Lieutenant Smith who was an efficient drillmaster and had a gruff voice of command. During the drilling period, the stirring music of fife and drum by Si Smith and Joe Holbrook was often heard.

This proud unit, Company H. 16th Massachusetts from Waltham, saw lots of fighting during the Civil War. Many casualties occurred.

(Taken from the Waltham Museum Newsletter March 10, 1997)

The Stirring Times of 1861 in Waltham

On April 2, 1861, confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina. Three days later President Lincoln issued the first call for troops.

On the morning of April 16th, five young Waltham men waited for the eight o’clock train to Concord. They had learned that the Concord Company, 6th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers had a few vacancies in the ranks. On the following day, the 6th and 8th Regiments left Boston for Washington, D.C. On the 19th of April these troops were involved in skirmishes with unruly crowds in Baltimore.

Shortly after, Waltham had its own three-year call for troops. A patriotic rally was called in Rumford Hall for the formation of a company (our current City Hall replaced Rumford Hall). Following the rally, a recruiting office was opened and within one week, one hundred men joined Company H. 16th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of Waltham.

Captain Gardner Banks, brother to Nathaniel Banks, was in charge of the company. William Smith was the 1st Lieutenant and Francis P.H. Rogers was the 2nd Lieutenant. Waltham women made the men’s uniforms on sewing machines setup in Rumford Hall. The cloth used was a cadet gray of good quality. The men were drilled right on Waltham Common by Lieutenant Smith who was an efficient drillmaster and had a gruff voice of command. During the drilling period, the stirring music of fife and drum by Si Smith and Joe Holbrook was often heard.

This proud unit, Company H. 16th Massachusetts from Waltham, saw lots of fighting during the Civil War. Many casualties occurred.

(Taken from the Waltham Museum Newsletter March 10, 1997)

Address

25 Lexington Street
Waltham, MA
02452

General information

On for Special Events or Rentals. This Saturday June 15 2019 Open 10:30 -3 pm. for the Grover Cronin Collection. Regular hours are Wednesday Thursday Friday 1-4 adult admission $4.00. Members free.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Waltham Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Waltham Museum:

Videos

Nearby museums


Other Waltham museums

Show All

Comments

From 2 till 7 at Tempo today. Music Munchies 50/50 and Wicked Good Vibes. $25 at the door.
The Waltham Museum sends our deepest condolences and asks members to celebrate her life by learning about the Armenian Museum of America
Join the Waltham Historical Society for a Strike! Get it..Bowling..strike... I'll show myself out..
Our amazing Janet Robichaud Driscoll will be there in Watch City Steampunk Festival™ 2022 attire. Join her in your best!
The Waltham Museum celebrates 50 years of the people and artifacts of Waltham. The Honorable Mayor Jeannette McCarthy recognized the hard work of Volunteer Janet Robichaud Driscoll BOD Member Mary Baker. Join me in thanking them for their diligence and skill. Robin Capello
We wish you the best in your retirement. We have a volunteer position available working with our History of the WPD. Keep us posted.
Yup.. I posted on Patch. Bring your own take home container when you eat out in Waltham. Need a Cold Bag to bring Ice Cream home from Pizzi Farm? Need one.. Buy it here to support The Waltham Museum and your neighbors at Healthy Waltham.
Hi all! I am working with the wonderful Robin Capello to raise funds to “keep the lights on”. Please join the fun and feel free to share the link! https://facebook.com/events/s/party-to-benefit-the-waltham-m/291731865252039/?ti=icl
To the Waltham Museum, Happy International Museum Day!!