Needham History Center & Museum Needham History Center & Museum, Needham Massachusetts 02492

Crossing Borders: a Shared History


    Crossing Borders: a Shared History

    Historic Newton, the Natick Historical Society, the Needham History Center & Museum, and the Wellesley Historical Society are joining together to present four programs in the Spring and Summer of 2019 that focuses on the development of the four neighboring towns. The partnership combines our research and knowledge, and engages our broad audience in learning about the shared history of our bordering communities.

    Our collaboration grew from the recognition that borders in this region – municipal and psychological – have shifted over time. Together, our four organizations can interpret a larger story that crosses the porous borders between our cities and towns, learning about the trends that have shaped our region.

    Join us for these four events:

    1.  A Walking Tour of Lower Falls, literally crossing the border between Newton and Wellesley.  This special tour with Historic Newton and the Wellesley Historical Society focuses on the rise and fall of industry in Lower Falls. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and is recommended for adults and teens.

    Sunday, April 28 at 1:00 pm.
    Meet outside Starbucks, 2322 Washington Sreet, Newton Lower Falls
    Suggested donation $10. Register through

    2.  The Suburban Development of Needham, Newton, Natick, and Wellesley.  James O’Connell. Urban planner James O’Connell has called Boston the “national pacesetter for suburbanization.”  Spurred first by a shortage of space, and then by convenient transportation, Boston has created around itself a network of suburbs – our towns among them – that constitute one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, and one of its most prosperous.

    Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00 pm.
    At the Needham History Center & Museum, 1147 Central Avenue, Needham.  Free and open to the public.

    3.  The Women of Natick and Ponkapoag: The Untold History of “praying towns” from a Native American Perspective.  Kristen Wyman (Natick Nipmuk) and Elizabeth Solomon (Massachusett Ponkapoag). Join us for a conversation about the praying towns in 17th century New England, and how missionary work influenced national Indian policy and continues to perpetuate the myth of Indian extinction today.

    Thursday, May 30 at 7:00-8:00 pm.
    Lebowitz Meeting Hall (lower floor), Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central Street, Natick.  This program is free and open to the public.  

    4.  Down by the River: New Takes on Charles River History. Kathleen Rowe. After years of researching and exploring the Charles River, presenter Kathleen Rowe has assembled a visual journey along the famous river as it winds its way through cities and towns in the watershed.  She points out historic sites and events that have taken place along the river, while also describing some of the initiatives that have brought the Charles world-class status as an exemplary urban waterway.

    Tuesday, June 4 at 7:00 pm.
    At Historic Newton’s Durant-Kenrick House, 286 Waverly Avenue, Newton. Free and open to the public.


    For further information and updates, you can also contact each historical organization: Historic Newton, the Natick Historical Society, the Needham History Center & Museum, and the Wellesley Historical Society.


    Crossing Borders is supported by a generous grant from the Wellesley Bank Charitable Foundation