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

3. the McIntosh Corner Historic District (Great Plain and Central Avenues)

The McIntosh Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, recognizing its historic importance to the town of Needham, as well as the exceptionally good preservation of its historic character.

This crossroads was part of the original center of town in the 18th and 19th centuries – the location of the Parish Meeting House, the place where news was gathered from travelers, goods were shipped and received, gossip was passed on, and town affairs were discussed. Ten historic houses, dating from 1794 to 1877, are preserved within the District, illustrating the domestic and economic life of their times.

Prior to English settlement, the two roads we know as Great Plain Avenue and Central Avenue were Native American trails leading from the coast to the interior. In Colonial times, these trails became the main coach roads, and the town’s Center grew up near and around them. The town’s principal tavern, the McIntosh Tavern, was built on the NW corner to accommodate travelers along the coach roads. The District was named to commemorate the important role of the tavern in community life, and the many contributions of the McIntosh family to the town’s life and history.

Back to Map 1 – West of Needham Center

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