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

Around Town


These pictures show scenes that were familiar around Needham in 1900. As quaint as they seem to us now, they represented the progress of their time. A pumper truck, even one that had to be pulled to fires by horse or by hand, was a great improvement over the bucket brigade. Trolley tracks ran down the main streets, making the trip to neighboring towns a convenience and not a burden. An influx of immigrants, first from the English Midlands, and then from Ireland, Italy and Poland brought new prosperity to Needham as the economic base shifted from farming to manufacturing.

Nevertheless, Needham treasured its memories of an earlier time. The Greenwood Oak stood as the last vestige of the old town center. A new monument in the cemetery commemorated a war that many could still remember living through. And the river, in its depths, preserved traces of a still earlier time, before Europeans had cleared and claimed the land for themselves.