Needham History Center & Museum

History Stories

VIKINGS on the CHARLES, or, The Strange Saga of Norumbega, Dighton Rock, and Rumford Double-Acting Baking Powder

Gloria Polizzotti Greis, Executive Director, Needham History Center & Museum 

Why is there a statue of Leif Eriksson on Comm Ave? How did Boston, of all places, become identified with the Vinland of Viking legend? And what does Rumford Double-Acting Baking Powder have to with all this? The story is more complicated than you’d think.

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Why Pansies?

Gloria Polizzotti Greis, Executive Director, Needham History Center & Museum 

Every spring the Needham History Center celebrates Pansy Day, and homes and businesses all over town plant the lovely flower in their gardens. How did Pansies get to be the symbol of Needham?

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The Needham Trust Company Robbery

Gloria Polizzotti Greis, Executive Director, Needham History Center & Museum 

One incident that, perhaps more than any other, moved Needham’s police force into the modern age. It remains the most traumatic occurrence in the history of both the police department and the town.

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Without which we canNot be hapy: the Dedham Farmers’ Petition

Gloria Polizzotti Greis, Executive Director, Needham History Center & Museum

When the 4-hour walk to Meeting House in Dedham became too much of a burden, North Parish (that’s us) politely asked for their own church. When Dedham refused, we went over their heads and asked the Governor.

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The Secret History of the Needham-Wellesley Game

Gloria Polizzotti Greis, Executive Director, Needham History Center & Museum 

Cross-town rivals, untrained schoolboys, hirelings, ringers, and fistfights. The Needham-Wellesley Game ain’t what it used to be – thank goodness!

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The Thumbnail History of Needham

Gloria Polizzotti Greis, Executive Director, Needham History Center & Museum 

A fast and bumpy ride through 300 years of history – so, buckle up! How we got here, how we got our name, and where we are headed now.

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