The History of Newton, MA
When you think of Massachusetts, Boston, Harvard, and everything New England comes to mind. Thoughts of colonial times and the thirteen original colonies may flash through your thought process. Native Americans, Thanksgiving, and unbearable winters might come to mind as well as highly rambunctious Patriots fans.
Aside from being an extremely historic part of American history, Massachusetts is also home to Newton. Situated in Middlesex county, the suburban city is west of downtown Boston by only 7 miles. Due to its close proximity to Boston, fantastic school districts, and historic homes, Newton, MA is one of the most desirable places to live for people wishing to commute into the city.
The city was settled in 1630. It was a part of what was then called “the new towne”. In 1638, its name was changed to Cambridge. After being renamed several times over the course of over one hundred years, it was finally named Newton in 1766. In 1873, it officially became a city.
Industrial Development in Newton, MA
Due to the growing technological innovation of the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the large amount of hydroelectric power available from the Newton Upper Falls and the Lower Falls, an array of mills was formed to create some of the city’s earliest industries.
Glue, paper, snuff, chocolate, and other products were created in these mills, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough power available to transform the city into a large manufacturing city.
An interesting fact about the city is that it is one of America’s earliest commuter suburbs. The first people to start the trend of suburbanization were wealthy Bostonian businessmen. After that, suburbanization continued at a trickle. Street car lines brought the next group of commuters in the later part of the 19th century.
The prosperity of the 1920s brought about affordable automobiles to a growing upper middle class. This made the once inaccessible suburb even more accessible, thus more commuters moved out of Boston and into Newton.
Newton, MA Today
Currently, the city is not the stereotypical suburb. This being that the people who live in Newton are not employed in downtown Boston. Many people work in Newton or in other towns that are close to it. What separates it from most cities is that although it is considered to be one city, it is separated into 13 villages. Some of these villages have their own downtown areas.
The residents are quite diverse when it comes to their religions and political views. It is currently home to over 44 houses of worship representing over five faiths.
Due to its old roots, the city is home to some very old cemeteries. Notable grave sites include those of a civil war general, a few U.S. congressmen, a Boston Red Sox player, a mayor of Boston, and a few ministers. One of the earliest residents, John Fuller, is also buried in Newton as well.
If you’re ever in Massachusetts, specifically Boston, make the 7-mile trip and come visit Newton. You won’t regret it.
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