News and Updates


Historical Commission

Membership Information


Contact Us


News and Updates from the Historical Society

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Our Neighbors, Our Histories, Our Injustices?

Professor Kate Moran, Brandeis University
at Bright School, 260 Grove Street, Waltham


This talk considers the moral and political implications of ‘red-lining’ – a project undertaken by the federal government in the New Deal era with the aim of designating neighborhoods where home loans were particularly ‘risky’. The practice is credited by many scholars for entrenching racial and economic inequality in the United States in the 20th century. This talk considers how individuals who may have suffered or benefitted from these past injustices should think of their obligations to each other in contemporary society. Refreshments will be available.

Kate Moran is an associate professor of philosophy at Brandeis University, where she teaches courses in ethics, political philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Her research centers on the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), especially the ways in which his thought can inform the way we think about contemporary moral problems. She has received research awards from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. When the weather is nice, you might see her pulling her twins around Waltham in their wagon.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Better Living Through Alchemy: Private Lives and Alchemical Pursuits in a Tuscan Village and Colonial America
Bruce Moran, University of Nevada, Reno

Alchemy Image

The talk explores the broad meaning of alchemy in the early modern era and focuses upon its place in the private lives of two early 17th figures.  The first is a Tuscan potter, Dionigi Marmi, who is held responsible for a murder and attempts to rebuild his life, in part, by learning practical alchemy.  The second is a graduate of Harvard College, George Starkey, who leads a double life by creating an alter ego as an alchemical adept.

Bruce Moran is a recent arrival in Waltham, and at present is splitting his time between Massachusetts and Nevada.  In semi retirement, he teaches in the history department at the University of Nevada, Reno (completing a career there of more than 40 years) while continuing research in the history of science and early medicine as a visiting fellow at Harvard. 


Thursday, September 21, 2017
“American Pluck: Five Siblings of the Civil War Generation and Their Choices”
Stonehurst, Paine Estate
100 Robert Treat Paine Dr., Waltham

In celebration of International Peace Day, join us for an illustrated talk with Thomas M. Paine about a war’s effect on the lives of fi ve siblings, including his ancestor General Charles Jackson Paine who led a company of black soldiers in the Civil War and pioneering peace activist Robert Treat Paine. The title is based on Tom Paine’s forthcoming book which tells the story of his own great-grandfather and other men and women of determination and valor who were vitally engaged in the issues of their time over three centuries. Interactive audience discussion and light refreshments to follow. Thomas M. Paine is the author of Growing Paines, the Stonehurst guidebook and Cities with Heart. He is the founder of Boston !NSP!RES, a consultancy focusing on the intersection of local history, historic preservation and public space design.

Cosponsored with with Robert Treat Paine's "Stonehurst"

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
“A Tale of Two Domestics: Adventures in Archival Archaeology”
Camille Arbogast, held at the Lyman Estate, 185 Lyman St., Waltham

Lecture Image

In 1772, Ruth Hunt, a thirteen-year-old from Concord, Massachusetts, was formally indentured to the family of the local minister. A generation later, Mary Tuesley, recently arrived from England, was hired by the wealthy Gore family. Both of these women worked in domestic service, but how they came to do so and what they expected from their service was very different. By uncovering and piecing together the original source material that exists for these women, we get a richer portrait of working class women’s lives in pre- and post-Revolutionary Massachusetts. Join historian Camille Arbogast as she shares the original source material that exists for these women. The talk is about the two women, the similarities and differences in
their situations, as well as context about indentured servitude and domestic work in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It is also a bit of a detective story. Camille will share the documents
used, how she found them, what they tell us, what we might infer.

Cosponsored with Historic New England

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
"Preserving Your History: Tools and Practices."
With Jennifer Williams

Preservation photos

Waltham residents are creators of art, innovators of film, and nostalgic hoarders of photos.  While we all want to ensure that we can view and share our beloved pieces for years to come, it can sometimes be difficult to determine how best to care for them. Luckily, the archives community has developed standard tools and practices to help everyone maintain their digital and paper treasures. Join Jennifer Williams and the Waltham Historical Society to learn how to properly label, store, and preserve your personal archives so that they last forever. By the end of the lecture, you will understand the various ways to protect your mementos from deterioration, computer malfunctions, weather-related hazards, and more. 

7:00 pm at the former Bright Schhool
260 Grove Street, Waltham, MA

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Haiti and the United States
With Dr. Helene Day, Jeremy Hagger, and
Pastor Thomas St. Louis

Mayor McCarthy and Pastor St. Louis

7:00 pm at the Former Bright School
260 Grove Street, Waltham

Wednesday, March 2017
Snowed Out and Moved to May 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2016
Financing The Civil War
With Al Smith

Waltham Bill
7:00 pm at the Former Bright School
260 Grove Street, Waltham

Join us to learn how the financing of the American Civil War is still being felt today.

Barnes Bowl
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Wedgwood in New England, 1760-1800:
Highlighting the Barnes Bowl of Waltham

With Lorraine Horn and Jeremy Hagger

7:00 pm at the Former Bright School
260 Grove Street, Waltham


Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Mill Girls of New England
With Doug Stewart

In Collaboration with Historic New England
Held at The Lyman Estate, 185 Lyman Street
Begins at 7:00 pm


Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Waltham Historical Society
260 Grove Street (formerly the Bright School)
5:45 pm Exhibit Opens
Lecture at 7:00 pm See More Details.

Meet Dr. Alfred Worcester:
Pioneer of surgery, nursing education, geriatrics,
and palliative care; Native son of Waltham.

A Lecture by Geriatric Primary Care Physician Dr. Eric Reines

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm
260 Grove Street, Waltham (former Bright School)

The Exhibit will be open in July on
Tuesdays and Sundays from 1:00-3:00 pm beginning July 5th,
Thursdays from 5:00-8:00 pm,
and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Check the calendar for any additional days and times.
Doors to the Tuesday, July 12th lecture open at 5:45 for exhibit viewing and the lecture will begin at 7:00 pm.
Free and open to the public. Phone 617-448-6706 for more information.


Thursday, April 7, 2016, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Historic New England's "The Vale" The Lyman Estate
185 Lyman Street, Waltham, MA

The Bleachery

Waltham in the Early Republic: A Time of Transition
In Collaboration with Historic New England

When George Washington was inaugurated as our nation’s first president in 1789, the Town of Waltham was a small agrarian village located along the Great Country Road just nine miles west of Boston. Over the next 40 years, economic and social developments fundamentally transformed Waltham, creating a community inhabited by yeoman farmers, factory workers, small business owners, and wealthy Boston families. This presentation will examine the changes that took place in Waltham from 1789 until 1825, and the reasons why these changes occurred.

Historic New England Logo

For more information or to register, call 617-994-5912 or visit HistoricNewEngland.org

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Osborne Community Room
RTN Federal Credit Union
600 Main Street, Rear, Waltham

Reunions of the Blue and Gray
by Mr. Al Smith

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 the Society will conduct an informative lecture by Waltham Historical Society Board Member and Tour Chair for the Civil War Round Table of New England, Mr. Al Smith. Discussed will be some of the reunion activities of those who served on both sides during the conflict known as the American Civil War.

In 1888, 1913, and 1938 survivors of the War Between the States gathered together to greet one another, oftentimes over the very walls and fields where their comrades fought and died. This event will also have artifacts and items to view that should prove interesting to those who may know very little of the activities of these folks following the war.

This event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be available. Please plan to arrive early as seating is limited and the doors will be locked once the meeting is underway. Entrance to the lecture is at the Osborne Community Room doors located at the rear of the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham. All are welcome. Call 617-448-6706 with any questions.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Lecture Room at Waltham Public Library
Main Street, Waltham

Genealogy and Your Family’s History:
New Techniques 100 Years On!

By Marie Daly

In observance of the 100th anniversary of the Waltham Historical Society’s first public lecture at the new library, WHS board member, Marie Daly, will speak on the same subject—genealogy. She will show how to trace one’s family history from the present back to the immigrant ancestor. The talk will be illustrated using case studies of the Shea, Connolly, Arrigo, Barnes, and Warren families of Waltham.

This beginning level lecture will highlight the ancestries and house histories of some founding members of the Waltham Historical Society. Some immigrant ancestors came from Italy to Waltham in the 20th century, while others arrived from Ireland in the 19th century, and others from England in 1630. The lecture will demonstrate how people of all ethnic backgrounds can investigate their family histories.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Robert Treat Paine Estate, Stonehurst
Gentlemans Way, Waltham

Visiting the Past in Greater Boston:
Reflections of a Historic-House Devotee

by Elizabeth S. Levy Merrick

Elizabeth S. Levy Merrick, author of Be There Then: A Guide to Exploring Greater Boston’s Historic House Museums will lay out her perspective (as an enthusiastic lay person rather than a museum professional or historian) and discuss some themes and/or challenges of house museums, informed by her extensive visitation to the local houses included in the book. Highlighted among the several local house museums will be the site of the talk, Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate owned by the City of Waltham. It is hoped that the topic will encourage questions and discussions. One issue may be that of guided versus self-guided tours, and some of the pros and cons observed. Another topic of discussion includes the use of technology. These will be discussed as part of looking to the future of house museums.

This lecture is co-hosted by the Waltham Historical Society, the City of Waltham and the Friends of Stonehurst.Photo of Stonehurst by Bret Morgan 1999.




Tuesday, December 1, 2015 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
The Vale, The Lyman Estate
Beaver Street, at the Rotary

The Spirit of Christmas Past:
Four Centuries of Christmas in New England

By Kenneth Turino

Kenneth C. Turino, manager of community engagement and exhibitions at Historic New England, tells the story of how Christmas was transformed from a rowdy celebration to a family-centered event. Learn how Christmas trees became popular, halls were decked, and Santa Claus came to town.

This event is co-sponsored with Historic New England and the Waltham Historical Society, Inc.





Tuesday, November 10, 2015 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Osborn Community Room at RTN Federal Credit Union
600 Main Street, Rear Entrance, Waltham

Lafayette’s Hermione Voyage 2015
By Dr. Hélène R. Day

Dr. Hélène R. Day was granted a Doctor’s Degree from the Foreign Language Department of Boston University; and has been a member of the Boston University chapter of the Honorary Society of Phi Sigma Iota. In 1974, she founded the French Saturday School in Boston for children of 4 years and up, and by Ordinance of His Serene Highness, the Prince Sovereign of Monaco, she was appointed Consul of the Principality in New England. Recently, she was elected a member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Civic Symphony, and by Ordinance of HSH the Prince Sovereign of Monaco, Dr. Day received the medal and title of “Chevalier de l’Order du Mérite Cultural” (Knight of the Order of Cultural Merit).







Tuesday, September 8, 2015 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Osborn Community Room at RTN Federal Credit Union
600 Main Street, Rear Entrance, Waltham














Tuesday, July 14, 2015 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Osborn Community Room at RTN Federal Credit Union
600 Main Street, Rear Entrance, Waltham

The Gettysburg Address: The History and Philosophy
by Al Smith

On Tuesday, July 14th at 7:00 pm Mr. Al Smith, Waltham Historical Society Board Member and Tour Chair for the Civil War Roundtable of New England, will present The Gettysburg Address: The History and Philosophy. This lecture will be held at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham. The entrance to the venue is in the rear parking lot area. Refreshments will be available. Seating is limited and doors will be closed at 7:15 PM.




Tuesday, July 8, 2015 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
260 Grove Street, Waltham, MA, the Former Bright School

Poster MastheadMills, Mansions, and Cemeteries by Dr. Jack Cox

On July 8, Dr. Jack Cox will be presenting Mills, Mansions, and Cemeteries. This event will begin at 10:00 am at the Bright School location, 260 Grove Street, with a discussion and review of local history. At noon we will break for pizza, and at 1:00 pm we will board the Tick Tock Trolley for a two hour tour of historic sites in the City. Seats are limited so please make your reservations right away. You can fill out the form and send it in as soon as possible to ensure your space.

Call 617-448-6706 with any questions.




Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Osborn Community Room at RTN Federal Credit Union
600 Main Street, Rear Entrance, Waltham

Graveyard Legends, Symbolism and Lore from the Bay State
by Roxie Zwicker

Massachusetts’s historic graveyards are the final resting places for tales of the strange and supernatural. Gravestones and their carvings tell fascinating stories of history and superstition. This engaging presentation takes guests on a virtual tour of some of the oldest burial grounds and stones of Massachusetts decoding the messages and telling their tales. Gravestone carving is considered by some to be America’s first form of folk art and cemeteries are very much museums in stone.

Ms. Zwicker will have a few snippets of Waltham gravestones and folklore and will have copies of her books available for purchase.

Please join us for this interesting presentation. The lecture will be held at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street (rear Community Room Entrance) and will be preceded by a brief business meeting of the Historical Society. Seating is limited so please arrive between 6:30 and 7:00 PM. The doors will be locked at 7:15. This lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Lecture Hall of the Waltham Public Library

Library FacadeAn Illustrated History of the Waltham Public Library and Its Relationship to the Community in Honor of its 150th Anniversary
by Morton S. Isaacson

This year the Waltham Public Library is celebrating two block-buster anniversaries: the 150th anniversary of its founding (voted into existence by Town Meeting on April 3, 1865), and the 100th anniversary of the opening of the main section of the current library building on December 13, 1915. The first public lecture held in the new building's lecture hall, in January, 1916 – one month after it opened – was by our very own Waltham Historical Society. Therefore, it is fitting that the Society kicks off the library's year of celebration with a presentation on the library's history in that very same lecture hall. The talk will stress the people and places behind the historical facts, and the connections between the library's history and that of the greater community. Learn how many eminent individuals in the community were involved with the library over the years, and how many of the houses and other buildings associated with them are still standing in the city today as reminders of their contributions.

Although the Waltham Public Library was officially established in 1865, its history actually goes back much farther than just the 150 years we are celebrating this year – in fact, some 217 years to the founding of the Waltham Social Library Society in 1798. This was a subscription lending library made up of the yeoman farming families of what was then a rural agricultural town. This library continued in existence until 1846, at which point its collection of 800 volumes was put into storage in the Unitarian Church. When the Waltham Public Library was established in 1865, the Church donated this collection to it. During the presentation we will look at some of the society's original records, officers, and memorabilia.

Rumford HallThe Waltham Social Library was founded by, and run primarily for, the old farming families in the town, many of which dated back to early colonial times. In contrast, the second tributary stream to the Waltham Public Library came from the new manufacturing and professional interests that arose at the beginning of the 1800s with the establishment of the Boston Manufacturing Company (BMC). The first BMC textile mill in Waltham was built in 1814, and by 1820 the company had already established a lending library for its employees called the "Manufacturers' Library". Then, in 1826 the company was instrumental is establishing the Rumford Institute for Mutual Instruction that was open to the whole town. This was a lyceum type membership organization which held regular lectures and discussions on science, the arts, and politics; and it maintained its own lending library called the Rumford Library. The following year the company built Rumford Hall on the Common where City Hall now stands for the free use of the Rumford Institute and its library. In 1830 the BMC donated the collection in its Manufacturers' Library to the Rumford Library. By the 1860s the Rumford Library had outgrown its facilities and finances and, consequently, the Institute offered its library's collection of 3,700 volumes to the town for a free town library. It was the acceptance of this offer in 1865 that established the Waltham Public Library. During the presentation we will also look at some of the Rumford Institute's original records, officers, and memorabilia.

Welch BuildingThe new town library was first housed in Bank Hall over the Waltham National Bank, in a stone, Greek Revival building dating from 1836 at the corner of Main and Lexington Streets. However, it soon became too large for this space, and in 1880 it was moved to the new brick Chester A. Welch Block at the corner of Moody and Charles Streets. During this period, in 1874, a collection of books on agriculture was given to the library by the Waltham Farmer's Club, a forerunner of our present day Waltham/West Suburban Chamber of Commerce.

The present Waltham Public Library building owes its existence to a bequest made in 1894 by Francis Buttrick, one of Waltham's most respected citizens and the largest real estate owner in the city in the later decades of the nineteenth century. However, twenty years were to elapse before all the legal entanglements could be straightened out, a suitable site for the new library could be secured on Main Street, and construction could begin. This new building, called the Buttrick Library, was dedicated on December 11, 1915 and forms the front half of our present library structure.

Central HouseThe new site on Main Street had been partly occupied by the old Central House. Originally built as a farmhouse, the building had become a tavern at the close of the 18th century. In the early 19th century, it was rebuilt as a large temple-fronted Greek Revival building. It became one of the most well known taverns along the Boston Post Road in Waltham. The old Central House was demolished in 1914 to make way for the Buttrick building.

A community room, called the Art Gallery, was added to the north side of the Buttrick building in 1933, partly to house paintings done by Charles Woodbury. The room and paintings had been donated to the library by Annie and Mary Sears. The most recent renovations to the library were completed in 1994 after a seven year effort. The Art Gallery was replaced by a new three story wing, doubling the library's space; and the Buttrick building was completely renovated resulting in the beautiful, unified building we enjoy today.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm
RTN Federal Credit Union (Rear)
600 Main Street, Waltham, MA

The Hub's Metropolis: Greater Boston's Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth
Presented by Mr. James C. O’Connell

The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth (2013) is the first comprehensive historical overview of Boston’s suburban development, from the earliest country estates to suburban sprawl and the smart growth movement. This book provides historical context for understanding the region’s contemporary planning efforts that are addressing the challenges of low-density sprawl, climate change, and the global information age economy. Join us as James O'Connell discusses Smart Growth. Doors open at 6:30 and are locked at 7:15. Please plan to arrive early as seating is limited. Light refreshments will be available. If you have questions you can email us at waltham.historical.society@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm
RTN Federal Credit Union (Rear)
600 Main Street, Waltham, MA

Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials
Presented by Marilynne K. Roach

The story of the Salem Witch Trials continues to captivate us more than three hundred years after this colonial village was swept away by witchcraft hysteria. Over 82,000 tourists travel to Salem, Massachusetts annually, drawn by stories of fictional sorcery and the real-life prosecution of the accused. Too often, the names of the 255 individuals involved—including the nineteen hanged on Gallows Hill—are reduced to stock characters, the intricacies of their lives buried beneath the dramatic details and their legacies smothered by Salem’s modern day carnival atmosphere. In Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials, historian and author Marilynne K. Roach chronicles the lives of six specific women involved in the witch hunt who represent the accusers, the accused, or both, and uses their unique stories to illuminate the larger crisis of the trials.

Six Women of Salem works to reconstruct the events of the trials, bringing to life this representative group of women, and examines the entire experience of the Salem Witch Trials through the eyes of those who lived through the hysteria. Roach delivers a historically intimate narrative that gives readers a front row seat to this desperate and dangerous time in history.

Marilynne K. Roach works as both a historian and illustrator. Her illustrations, how-to articles, and travel pieces have been featured in the Boston Globe. She’s lectured to groups ranging in age from kindergarteners to senior citizens, and is the author of the classicThe Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege. She is a lifelong resident of Watertown, Massachusetts.

Doors open at 6:30 and are locked at 7:15. Please plan to arrive early as seating is limited. Light refreshments will be available. If you have questions you can email us at waltham.historical.society@gmail.com.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm
RTN Federal Credit Union (Rear)
600 Main Street, Waltham, MA

Drummer Gene Krupa
Presented by Mr. Steve Taddeo

Join us as Steve Taddeo discusses the work of this famous Drummer from the early part of the 20th Century. Doors open at 6:30 and are locked at 7:15. Please plan to arrive early as seating is limited. Light refreshments will be available. If you have questions you can email us at waltham.historical.society@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 31, 2014
9:00 am until 2:00 pm

260 Grove Street, Waltham, MA

Yard Sale
Proceeds to benefit the Waltham Historical Society

Be sure to visit and choose from many items that run from books, videos, furniture, and household items, many of which have never been used!

For questions you can contact Joe or Carol DiFranco at 781-893-7828 or difrancojoecar@verizon.net

If you would like to donate items to the Society for sale please let us know.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm
RTN Federal Credit Union (Rear)
600 Main Street, Waltham, MA

Writing the Civil War
with Independent Literary Historian Rob Velella

Discover the dynamic relationship between America’s Civil War and 19th century American literature, with an emphasis on writers from New England. Ultimately, the war transformed American writing. This illustrated talk presents works that both inspire action and reflect on war-time traumas. Several writers will be discussed but particular emphasis will be placed on Nathaniel Hawthorne, who died 150 years ago this month, as well as the novelist’s surprising connections to Waltham.

Lecture begins immediately following the regular meeting of the Waltham Historical Society at 7:00 pm. Seating is limited. Please arrive between 6:30 and 7:15 pm for this most enlightening event.

Call 617-448-6706 with any questions.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm
RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street (rear)

Meeting of the Society followed by:

Jonathan A. Boschen and
A Look at the Music Hall Building of Waltham

The Music Hall Building of Waltham Massachusetts is an iconic part of Waltham’s history. Constructed in 1880, the building was the first of four theater buildings which would be constructed in Waltham throughout the next fifty years. From the day of its opening as a vaudeville opera house in the 1880s, to its closing as a silent movie house in the early 1930’s, the venue served the city in a variety of ways. Like many theaters across the country, the Music Hall was an ornately designed building which brought a wide variety of entertainment to the Waltham community. The theater showcased everything from local talent to nationally acclaimed vaudevillians, Broadway shows, opera companies, etc. It was also the first place in Waltham to view the new moving picture medium.

On Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7:00pm, the Waltham Historical Society will host Jonathan A. Boschen’s presentation which explores the rich history of the Music Hall Building. Boschen, a film and theater historian, videographer, and slide show designer, created the presentation on the Music Hall for the Downtown Waltham Partnership to help emphasize the importance of preserving the building’s façade. It was presented to the Rotary Club in September, 2013 where it was well received. The presentation explores the rich history of this iconic building through the use of photographs, building blueprints, newspaper articles, and related Americana. It will be held at the RTN Federal Credit Union building and admission is free.


October 4, 2013
Please save the evening date of Friday
October 4, 2013 to help us celebrate
The Historical Society’s 100th Anniversary.

This event will feature a buffet meal, a special toast to the Society’s historic work, and a presentation by our own Marie Daly. Marie will be telling the story of the Society’s founders, those folks who recognized the depth and breadth of Waltham’s history and put their collective efforts into establishing the organization charged with its preservation.

The Soiree de Gala will be held at
The Forefront Center

404 Wyman Street, Waltham
and will begin at 6:00 pm.

Tickets may be purchased by sending a check for $100 per person, payable to the Waltham Historical Society, to Dr. Helene R. Day, Committee Chair, 29 Copley Avenue, Waltham MA 02452.

For more information please contact
Dr. Helene Day at 781-736-0730


June 2013
The Charles River
Exhibit at the Waltham Public Library
Waltham Public Library, 735 Main Street, Waltham, Mass.

Visit the Waltham Public Library and view the display about the Charles River and recreation in its waters and on its banks. Created from holdings of the Waltham Historical Society you can get a sense of the river's importance to both the industrial and the recreational life of this city. The exhibit will run through the month of June and can be viewed during Library hours. Monday through Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm.

Sunday, May 5, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Colorful Waltham: A Neighborhood Walkabout
Lyman Estate, 185 Lyman Street, Waltham, Mass.

On this two-mile walking tour, learn about the history and architecture of the Lyman Stree neighborhood and get tips on adding curb appeal to your old house through historic paint color combinations. Lyman Street offers excellent examples of vernacular architecture from almost all periods of the nineteenth century. The adjacent area, an early center of settlement, contains many important historic sites, including two eighteenth-century houses. Waltham Historical Society Director Mort Isaacson provides the historical background on the houses while paint color expert Sally Zimmerman of Historic New England shares information on how to help a historic home look its very best with period color. Co-sponsored by the Waltham Historical Society and Historic New England.

$5 Historic New England and Waltham Historical Society members, $10 non-members

Registration is required. Please call 617-994-5959 for more information. Purchase tickets now

March 12, 2013
Everyday Life in Waltham 100 Years Ago
Marie Daly, Board Member, Waltham Historical Society

The lecture will highlight the founding of the Waltham Historical Society; how Walthamites lived, worked, played and dressed; and the major local political issues of the day. Topics covered will include celebration of Waltham's 175th anniversary, women's suffrage movement, the selection of the library site, the appointment of Waltham's first female department head, the ice shortage crisis, the shocking new Turkey Trot dance, police raids on liquor dealers, and the Metz championship car.

Marie Daly is a senior genealogist at New England Historic Genealogical Society, where she has worked for 25 years. Besides being on the board of the Waltham Historical Society, she is also on the board of the Waltham Land Trust and is the past president of the Irish Ancestral Research Association.

Marie has lived in Waltham for 62 years, and has spent the last year going through the Waltham and Boston Globe newspaper articles to gather information for this talk.

January 8, 2013
American Literature and American Industry

Mr. Rob Velella, Undependent literary historian and playwright
RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street (Rear), Waltham, Mass.

Please join us and enjoy Waltham native Rob Velella’s “American Literature and American Industry,” tracing the development of American literature as both a complement to and as a resistance to industrialization. With Waltham squarely in the center of things Mr. Velella will trace its connections to people like James Freeman Clarke, Walt Whitman, Hamlin Garland, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It will specifically focus on the 19th century.

Mr. Velella was recently featured on National Public Radio’s “Here and Now” for his expertise of literary history.” He was also featured in The Waltham News Tribune in 2008 when he published “Edgar Allan Poe: Bicentennial Desk Calendar.”

Rob Velella is an independent literary historian and playwright specializing in American literature of the 19th century. As a scholar, Velella has published articles and presented academic papers on figures as varied as Margaret Fuller, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Walt Whitman. Nicknamed the “Prometheus of American literary scholarship,” he has taken his research outside of academia by lecturing at various historical sites, libraries, and colleges from Pennsylvania to Maine. Recently, he served as guest curator for “Margaret Fuller: Woman of the Nineteenth Century” at Harvard’s Houghton Library and as research associate for “The Raven in the Frog Pond: Edgar Allan Poe and Boston” for the Boston Public Library.

In his ongoing efforts to bring the writers of yesterday back to the readers of today, he has dramatically brought to life several literary figures, including the young Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe. Velella also maintains the American Literary Blog (http://www.americanliteraryblog.blogspot.com/), an “almost-daily celebration of important (and not-so-important) dates in 19th-century American literary history.”

October 20, 2012
Grove Hill Civil War Cemetery Tour II

Led by Mr. Joseph Keefe, Director, Waltham Historical Society
Saturday, October 20, 2012, at 4:00 pm
Meeting at the former Bright Elementary School, Grove Street Entrance

After many requests from folks unable to attend last year’s event, The Waltham Historical Society will be conducting another Civil War Cemetery Tour of the Grove Hill Cemetery. With the gracious generosity and guidance of Society Director Mr. Joe Keefe, we’re again offering the opportunity!

Although it may sound like a repeat performance, please be assured we are planning to visit different sites than last year. With over 100 men who served during the Civil War buried in the cemetery, we cannot cover them all in a single tour.

Tickets are $15.00 per person for Society Members and $25.00 for Non-Members. To reserve your tickets, checks made payable to the Waltham Historical Society may be sent to:

The Waltham Historical Society, 190 Moody Street, Waltham, MA 02452

Orders received in time will have tickets mailed to you. Late orders can be picked up the morning of the tour. If space allows tickets will be available the day of the tour. Please reserve your place on the tour as soon as possible.

If you have questions you can call 617-448-6706 or Email Waltham.historical.society@gmail.com

September 11, 2012
Civil War Massachusetts

Stephen Kenney, Director, Commonwealth Museum
Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 7:00 pm
RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street (Rear), Waltham, Mass.

Massachusetts contributed over sixty regiments to the Union cause. Why did people fight? What were their most powerful experiences? Drawing on the files of the “Great War Governor” John Albion Andrew, this lecture explores the record of three unique units: the elite Harvard regiment, the Irish 28th regiment, and the African-American 54th.

Stephen Kenney has been Director of the Commonwealth Museum since 1992. He received a Ph.D. from Boston University and has been an administrator or faculty member at several area colleges including service as Interim President of Quincy College.

May 8, 2012
Architectural Styles in Waltham’s History: From the Seventeenth Century to the Present
National Preservation Month Series
Tuesday, May 8, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Lyman Estate, 185 Lyman Street, Waltham, Mass.

$0 Historic New England and Waltham Historical Society members, $10 nonmembers

Join us as Jack Cox, history teacher at Waltham High School, member of the Board of Directors of the Waltham Historical Society, and current member and past Chair of the Waltham Historical Commission, examines the range of architectural styles found in Waltham over the past three hundred years. Learn the various building styles used as homes moved from providing shelter from the elements to statements of status and beauty.
Examine details of homes still in existence in our community, and explore some of the transformations made to them as consecutive owners added onto, renovated, or re-purposed dwellings originally constructed in a different era. Learn the meanings of architectural terms such as dentils, entablatures, friezes, and pilasters, and where you can see local examples. Part one of a four-part series celebrating National Preservation Month this May. Co-sponsored with the Waltham Historical Society.
Registration is required. Special pricing is available for tickets to attend the entire series. Please call 617-994-5959 for more information. Purchase tickets now.

March 31, 2012
Cleaning Party at Bright School

The cleaning party on March 31 was a success! We're very close to having the school ready for opening. Room 201 is almost complete, and the exhibits can now be set up and made ready for guests. Thanks go to Mort Isaacson, David L. Smith, Angie and Tom Emberley, Mary Selig, Ron Guertin, and Sue and Joe Keefe! We're still looking for the meaning of baiting when it comes to a livery establishment!

March 13, 2012
The Edmund L. Sanderson lecture by Mr. Thomas McIntyre will focus on the impact of the Civil War on the American Watch Company business. We will hear about the consequences of the depression of 1861 due to the start of the war between the states and the recovery of the watch business in the following years. One focus of the evening’s story will be Royal E. Robbins’ Treasurer Reports and the incorporation of the Nashua Watch Company as another. We will learn of the impact of the Springfield Armory and soldier recruitment on the labor market and it’s contribution to the failure of the Nashua Watch Co. Also discussed will be the production of the soldier’s watch and its impact on Waltham’s fortunes. Tom McIntyre is owner of the McIntyre Watch Co. and its sister company the American Watch Co. He has been engaged in collecting fine antique pocket watches for over 20 years. The American Watch Co. is named after the company that did the most to advance the machine production of truly fine watches and later became the Waltham Watch Company. Doors to this lecture open at 6:30. The lecture will begin promptly at 7:00 pm and will be held at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street, (rear) in Waltham.

New Link to Mass. Memories Road Show images
The Mass. Memories Road Show images have been placed on-line and are available for viewing.

January 19, 2012
The National Archives Program "They Came from Ireland"

January 10, 2012
Rev. Rosemarie Smurzynski will speak on the life and legacy of The Rev. Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford. Hanaford, born on Nantucket Island in 1829, was ordained to the Universalist ministry in 1868 in Hingham Massachusetts. One year later Rev. Hanaford came to the Waltham Universalist Church where she served as their minister. Rev. Hanford was much loved in Waltham. This lecture will be held at 7:00 pm at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham, MA, and is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30.

November 15, 2011
Mr. Joe Keefe on Nathaniel P. Banks and the actions at Port Hudson. This lecture will be held at 7:00 pm at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham, MA, and is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30.

October 13, 2011
Civil War Cemetery Tour—The Waltham Historical Society will be conducting a tour of one of Waltham's earliest burying grounds visiting gravesites of Civil War Veterans. In what is hoped to be the first of the Civil War Cemetery tours, we will stop at the sites of such noted Civil War veterans as Nathaniel P. Banks. The veterans' stories will be told, as well as the Regiments in which they served and the actions they saw. Watch for more details as the date draws closer or call 617-448-6706 for more information.

September 13, 2011
Listen as David Smith, President of the Civil War Round Table of New England presents: MANY BUILDERS, MANY BUILDING BLOCKS. He will speak about The American Anti-Slavery Society with William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas, Charles Fox Hovey, Harriet Tubman and many others. He will also detail the Women’s Suffrage Movement to give women not only the right to vote, but equality in all matters of our Society. This lecture will be held at 7:00 pm at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham, MA, and is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30.

July 12, 2011
Join us as Dr. Robert Martello, Associate Professor of the History of Science and Technology at Olin College discusses Paul Revere’s contributions beyond the well-known events of April 18-19, 1775. Dr. Martello’s research emphasizes the intersection of Revere's patriotic activities (the Midnight Ride, among others) and his career trajectory. Revere had a major role in America's political and industrial revolutions, and his story is America's story as well, with implications about the transition from crafts to industry, the role of the government in early manufacturing endeavors, and social mobility and entrepreneurship. This lecture will be held at 7:00 pm at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham, MA, and is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30.

May 10, 2011
Life and Times of Francis Cabot Lowell—Join us for Chaim (Mike) Rosenberg’s story of the life and times of one of Waltham’s most significant men. Follow Francis Cabot Lowell from his birth and early schooling to his days as one of the most prominent persons in the Country. This lecture will explain the background history of the times, the major players in mercantile New England, and the important undertakings of America’s first Industrialist. This lecture will be held at 7:00 pm at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham, MA, and is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30. The lecture will follow a brief meeting of the Waltham Historical Society Membership.

March 8, 2011
The Shaking Tent — The Waltham Historical Society presents Alex Green, owner of Back Pages Books in Waltham, reviving Ralph Waldo Emerson's first two sermons. These sermons, first delivered in Waltham, reveal Emerson's deep personal and philosophical ties to the first industrial town in North America. This lecture will be held at 7:00 pm at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street in Waltham, MA, and is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30. The lecture will follow a brief meeting of the Waltham Historical Society Membership.

January 11, 2011
Edmund L. Sanderson Lecture Series. The January lecture will feature Dr. John McCauley speaking on Waltham's Medal of Honor Recipient George Maynard. The lecture begins at 7:00 pm at the RTN Federal Credit Union, 600 Main Street, Waltham. Call 617-448-6706 or email waltham.historical.society@gmail.com for more information.

December 9, 2010
Lyman Estate Lecture and Tour — Join the Waltham Historical Society for a tour of "The Vale." The event begins at 7:00 pm at The Lyman Estate, Beaver Street in Waltham. Ticket prices are $15.00 per person for Historical Society Members, $25.00 per person for non-members. Call 617-448-6706 or email waltham.historical.society@gmail.com for more information.

October 23, 2010
Grove Hill Cemetery Tour — Join Waltham Historian Mr. Jack Cox for a guided tour of the oldest portion of the Grove Hill Cemetery. Learn about those who are buried in this historic location, and about the stonecutters responsible for the elegant artwork carved into each stone. Meet at 10:00 am on October 23rd, inside the Main Street gates. The requested donation is $5.00 per person. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as the ground is uneven in many places.