Watertown City

Middlesex County, Massachusetts

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Watertown City Hall is located at 149 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472.
Phone: 617‑972‑6465.

Originally called Saltonstall Plantation, Watertown was chartered in 1630.

Among Watertown properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic places are examples spanning the 17th through 19th centuries, including: the Abraham Browne House, ca. 1690; the Edmund Fowle House, ca. 1740, and the Miles Pratt House, ca. 1856.

Beginnings [1]

The people who first settled Watertown came in June, 1630, with Sir Richard Saltonstall and the Reverend George Phillips. Most of the party became proprietors and names of early families included: Garfield, Sherman, Lawrence, Bigelow, Upham Warren, Stearns, Coolidge, Mason, Winthrop and Bond.

The first grants were small lots for homesteads, or as they were designation, homestalls and home-lots, and were scattered over nearly the whole of, and sometimes beyond the present limits of Watertown.

Besides these homestalls, there were within the same limits certain tracts of land known as commons, for instance, Meeting-house common, which was in the triangle below Belmont, Mount Auburn and School Streets, and contained about 40 acres. Pequusset Common (later changed to Kings Common) was reserved for common use.

The earliest recorded date of a schoolhouse in Watertown is September 17, 1649. It was a small, one-story building situated on Strawberry Hill, which afterwards bore the name of School-House Hill, now thought to be identical with Meeting-House Hill. David Mechell, of Stamford, Connecticut, was certified as the first schoolmaster.

The first library, The Union Library, was established in 1779.

  1. Solon Franklin Whitney, A.M., Historical Sketches of Watertown, Massachusetts, J. W. Lewis & Co., Philadelphia, 1893.

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