Our History: Seth Bemis, Owned Mill That Made Sails for the USS Constitution

Seth Bemis 1775-1852 (Photo courtesy of the Watertown Free Public Library)

The following story is part of a series on local history provided by the Historical Society of Watertown. It was written by former Historical Society Vice-President, the late Pam Pinsky for the July 2006 Historical Society newsletter, “The Town Crier”. MOUNT AUBURN NOTABLES

In celebration of the 375 th anniversary of the founding of Watertown, the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Historical Society of Watertown joined together on Oct. 9, 2005 to give a guided tour of the gravesites of several notable people who once resided in Watertown. The lives of our Watertown notables were recalled by members of the Historical Society Council and Historical Society volunteers.

Our History: A Look Back at the Charles River Through the Years

Chuck DickinsonThe Charles River in Watertown. This article is part of a series on local history provided by the Historical Society of Watertown. It was written by Paul Brennan, former President and former Vice President of the Historical Society. It was published in our October 1998 newsletter, “The Town Crier.” THE CHARLES RIVER, LONG AGO

The Native American name for the Charles River was Quineboquin.

Registration Open for Charles River Cleanup on Earth Day

The following information was provided by the Charles River Watershed Association:

Registration is now open for the 24th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup on Saturday, April 22, 2023! Each year, the Charles River Cleanup brings together over 3,500 volunteers to improve the parks, forests, playgrounds, and paths and keep the Charles River clean, safe, and beautiful for all. 

The Charles River Cleanup builds on a national effort as part of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup®, which, to date, has removed over 32.5 million pounds of trash from America’s waterways. Since 1999, Charles River Cleanup volunteers have gathered each Earth Day to pick up litter, remove invasive species, and assist with park maintenance along all 80 miles of the Charles River and the 1,100 acres of Emerald Necklace parkland surrounding the Muddy River, a tributary of the Charles. Volunteers have a long-lasting impact — the Charles River Cleanup empowers ordinary river lovers to give back to their communities in a tangible way, forge new connections with nature and each other, and become life-long stewards of our river. REGISTER FOR THE CHARLES RIVER CLEANUP HERE

“Each year, we are so humbled by the extraordinary efforts of our community to care for our beloved Charles River,” says Emily Norton, Executive Director of Charles River Watershed Association. “Thanks to the generosity of time and effort of our volunteers, we are able to transform our parks and forests, restoring our river’s ecosystem for people and wildlife alike.”

“Litter not only poses a threat to the environment but also makes the parks less welcoming.

U.S. Rep Clark Presents Watertown with $240K for Project to Protect River, Increase Climate Resiliency

Charlie BreitroseCongresswoman Catherine Clark looks on as Watertown City Manager George Proakis speaks about the $240,000 in federal funds to build stormwater tree trenches in town. Congresswoman Katherine Clark visited City Hall Monday to announce $240,000 in federal funding for a climate-related project in Watertown. The City will use the money to install 15 tree trenches designed to remove pollutants from the Charles River and cool temperatures by providing more trees on City streets. The Department of Public Works applied for the money after hearing about the funding, said Watertown DPW Superintendent Greg St. Louis.

City Council Urges State to Remove Watertown Dam

Charlie BreitroseThe Watertown Dam near Watertown Square slows the flow of the Charles River. A group is advocating removing the dam. The City Council sent a letter to State officials in support of removing the “Watertown DCR Dam” from the Charles River, near Watertown Square. The Council cited climate resilience, rebuilding the population of fish species in the Charles, and the opposition of the dam by indigenous people in the letter. While the dam is located on a stretch of the river in Watertown’s city limits, the Charles and its shores are controlled by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

LETTER: Allowing Illuminated Sign on Arsenal Yards Building Would be a “Very Bad Idea”

Dave MartinA view down the Charles River from the Bridge on North Beacon Street with the 100 Forge (or Building G) building at Arsenal Yards in the distance. An illuminated sign has been proposed to go near the top of the building. To the Editor,

Boylston Properties is requesting a zoning change to allow it to place a large, illuminated sign at the top of the 130 ft. high Building G in Arsenal Yards. This is a very bad idea for the following reasons:

1.  It constitutes a “branding” of Watertown.

Proposed Five-Story Building on Water Street is Second Phase Life Science Complex

Elkus Manfredi ArchitectsA view of the proposed life science building at 99 Galen Street viewed from the Charles River. The second phase of the life science lab and office complex on Water Street, off Nonatnum Road, has been submitted to the City of Watertown and the project would have a five story building, a childcare center, and a publicly accessible park. Boston Development Group submitted the plans in early August. The developers seek a special permit with site plan review for a proposed building at 99 Water Street with five stories (four in some places depending on the grading). It would have 224,000 sq.

Watertown Group Remembering Those Killed in Hiroshima, Nagasaki

Candleboats float on the Charles River in Watertown in memory of those who died in the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The following information was provided by the Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment:

Please join us for a remembrance of the nuclear attack on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. in 1945 killing over 210,000 and causing misery for thousands of survivors. Why We’re Gathering

Our annual resistance to the presence and use of nuclear weapons is even more important this year as we face the tangible and immediate threats from Ukraine and the effects of climate change. Add your signs or use one of ours. WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 6, 7:30-9:00 p.m.


7:30 p.m. – Silent Vigil – Watertown Square8:00 p.m. – Music and Testimonials – Watertown Dock8:30 p.m. – Launching of the Candle boats

Sponsored by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, New England American Friends Service Committee, Massachusetts Peace Action, and Survival Education Fund, Inc.

Visit www.watertowncitizens.org and www.facebook.com/WatertownCitizensPJE