Learn About the Surprising History of a Historic House in Watertown

Find out the surprising history of the Gilbert Payson House in Watertown. The Historical Society of Watertown announced it will host “The Gilbert Payson House: A Watertown Reinvention Story,” a slideshow lecture by David J. Russo, on Sunday November 21, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Watertown Library. Built in 1882 and designed by the noted firm of Van Brunt & Howe, the Payson House hasa significant and surprising history that includes housing, schools and even a library. Learnthe compelling survival story of how this building evolved to meet the demands of the changing environment around it. David J. Russo, J.D. is passionate about Watertown history and architecture.  He becameinterested in one of Watertown’s most famous native sons: Charles Brigham.

Historic House Reopens to the Public, Features New Sign & Labels for Pieces Inside

Charlie BreitroseMembers of the Historical Society of Watertown celebrate the official unveiling of the new sign at the Edmund Fowle House. On Sunday, the public got a chance to look inside one of Watertown’s oldest homes for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020, and the Historical Society celebrated the debut of a couple of new features. A new sign sits next to the Edmund Fowle House on Marshall Street. The home is the second oldest in Watertown, after the Browne House in West Watertown, and it was the site of the signing of the first treaty signed by the United States with a foreign power, the St. John’s (a.k.a. Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq Tribes of Nova Scotia, the Treaty of Watertown, in 1776.

Historical Society Hosting Open House at Historic Home, Unveiling New Features

Charlie BreitroseThe Edmund Fowle House, home to the Historical Society of Watertown, will reopen in October. Here, the house hosts the Treaty Day celebration. The Historical Society of Watertown will reopen the Edmund Fowle House for the first time since the pandemic shutdown. To celebrate the group is hosting an open house where the house’s new features can be seen. The Fowle House dates back to 1772, it served as the headquarters of the executive branch of the Massachusetts government from July, 1775 to September, 1776.

Historical Society Pays Tribute to Two Major Events in U.S. & State History with a Virtual Celebration

Charlie BreitroseAt the 2016 Treaty Day celebration, Bob Childs of the Historical Society of Watertown reads the Declaration of Independence from the same spot it was first read in 1776, the second floor of the Edmund Fowle House. Each July, the Historical Society of Watertown celebrates the anniversaries of two major events which took place in town that played a significant role in the history of Massachusetts and the United States. This year’s Treaty Day celebration is a virtual one. On July 18, 1776, the town played host to the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in Massachusetts. The following day, the first treaty made by the newly independent United States with a foreign power was signed in Watertown at the Edmund Fowle House.

Historical Society of Watertown Seeks a Treasurer

The following information was provided by the Historical Society of Watertown:

The Historical Society of Watertown is looking for a Treasurer. The role of the Treasurer is vital to all organizations. We are looking to fill this position and hope that you or someone you know would be interested in joining our Board and taking this role. The Treasurer is the person who oversees the management and reporting of the Historical Society’s finances. The Treasurer receives and disperses all funds, pays the bills and reports on the transactions at our monthly meetings.

Watertown Residents Can Visit Concord Museum Free & See “Shot Heard Round the World” Exhibit

A family watches a video at the Concord Museum about April 19, 1775, the day of the “Shot Heard Round the World.” The following announcement was provided by the Concord Museum:

“Here once the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. In celebration of the Concord Museum’s new permanent April 19, 1775 exhibition and in partnership with The Historical Society of Watertown all Watertown residents are invited to a complimentary in-person evening at the Museum on April 7 or April 14, 2021, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Concord Museum recently completed a $1.2 million permanent exhibition that brings to life the conflict in engaging, emotional ways through powerful animation, artifacts, recordings, and storytelling of that fateful day when the ‘Shot was Heard Round the World’. David Wood, Curator for the Museum remarked, “In Concord Museum’s new installation of April 19th material, first person narratives of participants are joined with the largest collection anywhere of objects that were themselves participants, including muskets, swords, and powder horns that were at the North Bridge.

Join the Historical Society’s Watertown Trivia Contest

The Historical Society of Watertown is hosting a trivia contest about the Town’s history. The winner will receive a book of pieces about Watertown’s history. The Historical Society sent out the following information:

The Historical Society is having a trivia contest! The winners will receive a copy of the book “Watertown Echoes: A Look Back at Life in a Massachusetts Town” by Sigrid Reddy Watson. Sigrid wrote a Watertown history column for the Watertown Tab/Press from 1997 – 2001.

Discussion of Historic Shick House Just One Virtual Senior Center Event

The Shick House is on property owned by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and likely to be sold to Buckingham Browne & Nichols School. The history of the Shick House will be presented during one of this week’s virtual Senior Center events. The house is located on Grove Street in East Watertown, and may be torn down. The property on which it is located was sold to Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, and the school plans to build playing fields on the site. The house will be torn down unless it is moved to another site.