Our History: The Origins of the Name Watertown’s Elementary Schools

Dr. Alfred Hosmer (1832-1891) and Dr. Hiram Hosmer (1798-1862) Photographs 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 Historical Society of Watertown board member Bob Bloomberg. Bob is also on the board of the Watertown Historic District Commission. He is a genealogist (his contact information is on our website) and has written several book reviews and newspaper articles. He wrote this article for our July 2020 newsletter “The Town Crier.”

Pop quiz: What do Hiram and Alfred Hosmer, P. Sarsfield Cunniff, and James Russell Lowell have in common?

Stormwater Drainage at 2 Schools Need to be Repaired

A pond has formed in a rain garden that is not draining at Hosmer School, near the corner of Mt. Auburn and Boylston streets. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Rain gardens at two Watertown schools that should be trickling water into the ground after storms have not been draining properly and have become standing ponds. The stormwater systems will have to be reinstalled so they work properly. The rain gardens were installed at Hosmer and Cunniff elementary schools during the construction of the new school buildings.

Busing Available to High School Moxley Campus, Fewer Spots for Hosmer Bus Next Year

by Pixabay

Students living more than three-quarters of a mile from the temporary Watertown High School campus at Moxley Field will be able to ride the school bus for free next year. The School Committee also heard that the number of seats on the bus to Hosmer Elementary School will be reduced starting in the fall. Superintendent Dede Galdston said that while the free busing to the high school will be available, it is intended for students would ride it regularly. “It is for students committed to riding the bus for the school year. It is not public transportation.

Watertown School to be Featured on PBS’s Ask This Old House

Charlie BreitroseHosmer Elementary School. Watertown’s Hosmer Elementary School will be featured in the season premiere episode of PBS’s “Ask This Old House.” The school sent out the following information:

“Some of you may remember that “Ask This Old House” visited Hosmer last June. During this time they filmed an episode on composting with students and helped us by building a compost bin in our new garden. The episode is scheduled to air on WGBH this Thursday evening at 8:30!

Watertown Schools See Influx of Students at Elementary, High School Levels

Charlie BreitroseThe new school building at Cunniff Elementary School, along with the new Hosmer School have seen an increase of enrollment this fall. Watertown High School has also grown. More students arrived at the Watertown Public Schools than expected this fall, requiring the addition of some new classes, teachers and support staff. Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee on Monday that she believes the district’s new schools are part of the draw. The 2022-23 school year is the first that students will spend the whole year in the new Cunniff and Hosmer elementary school buildings.

New Elementary Attendance Zones Approved by School Committee, Enrollment Rising

Watertown Public SchoolsThe Watertown elementary school attendance zone option approved by the School Committee. The buffer zones are shaded with diagonal lines. New boundaries for Watertown’s elementary school attendance areas have been approved, and include buffer zones that would allow families to choose between two schools. The School Committee approved the option recommended by Superintendent Dede Galdston on Monday night. The new areas will only impact students new to the district, not those already attending Cunniff, Lowell, or Hosmer elementary schools.

LETTER: The Right Place for Solar Panels at Schools

We as a city are moving forward in many ways. However, the use of our land is not one of them. There is a place for everything. But do we put solar panels on the ground using up valuable acreage in our four-square mile city? Apparently, we did so at the new Cunniff School, installing an array adjacent to the parking lot on the north side of the hill. 

Solar panels belong on roof tops and on parking lot canopies; using valuable ground space is not a favorable location.