Historic Walking Tours

2018 Newton Walks Tours

Register for a tour here!

Learn about history with Historic Newton on guided tours of neighborhood landmarks and historic areas with Newton Walks tours. Each tour lasts approximately one hour and is designed for walkers of all ages wearing sturdy shoes. To reserve your spot, register here for a tour. The suggested donation, $10 per person, may be paid in advance by using the donation link below. Pre-register to ensure your spot on the tour. Walk-ups on tour day are allowed if there is space. New this year, we are offering two tours in partnership with Newton Community Education. Where indicated, register directly through this group's web site. 

Weather cancellations are announced on our web site at least two hours before tour time.

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2018 SCHEDULE OF TOURS

Sunday, June 10, 2:00 pm
BLACK NEWTON: WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS

Join us for a walking tour of West Newton that explores the history of Newton's African American community, enslaved and free, both before and after the Civil War. Including stops at the Nathaniel Allen House and Myrtle Baptist Church, this hourlong tour traces the development of West Newton as a destination for black families in the late 19th century and, by the 20th century, a flourishing hub of black culture. Meet at the Nathaniel Allen House, 35 Webster St.

Sunday, June 24, 2:00 pm
EAST PARISH BURYING GROUND

Newton’s oldest cemetery, the East Parish Burying Ground, dates back to 1660 and serves as the resting place of Newton’s founding families. Learn about Newton’s history and explore this community resource as an educator from Historic Newton guides you in this special tour held in partnership with Newton Community Education. Get up close to headstones and footstones to see a sequence of styles in gravestone art. Hear stories of those memorialized and consider the lives of those whose final resting places are unmarked. Fee: $16 per person. Register through Newton Community Education, 617-559-6999. Walk-ins are allowed for an additional fee.

Thursday, July 19, 6:30 pm
A LOOK BEHIND NEEDHAM STREET

Did you know there used to be a large fireworks factory on Needham Street? Where you can hear the South Meadow Brook the loudest? Join Lily Canan Reynolds and Valerie Birmingham of the Newton Department of Planning and Development for a walk down the Greenway and a look at landmarks from different phases of development on Needham Street. From farms to factories to retail stores and a burial ground, the history of the street reflects years of urban planning, including a recent Vision Plan for the future of the area. Meet at 55 Needham Street (B.GOOD restaurant).

Sunday, July 29, 2:00 pm
NEWTON’S EARLIEST SUBDIVISIONS

William Jackson was one of the first to predict how the railroads would shape the future of Newton. Anticipating Newton's growth as a railroad suburb, in 1844 he sold portions of the historic Jackson Homestead farm to create housing for people likely to use the new Boston and Albany railroad line to commute to work. This tour highlights the architectural and social history of the neighborhood around Walnut Park and Waban Park from the mid-19th through early 20th centuries. Meet at the Jackson Homestead, 527 Washington St.

Sunday, August 12, 2:00 pm
SPORTS LEGENDS AT NEWTON CEMETERY

Throughout history, Newton’s schools, public playing fields, and parks have spawned quite a few star athletes. Stroll through the Newton Cemetery to see the final resting places and learn more about the lives of tennis great Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, baseball legend Dom DiMaggio, golf course designer Donald Ross, and other sports legends. Meet in front of the chapel just inside the main gate, 791 Walnut St, Newton Centre; park in the lot to the left of the chapel.

Thursday, August 23, 6:30 pm
400 YEARS OF LANDSCAPE HISTORY NEAR FARLOW HILL

During the past 400 years, the land surrounding the Durant-Kenrick House has been used in many different ways. Learn about chief Waban and Native American settlements as well as 17th century preacher John Eliot. Trace the history of development in the area as we walk through the grounds of the Durant-Kenrick House and past the Eliot Memorial overlooking what is now Newton Commonwealth Golf Course. The tour continues inside Durant-Kenrick House; explore the museum on your own afterwards. Meet at the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, 286 Waverley Ave.

Sunday, September 16, 2:00 pm
EAST PARISH BURYING GROUND

See description for Sunday, June 24.