Historic Walking Tours

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, unless otherwise noted in the description. The suggested donation, $10 per person, may be paid in advance by using the donation link below or at the start of the tour. 

Register for a tour here!

Pre-register to ensure your spot on the tour. Walk-ups on tour day are allowed if there is space. For information, please call 617-796-1450.

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

Give us comments about any tour you took by filling out this brief survey.

2019 Schedule of Newton Walks Tours


Sunday, April 28, 1:00 pm
SPECIAL TOUR OF LOWER FALLS
Part of the "Crossing Borders" series
sponsored by the Wellesley Bank Charitable Foundation

This special tour with Historic Newton and the Wellesley Historical Society focuses on the rise and fall of industry in Lower Falls. Learn how the Charles River once powered nationally renowned paper mills. Also see the village that early residents built, including St. Mary’s Church and the one-time community hall that is now Lower Falls Wine Company. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and is recommended for adults and teens. Part of our “Crossing Borders” series, a collaboration between Historic Newton, the Natick Historical Society, the Needham History Center and Museum, and the Wellesley Historical Society. Sponsored by Wellesley Bank Charitable Foundation.
Location: Meet outside Starbucks, 2322 Washington Street, Newton Lower Falls

Tuesday, June 11, 6:30 pm
WILLIAM KENRICK: THE FALLEN BARON OF FARLOW HILL

William Kenrick (1789-1872) was a horticulturalist of international renown, celebrated for his efforts to introduce fruits and plants popular in Europe into the United States. Come learn about his greatest triumphs, his greatest failures, and how a house that once sat high on a hill came to rest at the foot of Kenrick Park.
Location: Meet at the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, 286 Waverley Avenue; the museum will be open for exploration following the tour.

Tuesday, July 9, 6:30 p.m.
OAK HILL PARK: A LOCAL ‘UTOPIA’ 

Oak Hill Park, a little-known corner of Newton, was built in the late 1940s by a public-private partnership not just to house but to honor recently returned WWII veterans. Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell in 1995 wrote, "The greenbelt system is what's unique about Oak Hill Park. There's nothing else like it in Massachusetts. And it's still intact. Even in today's privatized world, nobody has chopped the Oak Hill Park greenways into private, fenced barbecue patios." Led by Paul Eldrenkamp, Oak Hill Park resident of 26 years, the tour will show us what Campbell found so appealing about this close-knit neighborhood, and what's changed since Campbell wrote so compellingly of its charms.
Location: Meet at the Shuman Center, 675 Sawmill Brook Parkway. Park on nearby streets.

Sunday, July 21, 2:00 p.m.
WHO INSPIRED OUR SCHOOL NAMES? 
A NEWTON CEMETERY TOUR 

Many elementary and middle schools are named for notable Newtonians. Stroll through the Newton Cemetery to see the final resting places and learn more about the lives of Dr. Henry Bigelow, F.A. Day, and others whose legacy continues in our public schools.
Location: 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.

Tuesday, August 6, 6:30 p.m.
FIELDS OF GREEN: NEWTON COMMUNITY FARM

Did you know that 150 years ago, much of Newton was active farmland? Come learn about the last active link to our agricultural past! This tour, led by Historic Newton and Newton Community Farm, covers the history of a site that has been farmed continuously for over 300 years. Explore different time periods, including the influence of Italian immigration to Newton. Finish the evening with a freshly harvested snack in the historic barn.
Location: Meet on the deck of the barn at Newton Community Farm, 303 Nahanton Street

Sunday, August 11, 2:00 p.m.
TWO SCENIC SPOTS: HEMLOCK GORGE AND ECHO BRIDGE

Explore the geology, trees, plants and history of DCR Hemlock Gorge Reservation, one of the first five parks acquired by the Metropolitan Parks Commission in 1893.  Learn about the National Register listed Echo Bridge and plans to restore its historic railings. This guided tour will include stairs and an uphill trail segment over rocky terrain so proper footwear is recommended.
Location: Meet at the corner of Elliot and Chestnut Streets near the old mill (a.k.a. Echo Bridge Mall). Park on nearby streets.

Sunday, September 15, 2:00 p.m.
RIVERSIDE TRAILS WITH NEWTON CONSERVATORS
Explore sites of canoeing from the early 20th century and the proposed new Riverside Trail System by following some old pathways from the Lasell Boathouse to the former MDC Police Station on Commonwealth Avenue. For those interested in an optional second part, the walk continues south to Riverside Station and across I-95 to the Leo J. Martin Golf Course. 
Location: Meet at the Lasell Boathouse, 107 Charles Street, Auburndale.

 
Sunday, October 27, 3:30 p.m.
HALLOWEEN TOUR OF EAST PARISH BURYING GROUND

Who says cemeteries have to be spooky? 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 of the art of remembrance, and life and death in Newton. Hear the stories of those memorialized and consider the lives and deaths of those whose final resting places are unmarked.
Location: Meet at the corner of Cotton and Centre Streets; park on Cotton Street.