Historic Newton presents changing exhibitions in four galleries located in the Jackson Homestead and Museum. Our current exhibitions are:
An Architect Ahead of Her Time: Annie Cobb (1830-1911)
Pursuing a design and building career in Newton Highlands by the mid-1870s, Annie Cobb was arguably the first American woman architect of the pre-professional period. Cobb made her building debut in pre-Civil War South Boston, flourished during the last three decades of the 19th century in Newton Highlands, and exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. She succeeded in fashioning a career for herself in the exclusive male world of architecture and building in a time when women’s work was mainly limited to the home. This exhibition is the first ever about Cobb herself, as well as the first time all five female architects who presented at the Woman’s Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition are featured together since the Fair took place in 1893.
Confronting Our Legacy: Slavery & Antislavery in the North
This exhibition, which opened in February 2012, explores the sometimes forgotten institution of slavery in the North during colonial times and some local abolitionists. It examines divisions among abolitionists; Nathaniel Allen’s West Newton English and Classical School, opened in 1854, which, unique in its time, accepted students from both sexes and all races ; and Newton’s Myrtle Baptist Church, founded by a members of Newton’s African American community. The Jacksons of the Jackson Homestead exemplified the changing attitudes of some northerners toward slavery. When Edward Jackson died in 1681, he held “two man servants”—yet his great-great-great-grandson William Jackson helped enslaved people flee bondage by offering them sanctuary as part of the clandestine network of safe houses and escape routes now known as the Underground Railroad.
Newton and the Civil War
In celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Historic Newton is featuring a changing exhibit showcasing Newton residents in the Civil War. Among the items on display are prints, photographs, and Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) documents. Also be sure to visit our Women's Fashions of the Civil War Era exhibit.
Peeking into Newton's Toy Chest
This exhibit of toys from the museum’s collection asks visitors to consider what these toys taught past generations—and how those lessons are similar or different from the ones expressed by today’s toys. Children's attractions include hands-on toys and a model train on an elevated track.
Mapping a New Town: 1714-1874
Follow Newton’s development into a city over time. With each map, gain a unique sense of place as Newton evolves from a rural farming community bounded by the Charles River into a lively suburb, stimulated by the opening of the first steam railroad in Massachusetts.
The Jackson Homestead: The First 200 Years
The Jackson Homestead has a rich 200 year history. Newton changed greatly during those years and so did the house, as it has adapted to the times and its residents. Discover these changes throughout the house, and learn more about how the house was built, used, and altered. This exhibit brings together historic images, original text written by family members, and contemporary expert opinions to tell the story of the Jackson Homestead's first 200 years. Displayed throughout the house, each panel connects to the specific history of its location. Come discover the changes a structure can go through over the course of its lifetime.
Newton Salutes! Restoring Farlow Park Bridge and Pond
February 1 - June 1, 2013
In 1880 John Farlow, a successful railroad businessman, donated land to the city for the purposes of creating Newton’s first open space for recreation and relaxation. The focal point for the park was a lovely pond and handsome Adirondack style bridge. However, in the 1950’s, the water was drained from the pond and the deteriorating bridge removed. This exhibit documents the history of the park and contemporary efforts to restore it.
Newton History Gallery
The Newton History Gallery features tools, furniture, clothing, and toys that demonstrate what life was like in Newton in centuries past.