Adult Groups


Journey on the Underground Railroad

Learn more about the complexity of the institution of slavery and the various ways people battled against it. Draw connections between local and national historical events to learn more about the roles of both blacks and whites in the struggle for freedom and equality. Hear stories of enslaved people and learn more about the Jackson family's role in the Underground Railroad to consider how individuals respond to injustice.

Before Pantsuits

The women of the Durant, Kenrick, and Dewing families knew how to get things done on their own, as did the other women whose lives and work intersected with the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds. Learn about the mistresses of the house, as well as the (enslaved and free) women who served them, and the women whose people first called that land home.

  Black Newton: Building a Community
Black history has always been an integral part of Newton history. We examine the important place of Black Newtonians in our city, from Newton's earliest days through the 21st century. Learn about Black Newtonians' experiences in slavery and freedom, the development of a historic Black community in the 19th century, the impact of redlining and the construction of the MassPike in the 20th century, and the people whose efforts today keep Newton's Black community and history a vital and thriving part of who we are. 

Introducing Newton History

How did Newton go from the home of native people to "Cambridge Village" to the city that we know today? Trace 400 years of "Garden City" history beginning with native settlements in the 1600s through farming, factories, railroads, and other major changes to the present day.



Irish Backbone: Serving Women in America

Learn how Irish serving women formed the core of Irish-American communities. Traveling to America to take positions in domestic service even the Great Hunger, they both provided a foundation for other family members to arrive and supported family back home, but they also helped upper and middle class Americans come to accept Irish presence in the U.S.  



Seeds of Freedom

The Kenrick family has lived in Newton since the 17th century. We pick up their story when John Kenrick buys a house and farm from the Durant family in 1790. He publishes "The Horrors of Slavery," the first book on the topic in the U.S., and creates the largest and longest running tree and plant nursery in New England. But what will happen when his son starts a large mulberry plantation in Virginia and the only people available to work are enslaved African-Americans?


Sugar and Spice: Gingerbread History

Chase down the story of the gingerbread man. Learn how the recipe came from Europe to the U.S. in colonial times and how it evolved from a treat to serve with tea to an integral part of Christmas celebrations. A recipe to try at home is included.


Tea and Revolution

Learn about the history of this popular, and sometimes controversial, beverage from ancient China up through the Boston Tea Party and the beginning of the Revolutionary War in America. How did consumption habits help shape colonial ideas about freedom? 


Waste Nothing: Victory Gardens, Wartime Menus

From planting gardens to reducing sugar consumption, Americans helped the war effort in World War I and World War II by changing their eating habits. Learn about national and local initiatives to grow and conserve food, including wartime recipes. How did patriotism at this time set the stage for American policies in the early 20th century?


Memories to Hand Down

History is made of grand events as well as individual stories within a particular time period. We present examples of memories that others have written down and lead you through exercises to help you remember and write down some of your own in this interactive workshop.


Private Walking Tours

Walking tours are available to individuals or small groups by request. We offer tours of the East Parish Burying Ground, and of the neighborhoods near the Jackson Homestead and the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, plus other topics related to village history. Email for details.