Newton Upper Falls

Newton Upper Falls is a village situated on the east bank of the Charles River in the city of Newton, Massachusetts, in the United States.

The area borders Needham, Massachusetts to the south/southwest, Wellesley, Massachusetts to the west, the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston to the extreme southeast, and the Newton villages of Waban, Newton Highlands and Newton Center to the north and east.

The village is served partially by Eliot "T" station, part of the Green Line "D" Branch of the MBTA, with rapid light rail service inbound into downtown Boston and outbound to Riverside. Major roads that serve the village are Route 128, and Route 9 (Boylston Street), which provides a direct, 6 mile commute into downtown Boston.

Newton's first mill on the Charles River was built in 1688[2] in Upper Falls. Over the next 150 years, the water power available at Upper Falls led to the village's steady growth as many more mills were built along that stretch of the river. By 1850 the village had 1300 inhabitants which was 25% of the entire population of Newton.

Newton Upper Falls is home to the Hemlock Gorge and Echo Bridge, a large aqueduct turned pedestrian walkway over the Charles River. It is said to be the only village that has retained its original name from when the area was founded in the 17th century. It has over 150 homes on the historic register despite its small area.

In 1909, a Roman Catholic church called Mary Immaculate of Lourdes opened in Upper Falls.[3]

Sullivan Avenue, an unpaved private road in Newton Upper Falls is the last remaining portion of the ancient highway connecting Boston and Cambridge with Newton and points west in the 17th century (back then it was called Cambridge Village). Also on Sullivan Avenue is a famous pothole; not the kind you avoid with your car, but a geological anomaly where a boulder that was originally pushed down the cliff by a now extinct waterfall got caught and became round. The boulder spun around in its place carving a shaft over thousands of years. Since then half the shaft collapsed and now all that can be seen is half of a cylindrical shaft through the cliff at the corner of Sullivan and Elliot Streets.

A 60-acre (24 ha) area, including much of the area between Route 9 and Elliot Street, and east from the Charles River to Cottage Street and Hickory Cliff Road, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[1][4]

Newton Upper Falls Historic District
NewtonMA NewtonUpperFalls
the center of Newton Upper Falls
Newton Upper Falls is located in Massachusetts
Newton Upper Falls
Newton Upper Falls is located in the United States
Newton Upper Falls
LocationRoughly bounded by Boylston, Elliot, and Oak Sts., and the Charles River, Newton, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°18′49″N 71°13′23″W / 42.31361°N 71.22306°WCoordinates: 42°18′49″N 71°13′23″W / 42.31361°N 71.22306°W
Area70 acres (28 ha)
ArchitectFteley, Alphonse; Zettler, F.X., Raggi, Gonippo, et al
Architectural styleGreek Revival, Late Victorian, Gothic Revival
NRHP reference #86001750 [1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 04, 1986
Newton upper falls
Waterfalls abutting Echo Bridge

See also


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
  2. ^ Makers of the Mold
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "NRHP nomination for Newton Upper Falls Historic District". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2014-04-18.

External links

Charles River Railroad

The Charles River Railroad was a railroad in Massachusetts. It ran from a connection with the end of the Charles River Branch Railroad in Dover to Bellingham through the current-day towns of Medfield, Millis, and Medway.

Charles River Reservation Parkways

The Charles River Reservation Parkways are parkways that run along either side of the Charles River in eastern Massachusetts. The roads are contained within the Charles River Reservation and the Upper Charles River Reservation, and fall within a number of communities in the greater Boston metropolitan area. The Charles River parks extend from the Charles River Dam, where the Charles empties into Boston Harbor, to Riverdale Park in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Most of the roadways within the parks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a unit, although Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive are listed as part of the Charles River Basin Historic District.

The other roadways, listed in 2006, extend from Harvard Square to Newton Upper Falls. The roads on the river banks were improved at the beginning of the 20th century to provide a continuous route through the park.

Darius Cobb

Darius Cobb (August 6, 1834 – April 23, 1919) was a noted American painter. Cobb was considered to be one of America's best painters during his lifetime, as well as a painter of society portraits, landscape, religious themes and historical costumes. He was also noted as a musician, singer, poet, lecturer, lithographer, and art critic.

Echo Bridge

Echo Bridge is a historic masonry bridge spanning the Charles River between Needham to Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, and Ellis Street in Newton. The bridge carries the Sudbury Aqueduct and foot traffic, and is located in the Hemlock Gorge Reservation. At the time of its construction in 1875–1877 it was the second longest masonry arch in the country. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and was named an American Water Landmark in 1981.

Eliot station

Eliot is a light rail station on the MBTA Green Line "D" Branch located just north of Route 9 (Boylston Street) between the Newton Highlands and Newton Upper Falls villages of Newton, Massachusetts. The station has a parking lot at the end of Lincoln Street, a pedestrian entrance from Meredith Street, and pedestrian entrances from both sides of Route 9. A footbridge, built in 1977, crosses Route 9 adjacent to the railroad bridge.

Hemlock Gorge Reservation

Hemlock Gorge Reservation is a state-owned, public recreation area and urban wild comprising 16 acres (6.5 ha) on the Charles River in Newton and Needham, Massachusetts. The reservation is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Highland Branch

The Highland Branch, also known as the Newton Highlands Branch, was a suburban railway line in Boston, Massachusetts. It was opened by the Boston and Albany Railroad in 1886 to serve the growing community of Newton, Massachusetts. The line was closed in 1958 and sold to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which reopened it in 1959 as a light rail line, now known as the D Branch of the Green Line.

The first section of what became the Highland Branch was built by the Boston and Worcester Railroad between Boston and Brookline in 1848. The Charles River Branch Railroad, a forerunner of the New York and New England Railroad, extended the line to Newton Upper Falls in 1852. The B&A bought the line in 1883 and extended to Riverside, rejoining its main line there. The MTA electrified the line when it rebuilt it for light rail use.

The conversion of the Highland Branch into a light rail line was pioneering in several ways. Amid a backdrop of failing private passenger service in the United States, it was the first time a government entity in that country had assumed full responsibility for losses on a route. It was also the only example of converting an extant commuter rail line to light rail use.

Johnson String Instrument

Johnson String Instrument is a full service provider of new and previously owned stringed instruments and accessories, including their rental, sales, restoration, repair and appraisal. Located in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, the company was founded in 1976 by Carol and Roger Johnson, and is currently owned by their son, Adam Johnson. The company is privately held.

Miss Massachusetts USA

The Miss Massachusetts USA competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Massachusetts in the Miss USA pageant. It is currently produced by The Clemente Organization based in Malden, Massachusetts, which also produces Maine pageant.

Massachusetts is not one of the more successful states in terms of number of placements or semi-finalists, their fortunes were improved in recent years when Shawnae Jebbia was crowned Miss USA in 1998 and Susie Castillo won the crown in 2003. Both Miss USA winners from Massachusetts were asked the same final question during the live telecasts.

Kelly O’Grady of Cambridge was crowned Miss Massachusetts USA 2019 on November 18, 2018 at Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell. She represented Massachusetts for the title of Miss USA 2019 on May 2, 2019 in Reno, Nevada.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Newton, Massachusetts

List of Registered Historic Places in Newton, Massachusetts was transferred from List of Registered Historic Places in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and is an integral part of that list—which in turn is an integral part of List of National Register of Historic Places entries. There are over 180 places listed in Newton.

This list is sortable by village. The 13 villages are:


Chestnut Hill

Newton Centre (spelled Newton Center by the MBTA, but not by the city)

Newton Corner

Newton Highlands

Newton Lower Falls

Newton Upper Falls



Oak Hill



West NewtonThis National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted August 9, 2019.

Needham Center station

Needham Center is a commuter rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Needham Line, located just north of Great Plains Avenue (MA-135) in downtown Needham, Massachusetts. The first station at Needham opened in 1853; it burned in 1887 and was replaced with a stone station, some of which is still in place. The station is fully accessible.

Needham Heights station

Needham Heights is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Needham, Massachusetts. It is the terminus of the Needham Line, and serves the Needham Heights neighborhood. It opened around 1860 as an infill station on the New York and Boston Railroad. The station is fully accessible.

Needham Junction station

Needham Junction is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Needham, Massachusetts. It serves the Needham Line. It is located on Junction Street near Chestnut Street in the southwestern part of Needham. It opened in 1906 when the New Haven Railroad built the Needham Cutoff to connect the Charles River Railroad to its main line. The station is fully handicapped accessible.

Needham Line

The Needham Line is a branch of the MBTA Commuter Rail system, running west from downtown Boston, Massachusetts through Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, and the town of Needham. The second-shortest line of the system at just 13.7 miles long, it carries 8,218 daily riders. Unlike the MBTA's eleven other commuter rail lines, the Needham Line is not a former intercity mainline; instead, it is composed of a former branch line, a short segment of one intercity line (running in the reverse of its original direction), and a 1906-built connector.

Newton, Massachusetts

Newton is a suburban city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of downtown Boston and is bordered by Boston's Brighton and West Roxbury neighborhoods to the east and south, respectively, and by the suburb of Brookline to the east, the suburbs of Watertown and Waltham to the north, and Weston, Wellesley and Needham to the west. Rather than having a single city center, Newton resembles a patchwork of thirteen villages. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.

Newton and Boston Street Railway

The Newton and Boston Street Railway was a streetcar company in the Boston, Massachusetts area, eventually bought by the Middlesex and Boston Street Railway. Its line is now the 59 Needham Junction – Watertown Square via Newtonville bus.

Saco-Lowell Shops

The Saco-Lowell Shops (later Saco-Lowell Corporation) was once one of the largest textile machine manufacturers in the United States. It was formed in 1912 with a merger between the Lowell Machine Shop with the Saco-Pettee Machine Company. At its peak in the 1920s, the company had manufacturing facilities in Lowell and Newton, Massachusetts, and Biddeford, Maine. The company maintained their executive office at 77 Franklin Street in Boston, and also had a southern office in Charlotte, North Carolina.During the mid-20th century, Saco-Lowell was one of the "big three" cotton textile machinery builders in New England, along with the Whitin Machine Works and the Draper Corporation. While cotton machinery was the company's mainstay, Saco-Lowell also made machinery for the woolen and silk industries.

Saco–Lowell Shops Housing Historic District

The Saco–Lowell Shops Housing Historic District encompasses the only 20th-century factory working housing enclave in the city of Newton, Massachusetts. It is located in Newton Upper Falls, near the Saco–Pettee Machine Shops, and was developed to provide housing for employees of the machinery manufacturers located there. It is roughly bounded by Oak, William, Butts, and Saco Streets, and includes eight small-scale brick houses with vernacular Colonial Revival styling. These houses were built in 1919 and 1920, adjoining a small number of worker houses built in the early 1890s. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Saco–Pettee Machine Shops

The Saco–Pettee Machine Shops is a historic factory complex at 156 Oak Street in the Newton Upper Falls area of Newton, Massachusetts. Although the area has an industrial history dating to the early 19th century, the oldest buildings in this complex, consisting of about thirteen brick buildings, were built in 1892. The property, a major economic force in the development of Newton Upper Falls, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. It was home to Clark's N.A., the North American home base to Clark's Shoes, makers of fine footwear, until they relocated to Waltham Ma. in October 2016.

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