Newton, Massachusetts facts for kids

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Newton, Massachusetts
City
Official seal of Newton, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): "The Garden City"
Motto: "Liberty and Union"
Location in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1630
Incorporated 1688
Area
 • Total 18.2 sq mi (47.1 km2)
 • Land 18.1 sq mi (46.7 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 100 ft (30 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 85,146
 • Density 4,600.6/sq mi (1,783.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02458–02462, 02464–02468, 02495
Area code(s) 617 / 857
FIPS code 25-45560
GNIS feature ID 0617675
Website www.newtonma.gov
Emily Levan Heartbreak Hill Boston Marathon 050418 dodged
Emily Lavan, Heartbreak Hill, 2005 Boston Marathon

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 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's proximity to Boston along with its historic homes, good public schools, and safe and quiet neighborhoods make it a desirable community for those who commute to Boston. Newton is served by three modes of mass transit run by the MBTA: light rail, commuter rail, and bus service.

Newton has been consistently ranked as one of the best cities to live in in the country. In August 2012, Money magazine named Newton fourth best small city among places to live in America and has been named the safest city in the country according to Aneki.

Newton was settled in 1630 as part of "the newe towne", which became Cambridge in 1638; it became its own town in 1688. There are several historical sites of interest in the Newton area. These include Crystal Lake (which is fronted by several historical homes), the East Parish and West Parish Burying Grounds, and the Jackson Homestead, which now houses the Newton History Museum. Historian and local resident Diana Muir has written about the history surrounding Bullough's Pond; a scene from the 2008 production of The Women was also filmed there. Portions of the 2016 drama film Patriots Day, about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and starring Boston native Mark Wahlberg, were filmed at Lasell College in the city.

History

Newton was settled in 1630 as part of "the newe towne", which was renamed Cambridge in 1638. Roxbury minister John Eliot convinced the Native American people of Nonantum, a sub-tribe of the Massachusett led by a sachem named Waban, to relocate to Natick in 1651, fearing that they would be exploited by colonists. Newton was incorporated as a separate town, known as Cambridge Village, in 1688, then renamed Newtown in 1691, and finally Newton in 1766. It became a city in 1873. Newton is known as The Garden City.

In Reflections in Bullough's Pond, Newton historian Diana Muir describes the early industries that developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in a series of mills built to take advantage of the water power available at Newton Upper Falls and Newton Lower Falls. Snuff, chocolate, glue, paper and other products were produced in these small mills but, according to Muir, the water power available in Newton was not sufficient to turn Newton into a manufacturing city, although it was, beginning in 1902, the home of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, the maker of the Stanley Steamer.

Newton, according to Muir, became one of America's earliest commuter suburbs. The Boston and Worcester, one of America's earliest railroads, reached West Newton in 1834. Wealthy Bostonian businessmen took advantage of the new commuting opportunity offered by the railroad, building gracious homes on erstwhile farmland of West Newton hill and on Commonwealth street. Muir points out that these early commuters needed sufficient wealth to employ a groom and keep horses, to drive them from their hilltop homes to the station.

Further suburbanization came in waves. One wave began with the streetcar lines that made many parts of Newton accessible for commuters in the late nineteenth century. The next wave came in the 1920s when automobiles became affordable to a growing upper middle class. Even then, however, Oak Hill continued to be farmed, mostly market gardening, until the prosperity of the 1950s made all of Newton more densely settled. Newton is not a typical "commuter suburb" since many people who live in Newton do not work in downtown Boston. Most Newtonites work in Newton and other surrounding cities and towns.

The city has two symphony orchestras, the New Philharmonia Orchestra of Massachusetts and the Newton Symphony Orchestra.

Each April on Patriots Day, the Boston Marathon is run through the city, entering from Wellesley on Route 16 (Washington Street) where runners encounter the first of the four infamous Newton Hills. It then turns right onto Route 30 (Commonwealth Avenue) for the long haul into Boston. There are two more hills before reaching Centre Street, and then the fourth and most infamous of all, Heartbreak Hill, rises shortly after Centre Street. Residents and visitors line the race route along Washington Street and Commonwealth Avenue to cheer the runners.

Geography

Union Street in Newton Centre
Union Street, Newton Centre

Newton is a suburban city approximately seven miles from downtown Boston, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, at (42.337713, −71.209936). The city is bordered by Waltham and Watertown on the north, Needham and the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston on the south, Wellesley and Weston on the west, and Brookline and the Brighton neighborhood of Boston on the east.

From Watertown to Waltham to Needham and Dedham, Newton is bounded by the Charles River. The Yankee Division Highway, designated Interstate 95 but known to the locals as Route 128, follows the Charles from Waltham to Dedham, creating a de facto land barrier. The portion of Needham which lies east of 128 and west of the Charles, known as the Needham Industrial Park has become part of a Newton commercial zone and contributes to its heavy traffic, though the tax revenue goes to Needham.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.1 km2), of which 18.0 square miles (46.6 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) (0.82%) is water.

Villages

Rather than having a single city center, Newton is a patchwork of thirteen villages, many boasting small downtown areas of their own. The 13 villages are: Auburndale, Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Corner, Newton Highlands, Newton Lower Falls, Newton Upper Falls (both on the Charles River, and both once small industrial sites), Newtonville, Nonantum (also called "The Lake"), Oak Hill, Thompsonville, Waban and West Newton. Oak Hill Park is a place within the village of Oak Hill that itself is shown as a separate and distinct village on some city maps (including a map dated 2010 on the official City of Newton website), and Four Corners is also shown as a village on some city maps. Although most of the villages have a post office, they have no legal definition and no firmly defined borders. This village-based system often causes some confusion with addresses and for first time visitors.

Climate

The record low temperature was −21 °F (−29 °C) in February 1934; the record high temperature was 101 °F (38 °C) in August 1975.

Climate data for Newton, Massachusetts
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 68
(20)
68
(20)
89
(31.7)
94
(34.4)
93
(33.9)
99
(37.2)
100
(37.8)
101
(38.3)
99
(37.2)
88
(31.1)
81
(27.2)
74
(23.3)
101
(38.3)
Average high °F (°C) 34
(1.1)
37
(2.8)
44
(6.7)
56
(13.3)
66
(18.9)
76
(24.4)
82
(27.8)
79
(26.1)
72
(22.2)
60
(15.6)
50
(10)
39
(3.9)
57.9
(14.4)
Average low °F (°C) 17
(-8.3)
19
(-7.2)
27
(-2.8)
38
(3.3)
48
(8.9)
57
(13.9)
63
(17.2)
62
(16.7)
55
(12.8)
43
(6.1)
34
(1.1)
24
(-4.4)
40.6
(4.77)
Record low °F (°C) −14
(-25.6)
−21
(-29.4)
−5
(-20.6)
6
(-14.4)
27
(-2.8)
36
(2.2)
44
(6.7)
39
(3.9)
28
(-2.2)
20
(-6.7)
5
(-15)
−19
(-28.3)
−21
(-29.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.35
(110.5)
4.24
(107.7)
5.58
(141.7)
4.55
(115.6)
4.11
(104.4)
4.31
(109.5)
4.02
(102.1)
4.03
(102.4)
4.06
(103.1)
4.69
(119.1)
4.76
(120.9)
4.89
(124.2)
53.59
(1,361.2)

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1790 1,360 —    
1800 1,491 +9.6%
1810 1,709 +14.6%
1820 1,850 +8.3%
1830 2,376 +28.4%
1840 3,351 +41.0%
1850 5,258 +56.9%
1860 8,382 +59.4%
1870 12,825 +53.0%
1880 16,995 +32.5%
1890 24,379 +43.4%
1900 33,587 +37.8%
1910 39,806 +18.5%
1920 46,054 +15.7%
1930 65,276 +41.7%
1940 69,873 +7.0%
1950 81,994 +17.3%
1960 92,384 +12.7%
1970 91,263 −1.2%
1980 83,622 −8.4%
1990 82,585 −1.2%
2000 83,829 +1.5%
2010 85,146 +1.6%
2015 88,817 +4.3%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 85,146 people, 32,648 households, and 20,499 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,643.6 people per square mile (1,793.2/km²). There were 32,112 housing units at an average density of 1,778.8 per square mile (686.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.6% White, 11.5% Asian, 2.5% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.71% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population (0.7% Puerto Rican, 0.6% Mexican, 0.4% Colombian, 0.3% Guatemalan, 0.3% Argentine). (2010 Census Report: Census report Quickfacts.com)

Newton, along with neighboring Brookline, is known for its considerable Jewish and Asian populations. The Jewish population is estimated at roughly 28,000, about one-third of the total population.

There were 31,201 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. As of the 2008 US Census, the average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.7 males.

According to 2010 income statistics the city of Newton had a median household income of $112,230. With an average household income of $167,013 and a per capita household income of $65,049.

According to a 2008 estimate, the median income for a household was $108,228, and the median income for a family was $137,493. Males had a median income of $65,565 versus $46,885 for females. The per capita income for the city was $45,708. About 2.1% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over. For those in need, the local library also serves as the community pantry and distributes food on a monthly basis.

As of 2015, 21.9% of the residents of Netwon were born outside of the United States.

Houses of worship

  • Adams Street Shul
  • Central Congregational Church
  • Beth Menachem Chabad
  • Christ the King Presbyterian Church-Newton
  • Congregation Beth El-Atereth Israel
  • Congregation Mishkan Tefila
  • Church of the Open Word, headquarters of the Swedenborgian Church of North America
  • Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal)
  • Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
  • Congregation Mishkan Tefila
  • Congregation Shaarei Tefillah
  • Corpus Christi Catholic Church
  • Eliot Church of Newton
  • Episcopal Parish of the Messiah
  • Episcopal Parish of Saint Paul
  • Evangelical Baptist Church
  • First Baptist Church in Newton
  • First Church of Christ, Scientist
  • First Unitarian Society in Newton
  • Grace Episcopal Church
  • Greek Evangelical Church
  • Lincoln Park Baptist Church
  • Lutheran Church of the Newtons
  • Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Catholic Church
  • Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton, moved to Roslindale in 2000
  • Myrtle Baptist Church
  • Newton Highlands Congregational
  • Newton Presbyterian Church
  • Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church
  • Parish of the Good Shepherd, An Episcopal Church in Newton, Massachusetts
  • St. Mary's Episcopal Church
  • Saint Bernard's Parish
  • Saint Ignatius Catholic Church
  • Saint John's Episcopal Church
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  • Second Church in Newton
  • Shaarei Tefillah
  • Temple Beth Avodah
  • Temple Emanuel
  • Temple Shalom
  • Temple Reyim
  • The Church in Newton
  • United Parish of Auburndale
  • The Newton Center Minyan

Transportation

Newton's proximity to Boston, along with its good public schools and safe and quiet neighborhoods, make it a very desirable community for those who commute to Boston or work in Newton's businesses and industries.

Newton is well-served by three modes of mass transit run by the MBTA: light rail, commuter rail, and bus service. The Green Line "D" Branch, (also known as the Riverside branch) is a light rail line running through the center of the city that makes very frequent trips to downtown Boston, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes away. The Green Line "B" Branch ends across from Boston College on Commonwealth Avenue, virtually at the border of Boston's Brighton neighborhood and the City of Newton (an area which encompasses an unincorporated suburban village referred to as Chestnut Hill). The MBTA Worcester commuter rail, serving the northern villages of Newton that are proximate to Waltham, offers less frequent service to Boston. It runs from every half-an-hour during peak times to every couple of hours otherwise. The northern villages are also served by frequent express buses that go to downtown Boston via the Massachusetts Turnpike as well as Waltham.

Newton Centre, which is centered around the Newton Centre MBTA station, has been lauded as an example of transit-oriented development.

The Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90), which basically follows the old Boston and Albany Railroad main line right-of-way, runs east and west through Newton, while Route 128 (Interstate 95) slices through the extreme western part of the city in the Lower Falls area. Route 30 (Commonwealth Avenue), Route 16 (Watertown Street west to West Newton, where it follows Washington Street west) and route 9 (Worcester Turnpike or Boylston Street) also run east and west through the city. Another major Boston (and Brookline) street, Beacon Street, runs west from the Boston city line to Washington Street west of the hospital, where it terminates at Washington Street.

There are no major north-south roads through Newton: every north-south street in Newton terminates within Newton at one end or the other. The only possible exception is Needham Street, which is north-south at the border between Newton and Needham, but it turns east and becomes Dedham Street, and when it reaches the Boston border, it goes south-east.

There are some north-south streets that are important to intra-Newton traveling. Centre Street runs south from the Watertown town line to Newton Highlands, where it becomes Winchester Street and terminates at Nahanton Street. Walnut Street runs south from Newtonville, where it starts at Crafts Street, down to Newton Highlands, where it ends at Dedham Street.

Points of interest

Jackson homestead
The Jackson Homestead
  • Crystal Lake is a 33-acre (130,000 m2) natural lake located in Newton Centre. Its shores, mostly lined with private homes, also host two small parks, a designated swimming area, and a bath house. The public is not allowed to swim outside of the small swimming area. The name Crystal Lake was given to the pond by a nineteenth-century commercial ice harvester that sold ice cut from the pond in winter. It had previously been called Baptist Pond.
  • The Jackson Homestead, now the Newton History Museum at the Jackson Homestead, is best known for its history as a stop on the Underground Railroad. It was built in 1809 as a farmhouse designed in the Federal style, and is now a museum with paintings, costumes, photographs, manuscripts, maps and historical artifacts.
  • Heartbreak Hill, notably challenging stretch of the Boston Marathon, on Commonwealth Avenue between Centre Street and Boston College.
  • Newton is home to many exclusive golf courses such as Woodland Country Club, Charles River Country Club, and Brae Burn Country Club, which held the United States Open in 1919.
  • Echo Bridge is a notable 19th-century masonry arch bridge with views of the river and Hemlock Gorge in Hemlock Gorge Reservation just off Route 9 in Newton Upper Falls.
  • Norumbega Park was located in Auburndale on the Charles River. Opening in 1897 as a trolley park, it was a popular amusement park through the 1950s before closing in 1963. Its Totem Pole Ballroom became a well-known dancing and entertainment venue for big bands touring during the 1940s. The park is now a popular dog-walking site with hills, meadows, woods, and access to the river.
BCreservoir2
Chestnut Hill Reservoir
    • Auburndale Cove is a multipurpose picnic and recreational area on the Charles River just down the walking path from Norumbega Park.
  • Chestnut Hill Reservoir is a very popular park with residents of Newton, Brookline, and the Brighton section of Boston. Although completely within the Boston city limits, it is directly contiguous to the Newton city limits. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York City and the Emerald Necklace in Boston, the park offers beautiful views of the Boston skyline, and is framed by stately homes and the campus of Boston College. Although not generally used to supply water to Boston, the reservoir was temporarily brought back online on May 1, 2010, during a failure of a connecting pipe at the end of the MetroWest Water Supply Tunnel.
  • Bullough's Pond is an old mill pond transformed into a landscape feature when Newton became a suburban community in the late nineteenth century. It has been the subject of two books, Reflections in Bullough's Pond: Economy and Ecosystem in New England, by Diana Muir, and Once Around Bullough's Pond: A Native American Epic, by Douglas Worth. It was long maintained by the city as an ice skating venue, but skating is no longer allowed. A scene from the 2008 remake of The Women was filmed there.
  • The city of Newton has designated several roads in the city as "scenic". Along with this designation come regulations aimed at curbing tree removal and trimming along the roads, as well as stemming the removal of historic stone walls. The city designated the following as scenic roads: Hobart Rd., Waban Ave., Sumner St., Chestnut St., Concord St., Dudley Rd., Fuller St., Hammond St., Valentine St., Lake Ave., Highland St., and Brookside Ave.
  • The First Baptist Church in Newton Centre, built in 1888, was designed by John Lyman Faxon in the Richardsonian Romanesque style pioneered by architect Henry Hobson Richardson.
  • The WHDH-TV tower is one of the tallest free-standing lattice towers in USA.

In popular culture

  • The Fig Newton cookie is named after the city. In 1991, Newton and Nabisco hosted a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Fig Newton. A 100-inch (250 cm) Fig Newton was served, and singer and guitarist Juice Newton performed.

International relations

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the United States

Twin towns – Sister cities

Newton is currently twinned with:

  • Italy Comune di San Donato Val di Comino, Italy

Newton, Massachusetts Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.