Weston is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year and taking the opportunity to reflect on its historical roots in agriculture, industry, residential development, education, and sports.
The photos and descriptions were provided by Pamela W. Fox (pictured here), president of the Weston Historical Society.
Many of the photos as well as hundreds of historical items are on display at the Weston Public Library in the exhibit, “The Farmers’ Precinct: Three Centuries of Weston History,” one of dozens of the events planned throughout the year to celebrate the town’s tercentennial. Next
The history of Weston, now a suburb of around 11,000 people, is rooted in agriculture. It was known as the Farmers’ Precinct of Watertown until the population finally grew large enough to support its own parish. soon In 1713, it became a town.
Agricultural was a prominent industry in Weston well into the 20th century. The oxen shown in this photo from the 1890s were trained to work in pairs and prized for their ability to haul heavy loads. Next
Beginning in the late 19th century, Weston school administrators encouraged boys to participate in "wholesome athletic sports," according to Pam Fox, town historian. This 1924 photo shows the Weston High School baseball team. Next
The Josiah Smith Tavern, built in 1756 and expanded in 1804, was one of the most popular inns along the Boston Post Road. It operated as a tavern until 1838. Next
The Josiah Smith Tavern (pictured) was purchased in the mid-19th century by the Jones family. Theodore Jones had a carriage painting and trimming business in the barn, which is now the headquarters of the Women's Community League. Next
This scene looks east along Boston Post Road to Weston’s "Town Square," which included Cutting's general store (left), the old Town Hall, and the 1840 First Parish Church.
The First Parish Church was replaced with a stone chuch—which still stands today—in 1888. Next
After Weston incorporated in 1713, industry came to town, including mills and factories that made school desks and chairs, enormous pipe organs, and pottery.
The Hook & Hastings organ factory on Viles Street near North Avenue is pictured here in the late 19th century. The nationally known company produced church and concert organs that were shipped all over the country.
In 1889, the factory moved from Roxbury to Weston. It was the largest of the town’s 19th-century mills and factories and the town’s largest employer from 1889 until it closed in 1935. Next
The years between 1890 and 1930 were the peak of the estate era in Weston. More than a dozen estate mansions are constructed, and their owners have a major impact on town government, schools, and private beautification efforts.
“By the late 19th century, there were . . . wealthy businessmen from Boston who were establishing summer estates here — they basically discouraged industry,” said Pam Fox, president of the Weston Historical Society. “They basically shaped the town. It was their idea that the town’s best future was as a residential community.”
Pictured: Keewaydin was the estate of Francis Blake, who invented the Blake Transmitter used in Bell's telephone. The sunken garden shown was modeled after one at Hampton Court. Next
George and Mary Esther Lombard, who moved to Weston in 1937, chose noted architect Hugh Stubbins Jr. to build their modernist house on Glen Road. Their daughter Emily, pictured here, practices skiing in the front yard.
George Lombard was a professor of Human Relations and later associate dean at Harvard Business School. Next
In 1951, Route 128 opened in the Waltham-Weston area, with about 41 acres in Weston purchased for the project.
The construction of Route 128 in the 1950s, followed by the Massachusetts Turnpike in the 1950s and 60s, made Weston more convenient for automobile commuters and helped fuel fast-paced growth in town. Next
A historical society exhibit, “The Farmers’ Precinct: Three Centuries of Weston History,” opened on Jan. 5 at the Weston Public Library and will run through Jan. 29. After its stop at the library, the show will be on display at several other locations throughout the year, including Town Hall.
The tercentennial exhibition includes a section on local churches. The wooden model shown, loaned by First Parish Church, depicts the church built in 1840 and demolished to make way for the present-day building. Next
Blake Munson has been a Weston resident since 1947. He toured the exhibit at the library.
The exhibit’s hundreds of items include school desk and chair made at a Weston factory, milk bottles from local dairies, and the trunk that belonged to a World War I soldier who hailed from Weston. Also featured are wooden organ pipes and tools from the Hook & Hastings Co. organ factory. Next
This golfbag and clubs belonged to William H. Coburn and was used in the 1890s on the original Weston Golf Club links on Church Street.
In March, the Tercentennial Tribute fund-raiser will include a gala dinner at the Weston Golf Club.
The Weston 300 Grand Celebration Concert ,at the Weston High School football stadium in June, will include “spectacular” lighting, “thunderous” singing, a picnic dinner, and will be capped off by an “impressive” fireworks display.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below