Oak Hill Park (OHP) is a residential subdivision located in the Oak Hill village of Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Oak Hill Park is shown as a separate and distinct village on some city maps, including a map dated 2012 on the official City of Newton website.Situated adjacent to Boston (West Roxbury), Oak Hill Park is roughly bounded by Mount Ida College to its northwest, Dedham Street to the northeast, the Charles River to the southwest, and Mount Lebanon Cemetery and the Boston city limit to the southeast.
Oak Hill is one of thirteen villages of the city of Newton in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA.
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.
Middlesex County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2016, the estimated population was 1,589,774, making it the twenty-first most populous county in the United States, and the most populous county in both Massachusetts and New England. As part of the 2010 national census, the Commonwealth's mean center of population for that year was geo-centered in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick at. Middlesex County is included in the Census Bureau’s Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA–NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first settler to build a homestead in the area which later became Oak Hill Park was Robert Murdock (b.1665, d.1754) of Roxbury. He purchased 120 acres (0.49 km2) of land from Jonathan Hyde and John Woodward (early settlers of Newton) in 1703, for the sum of £90. The land he purchased, on which he built a homestead, was bounded to the east by land of the Oak Hill School and Dedham Road.
After Murdock died in 1754, the property passed to Capt. Jeremiah Wiswall (b.1725, d.1809), who had been living there since marrying Murdock's daughter Elizabeth (b.1731, d.1769) four years earlier.The Wiswalls were a prominent family of the early Massachusetts Bay Colony, dating back to 1635. Jeremiah Wiswall (after whom Wiswall Road was named) was a great grandson of the founder of this family, Thomas Wiswall. This tract of land would remain the property of the Wiswall family from 1754 until well into the 20th century. With the exception of the adjoining Bigelow Estate and Esty Farm, most of the land upon which Oak Hill Park was eventually built had in fact been the property of the Wiswall family.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628–1691) was an English settlement on the east coast of North America in the 17th century around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The lands of the settlement were located in southern New England in Massachusetts, with initial settlements situated on two natural harbors and surrounding land, about 15.4 miles (24.8 km) apart—the areas around Salem and Boston.
Thomas Wiswall (1601–1683) was an early settler of British America, a prominent early citizen of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and a key figure in the founding of Cambridge Village, now known as the city of Newton, Massachusetts.
The property passed in 1809 from Jeremiah to his son, William Wiswall (b.1796, d.1867). In 1822, James Clement (William Wiswall's brother-in-law) built the house which became known as the Murdock Wiswall House. 28 acres (0.11 km2), with ten to twenty head of dairy cattle. William Edward Wiswall was still living and working on the farm at that time. Many members of the Wiswall family, including Captain Jeremiah, are buried in the Winchester Street Burying Grounds and the Old East Parish Burying Ground, both in Newton. Some time between 1910 and 1946, a large portion of this land passed out of the Wiswall family and came to be owned and used by a business entity known as the Highland Sand and Gravel Pit.[ citation needed ]Wiswall operated the property as a successful dairy and produce farm until his death in 1867. The property next passed to his son (Jeremiah's grandson), William Clement Wiswall (b. 1823, d.1896), who operated the farm until 1884, when his son William Edward Wiswall (b. 1860, d.19??) assumed the leadership role. By 1910, the property was reduced in size to only
The South Burying Ground, also known as Winchester Street Cemetery, or Evergreen Cemetery, is an historic cemetery located on Winchester Street in the village of Newton Highlands, in the city of Newton, Massachusetts. Established in 1802, it is Newton's third cemetery. It has 357 recorded burials, dating between 1803 and 1938. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
East Parish Burying Ground, also known as Centre Street Burying Ground or Centre Street Cemetery, is an historic cemetery located at Centre and Cotton streets in the village of Newton Corner in the city of Newton, Massachusetts. On December 23, 1983, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been called the "most important, the most evocative and also the most fragile historic site in the city."
After the conclusion of World War II, there existed in Massachusetts an acute shortage of housing for returning veterans of that war. The City-State Program of Massachusetts was devised as a solution to this problem. This program, approved on 23 May 1946 under Chapter 372 of the 1946 Acts and Resolves of Massachusetts, allowed the city of Newton to borrow and spend money to construct new housing specifically for veterans of World War II.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field. A military veteran is a person who has served and is no longer serving in the armed forces. Those veterans that have had direct exposure to acts of military conflict may also be referred to as war veterans. A combat veteran is a person who has fought in combat during a war or a skirmish against a declared enemy and may still be serving in the military.
In January 1948, the City of Newton established the Veterans Housing Department to oversee the development of Oak Hill Park. This agency set the standards and guidelines for the construction, and also sold the houses. A tract of land in the village of Oak Hill in Newton, previously occupied by the Highland Sand and Gravel Pit, was chosen in 1946 as the site to build a new subdivision on which to accommodate returning Newton World War II veterans and their young families. Consisting of 412 homes, a small shopping center and a school, this subdivision was named Oak Hill Park.
In November 1948, the first of these new homes were completed and ready for occupancy. These one-story, three bedroom houses were constructed on concrete slabs with radiant heating - construction atypical of New England and initially viewed with suspicion by some. This suspicion was apparently unwarranted since the market value of some of the original houses is now over $450,000. The cost of a basic house was $7,820; but a homeowner could also add cedar shingles for $319.00; cedar clapboards with gypsum sheathing ($247.00); a breezeway-type porch without a garage ($325.00) or with a garage ($1,250.00); or a detached garage ($925.00). Some homeowners took advantage of these extras when they selected their houses, while others chose to wait and made additions to their houses at a later date.
Shortly after the veterans moved in, they formed the Oak Hill Park Association (OHPA), which dealt with the city and developers, published a monthly newsletter and became the dominant social and political force in the community. The new residents built a playground, planted trees and helped each other build additions to their homes. They put on shows and plays, had block parties and barbecues, and would always be available to help one another. Because of the many children in the area, the Memorial School (now Solomon Schechter Day School) was built.
The Wiswall house which was on Wiswall Road in Oak Hill Park had been abandoned by the 1960s, and was finally demolished in the 1970s after it was gutted by fire. Whether this is the Murdock Wiswall House is unclear; but based on the facts in the "Early History" section above it is likely that this is, in fact, that house. The following picture here, taken in 1935 by Harriette Merrifield Forbes, is of another Wiswall house, located near the north corner of Brookline Street and Dedham Street before its relocation to nearby Carlson Road where it serves, today, as the residence of the President of Mount Ida College. This has also been identified as the Murdock Wiswall House, although that appears to be incorrect for the reasons stated above.The book "Newton" in the "Images of America" series published by Arcadia Publishing, in 1999, shows the rear of what it identifies as the Murdock-Wiswall House, on the bottom of page 24; and this picture is also valuable since it clearly shows the land which later became Oak Hill Park.
The shopping center was later added to OHP and became a vital place to gather for both shopping and socializing. During the period of the 1950s and 1960s most mothers were "at home" and most families had one car, if any. On any day of the week, one could see many mothers and children walking, playing, visiting, shopping, etc.,- a real neighborhood atmosphere and a wonderful place to raise a family. The location was convenient to downtown Boston, while the feeling of OHP was very suburban.
As OHP developed over the years, the OHPA embraced the later developed streets located between Wiswall Road and Spiers Road, including the south side of Dedham Street. OHP bought up park land along the Charles River to protect it from development, as well as building the Shuman Centre, a small house-like building close to the shopping center. This served as a community center and home for the now closed branch library (once located at the northern end of the shopping center, and later in Room 8 of Memorial School). OHP also successfully stopped development on an extension of Saw Mill Brook Parkway that would have connected with the Wells Office Park and sent rush hour traffic zipping through the heart of OHP.
Today, OHP remains a "neighborhood" in an age when many have disappeared. Its residents comprise a congenial mixture of ethnic and economic backgrounds, ages, vocations, interests and talents. The OHPA now includes 650 families. While the shopping center no longer has a grocery store (first Market Basket, then Prime Food Market), a pharmacy (Oak Park Pharmacy), a dry cleaners (Chiswick Cleaners) or a gas station (The Prioli Brothers), it does now have a pizza parlor (which delivers), a hair salon and a plumber, as well as a few condominiums. The western end of Saw Mill Brook Parkway leads to walking trails along the Charles River, eventually leading south to West Roxbury's Millennium Park. Boundary markers for the old Newton Water Works can be found in this area, which is an excellent destination for those wishing to view typical glacial topography -- eskers, drumlins, kettle holes and moraines abound. Transmitter towers for WUNR radio (once WVOM, and later WBOS, at 1600 kHz) are located at the edge of this land, just off Spiers Road and Saw Mill Brook Parkway.
Oak Hill Park is a living memorial to World War II veterans. One of the first acts of the Veterans Housing Department was to choose the names for the 33 streets and paths in the neighborhood. They chose to name them all after Newton servicemen who had died in World War II. On 14 April 1948, a lottery was held to choose the names from a submitted list of 261 Newton citizens. The 33 names now identified with Oak Hill Park were drawn impartially from this list, while the remaining 228 names were memorialized when the Memorial Elementary School was dedicated in their honor.
|Street or path||Named after||Notes|
|Antonellis Circle||Joseph T. Antonellis (1916–1944)||Corporal, United States Army, Chemical Warfare|
|Avery Path||George L. Avery (1925–1945)|
|Bontempo Road||Peter A. Bontempo (1922–1945)||Private First Class, United States Army|
|Caldon Path||Albert T. Caldon (1918–1944)||Corporal, United States Army|
|Callahan Path||William F. Callahan, Jr. (1920–1942)||Second Lieutenant, 85th Mt. Infantry Reg. United States Army (the Callahan Tunnel in Boston was also named after him)|
|Caulfield Circle||John L. Caulfield (1917–1944)||First Lieutenant, United States Army (KIA, Omaha Beach)|
|Cavanaugh Path||Paul R. Cavanaugh (1921–1944)||Sergeant, United States Army Air Forces, Tailgunner B24 Liberator|
|Chinian Path||Sarkis Chinian (1924–1945)||Private First Class, United States Marine Corps|
|Cibel Path||Harvey J. Cibel (1918–1943)||Second Lieutenant, United States Army Air Forces|
|Colella Road||Russell C. Colella (1913–1944)|
|Considine Road||Wilfred B. Considine (1920–1944)||Technical Sergeant, United States Army Air Forces|
|Early Path||Lawrence Early (1896–1944)||Captain, United States Army|
|Esty Farm Road||Amos Esty||original owner of Esty Farm, who purchased the land sometime between 1848 and 1855|
|Fredette Road||Francis A. Fredette (1906–1944)||CM 1/c United States Navy|
|Hanson Road||Robert M. Hanson (1922–1944)||First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps Aviation (Medal of Honor)|
|Hay Road||John S. Hay (1919–1943)||United States Army Air Forces|
|Kappius Path||Mainolph Valen Kappius (1899–1945)||Commander, Medical Corps, United States Navy Reserve (Flight Surgeon)|
|Keller Path||H. Russell Keller, Jr. (1916–1945)||Lieutenant, United States Navy Aviation|
|Kerr Path||William J. Kerr (1921–1942)||Electrician's Mate, 3/c United States Navy|
|McCarthy Road||Francis P. McCarthy (1917–1942)||Captain, United States Marine Corps Aviation (Distinguished Flying Cross)|
|Nightingale Path||William E. Nightingale (1924–1945)||Flight Officer Royal Canadian Air Force|
|O'Connell Road||Frederick P. O'Connell (1921–1944)||Corporal, VMCR Class III-C|
|O'Rourke Path||John J. O'Rourke (1908–1942)||Specialist 5/c United States Army|
|Osborne Path||William H. Osborne (1913–1945)||Sergeant, United States Army Air Forces|
|Shumaker Path||Robert Shumaker (1924–1944)||Ensign, United States Navy Aviation – 2nd Lt. United States Marine Corps (NAVC)|
|Shute Path||George B. Shute (1923–1945)||Private, United States Army|
|Spiers Road||William A. Spiers (1924–1944)||Private First Class, United States Marine Corps|
|Stein Circle||Robert F. Stein (1920–1944)||Co. C 101st United States Army|
|Timson Path||Frederick H. Timson, Jr. (1906–1945)||Private, United States Army Air Forces|
|Tocci Path||Nicholas Tocci (1920–1945)||Private, United States Army|
|Van Roosen Road||Hugh Van Roosen (1922–1943)||LTJG, United States Navy (Purple Heart and Navy Cross). Graduate of United States Naval Academy.|
|Van Wart Path||Paul H. Van Wart (1922–1945)||Sergeant, United States Army Air Forces|
|Walsh Road||George E. Walsh (1906–1945)|
|Wiswall Road||Noah Wiswall (1699–1786) and Jeremiah Wiswall (1725–1809)||Captain, East Newton Company of Minutemen, Concord and Dorchester, American Revolutionary War. Noah Wiswall was wounded at the Battle of Lexington.|
|Young Path||Frank W. Young, Jr. (1912–1944)||Sergeant, United States Army|
Brighton is a dissolved municipality and current neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States, and is located in the northwestern corner of the city. It is named after the town of Brighton in the English city of Brighton and Hove. For its first 160 years, Brighton was part of Cambridge, and was known as "Little Cambridge." Throughout much of its early history, it was a rural town with a significant commercial center at its eastern end. Brighton separated from Cambridge in 1807 after a bridge dispute, and was annexed to Boston in 1874. The neighborhood of Allston was also formerly part of the town of Brighton, but is now often considered separately, leading to the moniker Allston–Brighton for the combined area. This historic center of Brighton is the Brighton Center Historic District.
Chestnut Hill is an affluent New England village located six miles (9.7 km) west of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Like all Massachusetts villages, Chestnut Hill is not an incorporated municipal entity. Unlike most Massachusetts villages, it encompasses parts of three separate municipalities, each located in a different county: the town of Brookline in Norfolk County; the city of Boston in Suffolk County, and the city of Newton in Middlesex County. Chestnut Hill's borders are roughly defined by the 02467 ZIP Code. Chestnut Hill is not a topographical designation; the name refers to several small hills that overlook the 135-acre Chestnut Hill Reservoir rather than one particular hill. Chestnut Hill is best known as the home of Boston College, part of the Boston Marathon route, as well as the Collegiate Gothic canvas of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
Washington Street is a street originating in downtown Boston, Massachusetts that extends southwestward to the Massachusetts–Rhode Island state line. The majority of it was built as the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike in the early 19th century. It is the longest street in Boston, and it remains one of the longest streets in the state of Massachusetts.
Boston's diverse neighborhoods serve as a political and cultural organizing mechanism. The City of Boston's Office of Neighborhood Services has designated 23 Neighborhoods in the city:
Allston–Brighton is a set of two interlocking Boston neighborhoods, Allston and Brighton.
Mission Hill is a ¾ square mile neighborhood of Boston. The population was estimated at 15,883 in 2011. About 3,000 short-term residents are undergraduates from neighboring colleges, and maybe another 1500 are short-term visiting scholars, students, researchers, and degree candidates working in the adjacent Longwood Medical Area for Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and/or the Harvard teaching hospitals.
The Dr. Henry Jacob Bigelow House is a historic house at 72-80 Ober Road in the Oak Hill village of Newton, Massachusetts. Built in 1887, it is one of the last private residences designed by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson. It was converted into condominiums in the 1980s by the PBS program This Old House. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Crystal Lake is a 33-acre (130,000 m2) natural lake located in Newton, Massachusetts. Its shores, mostly lined with private homes, also host two small parks and a town beach and bath house. 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 and used for baptisms by the Newton Center Baptist Church. The ice company felt that Crystal Lake was a better name for marketing purposes. In the colonial era it was called Wiswall's Pond.
The Deacon John Staples House is a historic house at 1615 Beacon Street in the village of Waban in Newton, Massachusetts.
Stony Brook Reservation is a woodland park in Boston and Dedham, Massachusetts, a unit of the Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston, part of the state park system of Massachusetts. It was established in 1894 as one of the five original reservations created by the Metropolitan Park Commission. The park is served by the Stony Brook Reservation Parkways, a road system that was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.
Reverend Ichabod Wiswall (1637–1700) was the third pastor of the church in Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, British America. Though he is thought to have given the first known funeral sermon in British America at the burial of Capt. Jonathan Alden in 1697, American funeral sermons predate this event by several decades.
Hartwell and Richardson was a Boston, Massachusetts architectural firm established in 1881, by Henry Walker Hartwell (1833–1919) and William Cummings Richardson (1854–1935). The firm contributed significantly to the current building stock and architecture of the greater Boston area. Many of its buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Upper Charles River Reservation is a Massachusetts state park encompassing portions of the banks of the Charles River between the Watertown Dam in Watertown and Riverdale Park in Dedham and the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. It includes land in the communities of Watertown, Waltham, Newton, Weston, Wellesley, Needham, Dedham, and Boston. Some of the Charles River Reservation Parkways also fall within the park boundaries.
Newton Corner was a streetcar and passenger rail station in the Newton Corner neighborhood of Newton, Massachusetts, located near where Washington Street crosses the Massachusetts Turnpike. The Newton Corner station, known simply as Newton for much of its lifetime, served commuters on the Worcester Line from 1834 to 1959. The trolley stop, located on the surface streets, served a number of routes beginning in 1898, including the Green Line "A" Branch until 1969.
Fort Hill is a 0.4 square mile neighborhood and historic district of Roxbury, in Boston, Massachusetts. The approximate boundaries of Fort Hill are Malcolm X Boulevard on the north, Washington Street on the southeast, and Columbus Avenue on the southwest.
The current locations of Oak Hill Park (property owned by William Clement Wiswall, A. Wiswall, P. Mullens, and Amos Esty) and Mount Ida College (property owned by William Sumner Appleton (1840-1903), father of William Sumner Appleton Junior) are clearly visible on this 1886 map of Newton Massachusetts.