Watertown, Massachusetts

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Watertown, Massachusetts
Main Street Watertown MA 2.jpg
Watertown's Main Street, facing westward
WatertownMA-seal.png
Seal
Motto(s): 
In pace condita(Latin)
"Founded in peace"
Watertown ma highlight.png
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
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Red pog.svg
Watertown, Massachusetts
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°22′15″N71°11′00″W / 42.37083°N 71.18333°W / 42.37083; -71.18333 Coordinates: 42°22′15″N71°11′00″W / 42.37083°N 71.18333°W / 42.37083; -71.18333
CountryUnited States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
SettledJuly 1630
IncorporatedSeptember 7, 1630
Government
  Type Council-manager
   City Manager Michael J. Driscoll
Area
  Total4.2 sq mi (10.8 km2)
  Land4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2)
  Water0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation
36 ft (11 m)
Population
 (2010)
  Total31,915
  Estimate 
(2018) [1]
35,954
  Density7,600/sq mi (3,000/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
02472
Area code(s) 617 / 857
FIPS code 25-73440
GNIS feature ID0612401
Website http://www.ci.watertown.ma.us/

Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and is part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 31,915 in the 2010 census. Its neighborhoods include Bemis, Coolidge Square, East Watertown, Watertown Square, and the West End. It is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that retain the title of “town” while functioning under state law as cities. [2]

Middlesex County, Massachusetts County in Massachusetts

Middlesex County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2018, the estimated population was 1,614,714, making it the 22nd 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.

Greater Boston Metropolitan area in the United States

Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England encompassing the municipality of Boston, the capital of the U.S. state of Massachusetts and the most populous city in New England, as well as its surrounding areas. The region forms the northern arc of the US northeast megalopolis and as such, Greater Boston can be described either as a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or as a broader combined statistical area (CSA). The MSA consists of most of the eastern third of Massachusetts, excluding the South Coast region and Cape Cod; while the CSA additionally includes the municipalities of Manchester, Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as the South Coast region and Cape Cod in Massachusetts. While the small footprint of the city of Boston itself only contains an estimated 685,094, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas; the CSA is one of two in Massachusetts, the only other being Greater Springfield; and is the only CSA-form statistical area in New England which crosses into three states.

City status Wikimedia disambiguation page

City status is a symbolic and legal designation given by a national or subnational government. A municipality may receive city status because it already has the qualities of a city, or because it has some special purpose.

Contents

Watertown was one of the first Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements organized by English Puritans in 1630. The city is home to the Perkins School for the Blind, the Armenian Library and Museum of America, and the historic Watertown Arsenal, which produced military armaments from 1816 through World War II.

Massachusetts Bay Colony English possession in North America between 1628 and 1684

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of 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, 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.

Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts, is the oldest school for the blind in the United States. It has also been known as the Perkins Institution for the Blind.

Armenian Library and Museum of America library

Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA), located in Watertown, Massachusetts, United States, is an institution that has the largest collection of Armenian artifacts in North America.

History

Archeological evidence suggests that Watertown was inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from England. Two tribes of Massachusett, the Pequossette and the Nonantum, had settlements on the banks of the river later called the Charles. [3] The Pequossette built a fishing weir to trap herring at the site of the current Watertown Dam. The annual fish migration, as both alewife and blueback herring swim upstream from their adult home in the sea to spawn in the fresh water where they were hatched, still occurs every spring. [4]

Fishing weir

A fishing weir, fish weir, fishgarth or kiddle is an obstruction placed in tidal waters, or wholly or partially across a river, to direct the passage of, or trap fish. A weir may be used to trap marine fish in the intertidal zone as the tide recedes, fish such as salmon as they attempt to swim upstream to breed in a river, or eels as they migrate downstream. Alternatively, fish weirs can be used to channel fish to a particular location, such as to a fish ladder. Weirs were traditionally built from wood or stones. The use of fishing weirs as fish traps probably dates back prior to the emergence of modern humans, and have since been used by many societies across the world.

Watertown Dam dam in Watertown, Massachusetts

The Watertown Dam spans the Charles River 980 feet (300 m) upstream from the Watertown Bridge near Watertown Square in Watertown, Massachusetts. The dam is located where the Charles River tidal estuary historically ended. Watertown Dam is of Concrete construction, a gravity dam. Its length is 220 feet (67 m). Its capacity is 30 acre feet (37,000 m3). Normal storage is 20 acre feet (25,000 m3). It drains an area of 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2).

Alewife (fish) species of shad

The alewife is an anadromous species of herring found in North America. It is one of the "typical" North American shads, attributed to the subgenus Pomolobus of the genus Alosa. As an adult it is a marine species found in the northern West Atlantic Ocean, moving into estuaries before swimming upstream to breed in freshwater habitats, but some populations live entirely in fresh water. It is best known for its invasion of the Great Lakes by using the Welland Canal to bypass Niagara Falls. Here, its population surged, peaking between the 1950s and 1980s to the detriment of many native species of fish. In an effort to control them biologically, Pacific salmon were introduced, only partially successfully. As a marine fish, the alewife is a US National Marine Fisheries Service "Species of Concern".

Watertown, first known to settlers as Saltonstall Plantation, was one of the earliest of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements. Founded in early 1630 by a group of settlers led by Richard Saltonstall and George Phillips, it was officially incorporated that same year. The alternate spelling "Waterton" is seen in some early documents. [5]

Richard Saltonstall English diplomat

Sir Richard Saltonstall led a group of English settlers up the Charles River to settle in what is now Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630.

George Phillips led, along with Richard Saltonstall, a group of English settlers up the Charles River to settle in what is now Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630. A Puritan who was part of the Great Migration from England to New England, Phillips was a contemporary of, and often shared differing views with, John Winthrop. He established the first Congregational Church in Watertown and was one of the early influencers of the Congregational Church in North America. His descendants number in the thousands and are well represented in American history in the clergy, local and national politics, business, and social justice arenas.

The first buildings were upon land now included within the limits of Cambridge known as Gerry's Landing. For its first quarter century Watertown ranked next to Boston in population and area. Since then its limits have been greatly reduced. Thrice portions have been added to Cambridge, and it has contributed territory to form the new towns of Weston (1712), Waltham (1738), Lincoln (1754) and Belmont (1859). In 1632 the residents of Watertown protested against being compelled to pay a tax for the erection of a stockade fort at Cambridge; this was the first protest in America against taxation without representation and led to the establishment of representative democracy in the colony. [6] As early as the close of the 17th century, Watertown was the chief horse and cattle market in New England and was known for its fertile gardens and fine estates. Here about 1632 was erected the first gristmill in the colony, and in 1662 one of the first woolen mills in America was built here.

Cambridge, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Boston metropolitan area.

Boston State capital of Massachusetts, U.S.

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States, as well as the 21st most populous city in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 694,583 in 2018, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.

Weston, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Weston is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, about 15 miles west of downtown Boston. The population of Weston, as of June 2017, was 11,389.

Saltonstall's landing spot in Watertown, also known as Elbridge Gerry Landing Gerry Landing.jpg
Saltonstall's landing spot in Watertown, also known as Elbridge Gerry Landing

Revolutionary War era

Much excitement was generated in Watertown towards the start of the American Revolutionary War period. In 1773, many of its citizens were engaged with the Sons of Liberty in another tax protest, this time against the British Tea Tax which resulted in the famous Boston Tea Party rebellion. [7]

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence in 1776 as the United States of America, and then formed a military alliance with France in 1778.

1773 Year

1773 (MDCCLXXIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1773rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 773rd year of the 2nd millennium, the 73rd year of the 18th century, and the 4th year of the 1770s decade. As of the start of 1773, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Sons of Liberty dissident organization during the American Revolution from Boston

The Sons of Liberty was a secret organization that was created in the Thirteen American Colonies to advance the rights of the European colonists and to fight taxation by the British government. It played a major role in most colonies in battling the Stamp Act in 1765. The group officially disbanded after the Stamp Act was repealed. However, the name was applied to other local separatist groups during the years preceding the American Revolution.

Then later (April 1775), some 134 Watertown minutemen responded to the alarm from Lexington to rout the British redcoats from their march to Concord. Thereafter many of these citizen soldiers were part of the first battle line formed at the Siege of Boston. Another Watertown citizen, Israel Bissel, was the first rider to take the news of the British attack and rode all the way to Connecticut, New York and Philadelphia. [8] [9]

Edmund Fowle House, built in the 1700s and used by the Massachusetts government during the Revolutionary War Fowle House - Watertown, Massachusetts.JPG
Edmund Fowle House, built in the 1700s and used by the Massachusetts government during the Revolutionary War

The Massachusetts Provincial Congress, after adjournment from Concord, met from April to July 1775 in the First Parish Church, the site of which is marked by a monument. The Massachusetts General Court held its sessions here from 1775 to 1778. Committees met in the nearby Edmund Fowle House. Boston town meetings were held here during the siege of Boston, when many Boston families made their homes in the neighborhood. For several months early in the American Revolution the committees of safety and committee of correspondence made Watertown their headquarters and it was from here that General Joseph Warren set out for Bunker Hill. [10]

Browne House, built ca. 1694 Browne House - Watertown, Massachusetts.JPG
Browne House, built ca. 1694

Here, the Treaty of Watertown, the first treaty signed between the newly formed United States of America and a foreign power, the St. John's and Mi'kmaq First Nations of Nova Scotia, was signed in this house. [11] [12]

Industrial era

From 1832 to 1834 Theodore Parker conducted a private school here and his name is still preserved in the Parker School, though the building no longer operates as a public school.

Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded in 1831, creating the first garden cemetery in the United States. The landscape of Mount Auburn provided inspiration for the nation's first public parks and picturesque suburbs designed by the early generations of American landscape architects. Mount Auburn has been recognized as one of the most significant designed landscapes in the country. Although perceived as a Cambridge institution, almost all of the cemetery is actually in Watertown.

The Watertown Arsenal operated continuously as a military munitions and research facility from 1816 until 1995, when the Army sold the property, by then known as the Army Materials Technology Laboratory, [13] to the town of Watertown. The Arsenal is notable for being the site of a 1911 strike prompted by the management methods of operations research pioneer Frederick Winslow Taylor (Taylor and 1911 Watertown Arsenal Strike). Taylor's method, which he dubbed "Scientific Management," broke tasks down into smaller components. Workers no longer completed whole items; instead, they were timed using stopwatches as they did small tasks repetitively, as Taylor attempted to find the balance of tasks that resulted in the maximum output from workers. The strike and its causes were controversial enough that they resulted in Congressional hearings in 1911; Congress passed a law in 1915 banning the method in government owned arsenals. Taylor's methods spread widely, influencing such industrialists as Henry Ford, and the idea is one of the underlying inspirations of the factory (assembly) line industrial method. The Watertown Arsenal was the site of a major superfund clean-up in the 1990s, and has now become a center for shopping, dining and the arts, with the opening of several restaurants and a new theatre. The site includes the Arsenal Center for the Arts, a regional arts center that opened in 2005. The Arsenal is now owned by athenahealth. Arsenal Street features two shopping malls across the street from one another, with the Watertown Mall on one side and Arsenal Yards on the other.

The Stanley Brothers built the first of their steam-powered cars, which came to be known as Stanley Steamers, in Watertown in 1897. [14]

Shortly after midnight of April 18–19, 2013, the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing engaged in a protracted battle with police, in Watertown involving the use of firearms and explosives. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was critically wounded and later pronounced dead and the town was completely locked down for hours as police, FBI, and Army National Guard personnel patrolled it, looking for the remaining suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was captured wounded but alive in a boat shortly after the lockdown ended on the following evening.

Geography

Watertown is located at 42°22′17″N71°10′55″W / 42.37139°N 71.18194°W / 42.37139; -71.18194 (42.37139, −71.18194). [15] To the north, it is bordered by the town of Belmont, along Belmont Street; to the south, it is bordered by Newton and Brighton—the border being largely formed by the Charles River. In Watertown Square, the nexus of the town, the town's border extends south of the Charles to encompass the neighborhood surrounding Casey Playground. To the east lies the City of Cambridge, the border to which is almost entirely the well-known Mount Auburn Cemetery, most of which is actually in Watertown (though commonly believed to be in Cambridge). To the west lies the more expansive city of Waltham, but there is no distinct geographic feature dividing the two municipalities.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11 km2), of which 4.1 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km² or 1.20%) is water.

Adjacent cities and towns

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1840 1,810    
1850 2,837+56.7%
1860 3,270+15.3%
1870 4,326+32.3%
1880 5,426+25.4%
1890 7,073+30.4%
1900 9,766+38.1%
1910 12,875+31.8%
1920 21,457+66.7%
1930 34,913+62.7%
1940 35,427+1.5%
1950 37,329+5.4%
1960 39,092+4.7%
1970 39,307+0.5%
1980 34,384−12.5%
1990 33,284−3.2%
2000 32,986−0.9%
2010 31,915−3.2%
201835,954+12.7%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data. [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census [26]

As of the census [27] of 2000, there were 32,986 people, 14,629 households, and 7,329 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,025.7 people per square mile (3,098.8/km²). There were 15,008 housing units at an average density of 3,651.5 per square mile (1,409.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.42% White, 1.73% African American, 0.16% Native American, 3.87% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.68% of the population.

There were 14,629 households out of which 17.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.9% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.9% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city, the population was spread out with 14.1% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 39.8% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $59,764, and the median income for a family was $67,441. Males had a median income of $46,642 versus $39,840 for females. The per capita income for the city was $33,262. About 4.5% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.

Armenian population

St. Stephen Armenian Apostolic Church St. Stephen Armenian Church Watertown, MA.JPG
St. Stephen Armenian Apostolic Church
Hairenik Association building - Watertown, Mass. Hairenik Association building - Watertown, Mass.JPG
Hairenik Association building - Watertown, Mass.

Watertown is a major center of the Armenian diaspora in the United States, with the third-largest Armenian community in the United States, estimated as numbering 7,000 [28] to over 8,000 [29] as of 2007. [30] Watertown ranks only behind the California cities of Glendale and Fresno. Watertown is also the venue for the publication of long-running Armenian newspapers in English and Armenian, including:

General Dro's grave in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown (post-reinterment in Armenia) Dro's grave in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, Massachusetts (post-Armenia interment).jpg
General Dro's grave in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown (post-reinterment in Armenia)

Economy

Major employers based in Watertown include the Tufts Health Plan, New England Sports Network, the Perkins School for the Blind, Sasaki, Exergen Corporation, [31] Harvard Business Publishing, Bright Horizons Family Solutions and athenahealth. [32]

Transportation

Watertown borders Soldiers Field Road and the Massachusetts Turnpike, major arteries into downtown Boston. Watertown is served by several MBTA bus and trackless trolley routes. Most of them pass through or terminate in Watertown Square or Watertown Yard. The former A-Watertown branch of the MBTA's Green Line ran to Watertown until 1969.

Education

Public schooling is provided for approximately 2,600 students by Watertown Public Schools, which operates three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school (Watertown High School). [33] [34]

Private day schools:

There is also a supplementary Armenian language school, St. James Erebuni Armenian School (Armenian : Սբ. Հակոբ Էրեբունի հայկական դպրոց), affiliated with the St. James Armenian Apostolic Church  [ hy ], which teaches both Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian to children. It originated as a solely Eastern Armenian supplementary school established in 1988 by the Armenian Society of Boston (Iranahye Miutyun); it was Greater Boston's first Eastern Armenian supplementary school. It became church-affiliated in 2015, and it merged with a Western Armenian school, [35] St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian School, in September of that year. [36]

Notable people

Benjamin Robbins Curtis BRCurtis.jpg
Benjamin Robbins Curtis
Eliza Dushku Eliza Dushku 2009.jpg
Eliza Dushku

Politicians

Culture

See also

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<i>Hairenik</i>

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<i>Armenian Weekly</i>

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Further reading