Waltham is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
, United States, and was an early center for the labor movement
as well as a major contributor to the American Industrial Revolution
. The original home of the Boston Manufacturing Company
, the city was a prototype for 19th century industrial city planning, spawning what became known as the Waltham-Lowell system
of labor and production. The city is now a center for research and higher education, home to Brandeis University
and Bentley University
. The population was 60,636 at the census in 2010.
Waltham has been called "watch city" because of its association with the watch industry. Waltham Watch Company
opened its factory in Waltham in 1854 and was the first company to make watches on an assembly line. It won the gold medal in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition
. The company produced over 35 million watches, clocks and instruments before it closed in 1957.
Waltham was first settled in 1634 as part of Watertown
and was officially incorporated as a separate town in 1738.
Waltham had no recognizable town center until the 1830s, when the nearby Boston Manufacturing Company
gave the town the land that now serves as its central square
In the early 19th century, Francis Cabot Lowell
and his friends and colleagues established in Waltham the Boston Manufacturing Company
– the first integrated textile mill in the United States, with the goal of eliminating the problems of co-ordination, quality control, and shipping inherent in the subcontracting based textile industry. The Waltham–Lowell system of production derives its name from the city and the founder of the mill.
The city is home to a number of large estates, including Gore Place
, a mansion built in 1806 for former Massachusetts
governor Christopher Gore
, the Robert Treat Paine Estate
, a residence designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson
and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted
for philanthropist Robert Treat Paine, Jr.
(1810–1905), and the Lyman Estate
, a estate built in 1793 by Boston merchant Theodore Lyman
In 1857, the Waltham Model 1857
watch was produced by the American Watch Company
in the city of Waltham, Massachusetts.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Waltham was home to the brass era automobile
, where the first production motorcycle in the U.S. was built.
Another first in Waltham industrial history involves the method to mass-produce the magnetron
tube, invented by Percy Spencer at Raytheon
. During World War II, the magnetron tube technology was applied to radar. Later, magnetron tubes were used as components in microwave ovens.
Waltham was also the home of the Walter E. Fernald State School
, the western hemisphere's oldest publicly funded institution serving people with developmental disabilities. The storied and controversial history of the institution has long been covered by local and, at times, national media.
* 1703 - Grove Hill Cemetery
* 1738 - Town of Waltham incorporated from Watertown, Massachusetts
* 1755 - Part of Cambridge
annexed to Waltham.
* 1793 - The Vale
* 1810 - Waltham Cotton and Wool Factory Company formed.
* 1813 - Boston Manufacturing Company
** First Congregational Church
** Manufacturers' Library active.
** Waltham Bleachery built.
* 1827 - Rumford Institute organized.
* 1833 - ''The Hive'' newspaper begins publication.
* 1835 - Waltham Bank established.
* 1837 - Methodist Episcopal Church organized.
** Part of Newton
annexed to Waltham.
** Christ Episcopal Church
* 1851 - Tornado.
* 1852 - Baptist Church organized.
* 1853 - Waltham Gas Light Company incorporated.
* 1854 - American Horologe Company
relocates to Waltham.
* 1856 - ''Waltham Sentinel'' newspaper begins publication.
** Waltham and Watertown Railroad constructed.
** Mount Feake Cemetery
** Waltham Agricultural Library Association formed.
* 1859 - Town of Belmont
separates from Waltham.
* 1863 - ''Waltham Free Press'' begins publication.
* 1865 - Public Library founded.
* 1866 - Emmet Literary Association formed.
** Waltham Horological School established.
** Waltham Foundry Co. established.
** ''Waltham Weekly Record'' begins publication.
** Davis & Farnum Manufacturing Company in business.
* 1879 - Leland Home for aged women established.
* 1880 - Music Hall built.
* 1881 - Emery Wheel Company in business.
* 1882 - Parmenter Crayon Company chartered.
** City of Waltham incorporated.
** Harrington Block
** Board of Trade organized.
** Waltham Hospital founded.
** Waltham Training School for Nurses established.
* 1886 - Robert Treat Paine Estate
* 1888 - Sesquicentennial.
** Population: 18,707.
** Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded
relocates to Waltham.
* 1891 - O'Hara Waltham Dial Company
** ''Waltham Evening News'' begins publication.
** Waltham Manufacturing Company established.
** Beaver Brook Reservation
and Charles River Reservation
** Linden Street Bridge
** Waltham Bicycle Park opens.
* 1902 - Metz Company
* 1908 - Company F State Armory
* 1910 - Population: 27,834.
* 1915 - Waltham Historical Society incorporated.
* 1924 - ''Waltham News Tribune
'' newspaper in publication.
* 1928 - Middlesex College of Medicine and Surgery
relocates to Waltham.
* 1933 - First Parish Church
* 1935 - Gore Place Society
* 1936 - Hovey Players (theatre group) founded.
* 1938 - County Courthouse
* 1941 - Waltham Garden Club founded.
* 1948 - Brandeis University
* 1961 - Rose Art Museum
founded at Brandeis University.
** Bentley University
relocates to Waltham.
* 1970 - Population: 61,582.
** Waltham Museum established.
** Robert Drinan
becomes Massachusetts's 3rd congressional district representative
* 1975 - Aerosmith
musical group rents Wherehouse
* 1976 - Waltham Mills Artists Association open studios begins (approximate date)
* 1980 - Charles River Museum of Industry
* 1982 - Parexel International Corporation
headquartered in Waltham.
* 1985 - Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra formed.
* 1987 - Joseph P. Kennedy II
becomes Massachusetts's 8th congressional district representative
* 1988 - Global Petroleum Corporation
headquartered in Waltham (approximate date).
* 1995 - Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc.
headquartered in Waltham.
** Lionbridge Technologies Inc.
headquartered in Waltham.
** City website online.
* 1999 - Waltham Land Trust incorporated.
* 2003 - Raytheon Company
and Roving Software Inc.
headquartered in Waltham.
** Jeannette A. McCarthy becomes mayor.
** Brandeis University's Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism nonprofit established.
* 2006 - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
headquartered in Waltham.
** PerkinElmer, Inc.
headquartered in Waltham.
** Waltham Symphony Orchestra
* 2010 - Population: 60,632.
**A triple homicide
occurs on September 11.
**Watch City Steampunk Festival
* 2013 - Katherine Clark
becomes Massachusetts's 5th congressional district representative
The name of the city is pronounced with the primary stress on the first syllable and a full vowel in the second syllable, , though the name of the Waltham watch was pronounced with a reduced schwa
in the second syllable: . As most would pronounce in the British way, "Walthum", when people came to work in the mills from Nova Scotia, the pronunciation evolved. The "local" version became a phonetic sounding to accommodate French speakers who could not pronounce in the British way.
Waltham is located at (42.380596, −71.235005),
about north-west of downtown Boston
, and approximately northwest of Boston's Brighton
neighborhood. The heart of the city is Waltham Common, which is home to the City Hall and various memorial statues. The Common is on Main Street, which is home to several churches, the town library and Post Office.
The city stretches along the Charles River
and contains several dam
s. The dams were used to power textile mills and other endeavors in the early years of the industrial activity.
According to the United States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of , of which is land and (6.69%) is water.
Waltham has several neighborhoods or villages, including:
* Banks Square
* The Bleachery (named after the former Waltham Bleachery and Dye Works)
* The Chemistry (named after the former Newton Chemical Company)
* Ellison Park
* The Highlands
* The Island (formerly Morse Meadow Island)
* Kendal Green (mostly in Weston
* Kendall Park
* The Lanes
* The North Side
* Piety Corner
* Prospectville (defunct in 1894, now under Cambridge Reservoir)
* Rangeley Acres
* Rock Alley
* The South Side
* West End
* Wildwood Acres
It is bordered to the west by Weston
, to the south by Newton
, to the east by Belmont
, and to the north by Lexington
As of the census
in 2000, there were 59,226 people, 23,207 households, and 12,462 families in the city. The population density
was 4,663.4/mile² (1,800.6/km). There were 23,880 housing units at an average density of 1,880.3 per square mile (726.0/km). The racial makeup of the city was 82.98% White
, 4.41% African American
, 0.16% Native American
, 7.29% Asian
, 0.06% Pacific Islander
, 3.20% from other races
, and 1.89% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 8.49% of the population.
There were 23,207 households, of which 20.3% included those under the age of 18, 41.3% were married couples
living together, 8.9% were headed by a single mother, and 46.3% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 3.01.
The age distribution is as follows: 15.5% under 18, 16.8% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% 65 or older. The median age was 34. For every 100 females, there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.
The median income for a household was $54,010, and the median income for a family was $64,595. These figures increased to $60,434 and $79,877, respectively, according to an estimate in 2007. Males had a median income of $42,324, as opposed to $33,931 for females. The per capita income
was $26,364. 7% of the population and 3.6% of families lived below the poverty line
. 4.8% of those under 18 and 8.4% of those 65 and older lived below the poverty line.
As of 2010, 24% of the residents were born outside of the United States. Many originated from Guatemala and India.
[Sacchetti, Maria. "A melting pot stretches out to the suburbs." ''Boston Globe''. September 15, 2010. p]
. Retrieved on September 23, 2014.
Among the companies based in Waltham are the defense contractor Raytheon
, medtech corporation PerkinElmer
, biopharmaceutical services provider Paraxel
, energy supply company Global Partners
, data services provider Lionbridge
, Steel Connect
, broker-dealer Commonwealth Financial Network
, technology companies Care.com
, research and development organization Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
, provisioner of scientific instrumentation Thermo Fisher Scientific
, and the marketing firm Constant Contact
. Footwear manufacturer Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
moved their regional headquarters from Lexington to the CityPoint campus in July 2016. C & J Clark America, Inc.
moved their headquarters from Newton to the Polaroid site in October 2016. Retail activity is concentrated on Main Street, Moody Street, Lexington Street, River Street, parts of Route 60, and the First Avenue area. New retail development has also been active at a former Polaroid
According to the City's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top ten non-city employers in the city are as follows.
Arts and culture
Waltham's combination of population (especially in central and south Waltham) parks, public transit, stores, and trails gives it 62 (out of 100) walkability ranking on walkscore.com
. This is often reflected downtown and along the Charles Riverwalk, which is often crowded on summer nights by people fishing, jogging, or walking off a meal at one of the many restaurants.
Moody Street in downtown Waltham offers its own brand of entertainment with a colorful assortment of shops, restaurants, and bars, including The Gaff, Outer Limits, Gourmet Pottery, and the Embassy Cinema. Moody Street's booming nightlife, convenience to the commuter rail and lower rents have attracted younger professionals to Waltham in growing numbers in recent years. Moody Street is also referred to as "Restaurant Row" and has become a destination because of the number, variety and quality of its locally owned restaurants. The city of Waltham has a free "Tick Tock Trolley" on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm - 11pm for visitors that provides easy access to local municipal parking lots.
For over 25 years, the Waltham Arts Council has sponsored "Concerts On Waltham Common", featuring a different musical act each week of the summer, free of charge to attendees. "Concerts On Waltham Common" was created and organized by Stephen Kilgore until his death in 2004.
Waltham's cultural life is enriched by the presence of two major universities and a number of arts organizations throughout the city.
The Rose Art Museum
at Brandeis University
is devoted to modern and contemporary art. The Rose holds a variety of exhibitions and programs, and collections are free and open to the public.
The city's history is also celebrated at a number of museums, monuments, and archives. The Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation
, the Waltham Watch Factory
historic district, the Gore Estate, the Lyman Estate, and the Robert Treat Payne Estate are among the most well known of the 109 sites in the city on the National Register of Historical Sites. Many festivals are held at these sites each year, such as the annual sheep shearing festival at the Gore Estate. The National Archives and Records Administration
Northeast regional branch is located in Waltham. The Waltham Public Library has extensive archives regarding the city's history. The Waltham Museum is devoted solely to the history of the city. Mark Gately is the only stakeholder left of the Waltham Museum.
Waltham is known for its embracing of literary arts. Local author Jessica Lucci has written a series of books about Waltham which can be found at the Waltham Museum, The Waltham Historical Society, and many other regional establishments devoted to promoting literary arts.
The Waltham Mills Artists Association is located in one of the former factories of the Boston Manufacturing Company. The WMAA Open Studios takes place each year on the first weekend of November. The 76 artists of the WMAA open their homes and studios to the public. Works of all media imaginable are demonstrated, displayed and discussed.
The Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra, a civic symphony of the MetroWest area, began in 1985 under the direction of local musicians David J. Tierney and Harold W. McSwain, Jr. With almost 60 professional, semi-professional, and amateur musicians, the orchestra's mission is to provide the Waltham community with the opportunity to perform in and attend classical concerts of the highest quality. WPO musicians come from Waltham as well as from Boston and surrounding communities. The ensemble includes players of a wide range of ages and professions.
There are five to six concerts throughout the season, including one that features the winner of the annual Youth Concerto Competition, which provides opportunities for young musicians to perform solo works with the WPO. Annual concerts have included summer Concerts on the Common and the December Holiday Pops.
Waltham is home to the Waltham Symphony Orchestra
, a high-level semi-professional civic orchestra. The 55 piece orchestra performs five concerts each season at the Kennedy Middle-school Auditorium. Its music director is French-born American conductor, Patrick Botti.
in the city is protected by the Waltham Land Trust
Waltham embraces its ethnic diversity in a number of festivals. The annual Latinos en Acción Festival celebrates the many Puerto Rican, Mexican, Peruvian, and Guatemalan residents. It is held by Latinos in Action, is a local nonprofit group that helps the Latino population register to vote, understand the laws and find scholarships. The festival includes a parade, music, food, and a beauty pageant.
Waltham has in recent decades become a center for Ugandan culture, with an estimated 1500 Ugandans living in the city, leading some to call Waltham "Little Kampala". The Ugandan North America Association is headquartered in Waltham, along with St. Peters Church of Uganda Boston, as well as Karibu, a well regarded Ugandan eatery. Wilberforce Kateregga, a Ugandan immigrant to Waltham has since established Waltham College Uganda, a boarding school for over 300 orphans and children affected by AIDS. The school was named in honor of Kateregga's new home city.
Points of interest
* Gore Place
* Lyman Estate
* Robert Treat Paine Estate
*Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation
* Prospect Hill
– third-highest point in the region (after two of the Blue Hills)
* Charles River
– Riverwalk on Moody St.
* Embassy Cinema
* A. Wherehouse
* Rose Art Museum
* Metropolitan State Hospital (Massachusetts)
* Norumbega Tower
* American Waltham Watch Company Historic District
Waltham is governed by a mayor and a city council. The current mayor is Jeanette A. McCarthy. There are 15 members of the city council, each elected to two-year terms in non-partisan elections. The current president of the city council is Paul J. Brasco.
The city is in Massachusetts's 5th congressional district
and is currently represented in the United States House of Representatives
by Katherine Clark
. Waltham is also represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives
by State Representative John J. Lawn and State Representative Thomas M. Stanley, and in the Massachusetts Senate
by Senator Michael Barrett
Mayors of Waltham
* Jeannette A. McCarthy, 2004–present
* David F. Gately, 1999–2003
* William F. Stanley, 1985–1999
* Arthur Clark, 1968–1984.
* Austin D. Rhodes 1959-
* Paul V. Shaughnessy
* Henry A. Turner, 1953-1955
* Chauncey Cousens, 1949-1952
* John Devane, 1942-48
* Arthur A. Hansen 1938- 42
* Frederick L. MacDonald 1937
* Henry W. Beal, 1922 - 1927
* George Raynolds Beal 1917 - 1922
* Eben J. Williams, 1915 - 1917
* Thomas K. Keans, 1913 - 1915
* Patrick J. Duane 1911-13 and again from 1930-33 irst Irish-born mayor of Waltham
* Edward A. Walker, 1908-1911
* John L. Harvey, 1904-1908
* Murray D. Clement, 1902-1904
* Mahlon Leonard, 1901-1902
* George L. Mayberry 1898-1901
* Charles Bond 1897-1898
* Arthur Lyman 1896-1897
* Henry Milton 1895-1896
* Erskine Warden 1892-95
* George L. Mayberry 1890-91
* Henry N. Fisher 1887-89
* Charles F. Stone 1886
* Byron B. Johnson (first mayor) 1884
The Waltham Public Schools
system includes seven elementary schools (Northeast, Fitzgerald, MacArthur, Plympton, Whittemore, Stanley, and the Waltham Dual Language Elementary School), two middle schools (McDevitt, Kennedy), and one senior high school (Waltham High School
Waltham High School's sports teams had been referred to as the Watchmen and the Crimson, before they changed the name to the Hawks.
* Chapel Hill - Chauncy Hall School
* Gann Academy
* Our Lady's Academy (formally Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted School) (Pre-K through 8)
* Saint Jude School (Pre-K through 8) closed in 2019
Waltham is home to:
* Bentley University
* Brandeis University
* Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University
which closed in 2014.
Waltham is home to the ''Waltham News Tribune'' (formerly ''The Daily News Tribune
''), a weekly paper which publishes each Thursday, year-round owned by Gatehouse Media. The ''Waltham Patch
'' covers the local, daily news and invites locals to post their own blogs, events and opinion online only. In 2018, Waltham writer Jessica Lucci was chosen as the "Mayor" of Waltham Patch. WCAC-TV is the cable access and provides opportunities for community members to learn how to create their own local-interest television programming. Waltham news sometimes appears in ''The Boston Globe
s GlobeWest section, as well.
Waltham was formerly the home of classical radio station WCRB (99.5 FM), which relocated to the WGBH studios in Brighton in 2006. Brandeis University runs a low-power station, WBRS (100.1 FM), which is on the air part-time and usually not available between midnight and 8 AM.
Waltham is close to several U.S. interstate highways. Interstate 95
, multiplexed with Route 128
, runs through the western part of the city. Exits in Waltham are 26, 27, and 28. Interstate 90
, which is also the Massachusetts Turnpike
, is just to the south in Newton, Massachusetts
. Due to its proximity to the center of the Cambridge-Boston-Quincy
metropolitan area, a number of state highways are within a few miles.
commuter rail has two stops in Waltham as part of the Fitchburg-Boston Line
: one in Central Square Waltham
across from the City Hall and one
near Brandeis University.
MBTA bus service also covers the city, including routes 61, 70, 170, 505, 553, 554, 556 and 558.
The Charles River runs through Waltham, and bike and walking paths cover most of the south bank, as well as part of the north bank from Prospect Street to Moody Street. Some commuters ride the path to offices in Cambridge and Boston.
The city of Waltham is protected by the 166 full-time, paid firefighters of the city of Waltham Fire Department (WFD). Established in 1816, the Waltham Fire Department is currently organized into three divisions of operations: fire suppression, fire prevention, and training.
Emergency Medical Services
Cataldo Ambulance Service currently provides 24/7 Advanced Life Support emergency medical services to the City of Waltham.
* Luther Atwood
- chemist in the oil industry
* Keith Aucoin
– hockey forward for New York Islanders
* F. Lee Bailey
* Nathaniel Prentice Banks
– Union General in the Civil War, 24th Governor of Massachusetts, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
* Anya Battaglino
- professional hockey player in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL)
* Mackenzy Bernadeau
– guard for NFL's Dallas Cowboys
* Suzanne Brockmann
* Nellie Marie Burns
(ca. 1850 – 1897), actor and poet
* Annie Payson Call
* Rob Chiarelli
, multiple Grammy Award
* JP Dellacamera
– play-by-play commentator of Major League Soccer for ABC and ESPN
* Ryan Gallant
– professional skateboarder
* James N. Hallock
– scientist, known for his work on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board
* John Peabody Harrington
– ethnologist and linguist
* Lorenza Haynes
(1820–1899), librarian, minister, school founder, suffragist, writer
* Clarence Hobart
- six-time national doubles champion in tennis
; born in Waltham
* Abbie Hoffman
– born in Worcester, MA; author, radical political activist, founder of the Youth International Party
* C. D. Howe
– WWII and postwar Canadian politician; Waltham native
* Gail Huff
– television reporter for WCVB-TV
, wife of Scott Brown
, former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
* Deena (Drossin) Kastor
– Olympic bronze-medal-winning marathon runner
* John Leary
– Major League Baseball first baseman and catcher for the St. Louis Browns
* Jeff Lazaro
– former Boston Bruins
* Samuel Livermore
- United States Senator from New Hampshire
* Mel Lyman
– musician, filmmaker, writer and founder of the Fort Hill Community
* John Lynch
– Governor of New Hampshire
* Shawn McEachern
– Boston Bruins
* Paul Moody
– Inventor, developer of cotton loom; namesake of Moody St. in downtown Waltham
* Angelo Mosca
– former Canadian Football League
player and professional wrestler
* Richard Thomas Nolan
– Episcopal Church Canon, writer, philosophy and religion professor, LGBT
* Dave Pino
– member of the band Powerman 5000
* Ida Annah Ryan
– first woman to earn a master's degree in architecture (from M.I.T.
* Evelyn Sears
– U.S. Open
* Fred Smerlas
defensive lineman with Buffalo Bills
, San Francisco 49ers
, and New England Patriots
– leader of Socks Army, first feline to surpass 500,000 Twitter
* Caroll Spinney
– puppeteer; performed the roles of Big Bird
and Oscar the Grouch
on ''Sesame Street
* Mary Watson Whitney
-astronomer, Vassar professor of astronomy, Vassar observatory director
* Chris Wilson
- guitarist for the Flaming Groovies
and The Barracudas
* Gordon S. Wood
– recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize
* Franz Wright
– Pulitzer Prize
* Paramahansa Yogananda
- author of ''Autobiography of a Yogi
'' built his first ashram in America here
* Greater Boston
* Mayor-council government
* New Covenant Church of Cambridge
* List of mill towns in Massachusetts
;Published in the 19th century
''1871 Atlas of Massachusetts''.
by Wall & GraMap of Massachusetts.Map of Middlesex County.
* ''History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts''
Volume 1 (A-H)
Volume 2 (L-W)
compiled by Samuel Adams Drake, published 1879 and 1880. 572 and 505 pages
by Alexander Starbuck in volume 2 pages 407–433.
;Published in the 20th century
Category:Cities in Massachusetts
Category:University towns in the United States
Category:Populated places established in 1634
Category:Early American industrial centers
Category:Cities in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Category:1634 establishments in Massachusetts