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Celebrating 150 Years of Newton as a City

January 1 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

On Inauguration Day in January, 1874, James F. C. Hyde, newly elected as the first Mayor of Newton, addressed the citizens: “The old town form of government in Newton has passed away, and the first hour of its new life as a city is just opening upon us.” The voters had spoken, and the former town of Newton had adopted a new charter as a city.

Newton in 1874 was a smaller and very different city than it is today. The hard-fought “War of Southern Rebellion” was a recent memory. Much of Newton was still farmland. Many residents were forming neighborhood improvement societies and social clubs, and some were active in the temperance movement or the fight for woman suffrage.

Newton’s largest business district was in Newton Corner, then called “Newton Village” or simply “Newton.” The opening of the first public high school in Newtonville in 1859 had spurred real estate development in the surrounding neighborhoods, but Newton’s major late-19th-century building boom was not yet underway. There was not yet a citywide water supply. Commonwealth Avenue would not extend through Newton until 1895.

Our city has changed a lot in 150 years! Come to Newton City Hall on Inauguration Day, Monday, January 1, 2:00-4:00 p.m. for a 150th Anniversary Celebration, featuring birthday cake, music, and a gathering of public officials, following their swearing-in ceremony at noon. In the War Memorial at City Hall; free and open to the public.



January 1
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Historic Newton
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Newton City Hall War Memorial
1000 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton, MA 02459
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