Newton Upper Falls, outside Boston

Newton, Massachusetts

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A hidden mill village on the Charles River, Newton Upper Falls is tucked into a busy corner of the metropolitan area. On this walk you will see a potpourri of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture, many charming hilly and curving streets, and a major National Historic Landmark— Echo Bridge over the Charles River’s Hemlock Gorge. Upper Falls was settled at the largest falls on the Charles River—a drop of 26 feet over a few hundred feet of its length. Native Americans discovered the falls and established fish weirs here to harvest eels and other freshwater fish. In 1688 John Clark bought rights to build at the falls from Chief Nahatan for £12 sterling. By 1813, when a cotton mill was installed, industrial buildings lined the gorge from the falls area to the newly built Worcester Turnpike (now Route 9). Within forty years a quarter of Newton’s population lived and worked in Upper Falls. Today a large portion of the village is protected as a designated historic district. Of the 150 buildings that existed a hundred years ago in Upper Falls, 118 still stand. This walk is designed to touch a sampling of these antique buildings—industrial, civic, and residential—offering a firsthand view of the fabric of an early-nineteenth-century settlement.
Walk Boston

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Walk Boston

by Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

A hidden mill village on the Charles River, Newton Upper Falls is tucked into a busy corner of the metropolitan area. On this walk you will see a potpourri of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture, many charming hilly and curving streets, and a major National Historic Landmark— Echo Bridge over the Charles River’s Hemlock Gorge. Upper Falls was settled at the largest falls on the Charles River—a drop of 26 feet over a few hundred feet of its length. Native Americans discovered the falls and established fish weirs here to harvest eels and other freshwater fish. In 1688 John Clark bought rights to build at the falls from Chief Nahatan for £12 sterling.

By 1813, when a cotton mill was installed, industrial buildings lined the gorge from the falls area to the newly built Worcester Turnpike (now Route 9). Within forty years a quarter of Newton’s population lived and worked in Upper Falls. Today a large portion of the village is protected as a designated historic district. Of the 150 buildings that existed a hundred years ago in Upper Falls, 118 still stand. This walk is designed to touch a sampling of these antique buildings—industrial, civic, and residential—offering a firsthand view of the fabric of an early-nineteenth-century settlement.

©  Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Newton
Distance: 3
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Driving Directions: Directions to Newton Upper Falls, outside Boston

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Apr 2018