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Newton MA

Auburndale Newton MA

Auburndale History

Auburndale sits on the bank of the Charles River, bordering Waltham.  The first major settler in the area was William Robinson who built a house in 1678 on what is now Freeman Street.  At the time, Auburndale was centered around that general area of Lexington St, Auburn St and Auburndale Ave all come together.

Until the Reverend Charles du Maresque Pigeon, grandson of an illustrious eighteenth century local, persuaded the railroad to introduce a flag stop on its line two miles West of West Newton, this was a rural farm community.  The influx of traffic from the railroad led to a surge in real estate activity with three major sub-divisions built in 1847 alone. This was the start of the village which would later become famous as the home of Norumbega Park (where the Marriot now sits) and the Riverside Recreation Area on the Charles River (which still exists).  Development of the southern part of town was unaffected by the Boston and Worcester Railroad. When the Charles River Railroad was built in 1852 carrying passengers was not its primary use. Only when the two railroads joined to form the Circuit in 1886 did substantial growth occur.

Auburndale is home to LaSalle University (founded in 1851), United Parish of Auburndale (built in 1857), Auburndale Cove on the Charles, an MBTA Commuter Rail Station, the Auburndale Historic District and community resources such as the Auburndale Community Library. More than twenty buildings in Auburndale are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Its oldest home, located at 473 Auburn dates all the way back to 1730. It was a tavern and is now a private residence.

Some points of interest include the Auburndale Cover Park & Playground; Norumbega Park Conservation Area; Turtle Lane Playhouse; Woodland Golf Club; Brae Burn Country Club; Charles River Canoe and Kayak Company.

More information on the history of Auburndale can be found on the Wikipedia Auburndale page.

There is also a video on the history of Auburndale on YouTube

And a tour of Auburndale by Bob Vila

Videos on Norumbega Park:

Down by the Riverside

Norumbega Park Home Movies

Remembering the Totem Pole Ballroom

Another on the Totem Pole Ballroom

Norumbega Park 1955

Auburndale also has a Facebook Page.

Also home to the Williams School and Burr School.



1910 Newton MA

1910 Yearbook Photos

This is the first of the yearbooks for Newton High School.  There were 141 students graduating that year according to the yearbook.  Some interesting facts:

  1.  Many of the students have surnames that Newton schools and streets are named after such as Butts, Fessenden, Greenwood, Judkins, Wheeler, Washburn, Mason, Merrill, Randlett, Shute, Wheeler and Weeks.  Would be interesting to know if these are members of the founding families.
  2. There was only one African American student in the class – Lloyd Francis Marshall.  Although I could not find his home address, he was born in Newton in 1890.  He went on to become a Dentist in Worcester.
  3. Interesting to see the change in Fashion from 1910 – 1920.  In these photos, all the women had very long hair, piled up in an updo.  Fast forward to 1920 and most have short hair.
  4. Since I had to look them up in the Census to find their home addresses, I figured I also put their father’s occupation on the record so you can see what kind of jobs Newton parents had then.
  5. Many of the students were older when they graduated.  23 of them were 20 years old.  2 were 21.  1 was 23!  I wonder if it was because they started later or had to take time off to help their families?
  6. Two students lived at 1136 Center St and one lived at 144 Hancock.  These were both boarding houses for students who parents were away.  144 Hancock in particular was for the children of Missionaries.  At least 3 students in this class had parents who were missionaries.
  7. A lot of the students did not have a picture with their entry because they did not get the picture submitted in time.  I imagine it was a lot harder to get your picture taken back then.

1922 Newton MA

1922 Yearbook Photos

1914 1916 1919 1920 1922 Auburndale Newton MA

144 Hancock St, Auburndale

This is another interesting house in the history of Newton.  This is the Walker Center –

At the time that these students lived there, this was the Walker Home for Missionary Children, founded in 1864.  Children of missionaries stayed here while their parents went off on missions.  I am sure there were a lot more students that stayed here, but Newton High School only started printing yearbooks in 1909.  And they only started putting addresses under the names in 1911, then skipped addresses in 1912.


1944 Newton MA Nonantum

Nonantum WWII Veterans

by Larry Leone

I have been doing family research and came across some newspaper articles from the 1940’s during WW2 that I want to share.. The articles show how deeply the war affected families from The Lake. Many parents had multiple sons in combat zones. The three Antonellis brothers were my uncles, Larry and Henry were at Normandy and Louie in Italy, Lou was in an armored division and was involved in the liberation of Rome. They grew up on Ashmont Ave. and Adams St.and then Lyons Court.¬†While Louie was in Rome he made his way to San Donato to visit and meet his grandparents for the first time. I grew up on Hawthorn St. directly across from Emerald St. where the Gentile family lived and remember them well. The Leone’s in the posted article were not related but two of my Leone uncles from Hawthorn Street Danny and Dominic also served in WW2. That generation is mostly gone now but hopefully will not be forgotten. I was young during the war but have many memories of those days and remember the bells ringing and horns blowing when the Japanese surrendered.