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On the Watertown Seal is a picture of an English Colonist and an Indian exchanging, as peace tokens,  bread for fish.  Captain Roger Clap landed at Nantasket Point in 1630 and rode up Charles River to Gerry's Landing with the first party of Watertown Colonists.
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Historical Commission

What We Do

The Watertown Historical Commission was established in 1985 to preserve, protect, and advocate for the Town’s historical or archaeological resources.

Our responsibilities include implementing the
Demolition Delay Ordinance, researching places of historic or archaeological value, educational outreach to the community, building upon the base of historic knowledge already in existence, and establishing long-lasting protection of these resources for future generations.

The Commission cooperates with the
Massachusetts Historical Commission and the State Archaeologist and renders opinions and recommendations to the Town Council, Town departments, and the public. 

To be added to the list of recipients of all Historical Preservation announcements, please visit the Watertown Home web page and sign up for notify me under Historical Preservation. 

Historic Plaque Program

Did you know that you can order a historic plaque to display on your home which identifies the year it was built, the architect or builders name, or the name of the original owner?  You may clique on this link to access a
 historic plaque application
here.  A member of the commission will conduct the research on your home if you are not aware of the history of your home already.
                        
         
                

The Historical Commission Has Opened up the Nominations Process for the 2018 Historical Preservation Awards.
 
A Historical Preservation Award may be given to any individual, organization or project that has contributed to the preservation or recognition of Watertown's Historic resources. An annual award ceremony is held at the Commander's Mansion on Talcott Ave.

The Historical Preservation Awards will be held on May 17, 2018.   You are invited to nominate an individual, organization or project by accessing the nomination package below.

To access the nomination forms please click on the following link below.

2018 Historical Preservation Awards Nomination Package


See the 2017 Historical Preservation Awards below

The 2017 Watertown Historic Preservation Awards were held on May 18, 2017.
                             
The winners of the 2017 Historical Preservation Awards names are listed below, along with two individuals who received special certificates of appreciation for their outstanding contributions to the Historical Commission over the years.  

To view the entire awards ceremony here on line, Watertown Cable Access has graciously provided us with a link from their coverage on the night of the ceremony. 

Link to the 2017 Historical Preservation Awards Ceremony

2017 The Richard E. Mastrangelo Memorial Award
Brittany Byrd and Brita Zitin, Watertown Free Public Library

2017 Environmental Presentation Award
Butler and Sons Tree Service, Professional Tree Services 

2017 Community Spirit Award
Dan Hogan and Andrea Santopietro, Watertown Cable Access

2017 Citizenship Award
Carole Katz, Watertown Savings Bank

2017 Historical Resources Preservation Award
Meg Winslow, Mt. Auburn Cemetery

2017 Watertown Historical Commission Certificate of Appreciation
J.B. Jones, Former Member of the Watertown Historical Commission

2017 Watertown Historical Commission Certificate of Appreciation
Christopher J. Hayward, Preservation Agent         
                                            
To read about the 2016 awards ceremony, you may click the following link to an article from the Watertown Tab from the 2016 Historic Preservation held last May 19, 2016. 
Watertown residents receive historic honors
                                                                      
If you have any questions feel free to contact the Clerk for the Office of Conservation and Preservation, Susan C. Jenness at (617) 972-6426 or email her at .
                                                    
Sweet Auburn Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn

Of special note, please follow the link below to an article recently written by David Russo, Chairperson of the Historical Commission.  Russo wrote this article about his experience preparing 226 inventory forms for registration with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, through the resources available at the Mount Auburn Cemetery.  The article appeared in the Spring 2017 edition, Volume I of Sweet Auburn, a Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn. 
The article can be seen here.

This article was shared with permission and courtesy of the Friends of Mount Auburn.                 
                                   


Historical Commission Meetings


Agendas & Minutes


Agendas are available prior to the meetings.
Most Recent Agenda | View All

Minutes are available following approval.
Most Recent Minutes | View All

Contact
Christopher Hayward
Preservation Agent

             
Susan C. Jenness
Clerk

           
Town Hall, Third Floor
149 Main St.
Watertown, MA 02472

Ph: (617) 972-6426
Fx: (617) 972-6484

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Members

  • Joseph Panto 

       11 Ladd St. Unit 3
       Term Expires: October 1, 2020

  • Thomas Melone

       115 Russell Ave.
       Term Expires: October 1, 2019

  • Elisabeth H. Loukas, Chair 

       324 Common St. 
       Term Expires:  October 1, 2018

  • Marilynne K. Roach

       141 Marshall Street
       Term Expires:  October 1, 2020

 

 

  • David J. Russo, Jr., Vice Chair
    117 Irving Street
    Term Expires: October 1, 2020
  • Susan T. Steele

        77 Russell Ave.
        Term Expires: October 1, 2018

  • Matthew Walter

        140 Church Street
        Term Expires:  October 1, 2019


For more information regarding historic resources in Watertown, please view our Useful Links.

The Commission Is Not A Society

The Watertown Historical Commission was established by the Town as a regulatory commission. We are an all-volunteer commission which is part of the Town government, appointed by the Town Manager.

A common misconception is that we are the Historical Society of Watertown, a private non-profit organization. You can contact them at: 28 Marshall St., Watertown, MA 02472  617-923-6067 or www.historicalsocietyofwatertownma.org