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E r H R A I M L . Barry, 

Music Hall At., 

Waltham, Mass. 


Part I.— Historical. 

Among a large portion of the older residents of the City of Wal- 
tham it is a matter of deep regret that an elaborate and comprehensive 
account of the history of the town and city is still unpublished. True, 
we have in Nelson's "Waltham, Past and Present,"'' published by 
Moses King in 1882, and in Drake's "History of Middlesex County," 
in the article on Waltham by Alexander Starbuck, (1880,) very inter- 
esting and carefully prepared sketches ; but the field of general history 
is comparatively untrodden, and therein the historian will find much to 
reward his labors. Possibly at some future time this work may be 
carried out to the satisfaction of all, as it is devoutly hoped it will be, 
especially as the scope of this little volume is not so much to unfold 
the secrets of the past, as to place before the world something about 
Waltham, its industries and manifold attractions to manufacturers and 
residents, as they exist to-day. Therefore, many items of historic 
interest must be omitted from the present sketch, the aim being merely 
to present succinctly a few of the leading events in the progress of the 
town and city. 

The territory in and about Waltham seems to have early attracted 
attention on account of its productiveness and the readiness with which 
it could be converted into productive farms for the support of the first 
settlers ; and it is largely on this account that Charlestown and Water- 
town, our neighbors on the east, were selected as their future dwelling 
places by Gov. Winthrop, Henry Bright, Sir Richard Saltonstall and 
others of the "Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in 


New England," (they having previously investigated the territory 
where the City of Salem is now situated,) which corporation obtained 
a charter from the English crown in about 1628-9, and for nearly a cen- 
tury following, the latter town covered a large territory, embracing the 
present towns of Belmont and Weston, the city of Waltham and por- 
tions of Lincoln and Concord. Naturally, the population of the entire 
territory at that early date did not equal the number of inhabitants now 
contained in the smallest of the towns just mentioned ; but as years 

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passed away the peojjle increased in number, and, owing to the frequent 
troubles with the Indians, it l^ecame necessary for them to dwell in 
groups, in order to better protect themselves from their aggressive 
neighbors. Thus, near the close of the seventeenth century. Water- 
town became divided into three precincts : the East, or substantially 
what is now known as Watertown and Belmont ; the Middle, or Wal- 
tham, and the West, known since 1812-3, when that town was incor- 


porated, as Weston, and the territory still further west. These 
divisions for mutual protection have been justly termed the "entering 
wedge" for the further division into several corporate towns of the 



territory, the limits of which, in comparison with the more permanent 
boundary monuments of to-day, were rather vague. 

Later, ecclesiastical differences exerted their influence, for, there 
being but one church in the town, and that located in the extreme 
easterly portion, it was but natural that the farmers of the West and 
Middle Precincts should desire some more convenient place of worship, 
especially as it was their duty under the laws of the colony to attend 
Divine service every Sabbath. The feeling of dissatisfaction became 
intense, when, after much discussion and dispute, it was decided to 
build a second church further to the westward and near what is now 
the business centre of Watertown, still another new church having 
been built a few years earlier (about 1697) for the people of the West 
Precinct. But even these steps did not satisfy the people, and there- 
fore there was continued agitation, until in 17 15 the town voted to 
erect another church for the West Precinct, (Waltham, Weston having 
previously been incorporated,) and at about the same time the eastern, 
or old, congregation petitioned the General Court for separation and 
incorporation as an independent town. It was not until 1720, however, 
that the question was settled; in that year the inhabitants petitioned 
the General Court to establish the boundary lines between the two 
precincts, and the Court in granting the petition and establishing the 
bounds, also decreed that the west, or new, meeting house should be 
removed into what is now Waltham or a new one be built there ; and 
the town subsequently voted in compliance vvith this action. 

The e.stablishment of this church naturally settled the ditiferences of 
an ecclesiastical nature which had for so long existed, but Providence 
had evidently ordered other than a peaceful union of the two sections, 
for in a few years still further dissentions arose over the attempt of the 
the West Precinct to establish a school of its own, and in 1729 this 
culminated in a refusal by the town to accept a site and money that 
had been offered by the citizens as a gift towards opening such a 
school. A year later the grievances of the two precincts were again 
carried before the General Court, this time the incorporation of a new 
town being asked, the difficulty of satisfactorily adjusting the dispute 
over educational matters being the especial reason given in the prayer 


of the petitioners. In succeeding years still further attempts of a 
like nature were made and principally for like reasons, so that in 1737 
a final and successful attempt was made, a petition being presented to 
the General Court on December 14 of that year, which was granted, 
and on the last day of the month the act incorporating the new town 
of Waltham was passed to be engrossed, it receiving the signature 
of "His excellency the Governor, John J. Belcher," January 4, 


1737-8, <'and in the record the name Waltham of the new town is 
printed for the first time on this date." 

Thus were the diflferences between these people placed at rest, and 
Waltham was born as the 145th town in the commonwealth. 

The reasons which prompted the selection of the name "Wal- 
tham," for the new town are not difinitely known, but authorities ap- 
pear to agree that it was so designated after "Waltham Abbey," also 


known as "Waltham Holy Cross," in England, the mother countryv 
from whence it is supposed that a number of the early inhabitants may 
have come. The area of the new town was about 8,891 acres, the 
population being a little less than 550. 

On January 18, 1737-8, the first town meeting was held for the 
choice of officers to serve until the annual or "anniversary"' meeting in 
March, Deacon Thomas Livermore served as moderator of that 
meeting, and the following officers were elected: 

Selectmen — Deacon William Brown, Deacon Thomas Livermore, Mr. 
Daniel Benjamin, Mr. Joseph Pierce, Lieutenant Thomas Bigelow. 
Town Clerk and Treasurer — Samuel Livermore. 
Constable — Mr. Joseph Hastings. 

Assessors — George Livermore, John Cutting, John Chadwick. 
Sealer of Leather — Mr. Joseph Stratton. 
Fence Viewers — John Ball, Jr , Joseph Hagar. 
Surveyors of Highways — John Ball ye 3d, John \'iels. 
Tytheing Men — Isaac Pierce, Theophilus Mansfield. 
Hog Reeves — Joseph Harrington, Elnathan Whitney. 

At the subsequent annual meeting, Thomas Hammond, John 
Smith, John Bemis, Ensign Thomas Harrington and Deacon Jonathan 
Sanderson were chosen as selectmen for the ensuing year ; and on 
May 9, Daniel Benjamin was chosen as the first representative, but he 
declined the honor, and Lieutenant Thomas Bigelow was chosen in his 
place, and since that first election Waltham has sent many represent- 
ative men to the General Court, some of whom won national reknowa 
and are accorded an honorable place in the history of the nation. 

One of the early acts of the new town was to secure the services 
of a competent schoolmaster, to Mr. Timothy Harrington falling the 
honor of being Waltham's first school teacher, at a salary of £20, old 
tenure, per quarter. Likewise an early record is found of generous ap- 
propriation for the care and maintenance of the highways, and it is 
still a matter of pride to the present citizens of Waltham that during 
the years intervening since the incorporation of the town, both these 


departments of the public service have been generously attended to 
and great care manifested in their development. 

During the early portion of its existence the pathway of the town 
was much the same as that of many other Massachusetts communities. 
For a term of some seventy-five years after its incorporation the resi- 
dents were almost entirely engaged in agricultural pursuits, performing 



faithfully and well their duty to their families and the community. 
During the war between England and PVance, the Revolutionary war 
and (he war of 1812, the town bore an honorable part and furnished a 
a comparatively large number of men, the early records giving abund- 
ant testimony to this eftect, in the way of appropriations for the ser- 
vices of the men and equipments furnished, while additional evidence 
to the same end is found in the very frequent occurence of military 
titles, which at that early day were likely to be the result of actual 
service rather than to be derived from the modern custom of adhering 
to a title borne by the commander of a civic or torchlight procession. 

Being no exception to the general rule applying to New Eng- 
land agricultural communities. Waltham increased rather slowly in 
population and wealth, the losses attendant upon the several wars 
serving as a partial check even upon the natural increase. The records 
show that in 1764 there were 94 houses and 107 families, the total pop- 
ulation 663, and (he number of stores, 14. No very decided increase 
"was made until after the commencement of operations by the Boston 
Manufacturing Company in 1812, which gave a decided impetus to the 
town ; while in more recent years the establishment of the American 
Waltham Watch Company's works in 1853-8, and their subsequent 
wonderful development, have very materially increased both the pop- 
ulation and wealth, so that from a population of about 1000 in 1810, 
and 6,896 in 1865, Waltham is a city today, containing, according to 
the state census compiled in 1885, 14,609 souls, or fully 15,500 at the 
•commencement of 1887. A more comprehensive account of these two 
^reat corporations, in connection with the growth of the city, will be 
found in another part of this volume, the attention of the reader being 
especially directed to the unusual degree of interest which they have 
manifested in the welfare of the people about tliem and in their 

Since the introduction of manufacturing industries, some seventy- 
five years ago, the characterestics of the inhabitants and their pursuits 
have, therefore, undergone a very decided change. A large portion of 
the territory is still successfully devoted to agriculture, and there is a 
number of excellent farms, upon which a large amount of produce of 


the various kinds is raised for the local and Boston markets ; but, with- 
out in any degree belittleing this still important branch of the city's 
production, the mechanical pursuits by far predominate, and yet there 
are missed many of the features of population, etc., usually existing in 
manufacturing communities, Waltham possessing in this respect an in- 



dividuality of its own, which places it on a difterent plane from the 
average city of its class. 

Having noted the principal causes which led to the incorporation 
of Waltham, and reserving for latter pages an outline of the earlier 
industries, let us pass over the years of agricultural quietude, — which 
may be presumed to have been passed, aside from the excitement in- 
cident to the several wars, in Arcadian simi licity and a rather severe 
struggle for existence, — to the commencement of the second quarter of 


the present century, when the mechanical pursuits had become fairly 
introduced, and the character of the town was undergoing a change. A 
few years previous to this time, tlie Uoston Manufacturing Company 
had extended its operations to the site of the present Bleachery and 
Dye Works, and in 1820 the "Newton Chymical Company," as its 
charter reads, commenced operations on lands since annexed to Wal- 
tham, whose works grew to be the largest of the kind in the country, 
sulphuric acid being the principal product, and thus Waltham was 
rapidly becoming a business centre. 


At this time an interesting event occurred, for on Dec. 24, 1826, 
some three score or more gentlemen met and organized the Rumford 
Institute, for the purpose of "mutual instruction in the arts and 
sciences," the name being selected in honor of Count Rumford, whose 
scientific researches were then attracting such wide spread attention, 
the institute being, probably, the first society of its kind in the 
country. Since its organization, and subsequent incorporation in 
March, 1858, it has furnished the leading course of lectures and enter- 
tainments, which in its earlier years were generally of a scientific or 


practical character. During its second year the Boston Manufacturing 
Company erected for the institute the Rumford Building, for so long 
used as a Town Hall, and now doing duty as an embryo City Hall, in 
which rooms were fitted up for the use of the society. A few years 
later, the same company presented the nucleus of a library, and for 
years the Rumford Institute Circulating Library was a feature of the 
town. Many eminent men have lectured before the institute, and it is 
mentioned by several writers of note as a remarkable institution and 



worthy of emulation. For many years the library of the institute was 
kept in apartments at the west end of Rumford building, but in 1865 
the institute made a generous offer to give its books to the town, which 
was accepted, and thus was formed the foundation of the Waltham Pub- 
lic Library. (Included in the library of the Kumford Inslitue was the 
Waltham Social Library, established in 1798.) 

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n.T.SAnother prominent feature of Waltham's history was the formation^ 
in 1857, of the Waltham Agricultural Library Association, for the pur- 
pose of discussing agricultural topics and forming a library, which 
has become one of the best known institutions of the town. In later 
years the name of this society was changed to the Waltham Farmers* 
Club, by which title it is known at the present time. During the first 



year of its existence a remarkably successful agricultural and mechan- 
ical exhibition was held, and others equally successful have since taken, 
place, although of late years the doings of the club have been confined 
to a series of meetings each winter at the residences of members, at 
which agricultural and other topics of more general interest have been 
discussed, the club having been the instigator of a number of import- 


ant public improvements. It is belived that this club is the orignator 
of the many Farmers' Clubs which have sprung up in various parts of 
the country. 

In 1873 the town accepted the offer of the club to add its books- 
to the public library, which thus received another valuable acquisition. 
At the opening of the public library in 1865, rooms were secured in the 
second story of the Waltham National Bank Building, where it re- 
mained until January, 1880, when it was removed to the pleasant apart- 


ments in Welch's Block; at the corner of Moody and Charles streets. 
The town, and its successor, the city, has made generous appropria- 
tions for the support of the library, so that it now contains more than 
12,000 volumes, many of which have been selected with a view to the 
■wishes of the citizens, and their instruction in the pursuits in which 
they are engaged, especial pains having been taken in the latter regard. 

There are many yearnings for a separate, more ajipropriate and 
elaborate library building, and it is generally conceded that when the 
lease of the present quarters expires in 1890, the city will build for it- 
self, provided that in the meantime some public spirited citizen does 
not relieve the people of this duty by presenting a building to be de- 
voted to library purposes. 

In 1849, the inhabitants were agitated by an attempt to have that 
portion of the town lying south of Charles River annexed to Newton, 
but the project failed, on the contrary, some 500 acres of Newton 
territory becoming a part of Waltham, comprising what is now the 
"South Side," one of the pleasantest parts of the city. There have 
since been rumors of "secession" by this portion of the city, but it is 
universally conceded that all probabilities of such a kind were placed 
at rest by the adoption of a city charter. 

Even during later years, from 1825 to i860, the growth of Waltliam, 
like that of many other portions of the United States, continued to be 
slow, compared with the far more rapid growth, principally from immi- 
gration, in recent years. The manufacturing companies had not the 
extensive markets of to-day, hence for some time their effect on the pop- 
ulation was slight ; but their progress was healthy, other and smaller 
judustries were introduced, so that now, while the Boston M inufactur- 
ing Company and the American Waltham Watch Company, with a 
combined force of nearly 5,000 employes, are by far the largest, there 
are numerous other industries, furnishing employment for many more, 
the introduction and growth of the latter establishments being most 
rapid since the close of the civil war. There are few events in the 
history of the town during this period which are prominent above the 
ordinary and perhaps trivial incidents of every day life, which contribute 
so much to the history of a people or a town. Thus the people of 



Waltham floated along with the popular current, until the opening of 
the civil war, which very naturally proved a source of excitement and 
and stimulation. 

The record of the town of Waltham during the war of the Rebel- 
lion is an enviable one and reflects great credit upon the patriotism and 
devotion of her citizens. Over 700 of her sons performed valiant ser- 

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vice on the battlefields, serving in fourteen regiments, in addition to 
duty in the navy, the cavalry and the artillery, the tablets of the granite 
shaft on the common commemcJrating the valor of the many who gave 
up their lives in that long struggle for national unity. In addition to 



furnishing so many active participants in the war, in comparison with 
the population, the women of Waltham also showed a degree of patriot- 
ism equal to that of their l^rothers, and much good was accomplished 
by their sacrificing service, at home and upon the battlefield, through 
the Soldiers' Aid Society and the Sanitary Commission. The services 
rendered by these devoted men and women is held in the highest esti- 
mation, and it would indeed be fitting that a lasting record and memo- 
rial of their deeds and work should be made. Manv Waltham soldiers 


were rewarded for their gallantry by well-earned promotions in the 
commands in which they served, Major-General N. P. Banks, than 
whom no one is held in higher esteem by the citizens of Waltham to- 
day, holding the highest rank in the army, while the late Commodore 
C. H. B. Caldwell held a similar position in relation to the navy. 

During the years immediately following the close of the war, Wal- 
tham made vigorous strides in growth, and the impetus which her 
industries had received was then very clearly manifest. New fields for 



commerce had been opened, new industries had been and were being 
introduced, with the effect of stimulating a very active growth in the 
population and wealth. Even the financial crises or "panics" of the 
last two decades were felt with less severity than in almost any other 
town in the country, and in all respects the growth of the municipaUty 
has been continual, lasting and in the right direction. 


The population increased to such an extent that in 1S72 the neces- 
sity for a better water supply was imperatively felt, and therefore a 
system of public water works was introduced, the town having the re- 
markably good fortune to secure a pure and abundant supply at the site 
chosen for the pumping station on the banks of Charles River, at a 
point a few rods west of Mt. Feake Cemetery, while for the reservoir an 
equally good choice of site was made on an adjacent hill, from whence 



the water could be supplied by gravity to all parts of the town likely to 
use it for many years. 

The town continued in this happy state of peaceful activity until 
1882, when the first mutterings of an approaching disturbance of public 
opinion were felt, in the shape of suggestions that the form of govern- 
ment should be changed to the more dignified one of a city. The 
principal arguments advanced in behalf of the necessity for such a step 
were that, while it could not be justly claimed that town affairs had been 
mismanaged, matters of public improvement were permitted to languish ; 
the conduct of affairs was vested in the hands of too small a number of 
persons, and, perhaps as important a reason as any, the town meetings 
(in which nearly all New England people still have faith as the model 
and truly democratic method of transacting public business) had be- 
come cumbersome, unwieldy and possibly a trifle unruly. This move- 
ment met with the same fate that has attended similar agitations in 
other communities : it was born, languished, but was ultimately suc- 
cessful ; for although the more conservative citizens were suspicious of 
the evils that might accompany the change, many such doubters were 
won over by the novel form of charter proposed, (of which further 
mention is made,) and hence on June 2, 1884, Gov. Robinson afl^xed 
his signature to the act which incorporated Waltham as the twenty- 
second city in the commonwealth. The first election under the charter 
was held December 2, 1884, when Hon. B. B. Johnson was elected 
Mayor, Mr. H. N. Fisher subsequently being chosen president of the 
Board of Aldermen; Mr. L. N. Hall, City Clerk; Mr. J. C. Thorp, 
City Treasurer, and Mr. E. A. Harrington, City Auditor. 

Thus far there can certainly be no serious regrets that Waltham 
has introduced a mayor and aldermen to take charge of affairs. There 
has been no extravagance ; ta.\ation has not increased, a greatly feared 
event, and progress has been continual and steady. There is also am- 
ple justification for the belief that this progress will be further continued ; 
the city has almost every advantage of modern civilivation ; her people 
are of an excellent, intelligent class ; her financial standing is of the 
best, and her citizens take such pride in their surroundings that Wal- 
tham seems destined to have a very bright future. 


The Waltham Bank, organized in 1835, afterwards became the 
Waltham National Bank. It has a capital of $150,000, i.s in a flourish- 
ing condition and is the only national bank in the city. The Waltham 
Savings Bank is also the only similar institution and has deposits ag- 
gregating nearly $1,500,000. The Waltham Co-operative Saving Fund 
and Loan Association, now known as the Waltham Co-operative Bank, 
was organized in September, 1880, and is one of the oldest similar 
corporations in the state. It has assisted many of the working people 
to build homes of their own, and is held in such esteem that the 
demand for its shares is greater than the supply. 

Waltham's first newspaper was The Hive, published by Mr. S. B. 
Emmons, about 1830-35. Next came the Waltham Sentinel, founded 
by Mr. Josiah Hastings in 1856, and continued by him until his death 
in 1876, when it was purchased by Mr. George Phinney and consoli- 
dated with the Waltham Free Press, first published by the latter ia 
1863, and still continued by Messrs. Somers & Starbuck. In 1876 the 
Waltham Record was published by Mr. E. L. Barry and was continued 
by him until 1885, when it became the property of Pratt Bros., of 
Marlboro, by whom it is now conducted. The publication of the Wal~ 
iham Daily Tribune was commenced by Messrs. Eaton & Reed, in 
1882, and it is now published by T. B. Eaton, Esq. The Waltham 
Daily Times is the youngest newspaper in the city, and was founded by 
Messrs. Rice & Drake in 1886. These papers, with the exception of 
the Tribune, are advocates of the Republican party, and all unite in 
giving a faithful epitome of the local news. 

The Waltham Board of Trade was organized in 1885. Its mem- 
bership embraces a large number of the merchants and manufacturers,, 
and its objects are to look carefully after the general interests and wel- 
fare of the city, suggest and so far as possible carry out improvements, 
induce the location of new industries, and other work of a similar kind. 
Its accomplishments thus far have included no very large undertaking,, 
but among its membership are many active minds, its influence is in 
the right direction, and it is probable that greater accomplishments are 
before the board. It should be stated, however, that the Board was 
instrumental in securing the introduction of the electric light upon the 


streets and in the stores, while it also exerted its influence in bringing 
about the purchase of the land adjoinini; the common as a location for 
a future city hall. 

Grove Hill is the oldest cemetery, and for many years its proper 
name was lost in the familiar appellation, the "old burying ground." 
This cemetery was established in 1703 for the use of Rev. Samuel 
Angler's society, and It is located on lower Main street, extending 
southward to Grove street. Mount Feake Cemetery, established in 
1858, was so called from the fact that that name was given to its prin- 
cipal prominence by Governor Winthrop during his earliest explorations 
of Charles River. This cemetery is situated in the south-westerly part 
of the city and has an extensive frontage on the river. The location is 
one of great natural beauty, and much attention has been given to 
properly caring for the grounds, until they are in excellent condition. 
The cemetery first used by St. Mary's Society is the present Church- 
street Cemetery. Its use is nearly discontiimed, a large tract of land 
having been purchased several years ago on the South Side in the south- 
easterly part of the city for such purposes. This cemetery has also 
been greatly improved : it is well laid out, and is known as Calvary 

The city is provided with four hotels, the IVospect House, the 
Central House, the Sanderson House, on the North Side, and the South 
Side Hotel. There are besides numerous restaurants and boarding- 
houses, exclusive of those controlled by the larger corporations. All 
of these are very well equipped. The attractiveness of the local scen- 
ery and of the neighborhood Is .such that frequently a number of "sum- 
mer boarders" seek the hospitality of the hotels. 



The church which the earHest residents of what is now Waltliam 
attended was formed soon after the settlement of Watertown by Gov. 
Winthrop and his people. It was situated a little to the east of Mt. 
Auburn Cemetery and is thought to have been the '^second church of 
Massachusetts Bay." It remained the only church in the district un- 
til about 1696, when a second church was built nearer the center of 
Watertown, the first church in Waltham being- erected in 1720, in com- 
pliance, as already noted, with an order of the (General Court, an old 
church in Newton being purchased for £80 and removed to a site about 
two rods east of the present entrance to the estate of A. T. Lyman, 
Esq. Rev. Warham Williams was ordained pastor of this church in 
1723, a position which he held until his death in 1751, when he was 
succeeded by Rev. Jacob Cushing, of Shrewsbury. 

This church was used until 1767, when it was abandoned and a 
new one erected on the triangular lot to the west of the entrance to 
the Lyman estate. 

The Rev. Mr. Cushing died in 1809, and was succeeded by Rev. 
Samuel Ripley in the same year. Until six years after his settlement 
there was no church bell in town, and the church was not heated in 
cold weather until 1822. During the war of 1812, some of the society, 
who did not like Mr. Ripley's anti-war sermons, seceded and engaged 
Rev. Elisha Williams to preach for them in a school building then sit- 
uated east of the old burying ground, (Grove Hill Cemetery) and after- 
wards in the hall of the Kimball tavern. In the following year a 
reconcilation was effected and the societies were reunited, and in Jan- 
uary, 1 81 5, the membership of the church was reported at 160. In 
1820 trouble again arose in the society and the Second Religious So- 
ciety was formed, and it held its services in the building on Elm street 
next south of Music Hall, formerly used as a school house, and the com- 
munion was administered by Rev. Jonanthan Homer of Newton. It 
was decided to build another church and Rev. Sewall Harding was 
called to ths pastorate, in pursuance to the wish of the majority of the 



signers to the agreement to build, he having preached to the society in 
the school house. In 1821 he was ordained and at the same time a new 
edifice on Church street, on the lot now occupied by the Catholic cem- 
etery, was dedicated. In 1825 Mr. Harding was dismissed by a vote 
of the society, but the majority of the meirjbers remained true to him 
and for a time held services in Deacon Pearson's house on Main street, 
and afterwards in a hall at the corner of .Main and Newton streets, 
where they remained until a church was erected at the corner of Main 

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and Heard streets, which was dedicated in 1826. This society after- 
wards took the name of the Trinitairan Congregational .Society, and, 
after its church had been twice enlarged and outgrown, its present fine 
edifice was erected in 1870-71, the farewell sermon in the old church 
being delivered by Rev. Mr. Harding on August 14, 1870. This 
clergyman remained with the society until 1S37, and was succeeded by 
Rev. John Whiting in 1858. During the pastorale of the latter the 



society became divided, but was afterwards reunited. Rev. R. B. 
Thurston officiated as pastor from 1858 to 1864, and Rev. E. E. Strong 
from 1865 to 1878. After Mr. Strong resigned, the pulpit was supplied 
by several clergymen, until the settlement of the present pastor. Rev. 
B. M. Fullerton. 

After the dismissal of Mr. Harding, the Second Religious Society 
secured the Rev. Bernard Whitman, Unitarian, as its pastor, and he 
officiated in the edifice on Church street until it was struck by lightning 
in 1829. The society then worshiped in Rumford Hall and in 1830 


dedicated its new church on the common. Rev. Mr. Whitman died in 
1834, and was succeeded by Rev. Warren Burton, who was released in 
April, 1837, the church being sold to the Methodists the same year. 
The Second Religious Society worshipped for a time in Rumford Hall. 
having no settled pastor, and no record is said to appear of its dissolu- 

In 1839, the First Society accepted Mr. Ripley's resignation, and 


in the following year the affairs of the society were closed up, the 
society having previously made ineffectual attempts to unite with the 
Second Society. 

In 1839 the Independent Congregational Society was formed, Mr. 
Ripley became its pastor and he continued to preach, with other clergy- 
men, until Rev. George Simmons was installed in 1841, Mr. Ripley 
becoming associate pastor. The church of this society is now known 
as the First Parish, to which its name was changed by act of the legis- 
lature in 1866, the church being thoroughly repaired and the chapel 
built in 1867. Rev. Dr. Thomas Hill became pastor of the society in 
1843, which position he retained until i860. Rev. James C. Parsons 
then officiated until 1864, he being succeeded in 1865 by Rev. S. B. 
Flagg, who remained until 1869. Rev. Clay McCauley became its 
pastor in that year, he resigning in 1872, to be followed the next year 
by Rev. E. C. Guild, who retired later, to be succeeded by the present 
pastor. Rev. Edward J. Young. 

In November, 1848, the first services connected with the formation 
of the Protestant Episcopal, or Christ, church, were held in Rumford 
Hall. The parish was organized the following year, and the present 
church built on Central street, the chapel having been added to its rear 
a few years ago. Rev. Thomas F. Fales became its pastor November 
I, 1849, ^ position which he has since held. He has become thor- 
oughly identified with the church, and the town as well, and is endeared 
to all by his many good qualities and unaffected mode of life and his 
earnest devotion to the church and its work. It was mainly through 
his efforts that Ascension church, the first church to be erected on the 
South Side, was organized in 1882, he having labored a.ssiduously for the 
attainment of that object, the citizens of the town having generously 
responded to his appeals for aid. Rev. H. S. Nash was pastor of 
Ascension church for about a year, when he was succeeded by Rev. C. 
P. Mills, the latter resigning toward the close of 1886, Rev. Mr. 
Harris, being his successor. 

It is said in Nelson's history that the first Methodist preaching in 
VValtham of which a record is found, was at the house of Abraham 
Bemis ia 1794, by Bishop Ashbury. Four years later a rough structure 


■was erected in Weston, and there are persons still residing in Waltham 
who can remember those who walked thither to attend the services of 
their chosen faith. Later, in 1834, the schoolhouse of Mr. Ropes on 
Church street, now the dwelling first north of the High school, was 
used by this denomination, and afterward they worshipped in Masonic 
Hall on Main street. In 1837 plans were about completed for the 
•erection of a church on Church street, but they were dropped and the 
•church of the Second Religious Society on the common was purchased 
and the Rev. George Pickering became its pastor. In 1858 the town 
purchased the land surrounding the church for a common and the 
church was removed to the present location at the corner of Moody 
and Main streets. The old church was destroyed by fire on May 27th, 
i860. The church was immediately rebuilt, the corner stone being 
laid August 21, i860. Rev. Mr. Pickering alternated as pastor with 
Rev. O. R. Howard of Watertown until 1839, ^"^ the succeeding pas- 
tors have been: Rev. E. A. Lyon from 1839 to '840; Rev. Horace 
'G. Barrus from 1840 to 1842; Rev. B. K. Pierce from 1842 to 1844; 
Rev. David Kilburn from 1844 to 1845; I^^v. John Paulson from 1845 
to 1846; Rev. Moses P. Webster from 1846 to 1848 ; Rev. Jacob San- 
born from 1848 to 1850: Rev. George W. Bates from 1850 to 1852; 
Rev. N. J. Merrill from 1852 to 1853 : Rev. Luman Boyden from 1853 
to 1855 ; Rev. Justin S. Bowers from 1855 to 1856; Rev. T. W. Lewis 
from 1856 to 1858; Rev. E. A. Manning from 1858 to 1861 ; Rev, 
Samuel Kelley from 1861 to 1863; Rev. D. K. Merrill from 1863 to 
1865 : Rev. Cryus L. Eastman from 1865 to 1868; Rev. D. E. Chapin 
from 1868 to 1870: Rev. L. J. Hall from 1870 to 1872; Rev. Jesse 
Wagner from 1872 to 1875 ! Kev. W. A. Braman from 1875 to 1876; 
Rev. W. W. Colburn, Rev. G. W. Mansfield, Rev. I. H. Packard, 
Rev. G. F. Eaton ; Rev. J. M. Avann being the present pastor. 

The First Baptist Church was organized November 4, 1852, with 
twenty -four members. The vestry of the present church was first 
used January i, 1856, and the edifice was dedicated in February of the 
same year. Its first pastor was Rev. M. L. Bickford, who was followed 
by Revs. E. B. Eddy, A. M. Bacon, W. H. Shedd, W. C. Barrows, 
F. D. Bland, and the present pastor. Rev. J. V. Stratton. The society 



has been very prosperous and it has now a large membership, with a 
large Sabbath school. 

About thirty-five years ago, Rev. Luther Strain became pastor of 
the first Catholic church in Waltham, from which has grown the pros- 
perous St. Mary's Parish, one of the very largest in this vicinity. After 
two years Rev. Patrick Flood succeeded to the pastorate, under whom 
the church was remodeled, enlarged and finely decorated. Rev. Tim- 
othy Brosnahan was appointed pastor in 1S76, and under his guidance 
the parish has still further increased, a parochical residence been built 
and arrangements completed for the early opening of parochial schools. 


Rev. J.J. Murphy was appointed assistant pastor in 1873. His suc- 
cessors have been Rev. J. S. McCone and Rev. Fr. Lally, Rev. T. J. 
Mahoney and Rev. Fr. Daly being the present assistants. 

The Universalist Society held its first meeting in 1836 in the room 
over the bank. In 1839, '" connection with members of the First 
Church, an edifice was erected at the corner of Main and Summer 
streets, the building being removed, after the society had worshipped 



a number of years, to Main street, where it is now known as Exchange 
Hall. This society disbanded in 1859, its pastors having been Revs. 
Thomas Whittemore and Sylvanus Cobb. In 1865, a new society was 
formed under Rev. Benton Smith and services were held in Rumford 
Hall. Rev. Phoebe Hanaford and others followed as pastors. In 1883, 
at nearly the close of the pastorate of Rev. M. R. Leonard, the present 
handsome edifice on Main street was dedicated. Rev. Mr. Leonard, 
during whose pastorate the society was materially strengthened, re- 
signed in 1884, and was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. L. P. 

The Waltham Corporation of the New Jerusalem Church first wor- 
shipped in i860 in its chapel on Lexington street, which was also used 
for school purposes, the present school building being erected in 1864. 
The original chapel was destroyed by fire in 1869, and was rebuilt on a 
larger scale in 1870. It is a handsome stone structure, and although 
its interior is plain, it is nevertheless very attractive. Rev. Benjamin 
Worcester is pastor of the society and his father, the late Rev. Thomas 
Worcester, also occasionally preached. The New Church School is 
still continued. It has an excellent reputation as an educational insti- 


Part II.— Municipal. 

How often it happens that people living in a community where 
great attractiveness of natural scenery and location are combined with 
the more practical advantages of excellent schools, churches, railroads, 
and the other conveniences of modern civilization, fail to properly real- 
ize how delightfully they are situated and the numerous advantages they 
enjoy. Thus residents of Waltham find themselves not unfrequenlly 
listening with feelings of surprise to the words of the visitor in praise of 
the beauties and advantages of their city, beauties which more than one 
extensive traveller has pronounced unsurpassed even in the more widely 
famed lands of the Old World, and advantages arising from a wisely 
governed community, whose people, of more than ordinary intelligence, 
are alive to the progress and development of the age, and a location 
which affords almost every conceivable variety of life. It is confidently 
believed that these opinions are not an overestimation of the truth ; but 
to impart through the practical medium of the printing press an ade- 
quate iaea of them is by no means easy, yet it is hoped that, aided by 
the kindly desire of the reader to know more about the city, the task 
may be so well performed that the object in view will be accomplished. 


The map of Massachusetts shows that Waltham is situated about 
ten miles from Boston, in a westerly direction, in the centre of one 
of the most charming sections of eastern Massachusetts, where the ad- 
vantages of both rural and urban life are most happily blended. In 
point of location, Waltham is on the same plane with its neighbor, New- 


ton, the "Garden City" of New England ; with Behiionl, Arlington, 
and the other towns noted as the pleasantest communities in the grace- 
ful circle of towns and cities forming the suburbs of Boston. The city 
proper, the "village," if that term is applicable to a city, is located 
within a radius of three-quarters of a mile of the common, (in a few 
years, it is probable, to be known by the more dignified cognomen, "City 
Hall Park,") which in turn is very nearly at the geographical centre of 
the city. Charles River flows through the city from west to east, a few 
rods south of the common, dividing it in twain, and giving an opportu- 
nity for the appellations, "North Side" and "South Side," which are 
applied to the respective portions of the territory. The former is by 
far the larger portion and the older, as well, the South Side having 
been developed almost in its entirety within the past thirty-five years. 

The business portion of the North Side is built upon what in olden 
time was designated as "Waltham Great Plains," a title giving an ex- 
cellent idea of the territory, and which might answer very well for the 
South Side. The principal street is named "Main," it extending across 
the city east and west, through the centre, the street next in importance 
being "Moody," (named after the first superintendent of the Boston 
Manufacturing Company,) running from the former, across the river, to 
the Newton boundary. The city is not laid out with that rigid 
adherence to the "checkerboard-plan" of straight streets and perfect 
squares, so characteristic of many of the western cities, but there is 
sufficient diversion to give the city an individuality and the charm of 
variety. At a distance of from three-quarters of a mile to one mile 
northerly from the common extends a semi-circle of hills, towards which 
the growth of the city is rapidly approaching, and beyond which lies 
most of the land devoted to farming. In the earlier days of the town, 
North street, parallel with Main street and distant about a mile to the 
north, was practically the centre of population, but the progress of later 
years has wrought a great change and brought the centre to the vicinity 
of the manufactories ; but North street must eventually become more 
thickly populated, for in that section are to be found some of the most 
attractive, beautiful and desirable sites for dwellings in the city. 

In area the city comprizes about 9,000 acres, and tliere are between 



2,600 and 2,700 dwellings, at least five-sixths of which are situated with- 
in a radius of three-quarters of a mile of the common, so that it will be 
noted that the city is very compactly built and that the churches, 
schools, stores, etc., are within ready distance of almost the entire 


Waltham possesses the distinction not only of being the youngest 
'city in the state, but of also of having the most novel form of govern- 


ment, in that its charter provides for a single city council or board of 
aldermen, instead of the usual "two boards."' This is such a "munici- 
pal experiment'' in Massachusetts that a few words in explanation 
will be of more than ordinary interest, inasmuch as a considerable de- 
gree of attention has been attracted to the city on account thereof. 
The government of the city is vested in a mayor and a board of aldermen 


of twenty-one members, three of whom are elected by and from the 
voters of each of the seven wards, the mayor being elected at large, 
the above and a school committee of nine members, chosen at large, be- 
ing the only officers elected by the people. The mayor is chief execu- 
tive officer, has advisory supervision of the several departments, is 
a member and the chairman of the school committee, (the legislature 
adhering to this old custom, it being the intention of the framers of the 
charter that the mayor should not perform this duty,) has the power of 
suspension and removal of officers subject to confirmation by the alder- 
men, control of the police force, the power of veto in general and of 
specific items in orders that do not meet his approval, but does not pre- 
side at the meetings of the aldermen, excepting when nominations are 
to be confirmed and a few other special occasions. The board of 
aldermen has general charge of the affairs of the city, makes the appro- 
priations and directs in a general way their expenditure by the several 
boards, decides what shall and shall not be done, in fact, exercises the 
power and authority given to the dual boards in other cities. The usual 
city officers, — clerk, treasurer, auditor, assessors, overseers of poor^ 
board of health, water commissioners, street commissioners, etc., — are 
elected by the board of aldermen, and while exercising the general pow- 
ers of their several offices under the statutes of the commonwealth, are 
under the direction of the aldermen. The latter and the members of 
the boards having charge of departments serve without salary, the more 
active work being performed by clerks and superintendents who receive 
compensation, so that, while the aggregate number of city officers, in- 
cluding those serving at elections, is but little less than two hundred, 
the total salary roll is within a few dollars of the amount paid for simi- 
lar service during the last years of town government. The school 
committee has general charge of the schools and control of the buildings 
so far as relates to their use, the latter being kept in repair, heated, etc., 
bv a board of commissioners of public buildings and grounds, who 
likewise have charge and the maintenance of a large portion of the 
city propertv, the creation of this board having been made necessary by 
the fact that members of the board of aldermen are prohibited under 
the charter from the direct expenditure of money, the functions of the 



aldermen being exclusively legislative, the executive being entrusted to 
heads of the various departments ; hence there are few standing com- 
mittees of the board, and such as do exist relate almost entirely to its 
internal aiTairs. As a check against hasty legislation, the charter 
provides that all orders involving the expenditure of money shall have 
two separate readings, both of which shall not occur on the same day, 
while every order must also pass the scrutiny of the mayor. Another 
feature of the charter is that no officer of the city shall be interested in 


any contract with or furnish supplies of any kind to the city : and 
while the effect of this provision is that the services of efficient men are 
doubtless lost to the city, there is abundant reason to show that it is 
productive of good. The first members of the boards of executive 
officers were elected for one, two and three years, and afterwards the 
places of those whose terms expire are filled by electing for three years; 
thus men of experience in municipal affairs are in office constantly, and 
were the aldermen to be elected in the same manner, and the mayor re- 
leased from duty on the school committee, good results should ensue. 


From the foregoing s\nopsis of the general character of the form 
of government il will be manifest that the legislature of 1884 made a 
radically new departure in incorporating the city of Waltham. A great 
deal of interest was awakened in the charter at the time of its adoption 
and the possibility of securing an improvement over the ordinary form 
of city government and the evils which in some instances are believed 
to be its accompaniment, were brought forward as reasons for the new 
departure. The experience of the first two years has been such as to 
show that these expectations have been realized. Little criticism of the 
charter is heard, the practical results have been highly satisfactory ; the 
placing of the various branches of public service under the charge of so 
many individuals naturally gives the advantage of the concentrated 
thought and attention of men of a variety of opinions and there is closer 
attention to detail ; there has been no attempt at extravagence and, 
aside from those arising from inexperience at the outset, there are few, 
if any, errors to amend ; there has been no clashing, no friction ; public 
officers are selected from the common, every-day, working people, who 
suffer most from oppressive taxation, and who pride themselves that 
their city is well governed and rapidly becoming the model city of the 
commonwealth : a city which is rapidly disproving the saying that cor- 
ruption and extravagance are very natural consequences of the adoption 
of a city charter, and exhibiting a success and establishing a precedent 
whicli no town in the commonwealth need hesitate to follow. 


The assessors'" figures show that the taxable valuation of the real 
and personal property May i, 1886, was $11,398,764. These figures 
are not based upon a fictitious or inflated estimate of property ; on the 
contrary, there is a belief that the gross amount would l)e considerably 
increased were much of the property in the business portion assessed at 
a nearer approach to its actual value. The assurance can be offered 
that, how ever desirable a readjustment of values may be, an inflation 
is not likely to take place, for the doings of the assessors have always 
been characterized by conservatism in this respect and a desire to pro- 



duce equitable results, a careful comparison of the valuation for succes- 
sive years clearly demonstrating this fact. 

Under the laws limiting municipal indebtedness in cities, Waltham 
has a borrowing capacity of about $270,000, a limit which has not been 
reached. January i, 1886, the gross funded debt was $135,000, which 
was decreased by the payment of $5,000, and increased by the appro- 
priation and borrowing of some $100,000 for improvements imperatively 

9'i«/i> ^'ST'i ^^•'J/^'r 


demanded, (among which were included a new school house, new engine 
house for tire department, new streets, drains, replacing bridges de- 
stroyed by floods, and the purchase from the Boston Manufacturing 
Company of a tract of land adjoining the common, at a cost of $60,000, 
for the purpose of enlarging that park and as a site for a future city 
hall,) so that January i, 1887, the gross debt was about $220,000. 
Of this debt $20,000 becomes due in 1887, and will probably be paid ; but 
other improvements, incident to the demands arising in a rapidly grow- 
ing community, are necessary, and therefore the debt must remain sta- 


tionan , if it is not still further increased. In addition, expenditures must 
soon be made for systems of drains and sewers, (the city having prac- 
tically decided to adopt a system of drains for surface water and another 
for sewage,) but as the state, through its future action in establishing a 
a sewerage system for the Charles River valley, will undoubtedh- make 
suitable provision for the negotiation and ultimate payment of appropri- 
ations for the latter purpose, there is every reason to belie\e that no 
taxpayer will experience the slightest inco\enience on account of such 
improvements. The resources of the city are abundant and most satisfac- 
tory. It has recently been decided to divide into house lots and dispose 
of the tract of land known as the "town farm," consisting of several 
acres and most eligibly located, and although the plan contemplates the 
erection of a new almshouse on other land owned by the city, by good 
management a sufficient sum should be realized to leave a handsome 
balance to be applied towards the liquidation of the debt. 

The amount raised by taxation has varied from $150,000 to $180,000 
in past years and has not exceeded the latter figure. A policy of "pay 
as you go" has largely been pursued, save in the erection of public 
buildings or other works the benefit of which would be enjoyed in future 
years, and there is still a belief that this policy is the best. The tax 
rate in 1886 was $13.50 on $1,000, less than it has been for several 
yeai's, which may be attributable to a desire to keep within the require- 
ments of the statute requiring that the tax rate in cities shall not exceed 
$12.00 per $1,000, exclusive of the rate for appropriations for the city 
debt and interest thereon. It is safe to assert that this rate will not be 
materially increased ; hence high taxes are no bugbear in Waltham, and 
the burdens of taxation rest lightly. 

The financial standing of the water works is also excellent. The 
gross funded debt is $465,000, but this amount will not be very much 
ncreased, as the mains are extended in almost every section where the 
"water will be needed for some time. The receipts from rates are such 
that a handsome surplus is had above expenses for the sinking fund 
each year, wliich must increase considerably in future years, so that the 
works are in a very prosperous condition and will be able to fully pro- 
vide for the payment of the debt. 



With the exception of a few loans funded a number of years ago 
the entire debt bears interest at four per centum, and the municipal 
bonds are negotiated at a handsome premium, showing that the credit 
of the city is excellent. 


In the department of public schools Waltham also stands in the 
front rank and has won a high reputation for the town and city in this 

buitrick's block, main street. 

regard. The appropriation for schools is double that for any other 
purpose, although the expense per scholar is not above the average in 
the state, and the citizens and aldermen have always been ready to grant 
generous aid to any purpose that would increase their usefulness and 
efficiency. The city has been fortunate in securing able men to fill the 
office of superintendent of schools and a marked benefit has resulted ; 
the policy of paying liberal salaries has secured a corps of efficient in- 
structors, and in addition the care taken in making selections for this 


service has also tended to the same end. With, therefore, efficient su- 
purintendence, devoted instructors, a school committee to direct the 
whole whose members are zealous in their endeavors to enhance the 
character and effectiveness of the schools, and with all in the service 
ready to listen to suggestions, to examine and adopt, if found worthy, 
the results of the study and investigation of the most advanced minds 
upon educational topics, it very naturally follows that the schools rank 
with the best in the state, are equal to Boston schools, which in turn 
are the best in the country. There is abundant proof of the truth of 
this statement : it is so admitted by those competent to determine upon 
such matters ; the excellence of the schools has been a principal factor 
in inducing people to become residents, and finally, there have been 
frequent attempts on the part of residents of adjoining towns to gain 
admission for their children to the Waltham schools by paying for their 
tuition, the applications for this latter privilege having become so prev- 
alent that the School Committee has recently adopted a scale of rates 
for the tuition of non-resident pupils in the high and grammar schools. 

And while the attention paid to the devolopment of the mental 
faculties of the young people of Waltham is of so satisfactory and laud- 
able a character, the conveniences for their care and shelter are of an 
equally high order. For a long time the school buildings were of a 
standard very similar to the average in "country towns," — comforta- 
ble, but hardly abreast with the times. A first step towards permanent 
improvement was taken in 1869, when a large expenditure was made in 
erecting the present High and North and South Grammar Schools, and 
later, in 1872, another advance was made in deciding to eschew wooden 
buildings and by erecting the Heard-street building of brick, which has 
been followed in later years by the Bacon-street, Prospect-street, 
Orange-street and Grove-street buildings, the latter now in process of 
erection, making a decided change in the character of the school edifices 
and dispensing with the use of most of the older ones. 

The experiment of imparting industrial education is just being at- 
tempted, — another expample of progressive management. — which bids 
fair to be successful. In addition to the day schools, evening common, 
commercial and drawing schools are maintained, for the accommoda- 



tion of the working people, and they are an eminent success. To those 
see]<ing the best educational advantages for their children, in connection 
with a delightful place of residence, an inspection of what Waltham 
offers is urged, with the assurance that the time will be well spent. 


The highways of Waltham a score of years ago were quoted exten- 
sively for their excellence, and it would appear that from the earliest 


days much attention has been paid to them. This reputation for fine 
roads was maintained for some time, and led to the example being fol- 
lowed by other cities and towns, so that while the streets are still in 
fine condition they do not appear so pre-eminently good because the 
poorer streets in neighboring communities have been greatly improved. 


One reason for this excellence was an abundance of good material, easily 
accessible, the famous "blue gravel" being until recently very abund- 
ant, but so much of it has been used on the streets that this material is 
growing scarce, yet with characteristic good judgment the Street Com- 
missioners are very zealous in obtaining the best to be had, both in 
gravel and crushed rocks, of which large quantities are used, all the 
streets being macadamized. These officials are very careful, also, not 
to neglect or show any favoritism in any part of the city's streets : 
consequently there is general satisfaction at their condition. 

With a combination of well-built roads and admirable natural 
scenery, it naturally follows that pleasant drives and walks abound, — in 
fact, no portion of the suburban territory about Boston is more favored 
in these regards. Great pains have also been taken to secure well 
shaded streets, a result of the forethought of a preceding generation, 
■while in later years the Town Improvement Society, and later still, the 
city itself, have carefully provided for the planting of shade trees, either 
in the streets or along their borders, so that a view of the city from any 
of the surrounding elevations shows an amount of handsome foliage 
hardly to be expected in the central part of a city. This policy is 
likely to be continued, for an appropriation is annually made for the 
purpose, and it must be considered a wise and judicious one. 


As the best of good order prevails in Waltham, her citizens being 
law-abiding and peaceful, the expenditure for police service is reduced 
to a minimum. The department consists of nine men, including the 
Chief of Police, and while it is possible that the addition of one or two 
more officers would secure a more ample patrol service, the department 
is efficient, and has been able to fully satisfy all calls for its ser- 
vices. In general quietude, good order and loss from the depredations 
of thieves, Waltham challenges comparison with any other municipality 
of its size and can show a far better record. 

Notwithstanding there is a remarkable immunity from disaster by 
fire, the fire department is on a very efficient basis and is being con- 


■stantly improved. The apparatus is ample and a sufficient supply of 
water under pressure is obtained from the hydrants of the water works 
to render the services of the single steam fire engine necessary only in 
exceptional instances. As but few of the men comprising the depart- 
ment are on duty constantly, the expense of its maintenance is com- 
paratively small, and yet the interest taken in the performance of duty 
and the care and improvement of the apparatus is such that the depart- 
ment is really as efficient as the more costly departments of some other 
cities, especially as the number of fires is much below the average of 
places of equal size and where wooden buildings predominate. Asa 
natural result the rates of insurance are low. 


As intimated, the water wori<s are an important ally of the fire de- 
partment. The water supply is one of the finest in the state and its 
quality is unsurpassed. In locating the pumping station on the banks 
•of the river, it was proposed to draw from that source by infiltration, 
tut in constructing the filtering basin several very large springs were 
opened, from which the supply is entirely drawn, experiments having 
demonstrated that scarcely any water enters the basin from the river. 
The quality of the water has remained, although the supply has fallen 
a little below the quantity demanded by the increased population, but 
steps have been taken to increase the supply, as well as maintain its 
purity, by the purchase of a number of acres of land adjoining the 
pumping station, by which it is believed the supply will be augmented so 
as to serve for a long term of years. Owing to the improvements 
which experience has prompted, there are three methods by which 
water can be supplied to the consumers : first, by pumping into the 
reservoir and permitting the water to flow by gravity into the mains ; 
second, by pumping through a channel made for the purpose in the 
embankment of the reservoir and thence into the pipes, and third, 
by pumping directly into the pipes, using the main extending to the 
reservoir as a stand pipe ; thus combining the advantages of several 
systems of water supply, each of which is well known. The reservoir 


is located a short distance from the pumping station in a natural de- 
pression between two hills, one of which bears an ancient landmark, 
known as "Boston Rock," and from its vicinity a delightful view is to 
l:)e had. 


Among the advantages possessed by VValtham, a feature that all 
can enjoy with cc|ual freedom and pleasure, is the beauty of the natural 
scenery. While it may be that its hills and dells do not possess the 
grandeur of the Alps, its peaceful river the sublimity of Niagara, nor 
its buildings the architectural splendor of Paris, yet there is beauty of 
another cliaracter, there is much that is attractive, pleasant to look 
upon and dwell amidst. The residence portion of the city is pleasant 
because of the well-kept and splendidly shaded streets and the comfort- 
able, home-like appearance of the dwellings ; there are few palatial 
residences, but their general character is such that an excellent impres- 
sion is imparted, and the diversity of architectural taste gives an added 
charm, especially among those houses whicii have been planned with 
a view to personal occupation. The are also delighted by the 
results of the care bestowed upon the grounds about the residences, 
and so general is this desire to make liome and its surroundings attract- 
ive that even the most humble make some pretensions of this kind. 
The outskirts of the city are made charming by the handsome estates, 
well-tilled farms, and a blending of all the forms of rural scenery, and 
their enjoyment is doubled by the excellence of the roads. Let one 
drive in whatever direction he chooses, a delightful experience is sure 
to be the result. Whether one visits the famous "Waverley Oaks" and 
the beatiful little cascade near by, driving through Lyman and Beaver 
streets, past the fine estates of Messrs. Lyman, Paine, Sears. Warren 
and others, and thence over the hills of North street from whence de- 
lightful views are had ; or if the fancy leads one by the historic "Gov. 
Gore place," now owned by Mr. T. W. Walker, and the Farnum, Bright, 
Bowker and Allen estates on lower Main street ; or if the north-western 
farming territory, with its upland and meadow and foi^est-shaded roads, 
is visited; or, again, if South street is chosen and you seek the newly- 



developed "Roberts,'" with its several handsome estates, the pictur- 
esque paper mills and the extensive work constructed by the city of 
Cambridge as a storage basin for its water supply ; or should you visit 
the falls at Stony Brook and the "Devils Den" close by, or simply stroll 
through the streets of the "village," — should you attempt either of 
these walks or drives, the assurance is offered that it will be an event 
fraught with the keenest pleasure, and one will be both surprised at 


and charmed with the beauty of the landscape and the views from the 
many elevations. 

The most noted of the elevations is Mount Prospect, whose sum- 
mit is 482 feet above the sea level, — not a remarkable height, surely, 
yet the view is unsurpassed in this vicinity, and from its position and 
relative height it is one of the most prominent hills in the state. To 


give an idea of what may be seen from Mt. Prospect the following arti- 
cle from the pen of Mr. E.G. Chamberlain, of Auburndale. a gentleman 
who lias given the subject much attention, is quoted : 

"The White Mountains cannot he seen from Prospect, nor from any point 
near Boston. A range sometimes called the 'backbone of Massachusetts' 
crosses Worcester County from south to north, and generally limits the view 
toward the west. Its three principal summits, — Asnybumskit in Paxton, Wa- 
chusett in Princeton, and Watatick in Ashburnham, are conspicuous. Wachu- 
sett, midway between the other two, is nearest and highest. It is thirty-three 
miles distant and 2,018 feet above sea level. It is in line with but exactly op- 
posite in direction from the State House. Watatick, far to the right of Wa- 
chusett, resembles a huge haystack. It is thirty-nine miles off and 1,847 f^^' 
above the sea. This range the eye may follow far into New Hampshire by 
Barrett and Kidder Mountains in New Ipswich, the Temple Mountains, the 
two Pack Monadnocks near Peterboro', Crocket Mountain in Krancestown and 
Kearsarge Mountain in Warner. Pack Monadnock is a remarkable moun- 
tain, with two equal summits about 2,200 feet above sea. Its southern peak is 
northwest and forty-six miles distant. It is directly over Lincoln village, 
which we see four miles off. This mountain has answered in various publica- 
tions for the Green Mountains, and for nearly every prominent mountain in 
New Hampshire. Kearsarge is the most distant point visible, being 753^' miles 
distant. It is 2,948 feet above sea. Over this range may be seen the Grand 
Monadnock, a little to the left of north-west and just to the right of Watatick. 
It is 54?^ miles distant and 3,177 feet above the sea. This is the highest 
mountain visible. In southern New Hampshire, east of the range mentioned, 
are several isolated mountains, of which we can see, among others. Pinnacle 
in Lyndeboro', Joe English in New Boston, and the two Unkonunocks in 
Goffstown. The latter are just north-north-west and about forty-five miles off. 
Close to the left hand edge of the western Unkonunock is seen the distant 
Kearsarge. More to the left is solitary, dome-shaped Joe English. 

"Coming back to our own state, we can see to the west of north, 
Bedford village, nearly eight miles off. Beyond and to the right is the city of 
Lowell. Nearly north is Billerica, twelve miles distant. About north-north- 
west is Andover, nineteen miles away. More to the right is Bald Pate Hill in 
Georgetown, twenty-five miles off. About north-east is the State Lunatic 
Asylum in Danvers. A little north of east is Nahant. Over this we see Egg 


Rock and its lighthouse. Looking easterly we see Boston and its adjacent 
cities and then the harbor. The State House is N. 102° 5' E. from the true 
meridian, and will serve to correct the compass. At its right we see succes- 
sively Boston lighthouse, Long Island lighthouse, Forts Independence and 
Warren, Nantasket, and the Atlantic House. The latter is twenty-two miles 
distant, about east-south-east. To the east is Massachussetts Bay. The sea 
horizon line crosses this at a distance of twenty-nine miles. Sails of vessels 
may be seen much farther off, their hulls being hidden by the earth's convex- 
ity. Towards the south-east we look down into Waltham village. Over it 
we see Newton, Newtonville and Newton Centre. Over the latter we see the 
Quincy portion of the Blue Hills range. Following this to the right we see 
Blue Hill in Milton, 635 feet above the sea and fourteen miles distant. A 
little to the right is West Newton. Over this we see Stoughton, twenty milea 
off. To the right of this, and just south-south-east is Dedham, lo^o miles 
away. Nearly over the watch factory is Newton Upper Falls. More to the 
right is Sharon, more than eighteen miles off. About south is Auburndale. 
Over it we see several villages in Needham. About south-south-west is Frank- 
lin, with the Dean Academy, 22}-2 miles off. To the right of it is Woonsocket 
Hill in Rhode Island, thirty-two miles distant. Nearly under this appears 
Winthrop Pond in Holliston, sixteen miles away. 

"About south-west is Hopkinton, seventeen and a half miles off. Turn- 
ing far towards the west, we see Marlboro', fifteen miles distant, directly in 
line with Asynbumskit Hill. About west is Rutland, nearly thirty-six miles^ 
distant. Turning still to the right we see Princetown, thirty-two miles off> 
just left of the Wachusetts. Between south and south-east, Charles River is 
a noticeable feature. I have mentioned only some of the more prominet ob- 
jects to be seen. I have indentified some prominent building in more than 
seventy-five villages, with others uncertain as yet." 

The above practical account of what i.s to be seen from Mt. Pros- 
pect may be supplemented by the statement that the view is also one 
of incomparable beauty. On the one hand the eye is greeted with an 
extensive range of rural country, embracing distant villages, cultivated 
fields, hill-tops and mountains ; on the other hand the entire suburbs of 
Boston, with that city, its harbor and the more distant bay, form a 
picture pleasant to look upon, while almost at one's feet lies the city of 
Waltham, with its beautiful river slowly flowing onward to the sea^ 


Mt. Prospect is much frecjuented by the citizens and also by the resi- 
dents of adjoining commmunities, who are so delighted with the view 
that one visit is sure to be the precursor of many others. It is the 
fondly cherished desire of many of the progressive citizens, — perhaps 
it would be equally truthful to say the desire of all the citizens, without 
qualification, — that Mt. Prospect may eventually be secured as a public 
park. Surely, such a laudable ambition is worthy of continual effort 
towards its accomplishment, and it may be that the several land owners 
will ultimately be induced to look with favor on this project and make a 
.satisfactory disposal of their property to the city. 

Charles River adds much to the attractiveness of the city, and of 
its beauties much has been written. Originally a narrow and perhaps 
vmimportant stream, the dam erected by the Boston Manufacturing 
Company expanded a goodly portion of it into a slowly-flowing, lake-like 
river, oftentimes of generous breadth, forming numerous coves wherein 
tiie water-lily grows in profusion: its course is sinuous, its banks for the 
major part wooded, and as a whole its scenery is of the most charming 
description, forming an ideal place for pleasure-boating, while a little 
search reveals capital picnic-grounds. The "Waltham River Carnival" 
which annually takes place on the river, has gained a wide celebrity. 
It is held in the evening and consists of a procession of illuminated 
boats, decorated to represent fanciful shapes, prizes being offered for 
the best displays, and accompanied by a display of fireworks. So beau- 
tiful is the scene and so much interest has been awakened in these 
events that the last carnival was witnessed by over 20,000 persons, 
there being nearly 200 illuminated craft in the procession. 

During the summer season a little steamer makes several trips daily 
from the Moody street bridge to the bridge, distant some two and a 
half miles, at Auburndale. These trips are made over the most delight- 
ful parts of the river, and the scenery is so varied and beautiful as to 
attract visitors from a long distance, all of whom unite in pronouncing 
the experience a most thoroughly enjoyable event. Longfellow has 
sung of the beauties of the Charles, and although his lines refer more 
particularly to another portion of the river, they are nevertheless very 
appropriate in this connection. 



There are many other attractive spots and features of local scenery 
of which notice could be made : but the idea has been to present only 
a sufficient number to awaken the interest of the reader and create a 
desire to know more. 


Social life in Waltham is undeniably attractive and enjoyable. 
Every variety of secret societv — the Masons, Odd Fellows, the several 


beneficiary and the temperance organizations — is represented, besides 
which there is a number of social clubs, and, therefore, with the many 
attractive features connected with the nine churches, aside from the 
spiritual benefit derived from their religious services, there is always 
some pleasureable event to anticipate. A prominent feature is the ex- 
istence of several charitable organizations, and a vast amount of good 
is accomplished through the devoted and unselfish endeavors of the 
members. The private social gatherings are in the greatest degree un- 


ostentatious and marked by an apparent earnest desire to impart and 
receive tlie greatest amount of enjoyment, wiiile the same feeling per- 
vades, with equally pleasing results, all public social gatherings, where 
the citizens meet upon the same plane, in a truly democratic manner, 
making social intercourse of the most happy character. The ability 
possessed by a large portion of the citizens in the realms of art, music 
and literature is such that a large number of profitable entertainments 
is offered. Among these may be cited the annnal exhibits of the Pen- 
cil and Brush Club, whose members execute some very creditable work 
with either pencil, brush or crayon ; the concerts of the Choral Society, 
which rank with the best from similar societies in the state : not for- 
getting the important part taken by this talent in the entertainments 
given by the numerous societies, embracing all branches, from the pre- 
sentation of a drama to the plainest form of concert. The season at 
Music Hall affords an opportunity for patrons of the theatre to avail 
themselves of such privileges, and the proximity to Boston, the low 
fares and frequent trains, make easily accessible the manifold attractions 
there to be found. 

Waltham Music Hall, mentioned above, was erected in 1880 by a 
corporation formed among the citizens for the purpose, the late William 
E. Bright being the first president of the company and taking a very 
active part in its organization, as did also the present president, Mr. 
Thomas P. Smith. The property, located on Elm street, consists of a 
a front brick building of three stories, containing two large stores, with 
the main entrance to the hall in the centre, and offices and other apart- 
ments above. The hall proper is situated in the rear and is connected 
with the front building by a structure of one story containing the main 
corridor and ante-rooms. The hall has a seating capacity of 1,037; 
the stage is 30 by 60 feet, with a proscenium arch 26 by 30 feet, while 
the floor of the hall is so constructed that it can be elevated for dramatic 
performances and lowered to present a level surface for genera! useage. 
There are ample dressing rooms and a large banquet hall in the base- 
ment, and a full equipment of scenery and other accessories. 

A majority of the citizens find employment in the several industrial 
establishments or are engaged in business for themselves in the city. 



but there are also many residents engaged in business in Boston, and 
who make Waltham their home because the city is so conveniently 
reached and so desirable as a place of residence, and among this num- 
ber are some of Boston's most prosperous and successful merchants. 
These latter people do not form a community by themselves, but their 
homes are scattered about in pleasant parts of the city. The beauty of 
some of the unoccupied building sites has recently induced several gen- 


tlemen of wealth to erect handsome residences for themselves in the 
outskirts of the city, and there are many more locations, fully as desir- 
able and attractive as those already selected, awaiting similar owners. 

Lady readers will be pleased to know that every variety of retail 
business is represented, and that consequently there is an excellent op- 
portunity for "shopping," while purchases can be made upon as favor- 


able terms as in Boston, with the further advantage of the feeling that 
one is dealing with well known persons and that errors can be readily 
corrected without annoyance. Altliough a number of the stores are not 
located in very imposing buildings, the march of improvement is 
beginning to create a reform in this direction, as illustrated by the 
excellence of the business blocks recently constructed. 


First in importance of the steam railroads is the Fitchliurg, the 
"Hoosac Tunnel Route.'" VValtham is one of the most important sta- 
tions on this great through line in the way of revenue from passenger 
and freight traffic, and in return the citizens receive a train service un- 
surpassed by any other city in eastern Massachusetts, there being over 
thirty trains dail\' to and from Boston, which are run at very conven- 
ient hours of the day and early night, in addition to late theatre trains 
and a sufficient Sunday service. On the main line of this road there 
are stations designated Clematis Brook in the easterly part : Beaver 
Brook nearer the centre : the main station ; Riverview, in close prox- 
imity to the watch factory; Roberts, in the westerly section, and Stony 
Brook, just over the Weston line ; while on the Watertown Branch — 
leaving the main line at West Cambridge and joining it again at Wal- 
tham, — there are stations named Bleachery (from the Boston Man- 
ufacturing Company's works,) and Chemistry, recently changed to 
Newton Street, the latter being on the South Side, and all of the former 
on the North Side. These depots are so located that the residents 
of all sections can take the cars at a very short distance from their 
residences, the running time to Boston on the main line being from 
20 to 35 minutes and on the Watertown Branch about 40 minutes. 

A feature of the railroad accommodations worthy of special men- 
tion is the readiness with which special or extra trains are run between 
Waltham and Boston by the Fitchburg on occasions when any event of 
particular interest to the citizens is to take place in the latter city. 
This service is oftentimes voluntary, and in commenting on that fact a 
local paper recently said — 

"If there ever was a time when the Fitchburg Railroad was too conserva- 



tive in furnishing accommodalions for passengers, that time has long since 
passed away. The unceasing efforts of its managers to accommodate suburban 
patrons in running extra trains on desirable occasions has been appreciated by 
the public, as shown by the liberal patronage. The intelligent classes desire 
to have their homes near a railroad which will give them facilities for reaching 
the intellectual and artistic enjoyments of Boston. The Fitchburg is sowing 
for the future, and it will no doubt reap, as it deserves, an abundant harvest."' 
Running nearly parallel with the tracks of the above road and just 
north of the business portion, is the Central Massachusetts Railroad, 


which has recentl}- been leased b\- the Boston & Lowell for a term ot 
99 years. This road is still in wliat may be termed its infancy ; the 
number of trains is small, yet a goodly number of people are accom- 
modated, and the prospects are good for a largely increased business, es- 
pecially when the adjoining territory is more fully developed. There 
are three stations on this line. Clematis Brook, Waltham and Ham- 
mond Street. 

In the matter of fares, Waltham is particularly well favored; on 


botli roads single tickets to and from Boston sell for 17 cents; a ten 
trip ticket at $1.50, and a one hundred trip at $9.75 ; the latter ticket 
being in very general use, and therefore there is little to be desired in 
this respect. 

A great amount of freight is delivered in and taken from Walthani, 
the Fitchburg handling by far the larger portion, owing to its proximity 
to the leading industries. The management of both roads deals very 
liberally with shippers of merchandise and rates are equitable. The 
facilities for handling freight are not all that can be desired, but im- 
provements are now under way which will give, particularly on the 
Fitchburg, a freight yard, commodious, well located, and very conven- 
ient, while the construction of a new and more imposing central station 
will soon be commenced by this road. 

There is but one purely local corporation furnishing transportation, 
— the Waltham & Newton Street Railway, extending from the depot of 
the Boston & Albany Railroad in West Newton to the westerly part of 
Main street in Waltham. This road passes the watch factory and has 
a patronage sufficient to pay the running expenses, but the return to 
the stockholders has been small. The company is about to extend its 
tracks in other streets than those through which it now passes, and as 
it already is a great convenience, it is highly probable that in the early 
future the road will be on a paying basis. 

There are also a number of local express companies which transfer 
merchandise, both by rail and "over the road," between Waltham and 
Boston. This service is well rendered and is principally made use of 
by the merchants. 


The advantages presented by Waltham to manufacturers are many. 
In the first place, the tax rate is as low as in any city in the common- 
wealth, and is based on a fair and equitable valuation. Insurance may 
be placed at a low premium, the abundant water supply and efficient 
fire department being important factors in this connection. The city 
is situated advantageously and in close proximit\- to the largest markets, 
is within telephone call of Boston, the telegraph service is good, mails 



are frequent and direct to and from the largest cities in the country, 
and merchandise can be shipped, either by freight or express, in any 
direction, expeditiously and favorably, there being the advantage of a 
location on one of the western trunk lines. There is an abundance of 
intelligent, skilled labor, and thus far there has been a marked immu- 
nity from all labor troubles. While there are few unoccupied buildings 
suitable for industrial purposes, land is abundant in desirable locations, 
convenient to the railroads, etc., and there is a general desire on all 
sides to extend to those desiring to engage in manufacturing or remove 


Harrington's block, moody strekt. 

their industries thither every possible advantage and assistance. The 
facilities for obtaining building material are excellent ; there are two 
large lumber yards, the city is within short distance of the several brick 
yards at Cambridge, and there are also several stone workers from whom 
granite and other like material may be obtained. Likewise coal and 
supplies of all kinds are obtainable at as advantageous prices as in any 
city near Boston. An examination of the successful condition of the 
present industries and the advantages they enjoy will yield convincing 


evidence that the city is second to none in this \icinity as a location for 


It has been the endeavor in the preceding pages to present such 
information regarding the city of Waltham, — an outline of its history, 
its municipal and industrial advantages, the characteristics of its popu- 
lation, its attractiveness as a place of residence. — that the reader ma\' 
be made interested in the city, desire to know more al)out it, and, the 
most important object of all, be induced to seek a personal participation 
in its advantages. It is confidently asserted that the picture has not 
been overdrawn ; on the contrary, there is a feeling that the task under- 
taken may not have been fully performed. The field is so broad, the 
varied attractions so numerous and well worthy of the most thorough 
examination, that ample justice may not have been done them. Of 
many features of a city's attractions it is very difficult to present graphic 
descriptions, and hence it will be understood that it has not been at- 
tempted to enlarge upon any one point at the expense of another. 

Primarily, the attention is directed to the statements advanced to 
show that Waltham is a beautiful, well-governed, progressive and self- 
contained municipality, capable of proving an enjoyable abiding place 
for all classes of people. Many new residents have been attracted to 
Waltham because of the facility with which they could secure employ- 
ment : others have found the advantages offered by the schools to their 
children a convincing feature ; merchants have come because they saw 
a good field for business in a growing community : others have found 
the frequent trains and low fares an inducement to build for themselves 
or lease comfortable homes away from their business in Boston ; and 
so something has been found to render the city enjoyable to its citizens. 
Certainly, the disadvantages of a residence in Waltham are few and it 
would be difficult to indicate any such feature, excepting it may be 
that those who are fond of the busy tumult and excitement of the great 
metropolis will not be ])leased with the more conservative life of a 
suburban city. That the community is a healthy one is shown by the 
fact that the death rate in 1886 was but eleven in each 1,000 of popula- 



tion, a result largely attrihuteable to the efficient work of the Board of 
Health during the past few years. 

Having thus faithfully attempted to compile an outline of the in- 
ducements offered by Waltham to people to become residents and to 
manufacturers to locate therein, but little more can be offered further 
than to request of those who have received a favorable impression of 
the city, that thev make a personal investigation and ascertain if the 
actual state of affairs will not more than substantiate the statements 
made. If this be done, it is confidently believed that the mission of 
this little volume will be accomplished, in bringing about accessions to 
the population, industries, wealth and well-being of the progressive city 
of Waltham. 

Part 111.— Industries. 

The following pages contain sketches of the development of some 
of the more prominent industries, which have been prepared in order 
.to give an idea of what the business of the city consists ; also to show 
how important a part they have sustained in the city's growth, and not 
wholly in praise of the several manufactories and their productions. 
The progress of these industries forms an interesting study. Particu- 
larly is this true of the older manufacturing companies, which have 
contributed so much to the city's prosperity. 

Of industrial Waltham it may be said that here was established 
the first cotton factory in the United States in which cotton cloth was 
produced from the raw material by machinery under one roof; the first 
■watch factory in the world, now also the largest and the only one pro- 
ducing a complete watch ; the first and largest crayon manufactory on 
either continent ; the only company in the world that has designed, 
equipped and superintended .the erection of a watch factory. There 
are other industries of which similar mention might be made, and it can 
certainly be said of all that the reputation which has become attached 
to the name "Waltham'' is such that any article bearing that trade 
mark is at once accepted as being of the first and best quality. 

To the careful reader it will also be apparent from the perusal of 
these articles that as Waltham was one of the very first towns to make 
the quality of its roads the standard for other towns and furnish compe- 
tent persons to execute like improvements elsewhere, as well as to take 
the initiative in divers other public improvements, so also has the town 
sent from its pioneer industries men to unite with capital and found 
similar establishments elsewhere. Likewise does the industrial world 
give much credit to Waltham genius for many of the most useful and 
valuable improvements of modern times. 



Within the past score of years there have been many attempts at "writing 
up" the great industry known as the American Waltham Watch Company, 
and it has been the unvarying rule that the introductory sentences of such 
sketches related to the early struggles of A. I.. Dennison and others to estab- 
lish the manufacture of watches: to extend to the art of watchmaking the 
thoroughly American idea that in metal-working, as well as many other things, 
to produce the best and most economical results manual labor must be made 
subordinate and be availed of in the smallest possible degree, and that almost 
entirely in the operation of machinery. It is the present purpose to deal 
briefly with the early years of this industry; and, therefore, after the state- 
ment that the efforts of these inventive and venturesome men resulted much 
the same that the efforts of so many practical mechanicians often do — in fail- 
ure to achieve the financial success thought possible — and it was left for other 
minds to perceive and utilize the value of their experiments and ambitions to 
build up a new industry, the reader is introduced to this enterprise at a time 
■when the first failure had been made, when the factory, started at Roxbury, 
Massachusetts, had been removed to Waltham, where it became known as the 
Boston Watch Company. It had been demonstrated that watches could be 
produced by machinery, but that in that fact was hidden one of the greatest 
industries of the nineteenth century was not developed until later years, after 
the property had passed from the hands of its original owners and after succes- 
sive changes a corporation had been formed under the name of the American 
Watch Company, in 1858. 

At that time the factory consisted of a small concrete building of two 
stories in the form of a hollow square, each side about 100 feet in length, and 
some 75 workmen were employed, the capitalization of the company being 
#200,000. The now populous South Side was very sparsely built upon, much 
of the territory, of which the watch company through its union with theWaltham 
Improvement Society became owner of a large section, being devoted to culti- 
vation or covered with a thick growth of woods; and far-seeing indeed must 
have been the mind that could foretell that from such a modest beginning 
would be evolved the present mammoth industry. 

It was not until the civil war was well under way that the business of the 


company received any marked impetus; but then there came a sudden and 
immensely increased demand for watches, which the company was not slow to 
perceive and realize as its golden opportunity. Then its business grew apace 
and all was bustle and activity; old buildings were torn down and new and 
larger ones erected ; the productive capacity was multiplied many times, yet 
scarcely kept pace with the demand; the employes received high wages and very 
substantial profits were realized from the sale of the watches; the fame of the 
company extended from ocean to ocean, and even to foreign lands. Nor did 
this increase of business cease with the close of the war : in spite of the famil- 
iar exclamation, "Where do all the watches go to!" and of repeated assurance 
that the business was being overdone and must eventually end in financial 
ruin, the industry continued to increase and prosper, and new markets were 
developed at home and abroad, until the Waltham watch is a familiar friend 
and companion in every land, in every clime, wherever it is desired to note the 
lapse of time. Therefore, in 1878 the demand for increased facilities was so 
pressing, notwithstanding the additions repeatedly made, that it was decided to 
abandon the already large series of frame buildings and erect new and 
larger ones of brick. This change was made — the entire factory was rebuilt — 
with scarcely any interruption to the regular routine of work, a feat that is a 
sufficient acknowledgment of the ability of the management; the task occupied 
five years, and that some idea of the magnitude of it may be imparted, the fol- 
lowing statistics are quoted : The buildings have a frontage on Crescent 
street of over 700 feet, with numerous wings extending towards the river, 
and enclosing three inner spacious courts, besides an elegant suite of offices at 
one end and an observatory at the other; the floors cover nearly five acres; 
there are 3).^ miles of work benches, mostly of cherry plank, 2 feet wide and 
2 inches thick; 4,700 pulleys, 8,000 feet of wall rods, 10,600 feet of main 
shafting, 39,000 feet of belting, ranging from 2 inches to 2 feet in width ; the 
machinery is driven by a Corliss engine of 125-horse power. The company 
employs its own carpenters, painters, pipers, etc., and is in every way a self- 
contained establishment. Abundant light is furnished by the large windows, 
and for night work there are 200 incandescent electric lights and over 4,000 
gas lights. There are about 23 miles of water and gas piping, and gas is used 
in 38 furnaces for fuel. The sanitary arrangements are excellent, and much 
attention has been given to the matter of ventilation. The number of em- 
ployes is nearly 2,500, and about 800 persons are employed in the manufacture 
of cases in New York, making a grand total of almost 3,300. 



At the incorporation of the company some 5,000 watches had been made; 
now the company is working upon its fourth inillion, (surely, an ahiiost in- 
conceivable number of watches,) the capacity being upwards of 1,500 per day, 
and the arrangement of the factory is such that this number can be readily 
increased if found necessary. From the small capital at the beginning, the 
stock has from time to time been increased until it now amounts to $2,000,000. 
In 1885 the name of the company was changed to the American Waltham 
Watch Company, in order to secure to it any advantage that might ensue from 
the use of the name Waltham by a watch producing corporation. 



And while the watch company has shown such remarkable and substan- 
tial growth, its neighborhood has undergone an equal metamorphosis. Where 
once the boys and girls of 1857 visited the woods and fields and searched for 
nuts and berries or drove the cows to pasture, the visitor to-day finds a thickly 
settled community, embracing almost the entire South Side, which is practical 
evidence of what the development of the watch industry has accomplished for 
Waltham. The watch company is owner of quite a number of dwellings, of 
both single, double and even a larger number of tenements, in this section, in 
addition to two large boarding-houses, the Shawmut House and the Adams 
House, (the latter having been rebuilt, enlarged and elaborately furnished 
with every modern convenience in i866, forming a delightful home for those of 
the employes who prefer such manner of hving,) but the larger proportion of 
the dwellings are owned by their occupants, foremen and other employes in the 
factory or those who formerly worked there. But this is no ordinary "factory 


village:" in many respects it is without a rival in the world, is unapproached 
«ven by the famous town of Pullman in Illinois, because a larger proportion 
of the people are house-owners; and one not acquainted with Waltham would 
be loth to bdieve that the occupants of the many well-built and architecturally 
attractive houses, with their often spacious and always well-kept la^^•ns, bor- 
dering on luxuriantly shaded streets, were "toilers in a factory." Nevertheless, 
^uch is the case, and it is a fact that is high praise for the men and women 
employed in watch-making: their handiwork is a sufficient guarantee of their 
skill; the taste displayed in erecting and furnishing their homes an<l the care 
bestowed upon their surroundings show equally well that they are people of 
cultivation and refinement. Still further proof of this is seen in the display of 
literary and musical ability, the American Watch Company Band, incorporated 
by several of the employes and composed entirely of their number, ranking as 
one of the finest military bands in the state. If further example of their ability 
is desired, it may be added that a number of the employes are among the most 
capable city officials, several having served in the board of aldermen and one 
of the foremen having been elected mayor for the year 1887. In the summer 
time the South Side, with its shaded streets, attractive dwellings, handsome 
lawns and numerous flower gardens, is a very bower of beauty; and were the 
managers of the watch company unsatisfied with the success of their actual in- 
dustry, they surely can find a source of ample satisfaction in viewing the model 
■city that has been a result of their labors. 

Like its older companion, the Boston Manufacturing Company, the Amer- 
ican Waltham Watch Company has in other ways proved a good friend to the 
town and city of Waltham and has been of marked assistance to the commu- 
nity. Not the least of its work has been the laying-out and maintenance of 
two beautiful parks on Crescent street opposite its works, which, in connection 
with the care bestowed upon the factory grounds, makes the immediate vicinity 
of the works attractive in the extreme. 

There have been numerous changes in the board of officers since the 
incorporation of the company, but Mr. Royal E. Robbins has remained the 
treasurer and general manager during the intervening thirty years. What 
natural, justifiable pride must be the share of one who has been so largely 
instrumental in bringing about such marvellous results; with what satisfaction 
one must view the work of a life time passed in creating such an industry and 
in gathering such a corps of skilled workers, from whom scarcely an unpleas- 
ant word or act was ever had. Such accomplishments are a greater display of 


good generalship than the command of a victorious army, and are worthy of 
a high place upon the rolls of fame. 

Likewise a due acknowledgement is made of the successful efforts of the 
present president of the company, Mr. E. C. Fitch, who for the past four 
years has performed the duties of general manager or agent at the works. 
His intimate knowledge of the business, gained from a long partnership with 
the selling agents, his mechanical and inventive talent and his thorough train- 
ing as a business man, fully furnish him for the responsible place he so success- 
fully fills. 

Having thus noted the substantial growth of this company and the ex- 
cellent reputation established by its employes, it remains to note something 
of the progress made in the actual manufacture of watches and their improve- 
ment. In recognizing the watch movement purely as a machine, the early in- 
troducers of this great industry laid the foundations to future success, and it is 
in the carrying out of this fundamental principle that a world-wide reputation 
has been won for the Waltham watch. One of the first steps was to simplify 
this "machine," to make it of fewer parts, at the same time adapt each part 
to the other, to produce a synchronous whole; the greatest pains were taken 
to secure a perfect original model of a movement, and this being done, it 
was attempted to secure a perfect interchangeability of parts, which has been 
so successfully accomplished that should any part fail in actual service, the 
owner has only to send the number of the watch movement to the factory to 
secure an exact duplicate of the part. The numerous experiments, months of 
arduous labor, the various methods by which the watches were brought to 
the present high standard of excellence, would prove an interesting study, 
especially as contained therein would be found the development of many 
automatic machines — wonderful in their accuracy, delicacy of operation, and 
as marvels of mechanical ingenuity, — which have been an important factor in 
such improvement. Upon this basis the improvement has been continued; 
the effect of the improvement of one part upon another and upon the whole, 
has been carefully studied; the desire to enhance the value of the watch as a 
durable time keeper has extended to a careful, rigid examination of the most 
unimportant part, and nothing has been neglected in the earnest endeavor to 
produce the best in the world. 

To produce a watch movement of ordinary grade some 3,750 distinct op- 
•erations are necessary, so that it will be seen that volumes might be filled with 
interesting descriptions of the various processes through which the rough ma- 


terial passes from its entry into the factory, until it departs a comjileted \\atch: 
that still other volumes coukl be made entertaining in telling of the automatic 
machines evolved by the skilled employes, and that there would then be much 
unsaid regarding the advantages and adaptability of time-pieces produced 
with such remarkable fidelity to theoretical and practical horology, and also 
to accuracy, — many of the measurements being so microscopically tine as to 
jiermit of a variation not exceeding one-ten-thousandth of an inch. 

The increased value which skilled labor in watch making adds to raw ma- 
terial is also an interesting feature. For example, from a pound of steel \\ ire, 
costing al)out S5.00, are made 247,000 minute screws, worth $1,700. Again, 
the average weight of a movement is about one and one-half ounces of metal, 
nine-tenths brass and one-tenth steel, costing 3I.,' cents, while the finished 
movements are worth from $3.50 to $100 at manufacturers' prices. Still other 
examples of alike nature might be cited, as well as others ec|ually instructive 
and illustrative of the value of the precious metals and jewels used in the pro- 
duction of watches. 

The American Waltham Watch Company is the only comj^any in the 
world which makes a complete watch. This may seem a rather broad state- 
ment, yet it is undeniably true. In other watch factories in this country, (the 
Waltham company is the parent of all, several of them being started by talent 
brought from its factory,) some portions of the complete watches are not made 
but are purchased from other manufacturers, and the same is true to an even 
greater extent of the foreign watchmakers, many of whom simply put together 
parts of movements procured from a variety of makers. Thus the Waltham 
company has a marked advantage over all other like manufacturers; it pro- 
duces each and every part of what is designated a perfect watch; it has in- 
spection of every process, every detail, and therefore has ample confidence 
that the guarantee of faithful performance that accompanies each movement 
will, excepting in rare and isolated instances, be fulfilled by its time-keeping 
and other qualities. 

The company manufactures its own cases, in which fully as great im- 
provements have been made as in the movements they are intended to 
enclose. The silver cases are produced at the Waltham factory, the gold cases 
being made in New York city, over 800 hands being employed in this branch 
of the industry, while the value of the precious metals annually consumed 
naturally reaches a very large sum. .'Vmong the improvements in this depart- 
ment it is worthy of note that one of the more recent j^roductions is a case 



without hinges or springs, which screws together, making the watch secure 
against dust and moisture, and so arranged that it is unnecessary to open the 
case for winding or setting the hands. 

Messrs. Robbins & Appleton are selling agents of the American Waltham 
Watch Company, and to this firm is due a considerable portion of the credit 
for the wide extension of the company's business. The offices of the firm are 
found in New York, Boston, Chicago, and in London, in Sydney, Australia, 
and several other foreign cities. 



One of the earliest uses of water power in Waltham was made towards 
the close of the last century, when John Boies began the manufacture of paper 
in a building erected by him on the bank of Charles River east of the present 
Moody street. This industry met with indifferent success, until, in 181 3, the 
mill and water power were purchased by Francis C. Lowell and Patrick T. 
Jaekson, who, in connection with Nathan Appleton and other assooiates, in 
February of that year, secured from the legislature the incorporation of the 
Boston Manufacturing Company, with a capital of ^400,000, for the purpose 
of commencing the manufacture of cotton cloth. In the above year the first 
mill was completed, it being the liuilding nearest the Moody-street bridge, 
which retained very nearly its original proportions until the fall of 1886, when 
it was modernized by the erection of a new roof. During the construction of 
this building Mr. Lowell visited England for the purpose of obtaining improved 
machinery. It was several months after his return that, by constant labor, he 
was successful in perfecting the power loom. Under date of P'ebruary 2, 1816, 
the books of the company record the accomplishment of the first complete 
manufacture of cotton into cloth in this country by machinery, the entry read- 
ing, "1242 yards 4-4," or 36 inches wide. These goods were an imitation of 
those imported at the time from India. The disposal of so limited a product 
as 4,000 yards per week was at first a serious difficulty with the company, as 
at that time only one store in Boston, kept by a Mrs. Bowers in Cornhill, dealt 
in cotton cloth, and home manufacture of this article met with little favor. 
Not until the goods v\'ere offered at auction was a ready sale obtained, the 
cloth bringing by this method of disposal about 30 cents per yard, and as the 
weight was nearly three yards to the pound, after the first sales the success of 
the company was assured. 

A new mill was erected in 1818, increasing the production to 25,000 yards 
per week, consisting of three widths, 30 in., 37/0 in., and 54 in., the market 
price being 30, 37,fo and 50 cents per yard for the respective widths. In 
February, 181 9, the corporation purchased the property of the Waltham Cot- 
ton and Wool Factory Company, for the sum of $200,000, increasing at the 
same time its own capitalization to $600,000, and a Bleachery was established 
there. In order to connect the two mills the intervening land on the north 
side of the river was purchased : River street was laid out, Newton street 


widened an<! large numbers of shade trees planted. There is little doubt had 
the motive power of the "classic Charles" been ecjual to that of its sister, the 
Merrimac, Waltham would have been the largest manufacturing centre in this 
country, as it was the lack of this force that in 1822 prompted the incorporators 
of this company to build the mills of the Merrimac Manufacturing Company at 
Lowell, the larger portion of the skilled labor that first had in charge the mak- 
ing of the "Spindle City" being sent thither from the parent company in 
Waltham. The books of the company contain many names of men known 
to fame as the the pioneers of New England's greatest industry. At one time 
Levi Colburn, whose "mental arithmetic" has caused many a youthful brain to 
reel, was employed in the mechanical department; and it was in these his- 
toric alleys that our honored townsman, General Banks, began life as "the 
Bobbin Boy" and received the inspiration for a larger (ield of usefulness. 

In older limes it was considered a great honor to be permitted to work in 
the cotton factory; the leading citizens were there employed and several of 
them resided in the "Long Block," a long line of tenements situated just south 
of the common on land that the city has recently \oted to purchase of the 
manufacturing company; and many are the names of men, since made famous 
and holding prominent positions in the country, that appear on its records. 
Few corporations can take so much pride in their record in connection with 
the town in which they are located as can the Boston Manufacturing Company, 
celebrated in this regard fully as much as being the juoneer manufactory of 
cotton cloth by machinery. Its attitude towards Waltham in its earlier days 
was honorable in the extreme, and should be remembered l)y the present resi- 
dents of the city, at a lime when the generation ac<iuainted with the earlier 
history of the company and its benevolent acts is rapidly passing away and 
is being succeeded by another interested mainly in the present and future. 

At the incorporation of the company, and for a time afterward, the town 
■was poor in purse and population. It was at such an uncomfortable lime that 
the Boston Manufacturing Company came forward and established schools for 
the benefit of the working people, one of which is still standing at the eastern 
extremity of the factory yard, while another, south of Music Hall, is now oc- 
cupied as a residence. Further than this, $500 were appropriated for a library; 
assistance was rendered in building churches; aid was granted the new Fitch- 
burg railroad; a savings bank was established, in which the wages of the 
em])loyes were deposited and interest allowed, this bank being, it is said, the 
nucleus of the present Waltham Savings Bank; and in divers other ways was 



an interest manifested in the welfare of the people of the times. Not the least 
of these was the formation of the Rumfofd Institute in 1826, the erection of 
Rumford Building in 1827, and the presentation of its library to that institute, 
which became incorporated by act of legislature in 1858, General Banks, a 
member, very appropriately signing the act as governor. Still other instances 
of this nature might be cited, but enough has been presented to show that at 
least one corporation has a soul and that it was greatly interested in the wel- 
fare and improvement of those within its care. 

It would be productive of interesting results to compile from the records 
of the company an account of the many improvements in cotton machinery 
that have been made by those in its employ since the first use of the power 
loom, nearly seventy-five ago. But such an instructive task is beyond the lim- 
its of the present article, and therefore it can only be said that such improve- 
ments have been many and valuable, while outside of the realm of cotton 
manufacture a number of general improvements have been made, among them 
being one of the earliest uses and improvement of the circular saw and the in- 
vention of a cylinder stove for burning coal. 

The growth of the company has been without cessation. In 1832 the 
capacity was 12,000 spindles, and imjirovements were constantly being made in 
the buildings. New water wheels were added and in 1833 ^ new canal, the 
present one, was built, which is capable of using all the water of the river. 
The failure of water in 1836, by reason of a drought, caused the introduction 
of steam power for use in emergencies, and ten years later this engine was re- 
moved to the Bleachery and a larger one substituted. A new dam of granite 
was built in 1847 to replace the old wooden one, and five years later a new 
mill, 200 feet long and 80 feet wide, was built for extra wide sheetings, and at 
this time about the first wide sheetings were made in this country in this mill, 
by which the number of spindles was increased to 40,000. Steadily the busi- 
ness of the company increased, and the numerous improvements continued. 
In 1873 a new mill, 150 x 91 feet, was erected, and in 1879 another, 117 feet 
'n length, was added, and in 1882 it was increased to its present dimensions, 
the building alluded to being the most easterly one of the group; which is 
decided by mill owners to be one of the finest structures of the kind in the 
country. It is of unusual width, which facilitates the amount of manufacture, 
and was built in the most substantial manner. The general condition of the 
mills is spoken of by insurance men and other specialists as excellent, and 
many visitors of this class have been heard to comment favorably upon the 

72 rilK CITY OF waltham. 

care bestowed in this regard; in every way is the property, the actual value of 
which is in excess of the capitalization, supplied with all the improvements that 
modern ingenuity can suggest. 

Without attempting to further detail the progress of the company, let it 
he said that the number of its spindles has increased at the present time to 
about 60,000. The water power being uncertain, and for four or five months 
in the year but 30 horse power per day being obtainable, although at high 
water 450 horse power can be used, steam was several years ago more gener- 
ally introduced, and to-day two engines, each of 600 indicated horse power 
furnish the motive power for the larger part of the mills, the machinery in the 
buildings nearest Moody street only being driven by water power when it is 
obtainable through the large turbines. Under the boilers 4,000 tons of coal 
are annually consumed, and in years having dryest periods even this amount is 

Appended is a table showing the width and style of goods manufactured, 
the number of yards, the retail price of each style and the total consumption 
of cotton during the year just closed : 

Cotton delivered at mills for year ending Nov. i, 18S6, 7,000 bales, 3,000,000 lbs. 

Yards manufactured during the same period, 8,000,000- 

Leading Styles of Goods Manufactured attd Retail Price Per Yard. 





Boston F. 

36 inches. 


" G. 



Waltham XX. 

36 ■ 


9V2 Half Bleached. 

Boston H. ■ 


1 1 

" P. 

46 ' 



" I. 



'• J. 


17 20 

•' K. 


21 24 

" 1>. 


23 29 

■' M. 


26 2S 

" N. 

1 1-4 

Same as 

10-4 Bleached. 

K.J. Sateen. 

2S inc 


S In Colors. 

During its life the company has manufactured goods to the value of 
$47,000,000, and has paid to its employes, the present numljer of whom is 
1,900, the sum of over $25,000,000 in wages. 

In 1 868 the manufacture of hosiery was commenced, largely at the Bleach- 
ery, and the product gradually increased until it reached 24,000 dozens per 
month. The manufacture of hosiery, however, was a few years ago aban- 
doned, it being found unprofitable to compete with the large importations from 


Germany, where it was manufactured at low cost. Therefore, the manufacture 
of gauze, gossamer, balbriggan and summer undershirts and drawers was com- 
menced, and this branch of the business has increased so that at the present time 
some 1 50,000 dozens per year are manufactured. Nearly the entire "old mill'' — 
the building nearest Moody street — is devoted to this branch of the business, the 
reputation gained by the goods, especially during the last two or three years, 
being such that this branch has become of decided importance. The 
large rooms in this department are lighted by means of an incan;lesccnt electric 
light plant, and the steadiness of the power obtained from the large engines is 
such that a beautiful light is obtained. The demand for the various qualities 
of the underwear manufactured is such that the plant for their production has- 
of necessity been continually increased, while the recent additions and the re- 
arrangement of the departments have given such increased productive capacity 
that in the near future the product will exceed even the large number of doz- 
ens per annum given above. 

The success of this company is a lasting monument to the excellent man- 
agement of its directors and agents. Of the latter there have been but four, 
Dr. Hobbs, I. R. Scott, M. U. Adams, the latter resigning in 1884 to become 
treasurer of the Potomska Mills, New Bedford, and being succeeded by Mr. A. 
M. Goodale, formerly of the Hamilton Woolen Co. 

The goods manufactured by the company stand very high in the market,. 
and this is especially true of its wide sheetings, which have a reputation 
surpassed by none in the state, and which command as high a price as any. 
Few manufacturing companies can show a brighter record, either in the suc- 
cess which has attended its development and manufactures and their quality^ 
or in the kindly, helping disposition which it has shown towards the town and 
city in which its mills are located. 

The selling agents of the cloth and underwear produced by the com- 
pany are Messrs. Townsend & Yale, of 345 Broadway, New York, who also 
have branch houses in Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. Edmund Dwight, 
Esq., is the treasurer of this successful company, with office at 50 State street, 
Boston. He is a gentleman of wide experience in cotton manufacture, and 
the mills have never been more prosperous than since his acceptance of the 
office and its responsibilities some fourteen years ago. 



The Bleachery plant of the Boston Manufacturing Company is situated on 
the banks of Charles River nearly a mile below the cotton mills, and occupies 
the site of the Waltham Cotton and Wool Factory Company, a corporation 
formed in iSiO. This latter company transacted quite a large business for the 
period at which it existed. From a reliable source it is learned that some 200 
persons were employed and that the product at times amounted to 10,000 
yards of cloth per week. But the company did not meet with fiuancial suc- 
cess and in 1819 the property was purchased by the Boston Manufacturing 
Company. At the time of this purchase the principal building was a large 
wooden spinning mill. This was torn down and a bleachery commenced, to- 
gether with a mill, completed in 1821, for the manufacture of a better grade 
of cotton cloth. From this modest beginning the operations gradually in- 
creased and frequent additions were made to the plant. The most important 
alterations of recent years occurred in 1873-4, when many of the older build- 
ings—particularly the large wooden drying houses, which changes in the 
several processes rendered unnecessary,— were demolished and new and more 
modern structures of brick erected. The manufacture of cloth was relin- 
quished a number of years ago, and more recently the hosiery, later the under- 
wear, department was removed to the upper or cottton mills, thus leaving the 
entire capacity of the works available for bleachery purposes. 

The Waltham Bleachery and Dye Works, although a part of the Boston 
Manufacturing Company, is in many respects distinct therefrom. Originally 
equipped to Finish, dye and bleach the goods of the cotton mills, at the present 
time this is but a small portion of the work, which has continually extended 
until its customers are found from Maine to California and from New Hamp- 
shire to Georgia, the record for the year ending May i, 1886, showing that 
17,659 miles oi cloth were handled, the average being about 100,000 yards 
each working day, requiring the services of 230 persons in the various depart- 
ments. In its specialties this Bleachery is not equalled by any other company 
in the country, and a point is made of sending from the works nothing un- 
worthy of the "Waltham" standard, a fact so well appreciated by the trade 
that there is always plenty of orders on hand. 

Within the past year a new building, 80 by 120 feet on the ground floor 
and 80 by 40 feet on the two upper stories, has been erected in place of the 



ong,n.l buiWing co.npleted in ,821, which gave facility for the addition of a 
new department for tentering and (inishing fine goods. There also might be 
enumerated a great many additions and improvements made in the machinery 
and m other ways, so that the works, forming one of the largest bleacheries 
in the Un.ted States, are mentioned as representing the highest degree of per- 
fection and efficiency in this class of work. 

During the summer time the beauty of the grounds renders them very 
attractive; there is a well kept lawn shaded by noble trees, and in the beds 
bordering on the walks are over one hundred varieties of roses, which, with 
the fohage of the vines trained over the walls of some of the buildings, are so 
beautiful as to be worthy a visit from a long distance to see 

From ,873 to 1885 Mr. C. H. Mann was agent of the works, but since 
the latter date they have been in charge of Mr. B. T. Stephenson 

con ON Mii.i.s IN 1820. 




As one stands at the depot of the Fitchburg Railroad in Waltham and 
looks westward, the attention is attracted by a conspicuous sign bearing the 
name, "Waltham Emery Wheel Company." A closer inspection reveals the 
fact that this company is comfortably quartered off Felton Street in a large 
brick building, to which a large wooden structure of two stories has been re- 
cently added in order to accommodate the increasing business and the 
processes employed in manufacturing emery and corundum wheels. 

The origin of this company dates from 1880, at which time Mr. Henry 
Richardson, a skilled mechanician in the employ of the American Watch Tool 
Company, began to experiment in the manufacture of emery wheels, the main 
object being to produce an article especially adapted to the finer classes of 
work, notably the uses to which emery wheels would be put in watch-making 


and its branches. His experiments resulted in the perfection of a process by 
which emery wheels of the finest quality were made, and the demand for 
them became so great that he was soon obliged to devote his entire attention 
to their manufacture. In about a year the business reached such proportions 
that assistance was needed, and therefore Mr. Henry Shuman became asso- 
ciated with Mr. Richardson. Room was secured in the brick building now 
occupied and the manufacture pushed with renewed vigor, the business being 
conducted under the name of the Richardson Emery Wheel Company, later 
the name being changed to the present title, Waltham Emery Wheel Company. 
In 1883 the industry still increasing, and further assistance being necessary, 
Mr. H. P. Hyde became associated with these gentlemen as treasurer and 
manager of the company. Having had an experience of nearly twenty years- 
in emery wheel manufacture with several of the older companies, in addition 
to a wide acquaintance with the trade, Mr. Hyde was well i|ualified for this 
position, so that the originators of the industry were enabled to devote their 
attention to the perfection of new methods of manufacture and the produc- 
tion of wheels suited to a wider range of work. Such has been their success 
that a steady and increasing demand has been created for each new variety of 
wheel as it has been produced; and instead of the small room in which the 
operations were commenced, the company now occupies the entire ground 
floor of the l)rick buiUling, besides the entire new building, in which are two 
large kilns and other apparatus, and instead of the personal labors of Messrs. 
Richardson and Shuman hve years ago, the business now requires a force of 
twenty-five persons in order to supply the demands of customers in every part 
of the United States. 

By way of introduction to a statement of the present business of the 
company, it may be said that emery and corundum wheels are usually made 
by one of three processes, each of which has its peculiar advantages and im- 
parts to the wheels various properties: hrst, by mixing the emery with some 
elastic cement; second, a chemical process, by forming with various kinds of 
cement and using a low degree of heat or without the use of heat, and third, 
mixing the emery with a proper flux and subjecting to intense heat, in which 
the flux itself becomes a good cutting substance. 

It may be added that the methods by w hich the wheels are made and the 
materials which enter into the composition of the cements, fluxes, etc., are 
"trade secrets," various processes being used by different manufacturers, and 
that the adaptability of the wheels to various grades of work depends very 


largely upon the success attained in determining the proper proportions of 
such materials. 

The wheels first made by Mr. Richardson were by the first named process 
and they are known as the "Richardson Wheels." They are very elastic, 
possess superior cutting qualities, great strength and are unfjuestionably the 
best wheels ever produced for fine \\ ork and use on automatic machines. As 
an example of their strength and cutting quality, it may be stated that the 
writer recently saw one of these wheels, 10 inches in diameter and 1-16 inch 
thick, revolving at about 1800 revolutions per minute, cut a slot in an ordi- 
nary flat file, 1-4 inch thick and of the usual hardness, at the rate of two 
inches per minute. 

There are to-day very few mechanical processes in which emery, in some 
form, is not used for finishing or polishing, — work ranging from the smooth- 
ing of huge castings in the iron foundry, to the finishing, in automatic grind- 
ing machines, of a piece of hardened steel to an accuracy of measurement 
permitting a variation not exceeding one-ten-thousandth of an inch, and in- 
cluding the grinding or sharpening of the cutters and knives of automatic and 
other machines, "gumming" the teeth of saws, and a great diversity of other 
uses, for which wheels of special shapes are made. Therefore, from the man- 
ufacture of a wheel adapted to a single line of work, the Waltham Emery 
Wheel Company has enlarged its operations until at the present time all the 
above processes of manufacture are employed in producing wheels ranging 
in size from I -4 of an inch to 26 inches in diameter and from 1-32 of an inch 
to 4 inches or more in thickness, and adapted to all classes of work. 

Not only is there a large variety of sizes manufactured but there is also 
an equal diversity in the composition of the wheels, for the company recog- 
nizes very fully the fact that one composition will not produce wheels adapted 
to all kinds of duty, and to its success in adapting the composition of the 
wheels to the work they are designed and expected to perform is attributable 
and due the larger part of the increase of business and the excellent reputation 
gained. The company at present has a producing capacity larger than many 
of the older companies, and the reputation of its goods is unequalled in 
quality, adaptability and working qualities. 

In addition to the manufacture and sale of wheels, the company deals 
extensively in emery wheel machinery, emery and corundum, and its success 
in all branches of the business furnishes abundant proof of sound business 



The extensive works of this company are situated beside the Watertown 
Branch Railroad a short distance east of the Bleachery station. The business 
•was originally established in 1844 by Mr. R. P. Davis in a building near the 
Moody-street crossing of the Fitchburg railroad. After a few years it passed 
into the hands of Mr. F. J. Davis, who in i860, in order to meet the demands 
of an increasing business, erected a much larger foundry on Felton street, it 
being the building now used by Mr. Francis Buttrick for the storage of lumber. 
* In a short time after this latter date, Mr. John R. Farnum became interested in 
the business and a partnership was formed under the style of Davis & Farnum, 
which was changed to the Davis & F"arnum Manufacturing Company in 1876. 

In the meantime the facilities afforded by the plant on Felton street were 
completely outgrown, owing principally to the excellent reputation established 
by the firm in certain lines of its manufactures, and therefore to give the nec- 
essary increase in productive capacity, the present extensive works were 
erected and occupied in 1870. They consist of a foundry building, 250 by 125 
feet, provided with three cupolas having a combined capacity of melting thir- 
ty-five tons of iron per day, running a three-hour heat; a pattern shop and 
a pattern storage building, each about 100 feet square, a sheet iron shop about 
100 by 50 feet, and an office building, besides several tenement houses for the 
accommodation of the workmen and their families. The works are fully 
equipped in every way and are capable of producing a large amount of work, 
upwards of 150 persons being employed in the busiest seasons. 

The company does a general foundry busines, its ojjerations including the 
manufacture of large quantities of «ater and gas pipe and special castings for 
water and gas companies, the construction of iron roofs, and any kind of iron 
castings that may be desired. 

Its specialty is the production of complete plants for coal gas works, em- 
bracing all the machinery and other apparatus in use by them. Among the 
gas works erected by the company may be mentioned those at St. Johns, N. 
B., Decatur, Cairo and Centralia, Ills., Vincennes, Intl., Vineland, N. J., 
Bath, N. v., Palatka, Fia., Spencer, Mass., Westerly, R. I., Waltham, Mass., 
and others. In addition the company has reconstructed and made additions 
to almost every New England gas company's works, and other similar works 
in different sections of the country. 


Some of the plants mentioned above are (|uite extensive, and the man- 
ner in which they have been constructed ant! the successful operation of all 
the varied apparatus have elicited for the company much favorable comment. 
Therefore the assertion can be safely made that no other company has given 
better satisfaction in this line than has the Davis & Farnuni Manufacturint^ 

The company has excellent facilities fdr handling its manufactures. It is 
connected by side-track with the Fitchburg Railroad, and besides employs 
from twelve to fifteen horses in transporting manufactured goods and raw 

Mr. John R. Farnum, to whose ability the company is indebted for the 
larger part of its large business, its excellent reputation and substantial financial 
standing, is the business manager of the firm, whose Boston office is at Room 
55, Mason Building, 70 Kilby Street. 


In 18S3, after a connection of more than twenty years with the American 
Watch Company. Mr. Charles V. Woerd resigned his position as general 
superintendent of that company's factory, and inirchascd the plant of the Wal- 
tham Watch Tool Company, a firm engaged in the manufacture of watch tools, 
etc. Soon after this purchase a new company was incorporated under the 
same name for the purpose of manufacturing watch tools, implements of pre- 
cision and time pieces. After a considerable quantity of machinery hafl been 
made for various watch companies, the company decided to turn its attention 
to the jirincipal purpose of its incorporation, the manufacture of watches, and 
accordingly a tract of land on Charles street was purchased of the town and a 
factory building, 100 by 25 feet, of three stories, erected thereon, this building 
being but a single wing of the larger Iniilding it is proposed to erect hereafter. 
As soon as the building was occupied the company continued with increased 
vigor the making of tools and machinery for its own use. In 1885 the name 
of the company was changed to the United States Watch Company, Mr. T. B. 
Eaton being its president and Mr. C. V. Woerd, treasurer and general mana- 
ager. The preparatory work continued until the fall of 1886, when the 
construction of watches was commenced, and early in January, 1887, the first 



movements were placed on the market. This new watch is somewhat novel 
in design and competent judges state that it possesses considerable merit. As 
the company has already received a number of orders for its watches the out- 
look for the future appears to he excellent, especially as it has for its treasurer 
and general manager one who is so thoroughly acquainted with the details of 
of watch manufacture, who is a skilful and thorough mechanician, and through 
whose inventive genius much of the automatic and other machinery in use in 
watch factories has been produced. 




In 1796-8 Mr. Nathan Uphani erected a small building at Stony Brook 
near the present South street, in which he manufactured paper. The mill was 
afterward operated successively by Messrs. Henry Kimball, .Sawyer, William 
G. Parker, and in 1822 was purchased by Mr. Cromwell Gibbs, father of the 
well known Col. William Gibbs, who worked there when a boy. The product 
of the mill at this time was wrapping paper, which was manufactured by hand, 
but in 1828 paper making by machinery was commenced, a Foudrinier ma- 
chine, built by Jabez Walcott, was introduced, this being the fourth or fifth 
similar machine to be used in the state. After Mr. Gibbs' death in 1833, the 
property was purchased by Messrs. John and Stephen Roberts, of Watertown, 
who continued to manufacture the same grade of paj^er. The Messrs. Roberts 
improved the water power greatly and purchased the land necessary to flow 
Roberts pond or obtained perpetual flowage leases from the neighljoring farm- 
ers. Several years later Mr. John Roberts (a gentleman deeply interested in 
local affairs and instrumental in bringing about a number of public improve- 
ments, while his integrity of character and other virtues won for him an envia- 
ble reputation,) purchased his brother's interest in the property and began the 
manufacture <;f sheathing ]iaper. He invented and perfected a process for the 
manufacture of non-adhesive tarred sheathing paper, and it is believed that 
these mills produced the first paper of this kind made in the United States. 
Naturally, under such circumstances, the capacity of the mills was taxed to the 
utmost to supply the demand for this paper. 

The mills have been twice destroyed by fire, but they were immediately 
rel)uilt, the present substantial stone buildings taking the place of the former 
wooden structures. The water power proving somewhat unreliable, a large 
Corliss engine \\as purchased several years ago, and it is now the principal 
source of power, since the water jiower was destroyed in 1885, when the City 
of Cambridge began the construction of its large storage basin. Several of 
Mr. Roberts' sons assisted him in the business, and in 1869, Mr. William Rob- 
erts, then chief engineer in the United States Navy, resigned his position and 
was taken into partnership under the style of John Roberts & Son, and the 
business is still continued under the same name by Mr. William Roberts. 

Formerly tarred paper was the chief product, but within the past few 
years paper for building jiurposes has taken its j)lace. The firm is also (me of 


the few concerns which have made a success of the manufacture of asbestos 
paper, which is fire-proof, and used for scenery, steam packing and a variety 
of other purposes. The mills produce a large quantity of paper each week, 
and so successful has been their management that they are constantly busy in 
supplying the demand for their product. 

For the reception and shipment of freight there are ample side tracks on 
the Fitchburg railroad at Roberts station, and a large portion of the product 
of the mills is transported over the road to Boston, where the goods are 
shipped to the great business centres of the world. 


Crayons for use in schools and by carpenters, tailors, etc., v\ere first pro- 
duced in Waltham in 1835, t>y Dr. F. F. Field, a skilful dentist, who invented 
a process for their manufacture, this being one of the earliest productions of 
crayons in the entire world. For several years the industry was of small im- 
portance, being conducted as a side issue in connection with his regular prac- 
tice. Eventually, however, the business passed into the hands of Mr. Zenas 
Parmenter, and then became a more important industry. For some time the 
business was conducted by Mr. Parmenter and by Messrs. Parmenter, Powers 
& Powell, in a small shop on Lexington street, afterwards destroyed by fire. 
Subsequently the firm became known as Parmenter & Walker, and after the 
increasing business demanded more room and greater conveniences than were 
afforded by the building then occupied on Felton street, the "old bedstead 
factory," situated near the Watertown Branch railroad, was bought and the in- 
dustry removed thither. A portion of the building only was occupied at first, 
but the increase of business was so steady and continual that not only was the 
whole building required, but it was repeatedly enlarged and added to, so that 
at the present time the large building used for processes of manufacture and 
storage occupy a floor space many times the capacity of the original structure. 
From the small beginning the capacity of the works has increased until at the 
present time 30 to 40 cases of crayons are produced daily, which amount can 
be doubled should necessity require. 

In 1881 Mr. Walker's interest was purchased by Mr. Parmenter, and in 


the following year a corporation was formed under the name of the Parmenter 
Crayon Company, with a paid-in capital of $45,000. Mr. Zenas Parmenter is 
treasurer and general manager of the company, and to his business sagacity, 
enterprise and intimate knowledge of the details of the business is due the 
credit for the world-wide reputation of the "Waltham Crayons,"' as « ell as for 
the excellent financial standing of the company. 

The present products of the company are the ordinary white round, the 
"Waltham" and "Pyramido" dustless in assorted colors, and the "Pyramido" 
school crayons, together with shoe, carpenters', lecturers' and tailors' chalk. 

To the casual observer it may not be apparent that there is much differ- 
ence between one lirand of crayon and another, but let one compare a round 
crayon such as was commonly manufactured a score or even less number of 
years ago with a "Waltham" or "Pyramido" crayon, and the superior qualities 
of the latter will at once be apparent, and it will be evident that the march of 
improvement has not been wholly outside of this field of industry. In the 
modern crayon will be noted a freedom from all "grit;" its marking qualities 
are excellent, and its use is accompanied by the least possible exertion, scarcely 
any perceptible noise and a remarkable freedom from dust, — features which 
any person using crayons extensively will quickly appreciate, (especially if they 
have been accustomed to the use of crayons of inferior quality,) and which 
are acknowledged as pre-eminent factors in the success of and reputation 
gained by the Waltham Crayons. Likewise the chalk manufactured by this 
company for the use of artizans is of excellent (|uality. Smoothness and uni- 
formity of texture is another feature of this company's goods, and in every way 
the aim is to make them as near perfection as possible. 

Necessarily the demand for goods of this description is a limited one, but 
nevertheless the Parmenter Crayon Company does a large business, its daily 
product being largely in excess of the combined out-put of all other manufac- 
turers in the country. Its wares are in extensive use, in addition to home 
■consumption, in all parts of Europe and shipments are made even to the more 
distant New Zealand and [apan; so that the fame of Waltham Crayons goes 
hand in hand with that of Waltham watches, and "makes its mark" in many a 
■clime. Thus the progressive management of Mr. Parmenter, who has been 
identified with the business since its introduction, has succeeded in building 
up this pioneer industry into the largest crayon manufactory in the world. 




An accompanient of the wonderful increase in the production of watches 
■during the last quarter of a century has been the demand for watch-repairers' 
tools, which should be more accurate, in keeping with the delicate mechanism 
■of the modern watch and capable of producing equally accurate work. This 
■demand has been a continually increasing one, until at the i^resent time the 
industry has reached large proportions. 

In 1861 Mr. Ambrose Webster, then in charge of the American Watch 
•Company's machine shop, prevailed upon the management to manufacture a 
number of lathes for watch-makers' use, from drawings which he prepared and 
which are now in his possession. But few of these lathes were manufactured 
and they are believed to have been the first American Combination Lathes 
produced. In 1862 Messrs. Kidder and Adams, machinists in the employ of 
the watch company, feeling that there was an opening for the manufacture of 
watch repairers' tools, embarked in that enterprise, using Mr. Webster's model 
for their lathes; but the business did not prove remunerative, and after a 
number of changes passed into the hands of the Messrs. Stark, by whom it is 
«ow continued. Ten years later, in 1872, Messrs. J. E. Whitcomb and G. F. 


Ballou, skilled machinists also employed in the watch factory, left that com- 
pany and engaged in the same business, with the intention of making tools of 
a high grade. They produced what has become famous as the "Whitcomb 
lathe," embodying in it the distinctive features which the experience of the 
watch company had found to produce the best results. In 1874 Mr. Ballou 
retired and Mr. Whitcomb continued the business under the name of the 
American Watch Tool Company. In 1876 a new partnership was formed, 
consisting of Messrs. Whitcomb, Webster, (who resigned his position as 
assistant superintendent of .American Watch Company,) and others. In 1877 
a building was erected by the company near the Watertown Branch Railroad, 
the present location, which has been twice added to, and under the pro- 
gressive management of Mr. Webster the l)usiness was greatly extended. 
Originally manufacturing but two sizes of lathes with a small number of at- 
tachments, three sizes are now produced with a greatly increased variety of 
attachments, many of which are marvels of ingenuity and which furnish the 
watch repairer \\ith abundant means for performing the many processes necess- 
ary in modern watch repairing, the result being a series of lathes that are used 
by very nearly four ///i9«,frt«rt^ watch-makers in the United States and Canada, 
the number of lathes sold in 1886 being six hundred and ten. Besides the 
three sizes of lathes for watch-repairers, three other sizes are made, for 
machinists' use and for larger and heavier work. 

As an accompaniment to the "Whitcomb Lathe" the "Webster Foot Wheel" 
has been produced. This wheel embodies many excellent features and has 
been received with marked favor, as will be noteil from the statement that 
over ei£;ht hundred have been sold during the past four years. 

And while achieving such success in the manufacture of lathes, the 
.American Watch Tool C()m])any has also developed an enviai)le reputation 
for the production of watch and clock-making machinery, included in these 
being automatic pinion cutters, stafi-turning lathes, punches and dies, epicy- 
cloidal machines, slide spindle lathes, milling machines, etc., among its custo- 
mers in this branch being included almost every watch factory in America, 
others in England and Switzerland, besides several clock companies, for whom 
tools and machinery of the most intricate nature have been constructed. Also, 
in the manufacture of machinery of delicate construction and requiring math- 
ematical accuracy, has this company gained an excellent reputation, evidence 
of which is had from the numerous orders for this kind of work. The com- 
pany has also executed a number of orders in laying out and making of 


proper form the teeth of wheels and pinions for watches anrl clocks, and is 
the only company in the United States performing such work. 

Through Mr. Webster the company has assisted in organizing and efjuip- 
ping more than one watch factory, and as an example it may be cited that the 
works of the Waterbury Watch Company were designed, built and equipped 
under this gentleman's personal supervision, besides which a large portion of 
the equipment of the Cheshire, New Haven and Aurora Watch Companies 
and the Seth Thomas Watch and Clock Company, in addition to machinery for 
other similar companies, was furnished by this company. 


This firm is one of the oldest establishments of its kind, the senior Mr. 
Stark having been engaged in the manufacture of watch repairers' lathes, etc., 
for some twenty-five years. The business was formerly conducted in a build- 
ing in the rear of Central Block, but for a number of years the firm has 
occupied a building of its own on Moody street. Here the Messrs. Stark have 
quite an extensive and well arranged plant, and give employment to from fif- 
teen to twenty persons. 

The business consists principally of the manufacture of watchmakers' 
tools and lathes, together with a variety of attachments for the latter. In this 
the firm has been very successful, and an excellent reputation has become 
attached to its goods. Years of experience have prompted the invention of 
a number of valuable improvements in the lathes and especially in their at- 
tachments, so that they are as effectual and convenient as any in the market. 
While the above goods comprise the principal part of the business, Messrs. 
Stark & Son also build special machinery to order, and have constructed con- 
siderable machinery and tools for various watch and clock companies, their 
work giving the best of satisfaction; in fact, in all branches of their business 
they have achieved an excellent reputation, which, together with the actual 
merit of their productions, has attracted a large number of customers, so that 
the business is continually in prosperous condition, and this with but slightly 
feeling the effects of competition. 



This company, which started Octol^er 15, 1886, occupies the premises and 
carries on the business of the late Hopkins Watch Tool Company. The pro- 
prietors are Messrs. Fred D. and Edmund F. Van Norman, sons of Mr. C- 
Hopkins Van Norman, the originator of the Hopkins Watch Tool Company 
and also designer of the Hopkins' Lathe, and inventor and patentee of the 
Hopkins' Foot Wheel with Swing Treadle, Adjustable Chuck, Slide Rest, Uni- 
versal Head, Swing Tailstock, Uprighting and Jeweling Tool, Watch Case Tool 
and the Gem Pivoting Chuck, the latter acknowledged to be unequalled, it 
being operated instantly and the work held perfectly rigid and as accurate as 
though between dead centers. The present proprietors, who are young, active 
men and practical mechanics, have had the benefit of a numl^er of years of 
valuable experience while associated with the former company and are perfect- 
ly acquainted with tlie business in all its branches, which has been proved by 
the numljer of improvements introduced since they have been in business. In 
addition to the large line of goods of the IIo])kins Watch Tool Company, 
the present comjiany has designed and is making a number of new tools of great 
practical value. The new No. 3x4 Hopkins' Lathe is a modification and com- 
bination of lathes Nos. 3 and 4 and is claimed by competent judges to be the 
handsomest and best proportioned lathe made. The "Waltham" Lathe, also 
lately introduced, is an entirely new departure and is designed to fill a long- 
felt want among watch-makers' apprentices and others who do not feel able to 
pay the price of a high grade lathe. The lathe, which is without tailstock 
unless otherwise ordered, is of No. 3 Hopkins' standard size, and is carefully 
and accurately made. It is furnished with a Hopkins Patent Adjustable Chuck, 
and attachments, and four cement brasses, and is made so that any other 
chuck except split chucks, can be attached to it. It is neat and attractive in 
appearance, and with its attachments, will cover as wide range of work as a 
set of forty split wira and step chucks; and is placed at such a low price as to 
be within the reach of every apprentice. In addition to these tools, there have 
been ilesigned and are now being made a new gear cutting and rounding-up 
tool to be attached to the slide-rest, and a caliper swing jeweling rest, both of 
excellent design and of great practical value. The Waltham Watch Tool Com- 
pany has lately improved its facilities for work, so that orders can now be filled 
promptly, The valuable services of Mr. C. Hopkins Van Norman are still 
retained by the company. 



The Waltham Gas Light Company was incorporated by special act of the 
legislature in 1853, upon the petition of R. P. Davis, J. H. Priest, Horatio 
Adams, Ebenezer Hobbs, and others. At the meeting for organization in 
January, 1854, the first board of officers was chosen, as follows : Directors, 
Horatio Adams, president, R. P. Davis. I. R. Scott, R. S. Warren and Horatio 
Moore; clerk and treasurer, Thomas Page. The authorized capital of the 
company was and is $150,000, although it was decided to issue stock to the 
amount of but $35,000 for the purpose of introducing a plant for the manufac- 
ture of gas; and it is worthy of note that the works, which were constructed 
by Mr. R. P. Davis, were completed at a cost less than that sum. The plant 
was put in operation in October, 1854, the first gas lieing furnished to consum- 
ers on the ninth of the same month, the price being the same as that charged 
by similar companies in other places at that time, $4,00 per 1,000 cubic feet. 
At this early stage of its existence the works of the company were small, 
although abundantly able to meet the pulilic demands for the new illuniinant, 
while an e.xcellent choice of location had been made near the river opposite 
the cotton mills, on very nearly the lowest land in the city. 

As would be naturally expected with such an industry as this, the business 
-of the gas company has increased correspondingly with the growth of the city 
and the development of its industries. To clearly illustrate this increase, and 
^Iso to show the decrease in price which the company has been enabled to 
make by reason, principally, of the improvements in gas manufacture, the fol- 
lowing interesting table has been prepared, and by which the development of 
the company may readily be traced : 


cubic ft. 

1,000 ft. 



4 00 



3 70 



3 SO 



3 SO 



4 00 



3 So 



3 60 



4 00 


cubic ft. 

1,000 ft. 




3 70 




3 30 




3 00 




3 00 




2 70 




2 50 


1 88s 


2 00 


1 886 


2 00 


Thus it will be seen that from a production of 3,000,000 cubic feet and a 


price of 54-00 per i,ooo feet in 1855, the product has steadily increased and 
the price almost as steadly decreased until the present time, when the produc- 
tion is nearly 25,000,000 cubic feet per year and the price but $2.00 per 1,000 
feet, which is about as low as gas is furnished in any of the small cities. 

In July, 1858, the paid-in capital was increased to $40,000; in 1868 to 
$45,000, and again in 1 87 1 to $75,000, the works being enlarged by the 
purchase of additional land, the erection of large coal sheds and a gas hold- 
er. In 1875 the capital was again increased to $100,000, and in August, 1882, 
was made $130,000. During the latter year the works were substantially re- 
built and the productive capacity greatly augmented. The retort building was 
enlarged and improved retorts placed therein to the number 31, of which seven 
are used in summer and twelve in winter; a building for improved purifying 
apparatus was erected, and in 1884 a gas holder of 100,000 cubic feet capacity 
was added, which is so constructed that it can be doubled in size when 
necessary. The plant is conceded to one of the finest in the country, its cajiacity 
now being some 200,000 cubic feet per day. 

In 1856 Mr. I. R. Scott became president of the company, a position held 
l)y him until 1882, when Dr. B. F. D. Adams was elected to the office, the lat- 
ter being succeed in 1884 by Mr. Lowell Clark, the present incumbent. Mr. 
Horatio Moore held the office of clerk and treasurer from 1855 to 1878, when 
he was succeeded by Mr. G. A. Stearns, who still continues in office. Mr. S. E. 
Locke was the first superintendent of the works. He was succeeded in 1874 
by Mr. C. H. Balcom, who in 1877 was followed liy the present superintend- 
ent, Mr. William Tarbell. Some months ago Mr. A. W. Tarbell was chosen 
assistant su])erintendent. 

During the summer of 1886 an electric light company was formed among 
the citizens and steps were taken towards the introduction of such a plant, but 
as it was thought that the gas company could conduct the business with much 
l)etter success and benefit to the public, a union of the companies was effected 
last November. The gas company immediately procured the proper jjlant, in- 
creasing its capital to $140,000 for the purpose, and on December 24 last the 
electric light illuminated the streets and stores for the first time. The arc light 
only is now in operation, but an incandescent system will soon be added. 

Under the guidance of its efficient treasurer and capable superintendents the 
company has made great progress in the past few years, and the efforts of these 
gentlemen to afibrd the best possiiile accommodations and to secure for the gas 
consumers the best results through the use of improved devices, are appreciateil. 


Through the efforts of these gentlemen many im]irovements in l^iurners have 
been introduced to customers, thereby effecting a saving in cost and producing 
abetter light; while gas stoves, for heating and cooking, are also in extensive 
use. The office of the company is in Welch's Block, Moody street. 

The before mentioned industries do not comprise the entire num- 
ber, and in addition there are the following, all of which are eminently 
successful in their several lines of business : 

Anderson Bros., carriages, sleighs, etc. 

Francis Buttrick, lumber yard and planing mill. 

Crescent Castor Co., furniture castors. 

Eclipse Incubator Co., incubators, brooders, and wood workers. 

Ellis Manufacturing Co., hose supporters, etc. 

W. H. and G. A. Fl.agg, the Waltham milk wagon, carriages, sleighs, etc. 

G. F. HOBBS, knitting machines and foot wheels. 

Alden Jameson, Commonwealth mineral spring, ginger ale. 

LiBBY & Larcom, wood workers. 

W. H. Leatherbee & Son, lumber yard. 

Andrew R. Logan, hair springs and hair spring wire. 

D. D. Palmer, chronometers, watches, etc. 
G. B. Pope, grist mill. 

E. M. Richardson, blind fastenings. 
Thos. Roddick, oil cans, electro-plater. 
G. F. Shedd, steam engines and boilers. 

F. K. Sibley, emery and crocus cloth. 
Thorp & Marsh, Waltham laundry. 
U. S. Chemical Company. 

A. H. Walker & Co., crayons. 

Waltham Iron Foundry Co., iron founders, and special castings. 

Warren Hose Supporter Co., hose supporters, etc. 

E. D. Wetherbee, watch dials, etc. 

There are still other industries, including the manufacture of silk 
handerchiefs, in colors, by a colony of English workmen, who produce 
an excellent article and whose business promises to be a very success- 
ful one. 

Land for Building Purposes. 

When the publication of this work was projected it was the inten- 
tion to devote a considerable number of its pages to a description of 
the lands in various portions of the city available for building operations 
of various kinds, but the other features have taken up so much more 
space than was anticipated that this department must necessarily be 

Waltham affords one of the best opportunities for investment in 
real estate, and those who have taken advantage of this fact are now 
obtaining substantial returns from such investments. The most rapid 
increase in population has taken place during the last twenty years, and 
during the latter portion of that period an average of very nearly 125 
dwellings has been erected each year, which number has but fairly sup- 
plied the demand for tenements, — indeed, there has constantly been 
and now is a call for accommodations for small families, and a profita- 
ble return is vouched to any one undertaking to supply this want. 

Very fortunately there is a large amount of available land for build- 
ing purposes, a large part of which is situated directly in the pathway of 
the city's future growth. The city itself is owner of a large tract of 
land which the authorities have just placed in the market. This tract 
is known as the "poor farm land." It consists of several acres, excel- 
lently located, quite near to the churches, schools and stores, on the 
line of the Fitchburg Railroad, and as a road bridge is to be constructed 
across the river near the watch factory opposite this land, it must soon 
be in active demand. It has already been laid out into lots and an ap- 
propriation made for the construction of streets. 

There is a large amount of land in close proximity to the above, the 
property of individuals, which is rapidly being occupied, and still fur— 


ther to the westward is the extensive "Harrington farm,'" lying alone 
the Fitchburg Railroad, which must soon be needed by the builder. 

No portion of the city seems destined to have more rapid develop- 
ment than the section known as "Roberts," which has been so named 
in honor of the late John Roberts, former proprietor of Roberts' paper 
mills and of a large portion of the territory near the railroad station. 
The location is excellent and the land is admirably adapted for building 
purposes, a considerable portion of it being elevated and affording ex- 
cellent views of the surrounding country. As an example the elegant 
estates of Messrs. Baker and Wheelock, as well as that of Mr. William 
Roberts, are cited, the first named gentlemen having erected costly 
dwellings on an elevation commanding an extensive view, and the 
grounds about them are being improved in such a manner that the es- 
tates will be among the finest in this vicinity. The Fitchburg railroad 
has recently made Roberts the headquarters for the arrival and depart- 
ture of many of the local trains between Waltham and Boston, and, in 
order to meet the demand for dwellings, Mr. William Roberts has built 
a number of attractive houses, and also a building near the depot de- 
signed for use as a store, in which the city has established a school. 
Still further building operations are contemplated by Mr. Roberts, and 
it is safe to say that houses will be erected as rapidly as a call is made 
for them. 

The Central Massachusetts Railroad passes through a part of the 
city which is still comparatively undeveloped, and along its entire line 
across the city there is an abundance of locations suitable for manufac- 
tories, for business purposes or for residences. It is rather remarkable, 
in view of the many excellent locations, combined with first class rail- 
road facilities, that no manufacturer has been induced to secure the ad- 
vantages here offered. While there are eligible locations on all parts 
of this road, were any portion selected for especial notice, it might be 
the elevated ground lying at the foot of Mt. Prospect, which is among 
the most desirable in the city. It is elevated and sightly, and already 
have several dwellings been erected there. The land about the Central 
railroad is considered to be so desirable and valuable in connection 
with the future development of the city, that the matter of forming a 


syndicate for the purpose of developing some of the territory is now be- 
considered, which appears to be an excellent scheme and one likely to 
prove beneficial and profitable. 

In the central portion of the city also are found several parcels of 
land in excellent neighborhoods, and which are rapidly being built upon 
by a good class of people. 

In the easterly section there is abundant room for growth and 
building operations, this being true of the entire territory. The time 
should not be far distant when other industries are located along the 
Watertown Branch railroad, for there is no feature lacking which is de- 
sirable in such connection. The Bleachery village is a very pleasant 
part of the city, and its undeveloped portions are well worthy the atten- 
tion of those contemplating an investment in real estate or who are in 
search of a location for a manufactory. 

The South Side is the most thickly populated part of Waltham, and 
if the number of the dwellings continues to increase rapidly in the fu- 
ture house lots will be at a decided premium. In the immediate vicinity 
of the watch factory the many acres formerly owned by the watch 
company are now nearly all built upon, and a comparatively small part 
remains unoccupied. The site of the Newton Chymical Company's 
former works has also been appropriated by the house-builder, although 
the agent of this company has several vacant acres near the Newton 
line, through which streets are being laid out. an indication that the 
land will not long remain idle. In the vicinity of High street at its 
easterly part are locations for many future houses, which are among the 
finest of all, and near the southerly part of Moody street are other sites 
upon which those who desire to become residents of Waltham may 
erect homes.