Upper Falls Village School // 1846

The Upper Falls Village in Newton, MA is a small industrial neighborhood which grew after the Revolutionary War due to its location on the Charles River where rapids and falls occur. Mills and factories were built in the village and thus, workers from other towns and even Europe moved here to work in the dozen manufacturing facilities. By 1850, the village had 1,500 residents, a quarter of those living in the town of Newton at the time, in a much denser area. With workers and families moving here, the need for a school was paramount. As the Upper Falls Village continued to grow, schools were built and demolished for newer and larger structures to house the growing population. In 1846, this two-story schoolhouse was constructed in the then popular Greek Revival style. The schoolhouse was quickly deemed inadequate and was sold when a new school closer to the center of the village was built in 1855. This building was then converted to commercial use, serving as a grocery and dry goods store and later a watchmaking shop, with the storefront added at the time.

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