The Newton Lower Falls Firehouse was built in 1900 to serve the village’s fire prevention needs. As nearby Waban Village’s population surged (along with a stronger tax base) the City of Newton constructed a new fire station in 1918, that could serve both areas. This, the already outdated station, was converted to a village library on the ground floor with a janitor’s apartment and storage above. The space was determined to be surplus by the City and was sold off in 1979, quickly converted to housing by a developer. The building retains much of its original character, down to the hose-drying tower.
Toward the middle of the 19th-century, the Newton Lower Falls Village developed into a premier paper-manufacturing center of eastern Massachusetts, largely due to the forests and water power supplied by the Charles River. One of the most successful paper mills in the area was owned by Lemuel Crehore (1791-1868), who with his success, built workers cottages for his employees and their families (imagine if businesses did that today)! This Greek Revival workers cottage was occupied by employees of the mill before it was sold when the mill closed, to a house painter. The modest house stands out for the gorgeous wrap-around porch supported by fluted Doric columns, an off-center entrance with sidelights, and corner pilasters.
Toward the middle of the 19th-century, the Newton Lower Falls Village developed into a premier paper-manufacturing center of eastern Massachusetts, largely due water power supplied by the Charles River. One of the most successful paper mills in the area was owned by Lemuel Crehore (1791-1868), who with his success, built workers cottages for his employees and their families (imagine if businesses did that today)! This Greek Revival workers cottage was occupied by employees of the mill, and was sold off after the mill shut down. The house features a deep piazza with three Tuscan columns across the front and scroll-sawn bargeboards at the porch and hanging along the roof, giving it a slight Gothic Revival element.
In 1841, Dr. Edward Warren (1805-1878) purchased land, a dwelling house, and outbuildings in the Lower Mills village of Newton for his own property. Edward was the son of Dr. John Warren, a Continental Army surgeon during the American Revolutionary War, founder of the Harvard Medical School, and the younger brother of Dr. Joseph Warren, also a physician and Patriot during the early days of the American Revolution, eventually serving as President of the revolutionary Massachusetts Provincial Congress and dying at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Edward, a much less renowned figure practiced medicine in Boston and Newton and married Caroline Rebecca Ware, the half-sister of Henry Ware, a prominent Harvard professor. The house was likely modernized during Warren’s ownership and is largely Greek Revival in style, but much more modest than one would think given the family connections of the two owners!
Augustus Curtis Wiswall was born in Exeter, NH in 1823. At seventeen, he moved to Boston and sought to live life on the open seas. He saw a ship docked called the “Republic” which was about to set sail to Calcutta. He took several other jobs as he hoped for more adventure as a young man. His final voyage was with a general cargo ship to Brazil. On route, several lawless members of the crew rose up in open mutiny, murdering the captain and first-mate, seizing control of the vessel. Loyal to the captain, Augustus was stabbed but was allowed to live as he was the only man capable of navigating back to land. The small crew scuttled the larger ship and manned the small boat surviving on minimal food. They made it to Rio De Janeiro and managed to board a vessel back to Boston. Wiswall never shared his story but to his wife, who in turn shared his stories after his death. His life back home was more calm, after living in the south and midwest during the Civil War, he moved back to Massachusetts and he bought land in Newton’s Lower Falls village building this home. He operated a paper mill in the village and was active in the local church until his death in 1880.
Thought to be the oldest extant house in Newton Lower Falls, this historic mansion has seen a lot of change over its nearly 300 years in the village. The house believed to have been built around 1755 by John Parker (1687-1761) for his son Ezra (b. 1731) after his marriage. William Hoogs, a ship carpenter from Boston, took ownership of the house in 1781 from his father-in-law (and boss), Aster Stoddard, who had bought it from the Parker family. William Hoogs was a sole-owner of a paper mill in the village and made a good name for himself. The house was likely modified during this period in the Federal style, with a third floor added. The home was possibly passed to his son, also William, who was written about in papers as fleeing town to Canada with the family maid, who was late in her pregnancy and their two-year-old child together. Hoogs had debtors looking for him. Hoogs had a change of heart and sent for his eight children to live with him in Quebec that same year. Sadly, the ship bringing them up sunk on Lake Champlain and all perished. By 1813, the property was purchased by Samuel Brown of Boston, a wealthy merchant who was a strong financial supporter of Saint Mary’s Church. By 1825, he officially bequeathed the property to Dr. Alfred Louis Baury (1764-1865) rector of Saint Mary’s Church. By 1917, the Lucy Jackson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution operated it as a chapter house and a museum for antiques. In 1971, the Newton Redevelopment Authority bought the property and sold it to a developer for conversion into office space, it was rotated 90 degrees to face Concord Street at this time.