Nostalgic for Watertown?

Patrons sometimes visit the Watertown Public Library to look up a local article or fondly-remembered sports event that was published years ago in a local Watertown newspaper.  Although newspaper articles are not indexed, patrons can load a reel of microfilm onto the microfilm reader and scan it for printing or for saving to a flash drive or for sending to their email.     
A good place to begin researching historic Watertown from the Watertown Public Library homepage ( is to click on the Research Tab and select Historic Watertown to see a list of various subject headings.  Then click on the FAQ link (Frequently Asked Questions on Local History) for information on:

  • Books and sources on Watertown History;

If researching a Watertown ancestor, the second question yields a list of Watertown records and directories;
Other parts of the historical collection include but are not limited to:

  • Digital Sanborn Maps Insurance maps showing location of homes and businesses, 1867-1970;
  • List of Town directories by year up to 1939;
  • Lists of the graduates in the Watertown High School yearbooks for various years;

Clicking on other links will bring up contact information for the Historical Society of Watertown at the Edmund Fowle House on Marshall Street, and the Historical Commission which operates out of Town Hall. 

You may wish to visit the local history room on the second floor of the library and speak with the local history librarian during daytime hours.  You may also contact the local history librarian by email:    

Watertown, Massachusetts, is a great place for history!     



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What was the name of Ralph Piteri Terrace before WWII?? I have ancestors who lived in that area in the 1910's and I can not find an older map online ...

Many thanks,

I am so glad you inquired about a street in Watertown.You would be surprised how many people are looking for information concerning our streets, roads and by-ways. A project, for which we need volunteer help, is the "Histories of Streets in Watertown." Many hands make light work. Belmont has a splendid published volume on their streets.

Now for your query: the road was French Terrace. There was an estate owned by Maria M. French with two houses on the road in 1899. The road continued its name to 1951 and maybe after. By 1951, there were 4 more houses, an auto repair shop, a general contractor's office and yard and a rather large repair shop. The street runs from Mt. Auburn St. to the railroad.

Katherine Gardner-Westcott
Local History Librarian
Watertown Free Public Library
"Studying the past is like a puzzle. It takes all of us to put it together."

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