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

What We Do

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

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

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

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

Historic Plaque Program

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

Watertown is getting ready for the 2017 Historical Preservation Awards! 
The Watertown Historical Commission Preservation Awards can be awarded to any individual, organization or project that has contributed to the preservation or recognition of Watertown's Historic resources. 

The 2017 Watertown Historic Preservation Awards will be held on May 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Commanders Mansion on Talcott Ave.  For a link to the Commanders Mansion, please click on the following link.  Commanders Mansion Web Site Link.

Nominations to be considered for the 2017 awards must be submitted to the Office of Conservation by April 6, 2017.  To obtain a nomination forms package for this years awards, please click on the following link.  

2017 Historical Preservation Awards Nomination Package

If you prefer to have a nomination package mailed directly to you, please feel free to contact us here in the office at the information listed over to the right. 

To learn more about last year's awards, you may click the following link to an article from the 2016 Historic Preservation Awards which was held on May 19, 2016. 
Watertown residents receive historic honors
All are encouraged to participate and attend the Preservation Awards Ceremony which are held at the Commander's Mansion, 440 Talcott Avenue, Watertown.
If you have any questions feel free to contact the Clerk for the Office of Conservation and Preservation, Susan C. Jenness at (617) 972-6426 or email her at .
Sweet Auburn Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn

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

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

Annual Historical Society Meeting and Presentation by David Russo

Please save the date Wednesday May 24, 2017 for the Annual Members Meeting with Election of Board Members taking place at 7:00 PM. followed by "Monuments of Mount Auburn Cemetery" a presentation by David Russo at 7:15 PM.  The event will take place at the Watertown Free Public Library in the Watertown Savings Bank Room, 123 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472.  The event flyer can be seen here.


Historical Commission Meetings

Agendas & Minutes

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

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

Christopher Hayward
Preservation Agent

Susan C. Jenness

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

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

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


  • J. B. Jones

       59 Adams Ave.
        Term Expires: October 1, 2014

  • Thomas Melone

       115 Russell Ave.
         Term Expires: October 1, 2013

  • Elisabeth H. Loukas

       16 Carlton Terrace
       Term Expires:  October 1, 2015

  • Marilynne K. Roach

       141 Marshall Street
       Term Expires:  October 1, 2014



  • David J. Russo, Jr., Chair
    115 Irving Street
    Term Expires: October 1, 2014
  • Susan T. Steele

        77 Russell Ave.
          Term Expires: October 1, 2015

  • Donald S. Berg

        162 Spring Street
        Term Expires:  October 1, 2013

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

The Commission Is Not A Society

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

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