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Fun facts about Newton MA

Fun facts about Newton MA

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton,_Massachusetts

A City of Villages

Newton, Massachusetts, often called “The Garden City,” is a unique place with a rich history and vibrant community. One of its most interesting features is that it’s not just one unified city, but rather a collection of 13 distinct villages. Each village has its own character, history, and local centers, giving Newton a diverse and charming atmosphere.

Home to Notable Figures

Matt Damon's Roots

Did you know that Hollywood star Matt Damon grew up in Newton? The actor, known for his roles in “Good Will Hunting” and the “Bourne” series, attended Newton North High School. His childhood experiences in the city likely influenced his later career and philanthropic efforts.

Literary Legacy

Newton has been home to several renowned authors. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” lived in Newton for a time. Additionally, Samuel Francis Smith, who wrote the lyrics to “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” was a longtime resident of the city.

Educational Excellence

Boston College's Newton Campus

While most people associate Boston College with its main campus in Chestnut Hill, the university actually has a significant presence in Newton. The Newton Campus, formerly Newton College of the Sacred Heart, houses freshman dormitories and the BC Law School.

Birthplace of Kindergarten

Newton holds a special place in educational history as the birthplace of America’s first public kindergarten. In 1881, the city established this groundbreaking program, setting a precedent for early childhood education across the nation.

Architectural Marvels

The Echo Bridge

One of Newton’s hidden gems is the Echo Bridge, an aqueduct and pedestrian walkway over the Charles River. Built in 1877, it’s known for its impressive acoustics. Stand at one end of the bridge and speak, and you’ll hear your voice echoed back to you multiple times!

Jackson Homestead

This historic house, built in 1809, played a crucial role in the Underground Railroad. Today, it serves as the Newton History Museum, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s past and its involvement in the abolitionist movement.

Natural Beauty

Crystal Lake

Newton boasts several beautiful bodies of water, but Crystal Lake stands out. This natural lake has been a popular spot for recreation since the 19th century. Today, it continues to be a favorite destination for swimming, fishing, and picnicking.

Newton Commonwealth Golf Course

Golf enthusiasts might be interested to know that Newton is home to one of the oldest public golf courses in the country. The Newton Commonwealth Golf Course, established in 1897, offers a challenging 18-hole course set against the backdrop of the city’s lush landscape.

Culinary Delights

Heartbreak Hill Chocolate

Named after the infamous incline on the Boston Marathon route that passes through Newton, Heartbreak Hill Chocolate is a local favorite. This artisanal chocolatier offers unique flavors and beautifully crafted confections.

Cabot's Ice Cream

A Newton institution since 1969, Cabot’s Ice Cream is renowned for its homemade ice cream and classic ice cream parlor atmosphere. It’s a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth!

Movie Magic

Scenes on the Silver Screen

Newton’s picturesque settings have made it a popular location for filmmakers. Parts of the 2016 film “Ghostbusters” were shot in Newton, as were scenes from the 2019 Greta Gerwig adaptation of “Little Women.”

Sports History

Boston Marathon Connection

Newton plays a significant role in the world-famous Boston Marathon. Miles 17-21 of the race pass through the city, including the challenging Heartbreak Hill. This section often proves crucial in determining the race’s outcome.

Innovative Spirit

The Fig Newton's Namesake

Contrary to popular belief, the Fig Newton cookie wasn’t invented in Newton. However, it was named after the city! The cookie was first produced in 1891 by the Kennedy Biscuit Works, which named all its products after towns in the Boston area.

From its historic sites and educational institutions to its natural beauty and cultural contributions, Newton, MA, is a city full of surprises. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply curious about unique places, Newton offers a wealth of interesting facts and experiences. Its blend of suburban charm and urban sophistication, coupled with its rich history and modern innovations, makes it a fascinating place to explore and discover. Learn more about historic places around.

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Frequently asked question

Newton earned the nickname "The Garden City" due to its abundance of green spaces, parks, and conservation areas. The city has over 1,000 acres of parkland and numerous tree-lined streets, giving it a lush, garden-like appearance throughout its 13 villages.

The Fig Newton cookie was named after the city of Newton. It was created by the Kennedy Biscuit Company (later part of Nabisco) in 1891, following their practice of naming products after local towns.

Newton is composed of 13 distinct villages, each with its own unique character and history. These include Newton Centre, Newton Highlands, Newton Upper Falls, and Chestnut Hill, among others.

Yes, Newton is renowned for its excellent education system. The Newton Public Schools are consistently ranked among the top in Massachusetts and the nation. Additionally, the city is home to Boston College's main campus and parts of Boston College Law School.

Heartbreak Hill" is a famous section of the Boston Marathon route located in Newton. It's a half-mile incline near Boston College, between the 20- and 21-mile marks of the race. This challenging hill is known for testing runners' endurance in the late stages of the marathon.

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