WALTHAM 250 YEARS OF HISTORY
INCORPORATION AS A TOWN
What had been known as the Westerly Precinct of Watertown since it was explored by Gov. Winthrop in 1631 became officially incorporated as the town of Waltham on January 15, 1738. The town name is a Saxon word meaning “forest home”. It is generally thought the name was chosen because of Waltham Abbey in England; however it has not been clearly determined which of the several parishes in England named Waltham provided the inspiration.
In 1722 the center of religious and political activity was the meeting house purchased from the town of Newton by the farmers who had settled in this area. The house was moved to what is now Lyman Street. It was only a matter of time before the farmers overcame the opposition of the East Precinct and were successful in separating from Watertown and forming their own independent political entity.