Newspapers

A collection of four newspaper mastheadsVisit the library and use our microfilm reader to view old Watertown newspapers, as detailed below.

The papers are not indexed; however, in 2011, the Historical Society of Watertown hosted an auction of select bound volumes of the Watertown Enterprise and the Watertown Sun, dating from 1880 to 1941. Preparations for the auction led to the creation of a searchable PDF document containing headlines of interest from those particular newspaper volumes.

The Boston Public Library (BPL) also offers some Watertown newspapers on microfilm and in print. Titles available in Boston but not at the WFPL include the Armenian Mirror-Spectator and the Baikar Armenian Weekly. Please contact the BPL Research Services Department for details.

Use your Watertown library card to access the Boston Globe (1872 to 1985) online, or get a BPL e-card to view a variety of other historical newspapers

Looking for school papers? Those we have available digitally are indexed here.

Newspapers on Microfilm

Chronicler of Societies and Businesses in Watertown, 1911-1918
Published monthly by the Pine Tree Press Co. and edited by local clergy, this paper was originally distributed free and later made available by subscription. It contained notice of church activities, including sermon topics, concerts, and group meetings. Other content of interest: editorials, letters from missionaries serving abroad, memorials to deceased churchgoers, and plenty of advertisements.

Mt. Auburn Memorial, 1859-60
Advertisements, biographical articles, editorials, poetry, stories, and obituaries published to promote Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge and Watertown.

Pequossette, 1873-81
Published monthly by the Watertown Bookstore, this paper combined advertisements with notices of town affairs, transcriptions of old town records, and the occasional opinion piece.

Watertown Enterprise, 1879-1949
This weekly paper was originally published by Postmaster and businessman Samuel S. Gleason from an office in the Barnard Block. Its founding price was 3¢ per issue or $1.25 per year; its founding tagline “Devoted to the Promotion of Home Interests.” Renamed the “Tribune Enterprise” in 1903 and the “Transcript” in 1948, the masthead of the paper’s last few issues proudly proclaimed it “For 70 Years a Watertown Institution.”

Watertown Observer, 1877-1879
A weekly paper published first in Watertown, then in Newton (at the offices of the “Republican,” in Brackett’s Block), by J. Henry Potter. The subscription rate was $3 per year.

Watertown Press, 1870-1875 and 1958-current
From the outset of its 20th century incarnation in 1955, the “Press” was edited by Robert (Bob) Ford. In 1997, it merged with the “Watertown Sun” and was renamed the “Watertown TAB & Press.” It is now the Watertown TAB. Issues from 1985 to the present are also available in print.

Watertown Sun, 1921-1997
With a tagline of “A Community Newspaper,” this weekly paper presented some national and international news alongside plenty of local items. By 1940, its masthead also promised that it was “Always Boosting Watertown’s Industries.” The founding editor and publisher was Avery Brown.