Town Directories, 1869-1942
Directories of Watertown businesses and residents were produced by a variety of publishers from 1869 to 1942. Their content and format vary depending on the publisher, but all include names and addresses. Other features include business listings (categorized by trade), advertisements, and a “miscellaneous” directory of town departments, schools, places of worship, and associations.
How to Use this Collection
Most of the older directories cover both Waltham and Watertown, with Watertown coming after Waltham. (Waltham has digitized the 1897-98 edition that we do not own.) The early Watertown listings are alphabetical by surname and display occupations, residences (including some second homes), business locations, deaths, relocations, and more. Note that some street numbers are omitted, with the letter “n” designating, instead, when a house was “near” a landmark or intersection. Typically, the word “street” is omitted while other street suffixes (Ave, Ter, Rd, Cir, Pl, etc.) are included.
Watertown directories published between 1926 and 1942 begin with an alphabetical list of streets. Next to each street name is that street’s precinct number(s); beneath it, house numbers are listed with the head of household’s name. Following the street list, residents are listed alphabetically by surname with their occupations and residences. Keep in mind that all house numbers in Watertown were changed in 1912. Some streets also had address changes before; certain properties may have had as many as three different numbers.
Beginning in 1928, phone numbers are listed next to names, an asterisk precedes the house number if the person owns the property, and a † symbol precedes the number if the person owns an automobile.
Choose a year to view/download the corresponding PDF file, then search by using Ctrl+F.
1871 1874 1877-1878
1880 1882 1884 1886 1889
1890 1893 1895 1897
1901 1903 1905 1907 1909
1912 1914 1915 1917 1919
1921 1923 1926 1927 1928
1930 1931 1933 1935 1937 1939