Schools & Places of Worship
Watertown’s historic institutions include public and private schools, as well as place of worship serving many faith traditions. You’ll find many photographs of churches and schools from the library’s collection on the statewide Digital Commonwealth site.
Watertown High School yearbooks are the most popular item in our Local History Room, and they can now be viewed online! But don’t stop with The Annual -- other publications from the schools have also been digitized.
Reports of the School Committee are also available online, with the years 1849 to 1868 compiled in this single document and subsequent years published with the town’s Annual Reports.
For information about the Perkins School for the Blind, established in 1829 and operating in Watertown since 1912, try the Perkins Archives.
Places of Worship
The oldest church in town is the First Parish of Watertown. Its website offers a history of the congregation, while the Cambridge Historical Society site includes the text of a paper by G. Frederick Robinson called How the First Parish in Cambridge Got a New Meetinghouse (1937). The library has digitized both its handwritten copies and published volumes of sermons by the 19th-century First Parish minister Convers Francis.
Here are a few other digitized church histories:
Memorial History of the First Baptist Church (1930)
History of St. John's Methodist Episcopal Church in Watertown (1936)
Historical and Souvenir Program to Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of St. Patrick’s Parish (1947)
50th Anniversary of the St. James Armenian Church (1981)
For information about other places of worship, look for a paper by Margaret E. Ripley called Early Churches of Watertown (1975) in the Local History Room. And for a great source of early 1910s Watertown church history, please see the listing for the “Chronicler” on our Newspapers page.