Welcome to Needham
Needham was incorporated in 1711 and named Needham by the early settlers who made their living as farmers growing crops of wheat, barley, and rye. Unfortunately, those crops did not thrive due to poor soil conditions and farmers had to rely on garden crops such as hay, reeds, and cattle to survive. Needham remained an agricultural town until the mid-1800’s when the first rail line was laid to connect Needham to Boston. With economic changes in England, English Midland knitters migrated to Needham to re-establish their businesses. By the 1900s there were more than 15 knitting companies including The William Carter Company who manufactured knitted garments under the name of Carter’s for babies and young children into the 1990s. (https://needhamhistory.org/)
The Town of Needham is now a sought-after small suburban community approximately 14 miles from downtown Boston. It attracts young families who are seeking excellent school systems within a half hour commute to downtown Boston or Kendall Square in Cambridge. Commuter roads are easily accessible and the MBTA trains run frequently. Route 128/I-95 is a circumferential highway to Boston that has three exits providing access to Needham. The commuter rail service (MBTA) has four stops in Needham: Needham Heights, Needham Center, Needham Junction, and Hersey.
The construction of Route128/I-95 known as “America’s Technology Highway” became the go to-location for major technological corporations whose employees created a housing frenzy to Needham and surrounding communities. The most recent corporation being TripAdvisor.
Needham is a community where older colonial and Victorian-style homes have been maintained, midcentury style homes such as ranches and split-levels are still stylish and, new homes are being built on lots where homes have been torn down and the lots recycled. Open land for building is sparse.
Shopping areas are filled with small shops, three exceptional grocery stores, and a variety of great restaurants have made Needham a destination for informal dining. For fresh farm goods, flowers and landscaping needs, the place to go is Volante Farms. While at Volante Farm purchase some Pansy’s, Needham’s official flower. If you are looking for a large shopping mall, you will not find one in Needham.
Needham has outstanding recreational facilities for all ages. There is a public golf course, a fabulous YMCA program, a new Senior Center, an outdoor swimming complex, multiple parks with walking trails, bike paths, and playgrounds. In addition, Charles River Landing provides rental kayaks, rowboats, and canoes for a small fee.
Needham is a residential community of approximately 30,000 residents who are very proud of their schools, the curriculums they offer and the athletic teams that are provided through the schools such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, gymnastics etc...
- Needham High School recently underwent a $62 million renovation.
- Two middle schools: William F Pollard for seventh and eighth graders and High Rock School for sixth grade only.
- Five elementary schools for grades K-5: John Eliot Elementary School, Hillside Elementary School, William Mitchell Elementary School, Newman Elementary School, Broadmeadow Elementary School. Construction is currently underway to replace the Hillside Elementary School with a new elementary school called the Sunita L Williams Elementary School scheduled for fall 2019 or 2020.
In addition, there are 3 Catholic schools: St Joseph’s Elementary school, Monsignor Haddad Middle School, and St. Sebastian’s School, a Catholic school for boys in grades 7-12.
Information Guide: https://www.nnchamber.com/community-guide/needham
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