Newton: The Fields of Newton Walking Map

Newton: The Fields of Newton Walking Map

Imagining fields in today’s Newton takes a giant leap of faith. Yet it is possible for a sensitive walker to trace the underlying structure of the community by exploring its topography, its oldest roads, and the residential buildings that blanket the area. You can find vestiges of the old fields and in the spacious settings of institutions built on large parcels.

Newton’s flat or gently rolling topography and relatively fertile soil kept farming attractive here for more than two hundred years. Rocky of hilly areas that could not be made into fields became woodlots for timber growing and harvesting.

When the railroad arrived and commuting began in about 1850, however, rows of housing took the place of many of the fields. Today the development of Newton’s fields can often be dated by examining variants of architectural styles. Indeed, this walk is a virtual primer on residential architecture: you’ll pass styles ranging from Stick to Colonial to Queen Anne to Shingle.

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