Welcome to the Belmont Historical Society’s website. Our mission is to promote greater understanding and appreciation of the history, residents, contributions, and structure of the town of Belmont, Massachusetts. Find out more about what we do and other information about the Society by clicking on What We Do.
The Claflin Room The Belmont Historical Society’s collections are housed in the Claflin Room of the Belmont Public Library. The Claflin Room is normally open to the public and staffed by a Society volunteer on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. However, the Claflin Room (and the Belmont Public Library) will be closed on the following dates:
Wednesday, December 24th
Thursday, December 25th
Wednesday, December 31st
Thursday, January 1st, 2015
Each year the Society hosts a visit to the Claflin Room from the second grade classes at the Wellington School to provide the students with an introduction to the history of their town. You can read about the recent visit at the end of October.
Programs From September through May of each year (with a vacation in January) the Society presents a monthly program on a topic associated with the history of Belmont and surrounding communities. All of our programs are open to the public and most of them are free. The next program will be held on Wednesday evening, February 25th, and will feature Terry Alan Bragg, Historian at the McLean Hospital in Belmont, who will talk about the history of this world-famous institution. More information about our future programs is available on our Coming Events page.
Information about past programs is available on our Recent Events page. You may watch videos of our four most recent programs courtesy of the Belmont Media Center — the links are on the Recent Events page.
Restoration of Historic Wellington Station The photograph at the top of this web page shows the historic Wellington Station, originally built as a private school building in the 1840’s and then used as the Belmont station for the Fitchburg Railroad from 1852 until 1879. Today the Wellington Station is owned and maintained by the Belmont Historical Society and sits just outside the town center at the intersection of Concord Avenue and Common Street. The Society has recently submitted an application for 2015 Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to permit the replacement of the deteriorating wood shingle roof on this iconic Belmont landmark. Click here to learn more about this important piece of Belmont history and the CPA process.
Historic Thomas Clark House The nearly three-year effort to preserve the historic Thomas Clark house on Common Street in Belmont came to an unfortunate end on August 21, 2014 when the structure was demolished. The house, which had been built in 1760 and occupied continuously until recent years, was purchased by a developer who planned to raze it and build two new homes on the land. A campaign to save the house was launched in 2011, and on February 18, 2012 the house was moved from its original site to a temporary location on town-owned land on Concord Avenue near Belmont High School. All subsequent efforts to find a permanent location for the house and an organization to restore it and maintain it failed. Consequently, the building had to be demolished after some historic items were removed. You can watch a six-minute video of the demolition process courtesy of the Belmont Media Center.
Historic House Plaques The Belmont Historical Society now offers owners of historical homes in the town the opportunity to obtain a handsome plaque to identify the property and its history. Read more about this program and download an application form.
New Book About Belmont We are pleased to announce that the new updated edition of The Streets of Belmont and How They Were Named has been published and is now available for purchase. This book traces the development of what is now Belmont from its beginnings as a rural sparsely populated farm community through its incorporation as a separate town in 1859 and its steady growth and transition into the “Town of Homes” that it is today. The original edition has long been out of print, but Town Historian Richard Betts has completed the revision which brings the story up to the second decade of the 21st century. Click on Publications to learn more and to download an order form to get your own copy.
Historic Happenings We added a new section to this website to feature articles about various aspects of the history of the town of Belmont. These “Historic Happenings” articles have been prepared by the Belmont Historical Society Curator using source material from our collections in the Claflin Room. Check out the first two articles which cover Belmont’s involvement in the Civil War and the 100th anniversary of the Payson Park Church.
We always welcome new members and invite them to take an active role in the Society’s activities. To learn more and to download an application form, click on Membership.
Our website is a work in progress and we will continue to update it and add content, so visit us again soon. If you have any questions about the Belmont Historical Society or comments about this website, email us at BelmontHistory1859@nullgmail.com.