Through our collections, programs, and outreach, the mission of the Natick Historical Society is to conserve, interpret, and share the historic elements of our past that are central to the development and ongoing life of the Natick community.
(image by Rick Detwiller)
This is an artist's rendition of the Native American settlement at South Natick in 1651, showing the palisades and Meeting House at center surrounded by the wetus, houses and farms of settlers. Today you can still trace the bend in the Charles River, rise of the hill to the site of the meeting house (today's Eliot Church), the early footpaths (today's Eliot, Pleasant and Union Streets), and the site of the 1650 bridge (today's Pleasant Street bridge).
John Eliot, the Puritan missionary who was instrumental in establishing the town, visited Natick every two weeks or so from his home in Roxbury to preach and to educate his followers about the Bible. First, he had to master the language of the Indians, Algonquin. He was able to do this by collaborating with Native American teachers who spoke English, such as Sassamon. In 1663, Eliot's Algonquin language Bible was printed in Cambridge. The NHS has a second edition, published in 1685.
The Natick Historical Society receives support from membership, annual fund donations, private donations, and grant sources:
Natick Historical Society, 58 Eliot Street, Bacon Free Library Building Lower Level, Natick MA 01760
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