Museum temporarily closed for renovations and enlarged displays. We relocated our offices to 207 Union Street. You can see our brand new museum look in spring 2018!
WE ARE OPEN for public programs, as noted below.
Tuesday, February 20, 1 PM
History Book Club: THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead
All are welcome to attend
Natick Community-Senior Center, 117 E. Central Street
Monday, March 19, 7 PM
Location TBD
Illustrated talk on the Englishman who championed and chronicled the Praying Indians of Natick.
The speaker, Thomas M. Paine, is a descendant of Daniel Gookin. Click for more info
Admision: Free for Natick Historical Society members, $5 for nonmembers
For more information on upcoming events, please visit our Events page.

Meetinghouse Dispute

As more settlers began to move into the east/central part of Natick, an area called the Needham Leg, the population shift caused a rift in the community. Those people in the more northern part of town wanted the church in the center rather than supporting the Natick Indian church in the southern part of town. This dispute continued over a period of almost sixty years. The people in the "Leg" requested the Court to restore this area of the Natick Plantation to Needham. This was approved in 1761.

The church could not be relocated without the approval of the court so the parish petitioned to become a town, and to change the name to Eliot. The name change was not granted, but Natick became a town in February of 1781. In 1796 it voted to build a new meetinghouse in the center. The inhabitants of the southern part of town did not want to support the new church and petitioned to be separated from the town. The Court resolved the issue in 1797 by restoring the "Leg" to Natick but the south and east sections remained in Needham. The Indian Church disolved as the congregation dispersed to other parishes and the building fell into disrepair. In 1828 the present Eliot Church was built, the fifth church on the site of Eliot's Meetinghouse, revitalizing the congregation and South Natick.