The Natick Historical Society is seeking a part-time Director. For a full job description, please visit our News page.
Our Museum is closed for restoration work. Please visit in the spring!
Our new Research Library & Office is at 207 Union Street; please call for an appointment. Regular open hours will be announced soon. 
We are OPEN for public programs (see below).
Monday, March 19, 7 PM
Eliot Church, 45 Eliot Street, South Natick
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
Admission: Free for Natick Historical Society members and students; $5 for nonmembers
Tuesday, March 20, 1 PM
History Book Club discussion:
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott
Discuss the exciting lives of four women who were successful spies during the American Civil War.
Natick Community-Senior Center, 117 E. Central Street
All are welcome, no admission fee
Jointly sponsored by the Natick Historical Society and the Bacon Free Library
Sunday, April 22, 2 PM
"Boston's Baseball History and Natick's Contributions"
presented by Herb Crehan
Location: Morse Institute Library, 14 E. Central Street
Admission is free, donations always welcome
Sponsored by the Natick Historical Society
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. Many people who lived to the north of the old meetinghouse wanted to establish a church in the town center, and they did not support the Natick Indian church in the southern part of town. This dispute continued over a period of almost 60 years. The people in the "Leg" requested the General Court to restore this area of the Natick Plantation to Needham, and this was approved in 1761.

Under the existing jurisdiction of the General Court, the meetinghouse of the original Praying Indians could not be relocated without the Court's approval, so the parish petitioned to become a self-governing town, and to change its name to Eliot. The name change was not granted, but Natick became a town in February 1781. In 1796 it voted to build a new meetinghouse in the town 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. The Indian Church dissolved 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 the original meetinghouse--and the congregation and South Natick were revitalized.