01-25-14 News

Newton Upper Falls news, activities and events
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The Upper Falls News is an email newsletter about what's going on in our village.  The Upper Falls News is brought to you by the Upper Falls Area Council but it's intended to cover any and all news in the village. 

Upper Falls Trivia - What 1825 Upper Falls invention was described this way by Professor Treadwell, one of the leading engineers of the day ? "absolutely perfect, because the principles of it are eternal, and can never be improved upon so long as the world stands" (answer below)

Hauling Heavy Things - Last Sunday a crew of eight volunteers headed down to the Upper Falls Greenway construction site to flex their muscles.  Four of the very heavy railroad switches had been taken down by the Iron Horse construction crew and were lying on the ground.  Sunday afternoon the volunteers loaded each of these many hundred pound switches into a truck and trailer.  They have been safely squirreled away for the winter.  We hope to have them refurbished and then reinstalled back on the Greenway once construction is completed.   Two of the muscle men were our local elected officials - Area Councillor Jeff Riklin and Alderman John Rice.

Creating Upper Falls Heirlooms - The last issue of the Upper Falls News described how to de'rustify old railroad spikes using ketchup.  In response, Margaret and Mick Alexander sent these photos of a Christmas present they gave to their sons this year.  They made them from spikes and other railroad hardware they found on the Greenway construction site.

History, Playgrounds and You - In the 1800's, a company called Kings Publishing published a series of guide books about various cities around the country - Boston, Cincinnati, New York, Springfield, Providence ... and yes Newton.  The 340 page "Kings Handbook of Newton" describes the Newton of 1889 in great details, with a chapter for each village.  It's full of drawings, stories, poems, anecdotes of Newton of the day and it's written in a somewhat goofy, over-the-top style.   We've just republished the book as a paperback and are selling copies for $20 each.   All proceeds will go to the rebuilding of the Emerson Playground.  So help build a playground by ordering a copy today.  Send us an email with your address, telephone number, and how many copies you would like.  We'll deliver them to your door.

Upper Falls Poetry - Here's an 1889 poem from the Upper Falls chapter of the Kings Handbook of Newton
   Newton Upper Falls is split in two parts
   Where we learn the sciences and fine arts
   We have all sorts of trade, all kinds of trash
   Machine-shops, cotton-mills, but not much cash

The Biltmore & The Greenway - A win-win plan has been put together by Alderman Deb Crossley and the Biltmore restaurant in Chestnut St.  The Biltmore parking lot behind the restaurant abuts the railroad line that will soon become the Upper Falls Greenway.  The parking lot extends onto the railroad right of way.  The plan works like this:  Where the Greenway trail goes past The Biltmore, the trail will be moved away from the center of the right-of-way.   The Greenway construction crew will block out a 5 foot wide, 100 foot long border area.  Rebecca Kanfer, a Greenway volunteer and landscape architect has put together a detailed planting plan and budget for the border area.  The Biltmore will underwrite the cost of the plantings.  The Biltmore will expand their maximum seating by being able to simultaneously open the outside patio and their back room.  The Biltmore will get a greatly improved back yard and the Greenway will look much better than it would otherwise.   Many thanks to The Biltmore, Alderman Crossley and Rebecca Kanfer for putting this all together.  The work will get done sometime this spring when the weather warms up.

Bring Those Pets Inside - Ray Boyce reports: “FYI….I spotted a large coyote last night on Rockland Place. It was so big I think it might have been a coywolf. Keep those pets inside, especially at night.”

The Boatman of Upper Falls - When Tom O'Shaughnessy from the Upper Falls Variety saw the printed version of the Kings Handbook of Newton he knew exactly what he was looking for.  Here's a great story about it.

Most Interesting Local Organization You've Probably Never Heard Of - Mothers' Milk Bank recently moved from Newton Cultural Center to the Echo Bridge Office Park (i.e. the mill complex at Chestnut & Elliott Streets).  The Mother's Milk Bank is a non-profit community milk bank.  They collect milk from volunteers and provide pasteurized human milk to babies in fragile health throughout the Northeast US.

It Takes a Village ... to deliver a Christmas card. In the last issue of the Upper Falls New we asked readers to help get a mis-delivered Christmas card into the right hands.  This torn envelope was delivered to Margaret Alexander and had the name Cothcone and the wrong address on Rockland Place.  Margaret tried looking up "Cothcone" in the phone directory and came up empty handed.  Eight Upper Falls News readers responded with the same information.  Two of them deciphered the handwritten name as "Coticone" and looked it up in on-line directories.  The other six knew Geralyn Coticone personally.   Thanks to Jim Lerner, Jo-Louise Allen, Sue Falls, Randi Miller-Tartaro, Jeff Wendlandt, Inez Friedman-Boyce, Seta Der Hohannesian, and Julie Irish for the detective work.

The card has been delivered.  Neighbors Geralyn and Margaret now have met each other.  This afternoon, everyone involved in the mystery card delivery have been invited to Margaret & Mick's house for a little get together.  I'm hoping I get to see their sons' Christmas present (see above)

Did You Know ... that the word racecar and kayak are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left.  "Did you know ..." features an interesting and random fact every issue, collected by eleven-year-old Upper Falls resident Jayla Reilly.

Send Us Your News - If you have any upcoming events, activities, news, trivia, stories, anecdotes or jokes related to Upper Falls just send them to news@UpperFallsNews.org and we'll include them in the next newsletter.  For those who prefer living in the past, back issues of the Upper Falls News are archived at UpperFallsNews.org.

Upper Falls Trivia Answer - The revolutionary invention was Otis Pettee's "Gear Cone Double Speeder".  It replaced sloppy, ever changing leather belts with a system of metal gearing that precisely controlled multiple different types of machine motion simultaneously.  Local hero Otis Pettee filed for a patent in 1825 and almost immediately his invention was quickly adopted by nearly every cotton factory in the world.  The corner of Oak and Chestnut St (by The Depot Coffee Shop) is called Pettee Square in honor of Upper Falls' most ingenious and accomplished inventor/industrialist/businessman.