09-28-12 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 nearly destroyed all of Upper Falls in 1907? (answer below)

Start up the Presses - The Upper Falls News suspended publication over the summer to give the harried newsroom staff a well deserved vacation.  We're all now well rested and raring to go so we'll resume our irregular publishing schedule (roughly once a week).  So send us your Upper Falls news, trivia, anecdotes, and jokes to news@UpperFallsNews.org

A Great Day  ! - Despite predictions of bad weather all week, last Sunday turned out to be a beautiful warm sunny day for Upper Falls Heritage Day celebration at the Emerson playground.   The warm weather kept Tom O'Shaugnessy from Upper Falls Variety and his granddaughter Katie Ann busy all afternoon, slinging free Slush as fast as they could shovel it to the thirsty masses.   Later in the afternoon 100 donated pizzas arrived from five local pizzerias (Papa Gino's, Highlands House of Pizza, O'Hara's, Four Corners House of Pizza and Raviolis).  The kids happily bounced in a bouncy castle and fired air powered rockets hundreds of feet in the air all afternoon, while a DJ spun the tunes.  The mayor and his family came  to enjoy the Upper Falls outing as did a sizable aldermanic delegation, including our three local A'men - Deb Crossley, John Rice and Brian Yates, as well as Ruthanne Fuller and Greg Schwartz  .  The afternoon ended with a spectacular and very funny show by James the juggler.  Many thanks to all those who put this great neighborhood event together.

It's Not Lonely At the Top - Heritage Day wasn't the only Upper Falls party in recent weeks.  The neighbors at the very top of Upper Falls, recently organized the first ever "Upper Upper Falls Block Party" a few weeks ago (Sept 9).  The folks on Cottage, Columbia, and Champa Streets, those streets at the top of the tallest hill in Upper Falls, shut down the intersection of Cottage and Columbia and had their own party on Sept 9.   We bottom dwellers may have something to learn from our high altitude neighbors - it's high time for a "Lower Upper Falls Block Party" ... maybe even a "Middle Upper Falls Block Party".

Walking Into The Past - Tomorrow!, come on a walking tour of Upper Falls worker houses and mill buildings on Saturday, Sept 29 at 2 PM.  Much of the unique layout and flavor of our village today is anchored in the neighborhood's history as a mill village.  Architect Jane Galli will lead the walk which will begin at the corner of Chestnut and Elliot.  This neighborhood history walk is co-sponsored by Historic Newton and the Upper Falls Area Council.

Break Out the Rackets - The Braceland Park construction is now complete.  The brand new tennis courts look beautiful and are open for use.  Along with the new courts, lots of other details at the park were cleaned up and/or added - new path, benches, crosswalk, some new paving in the parking lot, and a nice big new sign.  So dust off those rackets and iron that little white skirt - it's time for a little tennis.  Many thanks go to the city's Parks and Recreation Dept for overhauling our park and doing a good job.

New Art Gallery - One Tuesday morning this week, a framed painting appeared on the fence around Braceland Park.  Someone decided to hang their paint-by-number floral masterpiece in this high visibility gallery.  Maybe soon the entire fence will be filled with a wide assortment of Upper Falls art.

Box of Art - Speaking of art ... sometime over the summer, the drab gray utility box at the corner of Chestnut and Oak St was transformed into a visual wildlife sanctuary.  The box at the busy intersection has paintings of a squirrel, rooster, raccoon and deer - one on each side.  This is part of the city's BoxArt project in which they're commissioning artists to decorate the otherwise boring utility boxes.  It's nice to see that we've got one here in Upper Falls.  If anyone has information about who painted it, please send details to news@UpperFallsNew.org

Greenway Vote Coming Soon - The next step on the road to building the Upper Falls Greenway will happen in the Aldermanic Chamber at City Hall in the coming weeks.  The mayor, with sponsorship by five aldermen (Crossley, Fischman, Kalis, Rice and Yates) has docketed an item for vote by the alderman.  The vote will allow the city to sign a lease with the MBTA for the property and would also allocate funds for environmental insurance during the construction period (the state will pick up half the cost).  The plan to build a new one mile long park in Upper Falls on the old railroad right of way is moving right along.

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.

Trivia Answer - FIRE !!!  On a very cold and extremely windy day in 1907, a fire broke out in the Leather Tire Goods Factory (who knew that tires in 1907 were made of leather?) - located on the river below Upper Falls roughly where the small dam is now being reconstructed.  In no time at all, the wind whipped fire spread throughout the mill and began spewing sparks high up in the air all over the neighborhood.  By the time the fire trucks arrived, the airborne embers had spread the fires to nearby houses.   The fire department and virtually everyone in the neighborhood fought for hours to extinguish the fires that kept igniting in nearby houses.  Twelve houses caught fire on Boylston, Chestnut and High St but all but one of them was saved.

The firece wind blew embers as far away as 45 Rockland Terrace, a third of a mile away.  The house there wasn't damaged but their hen house burned to the ground.   Cribbed from Ken Newcomb's "Makers of the Mold - a History of Newton Upper Falls" - this wonderful neighborhood history book is for sale at Ye Olde Clip Joint (a.k.a. Sol's barber shop) on Chesnut St in Upper Falls.  All proceeds benefit the Friends of Hemlock Gorge.