Archaeological Investigations at Houghton Garden, Newton, Massachusetts
Author(s): Paul J. Mohler
The Center for Cultural and Environmental History (CCEH) at the University of
Massachusetts Boston conducted a limited Phase I Reconnaissance Survey of Houghton
Garden in Newton (Chestnut Hill), Massachusetts. With no previous surveys conducted
in the area, the reconnaissance survey of 10 acres around Houghton Pond was directly
linked to the rehabilitation of the paths and the construction of informational kiosks.
Houghton Garden is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places
as a resource, which contributes to the significance of the Old Chestnut Hill Historic
District. The Garden derives its primary significance from the semi-naturalistic rock
garden started in 1906 by Clement S. and Martha G. Houghton. Seventy-seven shovel
test pits, each measuring 50 cm2, were positioned along a staggered 20-meter grid system
across the property. Two judgmental test pits were positioned at the base of a large rock
outcropping, believed to be a rockshelter.
Based on the subsurface testing, the property encompassing Houghton Garden
appears to possess low to medium archaeological significance. The extensive degree of
landscaping across the property has since destroyed much of the archaeological record.
Our investigations provided a slight glimpse of the property’s land use history since the
late 19th-century. In addition to the Rock Garden itself, the public garden has primarily
retained evidence of the early 20th-century landscaping conducted by Warren M.
Manning, increasing our knowledge of park construction regarding water features and
Cite this Record
Archaeological Investigations at Houghton Garden, Newton, Massachusetts. Paul J. Mohler. Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research Cultural Resource Management Study ,6. 2000 ( tDAR id: 369562) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8707ZN0
min long: -71.176; min lat: 42.311 ; max long: -71.16; max lat: 42.347 ;
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