Archaeological Investigations at Houghton Garden, Newton, Massachusetts

Author(s): Paul J. Mohler

Year: 2000


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

naturalistic gardens.

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

Spatial Coverage

min long: -71.176; min lat: 42.308 ; max long: -71.16; max lat: 42.338 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Stephen Mrozowski; City of Newton, MA

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
fiske06_houghtongrdn.pdf 34.03mb Oct 25, 2011 7:26:53 PM Public