Needham was first settled in 1680 with the purchase of a tract of land from Chief Nehoiden. It was officially incorporated in 1711. Originally part of the Dedham Grant, Needham split from Dedham and was named after the village of Needham Market in Suffolk, England. In 1857 the City of Boston began a project to fill in the Back Bay with landfill by filling the tidewater flats of the Charles River. The fill to reclaim the bay from the water was obtained from Needham, Massachusetts. Six miles of railroad tracks were laid from Needham and 35-car trains made 16 trips a day to Back Bay. The filling of present-day Back Bay was completed by 1882. Filling reached Kenmore Square in 1890, and finished in the Fens in 1900. The project was the largest of a number of land reclamation projects, beginning in 1820, which, over the course of time, more than doubled the size of the original Boston peninsula. In the late 1860s William Emerson Baker assembled a parcel of land exceeding 800 acres and named it Ridge Hill Farm. He built two man made lakes on his property and turned part of his property into an amusement park with exotic animals, subterranean tunnels, trick floors and mirrors.
Today Needham has a population of about 29,000 and is thought of as a bedroom community for Boston. Your tour will give you a bit of a feel for the community. As you move through town take a look at Needham High School (built in 1930) and its new addition and playing fields, the Needham Public Library with its new addition, and some of the town's historic markers.
Although parking can be found close to every stage, geocachers will probably want to park and do stages 1 and 2 and then move the car to complete the rest of the stages.
Begin your tour at the coordinates listed above. Use your PPC or cell phone to go to:
Our Town: http://tombtalk.net/geocaching/ourtown/gpsm-OT.php
NOTE: The reviewer of this cache required us to make it a "5" for difficulty when we first wrote it. Way back in 2009, needing a device with you that went online was considered "special equipment". We have left it a "5" so that cachers looking for a 5/1 would be able to log one fairly easily.