Route 9: A Journey through Time

Route 9: A Journey through Time was presented March 5, 2023. From its start in 1810 as a toll road from Brookline to Worcester, Route 9 has undergone many transformations to become the bustling roadway that we know today. Follow along as local history experts from Newton, Wellesley, Natick, and Framingham take you through its development, from toll houses and street cars to shopping malls and roadside entertainment. Learn about the evolution of transportation and commerce, and the political forces that helped shape the east-west road that remains essential to our communities.




  • The Turnpikes of New England. Frederic J Wood, 1919
  • Framingham: An American Town. Stephen W Herring, 2000
    History of Needham, Massachusetts, 1711-1911. George Kuhn Clarke, 1912 (this includes West Needham, now Wellesley)
  • Newton’s 19th Century Architecture: Newton Highlands and Waban. Historic Newton with the Newton Historical Commission and Department of Planning and Development, c. 1975


ARTICLES on specifically the period 1900-1930s

  • “The Worcester Turnpike,” Wellesley Townsman newspaper, 31 January 1908, page 7. A history of Worcester Street and the turnpike at the 100th anniversary.
  • “Changes and Improvements on Worcester Street, Wellesley, Made By the Boston & Worcester Street Railway Co.,” Wellesley Townsman newspaper, 26 February 1926, pages 2-3. A history of the B&W Street Rail written by a former B&W Chief Engineer, Edwin H. Rogers.