Geology of Needham
In the beginning there was a lot of dirt, sand, rocks, and clay. There were also ponds, streams, but the Charles River had not yet been formed. The most famous rock back then was granite. It was the only rock you would see! The earth had split where Wellesley is today, because of volcanoes! Ash came out of volcanoes and blew all over what is now Needham. The ash was many feet deep! All the ash turned into a rock called "tuff" and the volcanoes eroded away. Then something came down that changed the earth - a Glacier! (That's an ice flow). It went down to Cape Cod and melted, and that is how we got Cape Cod. Around the Charles River there was a lot of land. Back then there was very rich soil. There was also a lot of granite 600,000,000 years ago. Volcanoes started 570,000,000 years ago, and ended about 1,000,000 years ago. The latest glacier started about 1,000,000 years ago and finished melting away about 11,000 years ago in Needham. Native Americans appeared about 12,000 to 16,000 years ago.
What Glaciers Made. The glacier made lots of things. The glacier made:
Almost 1,000,000 years ago Needham was covered by a glacier. It formed because lots of snow piled and piled on itself. Finally snow came tumbling out and formed a glacier. It flattend the land and pushed and pulled everything in its path. The glacier was hundreds of miles long. Today the glacier is still here... . . .
Glacier Flow in Chile
This is a glacier flow in Chile and it is probably what it looked like a long time ago in Needham..
Much of the earth is made of rocks. Rocks are made of many kinds of materials. Here are some kinds of rocks you might find in Needham.
Needham’s oldest and highest rock is 240 feet high. It has been called High Rock since 1649. It is made of volcanic bedrock that was smoothed over by the glacier. For many years there was a myth that High Rock was an Indian smoke signal station reaching from Blue Hills to Mount Wachusett. In 1649, two brothers claimed it as their own. It was sold at auction in 1835. Now it is in High Rock Forest in 160 acres of native woodlands. High Rock was given to the town as a gift. Many children climb High Rock
The Charles River was named "The River Charles" by Prince Charles of England, who later became King Charles I. He named the river for himself.
The Indians called the river "Quinubequin", meaning "the river that turns upon its self" because it turns and twists.
THE RIVER THAT TURNS LIKE A SNAKE
Needham is shaped by the Charles River and it is shaped like a snake because it twists and turns. People have used it as a food source, catching fish from it. They have used it as a source of energy to provide water power. People have had canoe races and have gone swimming in the Charles River. For a while it was polluted but now people have successfully cleaned up the pollution.
GEOGRAPHY OF THE CHARLES
The Charles River is alot longer then you think. It's actually 80 MILES long! The Charles River starts in Echo Lake in Hopkinton and slowly flows until it reaches the Boston Harbor. It nearly surrounds the town of Needham and is a natural border with the towns of Dedham, Dover, Westwood, Newton, Natick,
THE BRIDGES WE CROSS
There are a great number of bridges in Needham. This is because Needham is beside the Charles River which is very windy. There are nine bridges. We need to cross the bridges to get in and out of Needham. In 1903, at Town Meeting, the bridges were named. The first one to be built was Kendrick Bridge in 1716. These bridges were very helpful to the people of Needham.
There are nine bridges through out Needham that go across the Charles River. Right now there are 20 dams in the Charles River.
*This is the Charles River at the Newton Upper Falls and Needham border. The building is where the old silk milll used to be by the Silk Mill Dam.
Photo of Echo Bridge Buildings
Photo of waterfall
Kathleen Martell, Instructional Technology Specialist
Needham Public Schools, Needham MA