Historical walking tour
Stoneham was first settled about 1645 as a quiet farming community known as Charlestown End. In 1725, it was incorporated as a separate town with the center located at the present Pleasant and Summer Streets intersection. After the Medford-Andover Turnpike (now Main Street/Route 28) was built in 1806, residents and merchants began relocating to be near the turnpike and a new town center emerged. The population began expanding rapidly in the 1840s as the Industrial Revolution meant shoe-making shifted from small home businesses to large-scale factories that drew workers to the town. Later in the century as transportation improved with trains and trolleys, Stoneham came within easy trading and commuting distance of Boston.
The tour starts in Stoneham Square and takes you on a one mile tour of the some of the highlights of Stoneham's history, from its heyday as a shoe town to remnants of its colonial past. See where the car that won the first transcontinental auto race was built, where the town founders are buried and the location of a stop on the Underground Railroad that housed escaped slaves fleeing from the south before the Civil War.