More Noteworthy 2018 Programs
Save the Date: "Mr. Baker's Fairyland of the Beautiful and Bizarre"
November 5, 2018, 1pm
Waterstone at Wellesley
In partnership with the Needham History Center and Museum, Gloria Greis, Executive Director of the Needham History Center and Museum, will provide a talk on the Baker Estate:
In 1868, William Emerson Baker retired at the age of forty from his sewing machine business with a vast fortune. He purchased nearly 800 acres on the Needham/Wellesley line - the famous Ridge Hill Farms - transformed it into a summer fun land, complete with bear pits, an underground crystal grotto, rides for children, and a luxury hotel. Widely regarded as America's first amusement park, Ridge Hill Farms embodied Baker's extraordinary passion for social and economic reform, experimental agriculture, bad puns and practical jokes. But Baker also had a serious side. Find out how his research in public health led to his doomed attempt to secede from Needham and Wellesley and establish a “hygienic” village called HYGERIA.