Welcome to Waltham! (A Movers’ Guide to Watch City)

Moving to Moody Street? Here are some things to know:

If you’re thinking of moving to Waltham, you’ll need to find a good Waltham moving company. But before booking your movers, let’s make sure you budget properly for the new neighborhood.

According to rentjungle, the average one-bedroom apartment is $2,262/month and a two-bedroom will set you back about $2,796/month. Despite being higher than most cities and towns in the area, those figures do represent a very slight decrease in rent costs since last year.

The cost of buying a home, however, has gone up dramatically. The real estate website Zillow has the median home value in Waltham at $584,500, which is a whopping 8.9% increase over a year’s time. And those prices are likely to continue to rise, Zillow says.

Though the cost of living is a little higher than elsewhere in the state, Waltham remains one the state’s safest cities, particularly of its size, and boasts a good public school system.

Welcome to the (Industrial) Revolution!

Like so many of New England’s smaller cities, Waltham was at the forefront of this country’s industrial revolution. Following the success of Samuel Slater’s “Rhode Island System,” in Pawtucket, Harvard alum Francis Cabot Lowell set up the Boston Manufacturing Company in Waltham. His new factory, using the power of the Charles River, marked the birth of what we now call a “vertically integrated system.”

Simply put, the factory combined all aspects of textile production under one roof. At Lowell’s Waltham Mill, workers spun, wove, dyed, cut, and sewed cotton. The path from raw material to finished product had never been so short.

Additionally, Lowell’s system gave rise to workers who became known as “mill girls.” These were women, mostly from rural areas, who came to live and work in the factory. These workers lived under strict rules — the factory dictated their mealtimes and curfews and prohibited dating.

The endeavor was so profitable that it necessitated a power source stronger than the Charles River. That’s when Lowell built a new factory on the much larger Merrimack River in what was then East Chelmsford, Massachusetts. We know it today as Lowell, the Commonwealth’s fourth-largest city.

Moody Street is one of the city’s main thoroughfares and a center of business activity. The street bears the name of Paul Moody, the inventor of the country’s first power loom. It was Moody’s invention that propelled the Waltham-Lowell System to such profitability.

Fun fact: Before starting Safe Responsible Movers, our owner Chris Amaral worked for another Waltham Moving Company.

Brandeis University

Of course, today’s Waltham is not a center of manufacturing. Instead, it’s probably best known as home to Brandeis University. The school is named for Louis Brandeis, who was the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Though born in Kentucky, Brandeis settled in Boston to practice law prior to his appointment the High Court.

Though heavily associated with Jewish culture, Brandeis is actually a secular school open to students of all faiths. Many national publications rank it among the top mid-sized schools in the country.

Waltham Moving Company - Rose Art Musuem

Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum is one of Waltham’s main attractions. Photo by John Phelan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What to do in Waltham

The city retains the nickname of “Watch City” thanks to the Waltham Watch Company’s prominence in the industry between 1854 and 1957. But today, it’s the university that dominates the city’s culture. The campus’s Rose Art Museum, featuring a rotating display of works from major artists, as well as permanent exhibits from Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, is perhaps Waltham’s top attraction.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the city’s role in the industrial revolution, check out the Charles River Museum of Industry. If the revolution that separated us from the British is more up your alley, you can visit the Robert Treat Payne Estate, the former home of one of the original signatories to the Declaration of Independence. You’ll never run out of history in Waltham (hometown of notable historian and Will Hunting’s favorite name to drop Gordon Wood). With over 100 places on the National Register of Historic Sites, you’ll never run out things to do.

Ready to hire a Waltham Moving Company? Get a quote today!

Featured Photo by Jmorgan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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