The City of Newton in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, is an important residential suburb of Boston, which abuts it on the east. According to the 2000 census, the population of Newton was 83,829, making it the tenth largest city in the state.
Newton was settled in 1630 as part of Newetowne, which was renamed Cambridge in 1638. It was incorporated as a separate town, known as Cambridge Village, in 1688. It was renamed Newtown in 1691 and finally Newton in 1766. It became a city in 1873. Newton is known as The Garden City.
Newton does not have a single town center, but is rather a patchwork of 13 "villages", many boasting small "downtown" areas of their own. The 13 villages are: Auburndale, Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, Newton Corner, Newton Highlands, Newton Lower Falls, Newton Upper Falls (both on the Charles River, and both once small industrial sites), Newtonville, Nonantum (also called "The Lake"), Oak Hill, Thompsonville, Waban, and West Newton. Oak Hill Park is a place within the village of Oak Hill that itself is shown as a village on some city maps. Although most of the villages have a post office, they have no legal definition and no firmly defined borders. This village based system often causes some confusion with regard to addresses and first time visitors.
Each April on Patriots Day, the Boston Marathon is run through the city, entering from Wellesley on Route 16 (Washington Street) where runners encounter the first of the four infamous Newton Hills. It then turns right onto Route 30 (Commonwealth Avenue) for the long haul into Boston. There are two more hills before reaching Centre Street, and then the fourth and most infamous of all, Heartbreak Hill, rises shortly after Centre Street. Residents and visitors line the race route along Washington Street and Commonwealth Avenue to cheer the runners.
* The Fig Newton cookie is named after the city. In 1991, Newton and Nabisco hosted a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Fig Newton. A 100-inch Fig Newton was served and Juice Newton performed.
* The only Melkite Greek Catholic eparchy in America, the Eparchy of Newton, is named for Newton although its cathedral, headquarters and exarchial residence are located in the Roslindale section of Boston.