October 27, 2021

The Needham Channel

Your Town…Your Neighbors…Your Television!

Historical Documentaries:

Works in Collaboration with the Needham History Center and Museum


Fireworks! Illuminations! Cheers!
One of the things that history tries to explain is why things are the way they are. A lot of what makes Needham a desirable suburb can be traced back to its location and the travelling options that run through it. Sure, the towns road to success may indeed have been paved, but it was first tied to the creation of train lines. Dig a little deeper and a defunct electric streetcar system also got the town going at a critical point. Join the Needham History Center and Museum’s Executive Director, Dr. Gloria Greis, as she tracks down the reasons we should celebrate our transportation transformation.

2021 • Runtime: 50 minutes
Enslavement in Needham: Reckoning with a Difficult History
In collaboration with the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Needham, Executive Director of the Needham History Center and Museum Gloria Greis teamed up with Reverend Catie Scudera to explore the history of enslavement in Needham, and the repercussions it has had in the centuries since abolition. The event was held as part of the Needham Free Public Library's Vivian McIver Lecture Series.

2021 • Runtime: 65 minutes
  • Episode 1: The Parker School
    Runtime: 8 minutes
Needham School Houses
The public education of children has changed greatly over the years. One way to mark the differences in educational standards is to look at the structures put in place to carry out that mission. In this ground-breaking series of short documentaries, the Needham History Center and Museum teams up with documentarian Derick Risner to explore Needham's rich educational past, present and future.

2018 - 2021 • Runtime: varies per episode
The Fuller Bird Journals
Timothy Otis Fuller was a self-taught naturalist, who spent years studying the plants and birds of Needham. In his journals tracking 1904 - 1912, he created a priceless record that is not only beautiful, but can be compared to current data, to evaluate the changes in local climate over the last 100 years.

2020 • Runtime: 38 minutes
Beautiful & Bizarre: William Baker's Ridge Hill Farms
William Emerson Baker lived two lives: one as an successful entrepreneur who founded one of the largest sewing machine companies in the world, the other as a wealthy eccentric who built what many call America's first amusement park.

2016 • Runtime: 1 hour, 7 minutes
The Millen-Faber Gang
During the 1930s there were many gangs roaming the midwest robbing banks and having shootouts with cops. What you may not know is that we had a gang of our own that terrorized Massachusetts in 1933-34. Their biggest crime was right here in Needham.

2013 • Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Big Little Town: The Story of Needham
Explore 300 years of Needham History in this wonderfully collaborative effort by The Needham Channel, The Needham History Center and Museum and filmmaker Kathryn Dietz. This project was supported by the efforts of the Needham Tercentennial Committee.

2012 • Runtime: 1 hour, 5 minutes