Published April 4, 2019

NORTH READING — North Reading will celebrate a 300th birthday in 2020. 

The town’s earliest beginning date back to 1713 at Sadler’s Neck when the land from the Ipswich River to Andover was set off as a parish known as The North Precinct of Reading (which then comprised Wakefield, the First Parish, and today’s Reading, the Third Parish). In order to qualify as an established town, it was required of the parish to “build a suitable house of worship and procure and settle a learned Orthodox minister and make provision for his support.”

The First Meetinghouse construction began in 1717. In 1718, the parish invited Daniel Putnam of Salem Village, a 23-year-old graduate of Harvard College Class of 1717, to be their minister. He accepted. By 1720, construction of his residence, today known as The Rev. Daniel Putnam House, was complete. The town’s first minister and his family lived there until his death in 1759.

The house remained with the Putnam family for another 200 years, until the 1960s. Today it is lovingly restored and cared for (and open to the public) by the North Reading Historical and Antiquarian Society.

Several events are planned throughout the coming year for the celebration. The Historical Society welcomes volunteers interested in the community’s history who can offer not only ideas, but also various skills to help us in the coming months. Please contact us.

Consider this your invitation to be a part of the celebration.

North Reading Historical and Antiquarian Society, PO Box 354, North Reading. For more information call 978-664-1066 or email us at