Homes for Sale in Needham. Needham was first settled in 1680 with the purchase of a tract of land measuring 4 miles by 5 miles from Chief Nehoiden for the sum of 10 pounds, 40 acres of land, and 40 shillings worth of corn. It was officially incorporated in 1711. In the late 1860s William Emerson Baker moved to Needham. A notably wealthy man due to his having improved the mechanical sewing machine, Baker assembled a parcel of land exceeding 800 acres and named it Ridge Hill Farm. He built two man made lakes on his property, including Sabrina lake near present day Locust Lane.
Baker turned part of his property into an amusement park with exotic animals, subterranean tunnels, trick floors and mirrors. In 1888 he built a sizable hotel, near the intersection of present day Whitman Road and Charles River Street, called the Hotel Wellesley which had a capacity of over 300 guests. The hotel burned to the ground on 19 December 1891.
Needham uses the old style Town government with a representative Town Meeting. Needham also has an elected Board of Selectmen, which is essentially the executive branch of the town government. Needham operates one high school, Needham High School, which underwent a $62 million renovation that was completed in 2009, one middle school, William F. Pollard Middle School, for seventh and eighth grade, High Rock School, for sixth grade only, and five elementary schools for grades K-5, which are John Eliot Elementary School, Hillside Elementary School, Mitchell Elementary School, Newman Elementary School and Broadmeadow Elementary School. Needham is also home to private schools such as St. Joseph’s Elementary School, St. Sebastian’s School, and Monsignor Haddad Middle School.