Packer-Ellis Tennis Courts

Tennis had been played at the shore of Wedgemere Court from the 19thcentury on. The town courts along Palmer Street were named in 1949 for Rev. William S. Packer (1875-1958), rector at the Parish of the Epiphany, who served for 20 years as a Park Commissioner (1922-1945). He was an ardent tennis enthusiast under whose supervision the town built tennis facilities in 4 sections of the town. For many years the courts were maintained by a life-long Winchester resident with his own landscaping business, Donald R. Ellis (1927-2002). Fall 2002 Town Meeting renamed the courts the Packer-Ellis Tennis Courts “in recognition of the decades of volunteer service to maintain the quality of these courts on a par with that achieved by his predecessor, William S. Packer.”

Palmer Beach

Unofficial name for the beach at Wedge Pond, now Borggaard Beach.

Palmer Street Playground

Palmer Street was named for Irving S. Palmer, a mahogany wood dealer who owned land at lower end of Wedge Pond. In 1913, the town purchased some land on Palmer Street for cemetery purposes from Frances L. Palmer, who stipulated that a condition of the sale was the town’s accepting the gift of 1 and 1/4 acres of land at the northerly end of Palmer Street (at Middlesex Street), to be called the Irving S. Palmer Field. The Park Commissioners accepted the gift. For a few years it was used by neighborhood children but was not improved. In 1917, the town pursued another direction for a playground in that area by buying 3.68 acres next to the pond for a playground, where the Borggaard Beach and Packer-Ellis tennis courts are located. The Palmer plot lies open at the intersection of Middlesex and Palmer Streets.

Parkhurst Elementary School

Lewis Parkhurst (1856-1949), a Dartmouth graduate, was principal of the Winchester High School for 5 years beginning in 1886. He resigned to join the publishing house of Ginn and Company, in which he eventually became a partner. He was president of the Middlesex National Bank in Winchester (est. 1897). He served as a Water Commissioner, chaired the Committee of Public Safety during WWI, was an incorporator of Winchester Hospital, and was a member of the Unitarian Church Building Committee, the Planning Board, the Winchester committee for the Massachusetts Tercentenary, and the committee to build a new high school. He was influential in the development of the park system and was a substantial donor to the War Memorial. The first proposal for the school name was Indian Hill School, but the amendment to make it the Lewis Parkhurst School was what Town Meeting passed.

The Plains

A term sometimes applied to the area around the eastern end of Swanton Street, extending from about Oak Street to Cross Street.

Pond Plain

An obsolete designation for the land west of the Mystic Lakes, where Robinson Circle is now situated.

Prince School

The Prince School, demolished in the 1920s, was named for Frederick O. Prince, who proposed and negotiated the naming of the town for Col. William Parsons Winchester. Prince, who lived in a home overlooking Wedge Pond, served twice as Town Meeting Moderator, as a representative to general court, and as 1 of the first School Committee members. He became the first captain of the Winchester Light Guard and later became a lieutenant colonel. At some time after the Civil War, Prince returned to Boston where he was mayor from 1877 to 1881. He was the father of the Prince boys responsible for the naming of Myopia Hill. The school building which bore his name was built as the high school, but after a new high school built, the old building was converted to a grammar school and given the name ”Prince.”

Quill Circle - Henry F. Quill Circle

The rotary at the intersection of Mount Vernon, Main, and Church Streets and Shore Road was named for Henry Quill (1937-1992) at the Spring 1993 Town Meeting. A native of Winchester, Quill was an attorney who became involved in the community, serving on the Park Board, as president of the Winchester Business Association and the Kiwanis, and as a director of the Winchester Trust Company. He also coached little league and girls’ soccer.


This development was named by David N. Skillings, a native of Maine, who presumably named the area for Rangeley, Maine.

Rumford School

An early school, named for Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753-1814), of Woburn. Rumford was a scientist, inventor, and adventurer who served as an agent for the Tories during the Revolution and settled in England following the Revolution.

Russell Brook

A tributary of Horn Pond Brook, until the 1930s when it was culverted it could be seen entering Winchester from Woburn just east of the Woburn Loop railroad and running southwest to Horn Pond Brook. The path of the brook crossed Main Street north of Russell Road and ran west until it emptied into Horn Pond Brook north of Carter Street. The brook got its name, as did Russell Road, from the Russell family which once owned the land between Main and Cross streets where both are located.

Sachem Swamp

Located at the intersection of Johnson Road and Olde village Drive, this conservation area (acquired 1975), was named for the Squaw Sachem who originally owned the land, as well as all of Winchester.

Saltmarsh Common

In 2011, Town Meeting voted “to dedicate the Winchester Town Common in honor of Sherman W. ‘Whip’ Saltmarsh Jr., former Selectman and State Representative, in recognition of Whip’s long-time service and contributions to the community.” A native of Winchester, Saltmarsh served as a Town Meeting member for 32 years and on various committees, including the Winchester Field Development Council and the Winchester Sports Hall of Fame Committee. He was named the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year in 1981. As a State Representative, he secured more than $30 million in state funding for town renovation projects. His efforts for Winchester youth resulted in his being given the Sachem Spirit Award in 2010 and the 2011 Distinguished Service Award from the Mass Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Association.

Sanborn House

At 15 High Street, this historic house, named Aigremont by the first owner, was built during 1906-07 for Oren C. Sanborn, son of the founder of the Chase and Sanborn Company, on 2 previously undeveloped adjacent lots totaling about 9 1/2 half acres. The Sanborn family lived there until 1920. In 1945, the property was purchased for the Marycliff Academy, a Catholic girls’ school. The Sanborn House was used as a dormitory for the nuns. In 1969, a special Town Meeting authorized the town to purchase the entire property. The Marycliff Academy was converted into the Ambrose School. The Sanborn House has been used for a variety of purposes. It is currently leased to the Winchester Historical Society for conversion into an historic and cultural center.

Sandy’s Island - Sandra S. Rodgers Island

The island in Mill Pond was named the by Town Meeting in 2001 in honor of the local philanthropist who landscaped the island and surrounding area and restored a bridge to the island.

Saraco Way - Michael D. Saraco Way

Spring 1998 voted to name the new road off Granite Way in Wildwood Cemetery for Michael Saraco (1922-1997), who was Board of Health Agent (1958-1964) and Director of the Health Department (1964-1980). Saraco was also a selectman, Town Meeting member, and a member of the Finance Committee, Committee on Names, and Wildwood Cemetery Advisory Committee.

Sawmill Brook

This brook, running from the area of the reservoirs to Washington Street and now almost entirely piped underground, was named for a sawmill built at the end of the 18th century by Jeduthan Richardson.

Shannon Beach - Charles E. Shannon Jr. Memorial Beach

Sandy Beach at the Upper Mystic Lake was renamed for Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr. in 2008 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Shannon, a former Lexington policeman, represented the second Middlesex District of Winchester, Woburn, Somerville and Medford, in the state legislature from 1991 to 2005. After his death in 2005 at age 61, the Winchester Board of Selectmen approached local legislators with the idea of renaming the beach in his honor.

Shore Road Field

Created during the 1930s on landfill at what had been the upper end of Judkins Pond, this field used to be located on the site of the current high school. It was named for the road that ran along the shore of Judkins Pond.

Skillings Field

Officially named Ciarcia Field, the high school field has been popularly called Skillings Field. Like Skillings Road, the name came from the David N. Skillings Jr. estate adjacent to Judkins pond (site of the current Jenks Senior Center). After the town purchased the site in 1943, the house was raised and the hill leveled to make way for the present parking lot by the Jenks Center Senior. Skillings Road opened in 1957 and was named by Town Meeting the next year.

Smith Pond

For centuries this pond had reportedly been dried up, but in 1910 Josiah Locke Smith (1826-1911), who owned farmland to the west of Ridge Street, dammed the stream (Menchen Run) and turned it back into a pond. Since 1966 it has been a conservation area.

South Woburn

The incorporation of Woburn separated that city from its parent, Charlestown. About 2-thirds of what is now Winchester was part of Woburn. In Colonial times, the village that grew up around Edward Converse’s mill pond came to be known as the South End and later as South Woburn.

Spring Pond

Marked on a few early maps, this natural spring disappeared under Upper Mystic Lake when the Charlestown Water Works built a dam at The Partings in 1864, enlarging the upper end of the lake.

Squaw Sachem Brook

This brook (a.k.a. Herbert Meyer Brook) on Myopia Hill runs through the grounds of the Winchester Country Club and a part of Arlington before emptying into the Mystic Lake. When the Squaw Sachem deeded her lands to the English colonists, she reserved land west of the Mystic Lakes for herself during her lifetime. Although the brook in that area long bore the name of Squaw Sachem’s Brook, apparently that was forgotten when the brook was renamed at the end of the twentieth century for Herbert Meyer in memory of an Arlington resident instrumental in founding the Mystic River Watershed Association. In 2006, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Freedom’s Way Heritage Association listed the Herbert Meyer Brook as a heritage landscape in its Arlington Reconnaissance Report.

Squaw Sachem Spring

Henry Chapman in his History of Winchester supposed that Squaw Sachem’s wigwam could have stood “near the ever-running spring, which still bears the name of the Squaw Sachem Spring.” During the 1930s, the spring was on the property of John Abbott, who built a home at 24 Arlington St. to overlook the Club’s old first green. According to the Club’s history, Breaking Ninety, "There was a spring on the Abbott property, and the Winchester Country Club dog made it a habit to bathe there daily. Mr. Abbott built a small house for the spring to keep the dog out of the water everyone enjoyed drinking. While John Abbott was on a trip to Europe, members of the club had the spring water piped under the first fairway to the present location and had the brick fountains constructed much to the pleasant surprise of Mr. Abbott on his return from abroad.” A plaque was attached with the name John Abbott Spring.

Stanton Plot

An unofficial name applied to a kite-shaped piece of land which formerly existed at the junction of Main and Washington streets but has since been incorporated into the Lincoln School lot. It took its name from J. C. Stanton, one of Winchester’s first selectmen, who owned the plot before selling it to the town.

Stanton’s Pond

This small pond, presumably named for the Stanton family, formerly lay along the outlet from Wedge Pond to the Aberjona River on the western side of the Woburn Loop. It is not so named on most maps.

Sucker Brook

Originating in Woburn and flowing through what is currently conservation land, this brook bears a descriptive name.

Swanton Street Park

Unofficial first name for Bellino Park.

Swartz Facility - Randall W. Swartz Water Treatment Facility

The town's water treatment plant was completed in 1996 to put the reservoirs in compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act and the Surface Water Treatment Rule. Fall 2000 Town Meeting named it for Randall Swartz (1946-2000), a member of the Conservation Commission, Board of Health, Water System Review Committee, Waste Study Committee, and Town Meeting.

Symmes Corner

The intersection of Main and Bacon Streets has long been known as Symmes Corner after the Symmes family which owned much of the land in that section of Winchester for many generations. Zachariah Symmes was, in fact, one of the first recipients of a land grant in what is now Winchester territory.

Symmes River

This names was applied in Colonial times to a portion of the Aberjona River that flowed through the Symmes family farm just before it emptied into the Mystic Pond.