This one has been bothering me for some time. Thompsonville, I was taught in 5th grade, is Newton’s smallest village by far, like a comma between Chestnut Hill and Newton Centre, best known by the intersection at route 9 and Langley Road with Tony’s Villa on one side and a gas station on the other. There are fewer draws to the shrinking business center nowadays.  The new Atrium Center went so far as to add the pricier “Chestnut Hill” to its name.

In an effort to emphasize our villages, city hall and the media often exaggerate the boundaries of Thompsonville such that its size is on par with other villages. Village boundaries are always a tricky business. In reality, there are no boundaries, but people generally have a sense of what is or is not part of a village. The Bowen-Thompsonville Neighborhood Association was so named because it covers an area larger than just Thompsonville.  City Hall IT sometimes uses the somewhat-defunct BTNA boundaries as a guide (the current map avoids the issue).  Historical maps point to Langley Road and the area abutting the Webster Conservation Area.  There’s a legend of the neighborhood being named for a hermit who lived in those woods. NewTV recently identified a Glenwood Road resident as living in Thompsonville.  Longtime residents of the part of Newton which is indisputably T’ville would scoff at the idea that White Ave, or even the “new” Bowen School (the playground yes, the school, marginally) are part of the village, much less early 20th century subdivisions down the hill near Parker Street.

Anyone have any evidence to cite?  Any historical documents (building permits or otherwise) to shed light on this? Any longtime residents care to weigh in?

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