Gold Star Memorials in North Cambridge

By Marion Severynse Veterans Day is an appropriate time to pay homage to the role that North Cambridge and its residents have played in the military history of Massachuestts and the United States. There are nine Memorial Pole and Dedication Markers commemorating Gold Star service members in the area bounded by Rindge Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, and Alewife Brook Parkway. In … Read More

A Lost Park: Longfellow’s Parklands

By Annette LaMond | S.M., MIT Sloan School of Management | Ph.D., Yale University There are various lenses through which to view the history of a city, and the treatment of open space and development of parks may be as revealing as any other. This is particularly true in Cambridge – one of the most densely populated small cities in … Read More

Apply to Become a History Cambridge Fellow

Make history with History Cambridge! We are seeking a storyteller Fellow to help identify, gather, interpret, and amplify the experiences of what it’s like to grow up in our city. Help us share the “Who, What, Where, When, and Why” of Cambridge teens. Who are the people who have influenced you – in your family, your school, your neighborhood? What … Read More

Call To Artists: Tory Row’s Hidden Black History Project

Open front gate leading up to front door of historic house flanked by trees

About the Project History Cambridge intends to install temporary public art on the front lawn of Hooper-Lee-Nichols House (HLN) in the Spring of 2022 to raise awareness of Black history in West Cambridge. Massachusetts was a center of slave trading in New England as early as 1688 when African people were kidnapped by Massachusetts ship owners and traders to be … Read More

History Hive: Harvard Square Police Kiosks

#HCHistoryHive, we’ve got another mystery for you to solve! This one’s from Pat P. of Naples, FL. Share your memories of this time and place…. “I am writing an essay about a trip to the Boston area in 1963. My buddy and I went there to see a friend who was attending Harvard. When we drove into Harvard Square we … Read More

Cambridge and the Smallpox Epidemic, 1893-1903

By Beth Folsom In our current era of COVID-19, heated discussions of vaccine mandates and the class and racial tensions inherent in these conversations may seem like a contemporary dilema, but an examination of Cambridge at the turn of the 20th century reveals that the city engaged in similar debates around the issue of smallpox vaccination and public accommodation more … Read More

R. Buckminster Fuller in Cambridge

By Richard Lingner, 2011 If you’ve read anything about Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983), you probably know that Fuller was kicked out of Harvard College. And not just once, but twice. He never graduated. You may not know, however, about some of his more positive experiences in Cambridge, including a stint as a visiting Harvard professor in the early 1960s. In … Read More

History Hive: Mrs. McCartney

#HCHistoryHive, you did it! We asked you to help us find the identity of a well known female mechanic who may have run a Gulf gas station in Brattle Square. This mechanical whiz was able to fix a car by hammering and/or kicking the motor. When asked if her fee was too much for simply roughing up the motor, she … Read More

Growing Up on Worcester Street

By Suzanne Revaleon Green Originally published in A City’s Life and Times: Cambridge in the Twentieth Century, 2007 Introduction written by Paula Paris, a member of the Cambridge Historical Commission and a co-founding member of the Cambridge Black History Project, an all-volunteer organization of individuals with deep roots in Cambridge, committed to researching, accurately documenting, preserving, and illuminating the journeys, … Read More