Chestnut Trees in Cambridge by Jason Weksner, Arborist

  American chestnut trees (Castanea dentata) have all but vanished from Massachusetts landscapes, thanks to the fungal pathogen Cryphonectria parasitica, commonly known as chestnut blight. The lovely horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) from Europe, although a different genus from our native chestnut tree, has now established itself in the local landscape. While smaller than the American chestnut, the horse chestnut has … Read More

Lights, camera, action… (From our summer 2007 newsletter)

On a rainy weekend in April, the Chandler Room at the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House was transformed into a movie set. With its pine paneling and open hearth, it became the Charlestown home of John Harvard and his wife, Ann, for a reenactment of the final hours of Harvard’s life on September 14, 1638. The film, John Harvard, was written and produced … Read More

Looking Backward: Club 47 and the 1960s Folk Music Revival by Jennifer Hance

Bob Dylan never made it in Cambridge. This was one of many fascinating stories told by folklorist Millie Rahn, who travels around the country to collect and document the history of the folk music movement. Closer to home, Millie is the folklorist for Club Passim and other regional folk music venues. She produced a documentary on Club 47 for WGBH … Read More

The Remarkable John “Jack” Emerson: Founder of the J. H. Emerson Company

By Daphne Abeel, 2005 When Will and George Emerson begin to talk about their family background and their father, who founded the J. H. Emerson Company, they mention somewhat offhandedly that they are descended from a brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson and that their paternal grandfather was related to the artist Maxfield Parrish. But it is only when they begin … Read More

The Story of the Bee

Read the full The Story of the Bee by Mary Towle Palmer (1924) as a PDF here Read the finding aid for The Bee Records, 1861–1934 here Cambridge Proceedings, Volume 17, 1924 EXTRACTS FROM “THE STORY OF THE BEE” BY MARY TOWLE PALMER Since there is no record of the exact pages which Mrs. Palmer read before the Society at … Read More

1905: A Year of New Beginnings

By Michael Kenney, 2015 Call 1905 “a year of new beginnings.” It marked not only the final decision on a new subway route—today’s Red Line—but also the birth of the Cambridge Historical Society. Well into the year, there was debate over whether to run a subway underground once it crossed the Charles River, or to run an elevated line through … Read More