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

History Hive

We all have historical knowledge to share. You know things about history, and we want to hear them. So we pose questions on social media, in our e-news, and through our media partners. Then we collect your answers and share them. Crowdsourcing history: It’s just one of the ways we make history with you. To follow #HCHistoryHive on social media, … 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

A Mystery Lingers Over Huron Avenue

By Michael Kenney, 2013 Cambridge’s streets have histories and stories, just as the city itself does. And among those stories, Huron Avenue is one of the richest – and one with a bit of mystery. There are three main sources for these histories. The detailed records compiled by Lewis M. Hastings, the city engineer from 1889 to 1932, frequently identify … Read More

1986 Neighborhood Trivia Hunt

Cambridge Trivia Hunt

Cambridge has certainly changed over time, and our 1986 trivia hunt shows just how true that is. It serves as a kind of time capsule of our city. Take a trip back in time with this self-guided tour to see how many of these sites are still around. Which ones do you recognize? Which ones do you remember? What are … Read More

2021 History Café Recap

This spring, thanks to the generous support of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati and a grant from the Bridge Street Fund, a special initiative of Mass Humanities, History Cambridge was able to host two History Cafés exploring the rich history of the city’s Black community. Graduate intern Eshe Sherley created our Early Black Cambridge History Hub, a compilation of … Read More