Fort Washington History Hub
In This Hub
- History Cambridge Archives
- Cambridge Historical Commission Archives
- Cambridge Public Library Online Records
- Cambridge Room Archives
- Oral Histories
- Partner Organizations
- Photo Gallery
Fort Washington Park is the last remaining fortification from the Revolutionary War in Cambridge, but the park and neighborhood hold rich histories beyond the Revolutionary era. The park contains four cannons and earthworks pointing south towards the Charles River, a fortification that George Washington himself ordered to be built. This station was used during the Revolutionary War, and has been through many stages and restorations since. These stages vary from public parks used by vendors and peddlers, a place for children to play, dog parks, and more.
Below are materials that detail the eras of the park. They contain newspaper articles from the 1880s through the 1920s that describe the need for restoration, as well as interesting tidbits like the scores of baseball games held in the neighborhood. There is the official report for a large-scale restoration in the 1970s, and photos of the park throughout time. Additionally, there is a transcribed oral history of daily life in early 1900s Fort Washington Park. These historic materials capture the full experiences of Fort Washington Park, and contextualize a corner of Cambridgeport. You can find the broader history of Cambridgeport itself in our Cambridgeport History Hub.
This Hub was supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. Thank you!
- Fort Washington, 1775-1975, and Other Cambridge Fortifications, By Douglas Payne Adams and Charles Sullivan, 1975
- “Fort Washington has history (and mystery), including rumors about Washington’s horse,” Betsey Donham, 2023
- “Fort Washington Park’s past, present and future is grant funded for a monthslong examination,” Beth Folsom, 2023
History Cambridge Archives
Vitiello, Domenic. “Fort Washington Park: The Continuity of Change in Cambridgeport,” 19 October 1998.
Sherman, Charles W. “Fort Washington, In Cambridge,” 1950.
Cambridge Historical Commission Archives
Ruth Priest Gray Scrap Book Collection (CHC044) 1936 – 1981. Scrap Book Number IV, 1971-1981, Series IV. Cambridge Historical Commission Archives. https://public.archivesspace.dlconsulting.com/repositories/3/archival_objects/12466, Accessed March 2023.
These folders contain articles from Boston newspapers from the 1930s through the 1980s, including one that details the completed restoration of Fort Washington Park in 1975.
Cambridge Public Library Online Records
- “Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Chronicle, Volume 42, Number 2157, 18 June 1887.
- “Saturday’s Games,” The Cambridge Chronicle, Volume 43, Number 2212, 7 July 1888.
- “To Preserve Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Chronicle, 30 November 1901.
- “Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Chronicle, 21 February 1903.
- “Plans Afoot for Preservation of Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Tribune, Volume XLIX, Number 33, 16 October 1926.
- “Park Commission Urged to Restore Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Chronicle, 22 October 1926.
- “Plans to Restore Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Tribune, Volume XLIX, Number 38, 20 November 1926.
- “No Money for Old Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Chronicle, 26 November 1926.
- “Board Wants New Fence Around Fort Washington,” The Cambridge Tribune, Volume LIV, Number 41, 19 December 1931.
- “Fort Washington Dilapidated!” The Cambridge Sentinel, Volume XXXIX, Number 24, 10 June 1944.
Cambridge Room Archives
Cambridge Bicentennial Corporation Records (073) Administration, 1971-1976 – Grants Restoration of Fort Washington, translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box 1. Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections. https://public.archivesspace.dlconsulting.com/repositories/2/archival_objects/11474, Accessed March 2023.
These materials cover the official proposal from the Cambridge Historical Commission and Riverside-Cambridgeport Community Corporation for the restoration of Fort Washington Park in 1975, as well correspondence from various Cambridge organizations showing their support for the park’s preservation.
Bertram Adams Photographs, circa 1960-1969 (006), Folder 1, Fort Washington, 95 Waverly Street, Box: 1; Item: 1. Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections. https://public.archivesspace.dlconsulting.com/repositories/2/archival_objects/29, Accessed March 2023.
This folder contains several photos of Fort Washington Park from the 1960s.
This History Hub was made possible with the support of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.