Self-Guided Tour: Stories from the Early African American Community of Old Cambridge

By Jules Long, Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, 2018 | Edited by Eshe Sherley, History Cambridge, 2021 Slavery in Pre-Revolutionary Cambridge The oldest existing mention of slavery in Massachusetts was recorded in 1638, when African prisoners arrived in the colony on the slave ship Desire, built in Marblehead the previous year. In 1639, the mention of a … Read More

Event Recap: How Does Cambridge Commemorate?

On Monday, August 17, CHS held a Virtual History Café exploring monuments and memorials in Cambridge. In this program, “How Does Cambridge Commemorate?” we examined several of the city’s most prominent public monuments, and we were joined by Kim and Sofia Bernstein, honorary members of the Cambridge Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Committee who provided the impetus for the city to create … Read More

Cambridge Trees

By Lois Lilley Howe Read January 25, 1950 This article originally appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings, Volume 33, pages 94-99 In the records of The Cambridge Plant Club I find that on February 25th, 1901 “Miss Prince of Boston,” no further identified than this, read “an Interesting paper on Trees in our neighborhood.” This was a report of the investigations … Read More

The History of Garden Street

By Lois Lilley Howe Read April 25, 1949 This article originally appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings, Volume 33, pages 37-57 WE CANNOT think of Old Garden Street without thinking of the Common which forms one side of it. Yet our thought of the Common is just of a big open space with trees and a Soldiers’ Monument like any New … Read More

“Three Distinct and Separate Communities”

The Old Cambridge Secession Attempts of 1842–44 By Edward Rodley   Introduction The Cambridge, Massachusetts, of 2017 is a heavily developed, densely populated urban center with a population that has hovered around 100,000 for the past twenty years. Regional differences exist from one part of the city to another, but the sense of Cambridge as a unique, distinct community provides a … Read More

Trout Fishing in America Communal School

By Cambridge Historical Society Staff, 2012 There was once a school in Mid-Cambridge called the Trout Fishing in America Communal School. It was based on the book of the same name by Richard Brautigan. On November 3, 1969, the Harvard Crimson reported: ‘‘A night session two weeks ago at Trout Fishing in America… resulted in a parade Saturday morning from … Read More