Self-Guided Tour: The Work of Revolution in Cambridge

Laundresses at a Revolutionary Army camp, circa 1780.

Introduction For many, the first image that comes to mind when thinking of Cambridge during the Revolutionary Era is that of General George Washington taking command of the Continental Army on Cambridge Common in July of 1775, under what would come to be known as the Washington Elm. Although we now know that this tale…

Read More

Black History in Action for Cambridgeport

Black History in Action for Cambridgeport is a non-profit focused on promoting culture, historical understanding, and education for all, and preserving the community service legacy of St. Augustine’s African Orthodox Church, a historically Black Church and neighborhood center for reparative and restorative justice, refuge, healing, and the reclamation and honoring of the community’s stories and…

Read More

Early Black Cambridge Resource Hub

Lit up bottle tree grove with blue bottles against a twilight blue sky, with a building in the background

Are you interested in learning more about the history of race, slavery, and African American life in the Cambridge area? This guide highlights many of the resources available that touch on these topics, including primary, secondary, and public-facing sources (such as self-guided tours and websites). While this hub is focused on material related to the…

Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Women Activists of Riverside 50 Years After Suffrage

Stop 1: Begin the tour in Central Square With the passage of the 19th Amendment one hundred years ago this past August (2020), American women won the right to vote. Rather than a culmination, this event marked the beginning of a long fight for equal treatment and equity that is still far from over. Fifty…

Read More

“The Absolute Majority of the Population”: Women in Twentieth-Century Cambridge

This article was originally published as a chapter in Cambridge in the Twentieth Century, edited by Daphne Abeel, Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.  Inspired by Cambridge Historical Society’s 2020 theme—Who are Cambridge Women?—the author, Eva Moseley, has reviewed the manuscript and made a few updates which are noted in the text that follows. “The Absolute Majority…

Read More

Some Aspects of the East Cambridge Story

By John W. Wood, 1956 “This paper gives a totally inadequate account of an appealingly picturesque and colorful neighborhood, the area that might have been a slum and isn’t, the step-child of the University City. “ For some reason, the local history of East Cambridge has been almost completely neglected. It is a little hard…

Read More

Founding of the First Church in Cambridge

Address of Alexander McKenzie [at the celebration of the Two Hundred and Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Founding of Cambridge, 1905]   On February 1, 1636, O. S., the First Church in Cambridge was formed. This was the eleventh church in Massachusetts. The first church under Hooker and Stone was about to remove to Connecticut, but…

Read More

On A Certain Deplorable Tendency Among The Most Respectable Members Of The Community To Abstain From Church-going— As Observed In The Year 1796 (Part One of Two)

By Prescott Evarts, 1922 There has recently come into the possession of the Cambridge Historical Society, as a gift from Rev. Henry Wilder Foote, a copy of “An Address to the Public from the Ministers of the Association in and about Cambridge, at their stated meeting on the second Tuesday in October, 1796.” The first…

Read More

SWEDENBORG CHAPEL: Living history

by Ruth Hobeika, 2017 “Planting community” is how the century-old Swedenborg Chapel’s Reverend Sage Cole describes a year-long outreach set to launch in January, joining visions from opposite sides of the country. Anna Woofenden – currently a visiting consultant – is exploring the question of what it means to be a church today, when so…

Read More

How the First Parish Church in Cambridge Got a New Meetinghouse

By Frederick Robinson Read January 26th, 1927 AS YOU ALL doubtless know, the first settlement of Watertown was made in the Mount Auburn and Brattle Street district which was adjacent to the River landing where Sir Richard Salton-stall and his party unloaded their goods in July, 1630. The first settlers each had a farm in…

Read More