Grendel’s Den: 50 years of Stories to Tell

Grendel's Den

By Daniel Berger-Jones, Company Leader, President, Cambridge Historical Tours, Inc. Grendel’s Den is one of the most iconically Cantabrigian bars there is. Founded in 1971 by Herb and Sue Kuelzer, it’s now on its second generation of family ownership in the hands of their daughter Kari. And at 50 years old, the bar is not only going strong, but has … Read More

History Hive: Harvard Square Police Kiosks

#HCHistoryHive, we’ve got another mystery for you to solve! This one’s from Pat P. of Naples, FL. Share your memories of this time and place…. “I am writing an essay about a trip to the Boston area in 1963. My buddy and I went there to see a friend who was attending Harvard. When we drove into Harvard Square we … 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

Businesses Well Lived: Sage’s Market

By Charles Sage, 1999 This presentation was given as part of a Cambridge Historical Society program called “Conversations on Harvard Square” at the New School of Music in Spring of 1999. My grandfather, Rodney Sage, came to Cambridge from New Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1898. He worked for Daniel H. Dean in a small grocery store on Brattle Street. He bought … Read More

Businesses Well Lived: Out of Town News

By Sheldon Cohen, 1999 This presentation was given as part of a Cambridge Historical Society program called “Conversations on Harvard Square” at the New School of Music in Spring of 1999. I know a lot of folks here. I’ve seen a lot of you. I’ve sold newspapers to a lot of you here. When I first came to Harvard Square … Read More

Memories of Nineteenth-Century Cambridge

By Lois Lilley Howe Read January 22, 1952 This article originally appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings, Volume 34, pages 59-76 ONE of my earliest recollections — I cannot date it — is that I asked some older member of my family if it was probable that I should be alive when 1900, the new century, came in. I never imagined … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Loyalist Women of Cambridge

By MaryKate Smolenski, Tufts University Intern, June 2020 Download the tour here as a PDF with photos or without photos Funding for this project was made possible through the generosity of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati For further reading, see: Who were the Loyalist Women of Cambridge? Introductory post and Part 1: Mary Browne Serjeant Overview and History Loyalists … Read More

Touching History; Harvard Square, The Bank and The Tasty Diner [video]

Touching History tells the story of the re-development of Harvard Square’s Read Block. The film combines interviews with archival materials to take the viewer through the hows and whys of the project, introducing audiences to the necessary, sometimes polemical, but always compelling relationships that exist between the public and the private sector. At the film’s core is the inevitable push … Read More

50 Years Later: Harvard’s 1969 Protests

In Cambridge, as in the rest of America, the late 1960s were a period of unrest and upheaval. As we consider our 2019 theme “How Does Cambridge Engage?” we benefit from looking back fifty years to the Spring of  1969. The events of April 8th-10th, 1969 were a response to the Vietnam War and the social and political tensions it sparked. … Read More

Harvard Square in the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties

By Lois Lilley Howe Read January 25, 1944 This article originally appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings, Volume 30, pages 11-27 Reminiscences, which should really have been called Harvard Square and its Environs in the ‘Seventies and ‘Eighties, have been in the back of my mind long enough for me to have verified details by talks with Miss Elizabeth Harris … Read More