Gold Star Memorials in North Cambridge

By Marion Severynse Veterans Day is an appropriate time to pay homage to the role that North Cambridge and its residents have played in the military history of Massachuestts and the United States. There are nine Memorial Pole and Dedication Markers commemorating Gold Star service members in the area bounded by Rindge Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, and Alewife Brook Parkway. In … Read More

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

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 years after suffrage, classified ads … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Monuments and Memorials in Cambridge

Cambridge is a city filled with monuments. Statues, plaques, and memorials across the city commemorate people and events from its nearly four hundred years of settlement. But who decides what is worthy of commemoration, and how does the memorial landscape of the city reinforce certain narratives of Cambridge history and exclude others? In this tour we will visit several of … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Lois Lilley Howe Homes of Gray Gardens

By John Howe, volunteer, Spring 2020 Lois Lilley Howe (1864-1964), born and bred in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was one of the first women to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s architectural program, the organizer of the only all-woman architectural firm in Boston in the early twentieth century, and the first woman elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. … Read More

Reflecting on the 2019 History Tour

Amelia Zurcher, 2019 Summer Programs Intern Approaching local history through the question “How Does Cambridge Engage?” has given me an interesting lens into the city’s years of activism and community-building. Throughout the summer of 2019, I spent many days strolling Cambridge’s streets, sifting through archives, and talking with local residents. When I first began research for the history walking tour, … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Central Square Activism From the 1960s to Now

By Amelia Zurcher, Society Intern, July 2019 This tour was made possible by the Cambridge Heritage Trust Tour Route Overview and History Central Square has been characterized for much of its history as a working-class neighborhood. In the 1960s, the demographics around Central Square began to change subtly. The growth of local universities led to greater numbers of students in … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Cambridge and the American Revolution

This tour hopes to shed light on the Revolutionary events that occurred in Cambridge. It is intended to personify its leaders, highlighting both their strengths and their humanity. It also hopes to take the viewer back to a time before the United States was born, before the Constitution was ratified, and before an American victory was assumed.

Self-Guided Tour: “Cambridge Through the Pages”

Washington's Headquarters; Longfellow House

Did you know that Cambridge has been home to a mad scientist who can revive the dead, a teenager who met with George Washington, and a man who can see into his own future? Across the centuries, Cambridge has inspired writers of fiction and poetry as an ideal setting for their literary creations. This tour steps into the fictional worlds that these writers have imagined. From haunted houses to Harvard Square cafes, you will visit a variety of sites featured in works of literature that take place in Cambridge.

Self-Guided Tour: Huron Village’s Modern Houses

Although Huron Village is dominated by houses dating from after the Civil War to the first quarter of the twentieth century, it is actually well furnished with what are still called “modern houses.” We say “Modern,” although the four following examples were built nearly a half century to three quarters of a century ago. Three were built as the architect’s own house or for his parents, a time-tested method of introducing a difficult new style into a neighborhood.