1986 Neighborhood Trivia Hunt

Cambridge Trivia Hunt

Cambridge has certainly changed over time, and our 1986 trivia hunt shows just how true that is. It serves as a kind of time capsule of our city. Take a trip back in time with this self-guided tour to see how many of these sites are still around. Which ones do you recognize? Which ones do you remember? What are … 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

Annette LaMond: Economist Turned History Enthusiast

Cambridge resident and  CHS volunteer Annette LaMond has provided us with A History Reclaimed: The Society for the Protection of Native Plants and the Cambridge Plant Club, an in-depth, illustrated history of the two organizations that takes us back to their late 19th century origins.  “This history of the Society for the Protection of Native Plants grew out of my research for a history of … Read More

COVID-19 Memorial

March 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. To honor the Cantabrigians who have died, we are installing markers on the lawn of our headquarters, the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House. Each marker, a butterfly, a symbol of hope and the shape of Cambridge itself, represents a life lost to the virus and a missing piece in the mosaic of stories … Read More

Tory Row Anti-Racism Coalition (TRAC)

In addition to our own anti-racism work, beginning in 2021 the Cambridge Historical Society is embarking on a learning journey about and with all of Brattle Street. Tory Row, famous for its stately mansions, has historic ties to slavery and enslaved people. What can we all do—together, as a street—to reconcile our past and become anti-racist? Notes from the April … Read More

Eva Neer : My Neighbor, Groundbreaking Biochemist

By Annette LaMond* | S.M., MIT Sloan School of Management | Ph.D., Yale University In 1978, my husband and I moved to Brewster Village – an 1880s “development” of Queen Anne Victorians off Brattle Street. We soon began to meet our new neighbors. In our first six months, we were invited to not one, but two, celebrations to mark 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

Revisiting the Cambridge Women’s Suffrage Movement

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment next month, many of us have been mesmerized recently watching the American Experience production of “The Vote” on PBS. The movie tells the dramatic story the decades-long campaign waged by American women to win the right to vote. Historian and Cantabrigian Susan Ware, who served as an advisor to the movie, has been … Read More

Observatory Hill

By Gavin W. Kleespies, 2013 The area called Observatory Hill has its center at the intersection of Concord and Huron avenues and stretches out to include the Harvard Observatory and surrounding areas. The eastern half of the neighborhood was once a part of the Vassall estate. The first of the family in Cambridge was John Vassall, who purchased an old … Read More

Lois Lilley Howe: Pioneer Career Woman, Architect, Cambridge Citizen

By Larry Nathanson 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 has reviewed the manuscript and made a few updates. Introduction Growing up in the house at number three Gray Gardens East (GGE), I was totally … Read More