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Archive for the ‘Cambridge Historical Society’ Category

For this year’s Open Archives, the Cambridge Room will show you what life was like in 18th Century Cambridge through four objects.  If you’re interested sign up here – tickets are nearly sold out.  This event is FREE but registration is required.  We hope to see you next Wednesday June 21st at either the 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. tour.

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Flier-final oct 5 2013

Fifth Annual Cambridgeport History Day
Saturday, October 5 (rain or shine)

Join us to learn, explore, exhibit, and re-enact Cambridgeport History. Bring people together, create a sense of place, and share history and common stories. Dana Park, on Magazine Street, between Lawrence and McTernan streets, is the event’s hub.

Events
11:00              
“If This House Could Talk…” booth opens in Dana Park, with sign lists, and historical maps.
11:00-12:30    Industry Tour led by Charles Sullivan of the Cambridge Historic Commission (starts in Dana Park)
12:00-5:00      Activities and music in Dana Park
1:00-4:00        Demonstrations of hand-operated letterpress
1:00-1:30        Marcia Deihl performance
1:00-4:00        Civil War encampment:  talks & demonstrations
2:00-4:00        Accordians
2:30-4:00        Neighborhood tour led by Kit Rawlins of the Cambridge Historic Commission (starts in Dana Park)
5:00                 Neighborhood potluck, hosted by the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association

Activities in Dana Park provided by:

Cambridge Historical Society
Cambridge Historical Commission
Cambridge Public Library
Riverside Boat Club
Cambridge Arts Council
Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association

Cambridgeport History Day is sponsored by the Cambridgeport History Project, co-chaired by Mayor Henrietta Davis and Michael Kenney. Partners include the Cambridge Historical Society, Cambridge Historical Commission, Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Riverside Boat Club, and Central Square Business Association.

This neighborhood event was sponsored by Cambridge Trust Company, Cambridge Savings Bank, and Forest City.

Information on past Cambridgeport History Days

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4.5

Librarians at the Cambridge Public Library Delivery Desk beneath the famous Rindge Ccommandments, circa 1920.

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Cambridge Historical Commission, the Cambridge Historical Society is hosting a photo contest.  Here’s what the contest is all about:

“We want to know what you think makes Cambridge, Cambridge. We are hosting a photo contest titled “50 for 50.” The fifty winners will be exhibited at our Celebration of Preservation event on November 13, 2013 and their work will hang in a month-long exhibit in the Multicultural Arts Center in East Cambridge.

We are looking for images of what makes Cambridge a special place––a picture of a building, a park, a sculpture, a store, or a street that captures a part of why you love our city. In essence, we want you to use a picture to complete the sentence ‘‘Cambridge wouldn’t be Cambridge without …’’ The First Parish Church, the First Baptist Church, Live Poultry Fresh Killed––you tell us why Cambridge is the place you want to be.”

The Cambridge Room’s entry is above – it’s one of our favorite photographs of the library.  Our caption is “Cambridge wouldn’t be Cambridge without the library!”

Click here, to submit your photo and enter the contest.

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Clara Barton Comes to Cambridge

When: Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway
Cost: Free and open to the public
More Information:  Here

In honor of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, Clara Barton (1821-1912) will be brought vividly to life by character reenactor Jessa Piaia during the original program, Meet Clara Barton: A Journey from Angel of the Battlefield to Founder of the American Red Cross. The event will be in the Lecture Hall in the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday, November 15, 2012. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a brief reception, with Miss Barton speaking at 7:00 p.m. The event, sponsored by Swissnex Boston/Consulate of Switzerland and hosted by the Cambridge Public Library, is free and open to the public.

Local organizations will display historic materials on Cambridge during the Civil War found in their collections. The library will exhibit vintage local Red Cross posters and memorabilia. The Local Chapter of the American Red Cross, Cambridge Historical Commission, Cambridge Historical Society, and the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery will share original photographs and artifacts.

Throughout America’s Civil War, Clara Barton’s sustained efforts at support ranged from distributing supplies (often purchased with her own funds) to cooking food and assisting wounded soldiers on the battleground. After the war, Miss Barton assisted the federal government in the creation of a recordkeeping system to track missing and dead soldiers; she was instrumental in establishing the first national cemetery at Andersonville, Georgia, in 1866. While visiting Geneva, Switzerland, in the 1870s Miss Barton took part in relief efforts for civilians under the auspices of the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War. This experience inspired her to take a pivotal role in aligning the United States with the International Red Cross in organizing humanitarian aid in combat. In 1881, Congress ratified the Geneva Treaty, and Clara Barton became the first president of the American Red Cross, serving for the next 22 years.

Piaia dramatizes the accomplishments, struggles, and contributions of women to American history. She is acclaimed for “recreating history in the fullest sense” and for using “solid research, compelling writing, and the artistry to bring off a one-woman show.” She performs at educational institutions, museums, and libraries, and for social and cultural organizations throughout New England.
Ms. Piaia studied performance at London’s Oval House Theatre and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and now works in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Research for this program was conducted at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute, the National Archives, and the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum in North Oxford, Massachusetts.

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Clara Barton Comes to Cambridge

When: Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway
Cost: Free and open to the public
More Information:  Here

In honor of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, Clara Barton (1821-1912) will be brought vividly to life by character reenactor Jessa Piaia during the original program, Meet Clara Barton: A Journey from Angel of the Battlefield to Founder of the American Red Cross. The event will be in the Lecture Hall in the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday, November 15, 2012. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a brief reception, with Miss Barton speaking at 7:00 p.m. The event, sponsored by Swissnex Boston/Consulate of Switzerland and hosted by the Cambridge Public Library, is free and open to the public.

Local organizations will display historic materials on Cambridge during the Civil War found in their collections. The library will exhibit vintage local Red Cross posters and memorabilia. The Local Chapter of the American Red Cross, Cambridge Historical Commission, Cambridge Historical Society, and the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery will share original photographs and artifacts.

Throughout America’s Civil War, Clara Barton’s sustained efforts at support ranged from distributing supplies (often purchased with her own funds) to cooking food and assisting wounded soldiers on the battleground. After the war, Miss Barton assisted the federal government in the creation of a recordkeeping system to track missing and dead soldiers; she was instrumental in establishing the first national cemetery at Andersonville, Georgia, in 1866. While visiting Geneva, Switzerland, in the 1870s Miss Barton took part in relief efforts for civilians under the auspices of the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War. This experience inspired her to take a pivotal role in aligning the United States with the International Red Cross in organizing humanitarian aid in combat. In 1881, Congress ratified the Geneva Treaty, and Clara Barton became the first president of the American Red Cross, serving for the next 22 years.

Piaia dramatizes the accomplishments, struggles, and contributions of women to American history. She is acclaimed for “recreating history in the fullest sense” and for using “solid research, compelling writing, and the artistry to bring off a one-woman show.” She performs at educational institutions, museums, and libraries, and for social and cultural organizations throughout New England.
Ms. Piaia studied performance at London’s Oval House Theatre and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and now works in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Research for this program was conducted at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute, the National Archives, and the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum in North Oxford, Massachusetts.

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Gravestone in Cambridge’s Old Burying Ground, courtesy of Ajna Photography.

Cambridge’s spookiest cemetery is by far the Old Burying Ground in Harvard Square, nestled between First Parish and Christ Church.  Set aside from the Common, the land was marked as a cemetery before 1635.  Prior to that Cantabrigians buried their dead, “beyond the Common Pales,” or outside the fence erected between what we now refer to as the corner of Mt. Auburn and Linden Street all the way to East Cambridge.  The Old Burying Ground’s eerie charm comes from both the grisly Puritan tombstone art and its apparent neglect, which has as long a tradition as the city records go back.

Stop by the Old Burying Ground for inspiration or try these free online cemetery resources:

1. Epitaphs from the Old Burying Ground in Cambridge (1845) by William T. Harris available on Google books.

2.  findagrave.com – Lists 34 million graves.

3. Cemetery and Tombstone Transcription – a search engine for free cemetery transcription websites.

4. interment.net – free online library of burial records from thousands of cemeteries around the world.

5. Tombstone Transcription Project – Volunteers have transcribed thousands of cemeteries’ tombstone inscriptions.  You, too, can volunteer.

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Cambridgeport and Its 1812 Streets

A new book and related website by the Cambridge Historical Commission and Cambridge Historical Society explore the impact of the War of 1812 on Cambridgeport

The year 2012 marks the bicentennial of the start of the War of 1812. This conflict, little remembered now, devastated Cambridgeport’s aspirations to become a bustling commercial port and ruined the fortunes of investing families. Yet within 45 years a ladder of seven streets around Dana Park had been named for commanders, ships, and a decisive naval battle from that very war. Who named these streets? Why commemorate a conflict with such disastrous results for the area? Cambridgeport and Its 1812 Streets solves these mysteries. The book, rich with historic maps and illustrations, examines the growth of the neighborhood and the life and relationships of the man who named the streets.

The City of Cambridge has honored the 1812 streets with the installation of new historic markers. Each sign includes a web address, www.cambridgema.gov/1812, where neighborhood explorers may learn more. The site includes an overview of the war and biographical sketches of the men (and their ships) remembered in the streets names.

Cambridgeport and Its 1812 Streets — $6.50
Purchase on line at www2.cambridgema.gov/historic/publications.html

Cambridge Historical Commission, 831 Massachusetts Avenue
617 349 4683 or histcomm@cambridgema.gov

Cambridge Historical Society, 159 Brattle Street
617 547 4252 or info@cambridgehistory.org

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