CHS Executive Director Marieke Van Damme Invites Your Stories of Engagement

Click here to share your story! The question posed by this year’s theme at the Cambridge Historical Society, “How Does Cambridge Engage?” has brought to mind the many ways that we have taken part in political and cultural movements, starting with the American Revolution. Ever since our founding as Newe Towne in 1636, the citizens of Cambridge have come together … Read More

“Sweet Souls” Oral History Project Underway

The Cambridge Historical Society has launched an oral history project, in partnership with the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House and The Loop Lab. This summer, “Sweet Souls, Voices from the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in Cambridge” will be documenting the life stories of twelve people, or “narrators,” closely affiliated with the 117-year-old settlement house in the Port, using audio recordings and … 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

Serjeant Family Letters, 1769-1840: Digital Collection

This collection was featured at our 2019 Open Archives. In 2019, the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati generously provided funding to digitize and transcribe the Cambridge Historical Society’s Serjeant Family Letters (formerly titled “The Winwood Serjeant Letters”). The collection is now accessible online (view it here). Winwood Serjeant (c.1730?-1780) was born in England and ordained in 1756. Following his ordination, … Read More

Governing Council News: Christina DeYoung Elected President

The Cambridge Historical Society is delighted to announce that Christina DeYoung was elected to serve as President of the Governing Council of the Cambridge Historical Society at the Annual Meeting in February, succeeding Tod Beaty who has stepped down after six years of distinguished leadership. Also elected to the Governing Council in February were Belinda Clerisme, Marni Clippinger, Howard Lurie, … Read More

Mass Humanities Oral History Grant

In March, Mass Humanities awarded the Cambridge Historical Society $7,500 to conduct an oral history project. “Sweet Souls, Voices from the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in Cambridge” will gather the personal stories and experiences of twelve people affiliated with the 112-year-old settlement house in the Port. Interviews will be conducted by Katie Burke and Lina Raciukaitis, under the guidance of … Read More

CHS Executive Director Marieke Van Damme Introduces our 2019 Theme: How Does Cambridge Engage?

At the annual Opening Conversation held at the Cambridge Public Library in February, Cambridge Historical Society Executive Director Marieke Van Damme discussed the theme that will shape the Society’s programs throughout 2019: How Does Cambridge Engage? Three years ago, we decided to tackle issues that Cambridge is facing today and to offer a historical perspective. We vowed to be timely, … Read More

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.

The History of Garden Street

By Lois Lilley Howe Read April 25,1949 This article originally appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings, Volume 33, pages 37-57 WE CANNOT think of Old Garden Street without thinking of the Common which forms one side of it. Yet our thought of the Common is just of a big open space with trees and a Soldiers’ Monument like any New England … 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