Savoring the Legacy of Joyce Chen

Chef. Restaurateur. Entrepreneur. by Stephen Chen, president of Joyce Chen Foods Reproduced from joycechenfoods.com with permission Born in Beijing in 1917, my mother Joyce Chen came to this country with my dad, sister and brother in 1949. We moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where friends of the family had settled, and where I was born. Surrounded by Chinese students at Harvard … Read More

Elizabeth Ann Sullivan, M.D.

Inspired by our 2020 theme, “Who are Cambridge Women?” Society member Philip M. Cronin wrote this essay about his remarkable mother, Elizabeth Sullivan.                       Elizabeth Ann Sullivan was born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, in 1892. She attended local schools.  The day after she graduated from high school, she boarded a train to Boston and enrolled at Tufts Medical School. At the … Read More

Minimum Wages for Women in Early 20th Century Cambridge

By Sarah Huggins, Intern, Lesley UniversityMarch 2020 What image enters your mind when thinking about Cambridge? For many, it’s the Corinthian columns of our prestigious institutions of higher education. But less than a hundred years ago the city was a major industrial center:- a manufacturing mecca of brick buildings and smokestacks. The Boston Daily Globe boasted in 1927, “Factories, not … Read More

Our Year Asking “Who Are Cambridge Women?”

By Marieke Van Damme Read at the Opening Conversation and Annual Meeting on February 25, 2020 Hello everyone and welcome to the Cambridge Historical Society’s annual Opening Conversation. I’m Marieke Van Damme, executive director. Before we begin, I would like to say thank you to our friends at the Cambridge Public Library for hosting us tonight, and for CCTV for … Read More

Edith Lesley: Pioneering Educational Leader

By Jan Devereux This blog post is a result of our “How Have Women Shaped Cambridge?” call for submissions as we celebrate our 2020 theme, “Who Are Cambridge Women?” Edith Lesley (1872-1953) left a mark on Cambridge in founding, in 1909, the school that over the past 111 years has grown into Lesley University.  The daughter of a shoemaker, Edith … Read More

2020 Opening Conversation Recap

On February 25, we hosted our 2020 Opening Conversation: “Who Are Cambridge Women?” at the Cambridge Public Library. Eva Martin-Blythe, Executive Director of the Cambridge YWCA, was joined by the Society’s Doing History Curator, Diana Lempel, for a discussion of the history, mission, and legacy of the YWCA. This event marked the beginning of a year of programs exploring the … Read More

CANCELED — History Café 1: Wednesday, April 22

The Cambridge Historical Society regrets that this event has been canceled due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. In lieu of the event, we will be publishing an interview with Dr. Ellen S. More. Stay tuned for more information! History Café 1: How Have Women Cured Cambridge? Wednesday, April 22 In conjunction with the Cambridge Science Festival, our first History … Read More

POSTPONED 2020 Spring Benefit

The Cambridge Historical Society is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of COVID-19. We continue to evaluate all measures in response to available information from the Cambridge Public Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any changes to our event schedule will be communicated via our website, email, and social media. If you have further questions about our response, please … Read More

An Intrepid Lady of Brattle Street: Sara Chapman Bull

By Ted Hansen Beginning in 1879, until her death in 1911, Sara Chapman Bull lived in Cambridge, first at “Elmwood” (the Oliver-Gerry-Lowell House), and from 1889 until her death at 186 Brattle Street. A number of facts about her should pique our interest: At age 20, she was married in a semi-secret ceremony in Norway to a 60-year-old renowned Norwegian … Read More

How Have Women Shaped Cambridge? A Call for Submissions

How Have Women Shaped Cambridge? A “Her-story” Drive Women’s stories are still largely overlooked in the broader historical narrative, and women continue to face obstacles to their full participation in civic life, economic equality, and even their physical health and safety. In light of these ongoing challenges, the Cambridge Historical Society has chosen to focus our 2020 programs on the … Read More