City of Malden
In 1640, the Puritans settled in Malden on land purchased in 1629 from the Native American Pennacook Tribe. Located north of the Mystic River, the area was originally known as "Mistick Side" and was part of Charlestown. Malden was incorporated as a separate town on May 2,1649. The name "Malden" was chosen by Joseph Hills, an early settler and landholder, who emigrated from Maldon, England. Malden was incorporated as a city on March 31, 1882 and originally included what are now the adjacent cities of Melrose (until 1850) and Everett (until 1870).
During the American Revolution, the citizenry of Malden were heavily involved in the early resistance of the oppression of Britain and was the first town to petition the colonial government to withdraw from the British Empire.
The City boasts an impressive cultural identity, including a vibrant international restaurant scene. Other notable locations in Malden include the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a historic public library, and numerous parks. The Malden public school system serves one of the most diverse populations of students in Massachusetts at one Pre-K school, five elementary and middle schools, and one high school. Catholic schools, the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, several career training schools, a Bunker Hill Community College campus, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are also located in Malden.
City of Medford
Medford is a city 6.7 miles (10.8 km) northwest of downtown Boston on the Mystic River in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is home to Tufts University, which has its campus along the Medford and Somerville border.
Founded in 1630, Medford was established as a City in 1892 and is one of the oldest settlements in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the US. Medford was a leader in the Clipper Ship building industry and also manufactured brick and tile. In addition, Medford was famous for its “Medford Rum” and “Medford Crackers.” Revolutionary war patriot Sarah Bradlee Fulton lived here. General George Washington visited here during the Revolutionary War, while Paul Revere came through on his famous ride, waking up Medford residents with “the British are coming!” Medford is also the home to abolitionists Prince Hall and Lydia Maria Child, cooking school founder Fannie Farmer, General Samuel Lawrence, who fought at the battle of Bull Run, and former Massachusetts Governor John Brooks. The Christmas Song “Jingle Bells” was written here by James Pierpont. Medford contains many historic sites, monuments, and houses, some of which date back to the 17th century.
The name Medford is thought to have come from “the ford by the meadow” or “Meadford” thus commemorating the importance of the fordable part of the Mystic River located just west of present-day Medford Square.
The original area of Medford was owned by Mathew Cradock, the first Governor of the Massachusetts colonies. Although Cradock never saw it, he employed men to develop his land into a plantation. After his death, the plantation passed to his heirs and then was sold en masse in 1652 to Edward Collins. The area was designated a “peculiar” which signified that it was private property and not a properly incorporated town. Collins began selling pieces of land to others after 1656. In 1684, Medford was granted the right to raise its own money by the General Court. In 1892, Medford became incorporated as a city.
City of Everett
Everett is a city in Middlesex County, directly north of Boston, bordering the neighborhood of Charlestown.
Settled in 1630, it was a part of the town of Malden and was known as South Malden until it was separately incorporated in 1870. On December 13, 1892, Alonzo H. Evans defeated George E. Smith to become Everett's first Mayor. In 1892, Everett changed from a town to a city. The city was named after Edward Everett, who served as U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, the 15th Governor of Massachusetts, Minister to Great Britain, and United States Secretary of State. He also served as President of Harvard University.
Landfill has expanded the Everett shoreline over the centuries. At some point between 1905 and 1912, it connected the mainland to what was formerly White Island in the Mystic River. The bridge of the Grand Junction Railroad was originally built using this island for part of the crossing.
City of Somerville
Somerville was first settled in 1630 as a part of Charlestown, and was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from the urbanizing Charlestown because it was still largely rural. Somerville was officially incorporated as a city in 1872 due to its growing population and increasing industrialization. By the early 1900s, Somerville itself had become a densely packed urban area, featuring immigrants from across Europe.
As a part of Charlestown, areas existing in modern-day Somerville were critical military positions in the American Revolution. The historic Powder House - now considered one of the most distinct ancient ruins in Massachusetts - housed gunpowder for Revolutionary soldiers during the war. During British invasion, Somerville (Charlestown) was part of the route ridden by Paul Revere on his famous "Midnight Ride." Finally, and most notably, Prospect Hill was the site of the raising of the first Grand Union Flag, under the orders of General George Washington, on January 1, 1776.
City of Melrose
The land that comprises Melrose was first settled in 1628 and was once
part of Charlestown and then Malden. It became the Town of
Melrose in 1850 and then the City of Melrose in 1900.
Melrose was originally called "Ponde Fielde" for its abundance of
ponds and streams or "Mystic Side" because of its location in a
valley north of the Mystic River. The area was first explored by
Richard and Ralph Sprague in 1628 and became part of Charlestown in
1633 along with a large area of land encompassing most of the surrounding
communities. In 1649, the neighborhood of Charlestown known
as Malden was incorporated as a separate town; the new town
of Malden included most of present-day Melrose (then called North
Malden) within its borders. North Malden largely remained a lightly populated
In 1845, the Boston and Maine Railroad built three stops (now the
commuter rail stations of Wyoming Hill, Melrose/Cedar Park,
and Melrose Highlands). Boston workers in search of a country
atmosphere moved to the area and began commuting to work. The population of
North Malden began growing, and in 1850 North Malden split from Malden proper
and was incorporated as the town of Melrose. Melrose annexed
the highlands from neighboring Stoneham in 1853, creating
the city's current borders.
Revere's first inhabitants were Native
Americans who belonged to the Pawtucket tribe and were known to
colonists as the Rumney Marsh Indians. The Rumney Marsh was named by the English after Romney Marsh in Kent England. Nanepashemet, known to colonists as
"Sagamore George," was the leader, or Great Sachem of
the Pawtucket Confederation of Abenaki
People of Lynn (which at that time included present day Revere).
Nanepashemet is thought to have sometimes lived near the
Rumney Marsh. One branch of his family took "Rumney Marsh" as their
surname. In 1616, an epidemic, probably smallpox, swept the region,
killing thousands in its wake. Nanepashemet retired to the Mystic River, in
what is now Medford, but was found murdered in 1619 at his fort on the
brow of Rock Hill overlooking the river. Three sons succeeded him in his reign.
One of them, Wonohaquaham, also called "Sagamore John," had
jurisdiction over the Native Americans at Winnisemmit (later Chelsea) and
In 1624, Samuel Maverick became the first colonist
to settle in the area. He built his house at the site of the former Chelsea
Naval Hospital (or Admiral's Hill). On June 17, 1630, John Winthrop, the
first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company in New England joined him there
for dinner. On September 25, 1634, Rumney Marsh
was annexed to Boston, which had received its name only four
years earlier. Winnisemmet (current Chelsea) and Pullen Point
(current Winthrop) were also annexed to Boston.
Rumney Marsh was originally divided and allotted to
twenty-one of Boston's most prominent citizens. By 1639, the original
allotments had been consolidated into seven great farms. Farming was the
principal industry of Winnisemmet, and Rumney Marsh in particular. The
first county road in North America stretched across Rumney Marsh from
the Winnisemmet Ferry to Olde Salem in 1641. During King Philip's War (also known
as Metacomet's War), which lasted from 1675 to 1678, the local Native
Americans were forcibly removed to what is now Deer Island, where half of
those imprisoned died of starvation or exposure. Some were enlisted to
help the colonists defeat other native tribes.
In 1739, Rumney Marsh, Winnisemmet and Pullen Point were set
off from Boston and established as the Town of Chelsea. The largest of the
three settlements, Rumney Marsh (later to become North Chelsea) was selected as
the Town Center. In 1775, the area played a role in the American
Revolution as Rumney Marsh was the site of the first naval battle.
In 1846, the town of North Chelsea was established. In
1852, Pullen Point seceded from North Chelsea and was established as the town
of Winthrop. That same year, Chelsea became its own city. On
March 24, 1871, a petition went into effect, changing the name of North Chelsea
to the Town of Revere in honor of Paul Revere (1735–1818), the son of
an immigrant who took part in the American Revolutionary War. Revere had gained popularity after the publication of Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow's 1860 poem "Paul Revere's Ride".
In 1914, the Town of Revere became the City of Revere.
Town of Saugus
Saugus was first settled in 1629. Saugus is an Native American (Algonquin) name believed to mean "great" or "extended". In 1637, the territory known as Saugus.
In 1646, the Saugus Iron Works, then called Hammersmith, began operations. It was the first integrated iron works in North America as well as one of the most technologically advanced in the world. The Iron Works produced over one ton of iron a day, but was not financially successful. It closed around 1670.
On February 17, 1815, present-day Saugus was officially incorporated as a town. The first town meeting was held on March 13, 1815 in the parish church. Saugus' first post office was established in 1832 in East Saugus. In 1858 two more were established - one in Saugus Center and one in Cliftondale. Now only the Cliftondale post office remains in Saugus.
The first town hall was built in 1837. It is currently an American Legion hall. In 1875 the town built its second and current town hall on Central Street.
Passenger trains ran through Saugus from 1853 to 1958 on the Saugus Branch Railroad. There were three Saugus Branch stations in Saugus (Saugus Center, Cliftondale, and Pleasant Hills) and two just outside the town's borders in Lynn (East Saugus) and Revere (Franklin Park).
From 1859 to 1905, Saugus was home to the Franklin Park harness racing track. also known as the Old Saugus Race Track or Saugus Race Course. It closed in 1905 after local citizens complained about the questionable patrons that the racetrack attracted. In 1911 the racetrack became an airfield. In 1912, the property was purchased by the General Aviation Corporation who named it Atwood Park in honor of their most famous pilot, Harry Atwood. The airfield saw the first airmail delivery in New England on May 30, 1912. Pioneer aviators Ruth Bancroft Law and Lincoln J. Beachey flew at Saugus. The airport closed in the 1920s.
In 1934, Breakheart Hill Forest, a private hunting retreat located in North Saugus, was purchased by the Metropolitan District Commission for use as a state park. Shortly after purchasing Breakheart, the MDC turned the land over to the Civilian Conservation Corps, which built roads and trails, planted trees, and restored two dams on the property. In 1936, Breakheart Reservation was opened to the public.
Town of Winchester
Europeans arrived in the area in the 1630s when Charlestown citizens were granted land in the northern ranges of the district, known as Waterfield. It was incorporated in 1642 from Charlestown lands and annexed to Woburn. Present-day Winchester includes lands which were originally part of Woburn, Arlington (West Cambridge), and Medford.
Early settlement was concentrated along Cambridge Street (the Cambridge-Woburn Road) with some scattered upland farms to the west, and along Richardson’s Row (Washington Street) to the east. Other settlements were located along the Medford-Woburn Road (Main Street). Symmes Corner located at the intersection of Grove, Bacon, and Main Streets, and Black Horse Village, near present-day Black Horse Terrace, had been established before 1800.
Long before 1700, members of the Converse and Richardson families had built the first mills in town along the Aberjona River, and for a hundred more years, the area remained rural in nature.
During the Revolution, the Black Horse Tavern (demolished in 1892) on the Medford-Woburn Road served as an important meeting place for soldiers as well as citizens. When the Committee of Safety and Supplies met at Wetherby’s Tavern in Arlington on April 18, 1775, legend has it that it adjourned with plans to meet the next day at the Black Horse Tavern. Events, however, in Lexington and Concord the next day took precedence. By the end of the 18th century, there were only about 200 persons, and some thirty-five houses stood within the bounds of present-day Winchester.
The thriving village soon began to feel the need to separate from the parent town of Woburn, and it was the South Woburn Congregational Church that initiated the move. In 1840 the South Woburn Congregational Church provided the first house of worship within the village boundaries. By 1850, the town was ready to establish its independence from Woburn. Naturally enough, the public offices of the new town were located near the Church and railroad in the area that rapidly became the commercial, social, and religious center. The new town was nearly named “Columbus,” but the town fathers instead honored a wealthy Boston businessman, Lt. Col. William Parsons Winchester, who was, of course, expected to return the favor. He donated three thousand dollars to the new town, but died suddenly within months of the incorporation on April 30, 1850. He never set foot in the town that bears his name.
Two distinct social groups developed in the new town. In the area near the mills, such as the Canal Street-Salem Street neighborhood and in Baconville (near Grove Street), industrial workers settled near their factories. Simultaneously, Boston businessmen began to settle in Winchester, attracted by the easy commute on the Boston & Lowell railroad. Wealthy Bostonians had previously used Winchester as a summer retreat. Friction between the two groups was played out in stormy town meetings. As the town became increasingly industrialized, “progressive” new citizens now worked to limit industrial growth through control of town offices. By 1893 the tide had turned and a system of town parks replaced the tanneries at the town center. From the 1870s on, suburban developments of great charm were built by the town’s businessmen and professionals. New residents were attracted the handsome architecture in the Mansard, Queen Anne Revival, Colonial, and Shingle styles in such neighborhoods as the Firth development (southwest of Wedge Pond) and the Wildwood area. By 1900, Winchester’s days as a mill town were clearly past.
Traces of Winchester’s farming past remained in working farms in the upland hills on the West Side until development began after World War II. Wright Locke Farm remains to show what the area once looked like, along with early homes on Washington and Main Streets. Nearly all the mills and factories are gone, but the houses of both workers and industrialists remain, as do many of the homes in the town center built for businessmen and professionals. Street after street of suburban homes in the years following the Civil War-and later WWII-survive intact and attest to Winchester’s final evolution into a residential suburb.
Town of Stoneham
Stoneham was first settled by colonists in 1634 and was originally a part of Charlestown. In 1678, there were six colonists with their families, all in the northeast part of the town, probably because of its proximity to the settlement in Reading (now Wakefield).
By 1725, the population of the area, called "Charlestown End", had increased until there were 65 male inhabitants paying taxes; however, they were miles away from the settlement in Charlestown and could not conveniently reach its church or school. For this reason, Captain Benjamin Geary and 53 other residents of the area petitioned Charlestown to allow them to be separated. The town refused their petition at first, but on December 17, 1725, the General Court passed an act to establish the new township of Stoneham, separating it from Charlestown, and releasing its residents from the obligation to pay taxes to Charlestown, provided that within two years they would erect a suitable church and hire a minister and a schoolmaster.
The town's first meeting-house was erected in 1726, as was its Burying Ground [now known as the Old Burying Ground and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.] The first church was organized in 1729, with members being released from the congregations in Reading and Melrose to form it.
Stoneham remained a small town during the colonial era. Traces of its colonial history are still to be seen in the Spot Pond Archeological District of the Middlesex Fells Reservation. During the Industrial Revolution, Stoneham prospered as a major shoe-manufacturing center.