Town Meeting Warrant, 25 Feb 1750. SMB.01.G.01, Accession Number 2017.FIC.21. Arlington Historical Society, Arlington, MA. 06 Jun 2017.

Town Meetings in the Northwest Precinct of Cambridge, 1736-1795

One of the earliest and purest forms of Democracy in the United States took place at “town meetings”- a practice established in Massachusetts and distinct to the New England region. Unlike in our present-day use of “town halls”, qualified residents had the opportunity to not only discuss matters particular to their communities, but to actively […]

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Moxie: “It’s a drink for those who are at all particular”

It’s the official soft drink of Maine, but Moxie has Arlington connections. Moxie’s originator, Dr. Augustin Thompson (1835-1903), came from Union, Maine and set up his medical practice in Lowell, MA. He wanted to create a “cure-all” medicinal tonic. Using a “secret ingredient”, later known to be gentian root extract, he created a syrup called […]

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Commemorative Plates

Ceramic objects in the AHS collection span centuries while telling local stories. Of these ceramics, several plates uniquely celebrate and document Arlington history. These pieces are known as commemorative or souvenir plates. Popularized toward the end of the 19th century,  plates of this kind were relatively cheap to produce and a novel way to memorialize […]

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Ballad of the War of 1812

On Tuesday, April 24, 1917, Nina Winn wrote about attending a Historical Society event in which “Aunt Sue  read a poem & Elizabeth Smith wore the ball dress she wrote of – made by Hannah Hall [later Mrs. Cyrus Cutter] & given by Mrs. Sterling & Mrs. Bates. Then the ‘[Old] Peabody Pew’ was presented and […]

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Regent Liggett Detail

1964: Views of Arlington Center east of Mystic Street

  It’s 1964. Comets could be seen streaking down Massachusetts Avenue. The Comet automobile, that is. Some likely purchased at Arlington’s Bonnell & Stokes Lincoln-Mercury-Comet dealership located between the Center and the Heights. But I digress . . . . This post continues one from last month, offering a unique tour of Arlington Center over […]

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In memory of Nina Winn at Christmas

An excerpt from the diary of Miss Nina L. Winn, December 23, 1916: No flowers at [florist David] Duncan’s & Mrs. Duncan there because he is so poorly, [to] cemetery with my 2 wreaths – couldn’t afford more. Regular readers of Nina Winn’s diaries will be familiar with passages throughout the years, in which she […]

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60 years ago: “Stop & Shop” building opens

In 1956, many housewives in Arlington were enjoying their first Thanksgiving shopping experience in the “ultra-modern” Publix supermarket that had opened to great fanfare just six months earlier at 905 Massachusetts Ave., home today to an expanded Stop & Shop store. With “extra wide aisles, cheerful coloring, ample check-out stations [eight of them], and no-tip […]

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A circa 1862 “carte de visite” format photograph of Edwin S. Farmer, the last of three generations in his family to reside at 1173 Massachusetts Avenue.

Kimball Farmer House

This fall the Kimball Farmer House at 1173 Massachusetts Avenue, recently renovated to create three affordable-housing units by the Housing Corporation of Arlington, welcomed all of its tenants to their new homes. This event provides a welcome opportunity to broadly share the history of the house and the Farmer family, featuring photographs from the Society’s […]

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