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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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The Horton Family enjoys the covered front porch of their house on Pleasant Street. Click on image to view in closer detail.

On the piazza . . .

Recent entries from Nina Winn’s 1916 diary include descriptions of her having lunch or reading “on the piazza.”  Nowadays, to American-English speakers, the word “piazza” typically conjures thoughts of the open public spaces that are characteristic of cities in Italy.  But in Nina Winn’s time, piazza was a popular term in the United States for […]

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A summer Sunday in Arlington, circa 1905

Longtime Society member Bill Mahoney, who recently donated this previously unpublished image to our collection, would often remark “If only the photographer would have directed his lens just a little bit more . . .” towards a particular direction, we’d have a vastly easier time zeroing-in on a date for many historical photographs. Such is […]

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Social Media in the Age of Newspapers

In the age of social media it is easy to believe that we get caught up in the social tidbits of the lives of others.  Perhaps that is true but it certainly did not begin with the invention of Facebook.  Long before the internet personal interest pieces were heavily circulated in local and national newspapers. […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 6

Crazy quilts in the Victorian era in America were popular for home furnishings in the United States from the 1870’s through the early 1900’s.  The American desire for bright, bold asymmetrical designs in silk and velvet drew from English Victorian styles, and from Japanese styles and goods that were increasingly imported to England and the United States […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 5

Fashion trends for clothing and home décor come and go today just as they did in the 19th Century. Hexagon based patterns were popular in the 1830s, the 1920s, and again in the 2010s. In quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet these patterns are often called Hexagons, Beekeeper, Honeycomb or Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Patterns were published, […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 4

Elizabeth Russell Rourke donated this quilt to the Arlington Historical society 150 after her great grandfather Jason Russell was killed at his home by British troops on April 19th, 1775 in Arlington. Jason Russell’s grandson (also named Jason Russell) moved his family to Stafford, Connecticut following the American Revolution. This line of the family stayed in […]

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Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 2

This now faded cream and green colored quilt was once bright and showy, with crisp white cotton, and bright lime-green flowers on a dark hunter-green background. The soft ivory with brown and tan accents may once have been striking purples or even reds. Now faded with time, this quilt’s history is a tangle of family […]

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