Centers And Squares
Archive for the 'Area Info' Category
General Artemas Ward House Musueum The General Artemas Ward House Museum is in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts but has more than one connection to Cambridge.
Artemas Ward was the General and commander-in-chief of the colony’s militia during the occupation of Cambridge that began shortly after the Battle of Lexington and Concord. By June he was named a Major General and second in command to George Washington who arrived in Cambridge on July 3, 1775.
Ward’s political service included serving as a delegate to the Continental Congress and serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1779 to 1785. He served as Speaker of the Massachusetts House in 1785 and was later twice elected to the United States Congress.
The house had been built by Ward’s father in 1727 and was home to generations of the Ward family. For almost two hundred years the property was a working farm and the enormous barn is one of the largest in New England.
In 1925 a wealthy Ward descendant donated the farm to Harvard University. Harvard maintains the house today as a museum.
The Artemas Ward House is a treat – filled with family furnishings and memorabilia and in largely unaltered condition. It’s wonderful to see what deep pockets can do – Harvard, unlike many small historical societies, has the money to maintain a property of this age and size in tip top condition.
The General Artemas Ward House Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday until late November. Check the website for more information about hours.
Admission is free – you can’t beat that!
More House Museum Mondays
The General Artemas Ward House Museum is located at 786 Main Street, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
Cambridge In the Revolution Cell Phone Tour After growing up in Concord I have to confess it’s easy to lose track of the impact of the American Revolution on other Massachusetts cities and towns.
Lately, most recently at the Cambridge Discovery Days in August, I’ve been learning more about Revolutionary War events in Cambridge. Cambridge was occupied twice by troops – first by the Continental Army and then by the British.
Now it’s possible to learn about Cambridge in the Revolution any time you want. Thanks to a project of the Cambridge Historical Society a cell phone tour of Cambridge sites impacted by the Revolutionary War is available.
You can download the tour map online and then while walking past the Cambridge sites call the tour number – 617-517-5990 – from your cell phone for recorded narratives about each site and its role in the Revolution.
Count Rumford House in Woburn Driving by the red Colonial on North Street in Woburn I couldn’t help but notice the large sign on the house’s wood shingled roof – “Count Rumford Birthplace“.
Count Rumford House Museum
Like many, I knew of Count Rumford from the Rumford fireplace but had no idea he had local connections. Turns out there’s lots more to know.
Benjamin Thompson, who was to become Count Rumford, was born here at 90 Elm Street in Woburn, his grandfather’s house, in 1753. The house is a National Historic Landmark and is owned and maintained by the Rumford Historical Association.
This isn’t a house museum per se though old house enthusiasts will appreciate seeing the well preserved Colonial which dates from about 1714. The Rumford Historical Association was formed in 1877 in an effort to save and maintain the house. That’s very early for a historic preservation effort and a testament to Rumford’s influence and reputation.
Benjamin Thompson must have been a very charismatic man as well as a brilliant one. His list of accomplishments is long and many of his successes came at a very young age. A Loyalist, he moved to England in 1776. There he prospered – serving in the military, gaining reknown for his scientific work, and receiving several honors – he was knighted in 1781 and became a Count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1792.
The Count Rumford House is a treasure trove of information about the colorful Count Rumford and related memorabilia. There are a number of models of Rumford’s scientific inventions and the house is a fun visit for kids who appreciate science or history. You’ll also get an interesting overview of Woburn history during the tour.
Count Rumford Museum and Birthplace is usually open from 1 to 4:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a good idea to call ahead and confirm. The phone number is 781-933-4976. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.
More House Museum Mondays
Count Rumford House is located at 90 Elm Street, Woburn, MA 01801
Emerson House Museum In Concord What’s a house enthusiast / real estate agent do in her spare time? Visit house museums of course. I’ve always loved them – the antiques, the literary connections, the “step back in time” sensation that can flicker through your mind. Massachusetts has plenty of house museums and I’m going to highlight one each week.
Emerson House Museum In Concord
Though the lines are longer at the Old Manse or the Orchard House, the Emerson House in Concord is not to be missed. Take a drive out to Concord – twenty minutes from Cambridge and 150 years back in time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, noted Transcendentalist, philosopher and author, bought the house for his family in 1835. Emerson lived here until his death in 1882 and family members lived in the house for many years thereafter.
The house is owned by Emerson’s descendants and is much the same as it was when the Emerson family lived here. Unlike many house museums, furnished with period pieces in an attempt to recreate the feel of an earlier time, at the Emerson House you are able to see the house very much as it was when the family lived here and entertained so many whose names we still know well.
Be sure to wander around the expansive yard after your tour.
Ralph Waldo Emerson House museum is open Thursday to Sunday from mid-April through October.
For hours and admission charges check the Emerson House website.
Emerson House Museum is at 28 Concord Turnpike, Concord, Mass. across from the Concord Museum
Shovel The Snow – It’s The Law Nothing better on a hot summer day than reading about snow shoveling! Makes you feel a little cooler if only for a moment.
The Boston Globe reported today that the Supreme Judicial Court:
“In a historic decision, the state’s high court ruled yesterday that landowners must make sure their property is clear of any snow and ice that could cause injury to others, regardless of whether the snow came from Mother Nature or from a plow or other source”. Read more.
Poorly shoveled sidewalks are a constant source of aggravation – and danger to pedestrians – during the winter in Cambridge. Homeowners will want to make sure that their sidewalks and driveways are clear of snow and ice or risk a lawsuit.
I’ve got my shovel ready!
Did you know that there’s a working farm in suburban Belmont? Sure enough, Sergi Farm in Belmont, MA is a working five acre farm close to the Cambridge line.
One of the area’s best kept secrets, the folks at Sergi Farm sells vegetables, herbs and flowers that they grow themselves.
We stopped by on Wednesday after our weekly tour of new listings. I bought some fresh picked broccoli for supper.
Check out the Sergi Farm website to find out what’s fresh and for sale in the stand, info about volunteer opportunities, and their blog that will keep you up to date on what’s going on at the farm.
See you in line when the corn’s in!
Sergi Farm is located at 34 Glenn Road, Belmont, MA. Take Blanchard Road to Glenn Road and watch for the sign.
Hong Kong Monument In Harvard Square Wander around Harvard Square and you’ll stumble upon memorials – to the Colonial days, to the Revolution, to various classes at Harvard, and to modern day Cantabridgians too.
I was tickled to come across the monument on the right while walking through the Square recently.
It’s a tribute to Sen Lee, the founder and long-time proprietor of the Hong Kong restaurant across the street. Sen Lee opened the Hong Kong more than fifty years ago. It’s a Harvard Square institution and a popular place to see comedy shows.
My Hong Kong experience is limited to the Faneuil Hall Hong Kong where I briefly waitressed while in graduate school. Now that was an easy waitressing gig – plop down the scorpion bowl, stick some straws in it, and collect the tip. Sweet!
Segways in Cambridge I did a double take when I saw this group of Segway riders near City Hall in Cambridge today. Given their yellow vests and where they were at first I thought it was a new mode of transportation for municipal employees.
Turns out that Segway tours are offered in Cambridge by Boston Gliders. I wouldn’t mind taking the tour in order to test drive one of these. Not sure if I can sign on if the helmet’s required – never mind the vest – ugh. I grew up in the era of three-speed bikes and no helmets and have yet to don protective headgear.
Segways look like fun though. They seem like a great option for real estate agents – we spend a lot of time in city traffic – errands to the fire station, property showings around town, visits to the Registry of Deeds – a Segway seems like just the ticket. And I’ve long had a vision of 75 Cambridge real estate agents zipping around the city on Segways for our weekly tour of new listings – but my coworkers will take some convincing.