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Wasuixo rox Elm










-^' CAX

Know old Cambridge? Hope you do.
Born there ? Don't say so ! I was too.
The nicest place that ever was seen,
Colleges red, and common green.
Sidewalks brownish with trees between.

O. W. Holmes.



tvrci i.rtn»ii' ^eoelved

FEI: 18 1907




Copyright, 1907
By Hannah Winthrop Chapter, N. S. D. A. R.


EVERY year hundreds of tourists come to Cambridge reverencing
it as one of the earhest settled towns of New England — the home
for nearly three centuries of Harvard College and of many eminent
men, and the first camp of the American army of the Revolution.
Guides who show strangers the points of interest are often poorly
furnished with reliable information, and many residents are hardly
better informed. In presenting this volume through its Pilgrimage
Committee, formed in 1902 to provide reliable guidance for D. A. R.
chapters visiting Cambridge, the Hannah Winthrop Chapter hopes to
be of service to all those, both stranger and resident, who are interested
in the history of the city.

Since 1905 about two thirds of the articles here published in book
form have appeared in the columns of The Cambridge Tribune, through
the courtesy of the editor, Mr. Edward F. Gam well, under whose super-
vision they were printed. To Lucius R. Paige's History of Cambridge
the committee has turned as authority for facts of history. County
records and private papers have been carefully read, and the utmost
accuracy of statement sought. Some mistakes have doubtless occurred,
but as far as possible dates have been verified by reference to wills,
deeds, histories, and biographies. The original lots of land granted
to the first settlers are here described, and the names of their owners,
with subsequent transfers given from early to recent times. Many
of the cuts have been made expressly for this book, and appear for the
first time.

The Committee wishes to thank Miss Caroline E. Peabody for the
use of her photograph of Craigie House ; Mr. George D. Ford for
taking the photographs of the Waterhouse, Thomas Lee, and Hicks
houses ; the following named for the use of cuts or photographs : the
City Clerk and Park Commissioners of Cambridge, Rev. Alexander
McKenzie, Rev. Edward Abbott, Stephen W. Driver, M.D., Miss Alice
Longfellow, Mrs. Joseph B. Warner, Miss Elizabeth Harris, Miss Eliza-
beth E. Dana, Mrs. Forbes, Mr. Frederick Powell, Mr. Louis F.^Veston,
Caustic and Claflin ; the following publishers : Little, Brown, & Co.,
for cuts from the works of Samuel Adams Drake ; Ginn & Co., for two


cuts from Freese's " Historic Spots "" ; the editor of " James Murray,
Loyalist " ; Houghton, Mifflin & Co. ; the editor of the Harvard Mag-
azine,, and Harvard Library officials, for the uniform courtesy shown
and for permission to use manuscript drawings and maps.

To the many who have helped with words of encouragement, infor-
mation, and the loan of original documents, tlie Committee gratefully
expresses its appreciation. No one sees more clearly than the com-
pilers the incompleteness of the Historic Guide, but it is a sincere
attempt to give the public the most important facts out of the great
mass of material at hand.


Miss Marion Brown Fessendev, Chairman

Miss Carrie J. Aluson

Mrs. Margaret J. Bradbury

Mrs. Adah L. C. Brock

Mrs. Jennie L. Richardson Bitnton

Miss Laura B. Chamberlain

Miss Elizabeth Ellery Dana

Miss Althea M. Dorr

Mrs. Sybil C. Emerton

Mrs. Lilian Fisk Ford

Mrs. Mary W. Greely Goodridge

Mrs. Mary Isabella James Gozzaldi

Miss Elizabeth Harris

Mrs. Agnes H. Holden

Miss Eliza Mason Hoppin

Miss Alice M. Longfellow

Miss Henrietta E. McIntire

Mrs. Sarah R. McKenzie

Mrs. Nellie Munroe Nash

Miss Lydia Phillips Stevens

Mrs. Grace Jones Wardweli

Mrs. Annie L. Locke Wentworth

Mrs. Estella Hatch Weston

Mrs. Isabel Stewart Whittemore

Miss Sarah Alice Worcester


Washington Elm Frontispiece

Old Mile Stone Title-page

Harvard Square in 1 863 Facing page 8

Meeting-House in College Yard, 1756-1833 " "14

The VVigglesworth House " " 1 6

Old Parsonage, 1670-1843 " "18

A Westerly View of the Colleges in Cambridge, New

England, engraved by Paul Revere '' "20

Wadsworth House, built in 1 726 "' " 22

John Hicks House " "58

Apthorp House " "76

William Winthrop House " "80

Read House " "90

Brattle House ■ " "90

Vassall House — Medical Headquarters. Exterior ... " "94'

Vassall House — Medical Headquarters. Interior ... " " 9^

Washington's Headquai-ters — John Vassall-Craigie House " " 100

Toiy Row " "104

House of Judge Joseph Lee " " 106

Thomas Lee House " "108

Lechmere-Sewall House " "110

Fay erweather House " "110

Elmwood " "112

Cambridge Common in 1805, from a watercolor sketch

by D. Bell " "122

Christ Church in 1792, from an old engraving .... " "130

The Old Towne Burying Ground " "134

Headstone, Old Burying Ground, Garden street ... " "136

Washington Elm and House of Deacon Josiah Moore . . " "140

Waterhouse House " "142

Watson-Davenport House, Massachusetts Avenue near

Rindge Avenue " " 146

The Davenport Tavern, formerly corner of Massachusetts

Avenue and Beech street " "146

Cooper-Hill-Austin House. Back and Front " " 148


Holmes House Facing page 158

Phillips- Ware-Norton House " " l64

House of Chief Justice Dana . . " " l68

The Inman House ' " "' 172

Fort Washington " "180


Harvard College Lottery Ticket Page 28

Third Court House, 1758, from drawing in College Library . . "30

House of Moses Richardson "156


Map of Cambridge in 1907 Inside front cover

Map A, Cambridge Village Page 34

Map B. Cambridge in 1775 " 82

Map C. Cambridge Common in 1775 "124


For the convenience of strangers a map of Cambridge, of the present
time, has been placed on the inside front cover of this guide, and the
following route laid out : ^

Harvard Square and neighborhood, pp. 8-20, 29-83. See Map A, p. "M.
Harvard College Yard, pp. 20-28
Brattle Street. See Map B, p. 83.

No. 42, Brattle House, Social Union, pp. 83-91.

No. 55, Read House, pp. 91 92.

Corner of Mason street. Episcopal Theological School, pp. 92-94.

No. 90, John Fiske House, p. 99.

No. 94, Vassall House, pp. 94-99.

No. 105, Craigie-Longfellow House, Washington's Headquarters, pp. 99-104.

No. 121, Worcester House, p. 105.

No. 145, Site of Lechmere-Sewall-Riedesel House, pp. 104-107.

No. 149, Lechmere-Sewall-Riedesel House, p. 107.

No. 153, Thomas Lee House, p. 109.

No. 159, Judge Joseph Lee House, pp. 107-109.

No. 175, Ruggles-Fayerweather House, pp. 109-110.
Elmwood Avexue, OHver-Gerry-Lowell House, pp. 110-119,

Mount Auburn Street, turn to left, corner Channing street. Burial-place of Revo-
lutionary soldiers, p. 113.

Near corner of Hawthorn street, Dudley-Lowell willows, p. 6.
Ash Street, site of Palisades, cross Brattle street to Mason to Common.

Around Common, Map C, p. 124, pp. 121-142. Washington Elm, p. 123.

To right, Radcliffe CoUege, pp. 126-127. Christ Church, pp. 128-134. Old
Burying-ground, pp. 134-139.

To left, from Elm, Waterhouse street, Waterhouse House, pp. 141-142.
Garden Street, to Harvard Observatory and Botanic Garden, p. 141.
LiNN.EAN Street, No. 21, Cooper-Hill-Austin House, oldest house standing in original

state, pp. 148-152.
Massachusetts Avenue, old Turnpike to Lexington, pp. 6-7, 142-148.

Return to Common, Holmes place, pp. 153-160. Turn to left.
K1RK1.AND Street, King's Highway, pp. 5, 7, 160-164.

No. 7, Birthplace of Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, p. 160.

Site of Danforth-Foxcroft Estate, pp. 160-163. Memorial Hall, p. 163.

Oxford street to Agassiz Museum of Comparative Zoology (glass flowers). Pea-
body Ethnological Museum, Semitic Museum, Divinity avenue, p. 164.

Irving street, Phillips-Norton House, p. 164.


Massachusetts Avenue, corner of Dana, site of home of Chief-Justice Francis Dana,
pp. 164-170.
Corner Inman street, City Hall, site of Inraan House, pp. 171-177.
Brookline street, corner of Auburn, Inman House, p. 171.
Brookline Street to Allston, Fort Washington, pp. 179-180.

East Cambridge, site of Landing of tlie British soldiers, Court House, Prison, Probate
Office, Registry of Deeds, pp. 180-185.


* Slightly altered.

** But little of the original remaining.
*** Date approximate.
**1642. Henry Vassall House, 94 Brattle street.

1657. Cooper-H.'ll-Austin House, 21 liinnacan street.
(?)1692. Dickson-Goddard-I'itch House, Massachusetts avenue, near Cedar

***1700. Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, 159 Brattle street.

1720. Massachusetts Hall, College Yard.
***1726. Reed (Read) House, 55 Brattle street.
1726. Wadsworth House, College Yard.
*1727. Brattle House, 42 Brattle street.
1744. Holden Chapel, College Yard.
***1740. William Vassall-Waterhouse-Ware House, 7 Waterhouse street.
1763. Hollis Hall, College Yard.

*1756. Inman House, Brookline and Auburn streets.
1757. Jacob Watson House, 2162 Massachusetts avenue.
**1758. Court House, Palmer street.

1759. John Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House. 105 Brattle street.
***1760. Lechmere-Sewell-Riedesel House, 14S Brattle street.

***1760. Marrett-Ruggles-Fayerweather-Wells-Newoll House, 175 Brattle street.
***1760. Oliver-Gerry-Lowell House, Elmwood avenue.

1760. Christ Church, Garden street.

***1760. Edward Marrett House, Mount Auburn street.

***1760. John Hicks House, 67 Dunster street.

***1760. Apthorp House, Linden street.

1766. Harvard Hall, College Yard.

***1790. Phillips-Ware-Norton House, Irving street.

***1799. Thomas Lee House, 153 Brattle street.

* Professor John and Madame Hannah Winthrop House, Boylston and
Mount Auburn streets.


Page 123, third line, for " 1869" read " September, 1872."

Page 127, fourth paragraph, third line, for "Judge Samuel Phillips and
Prescott Fay," read "Judge Samuel Phillips Prescott Fay."

Page 1 43, first line of last paragraph, for " Judge " read " Madame," the
reference being to the estate of Madame John Mico (Katherine Brattle)

Page l63, last line of third paragraph, instead of "a son of Senator
Hoar," read " Samuel, son of Judge Hoar of Concord."

On map A, No. 30, the Apthorp House has been placed too far south,
the house stands but a little way back from Braintree street, now Massachu-
setts avenue.

Since going to press, the compilers of this guide have learned that in
the December, 1906, number of the Clavian, the magazine of the Bur}'
Grammar School, Lancashire, England, Mr. William Hewitson publishes the
baptism of the first president of Harvard College and the burial of his
father. The extract from the Bury Parish Record reads :

"Baptisms, Henry Dunster at Bury, November 26, l609."
"Burials. Henry Dunster, of Baleholt, September l6, l646."



New Towne, on the Charles (now Cambridge), was a village bounded north-
erly by Harvard square, westerly by Brattle square and Eliot street, southerly
by the river and easterly by Holyoke street, then very crooked. It consisted
of four streets parallel with the river, crossed at nearly right angles by four
streets running north and south. Crooked (Holyoke) street was the most
easterly of these; next came Water (Dunster) street and Wood (Boylston)
street, the most westerly being a semi-circular road, called, at the river end.
Marsh lane (Eliot street), and, towards the north. Creek lane (Brattle square).
The street running parallel with the river, and nearest to it, was Marsh lane
(South street) next Long lane (Winthrop street) then Spring lane (Mount
Auburn street), the present Harvard square being called Braintree street,
after the old English home of some of the earliest settlers.

The land was apportioned in house lots of an acre or, more commonly,
half an acre, called the home lot, with farm and wood lots in different places
some distance away. Of all the houses of New Towne, not one remains, and
of only one have we a picture, the house (later called the Wigglesworth
House) that stood in the college yard, on Braintree street, built for the first
pastor, the Rev. Thomas Hooker. Probably the houses were like the timber
houses of their day in England, with a large square chimney in the centre.
We know that thatched houses were forbidden; they must have been tiled
or shingled.

Wood, in his "New England Prospect," written in 1633, thus describes New
Towne: "This is one of the neatest and best compacted towns of New
England, having many fine structures, with many handsome contrived
streets. The inhabitants, most of them, are very rich, and well stored with
cattle of all sorts, having many hundred acres of land paled in with a
general fence, which is about a mile and a half long, which secures all
their weaker cattle from the wild beasts." We wish he might have given
a more definite description of one of the "fair structures." But a few re-
mained till within the memory of some now living; these we shall later

The would-be settler, or the visitor from Boston, usually approached
New Towne either by ship or the ferry, landing at the "suflflcient bridge," at
the foot of Water (Dunster) street. His attention would bo drawn at once



to the fine mansion of Governor Thomas Dudley, overlooking the river. At
the corner of Marsh lane (South street) a tablet now marks the spot.

Governor Thomas Dudley, the founder of Cambridge, is a connecting link
between us and English history. His father. Captain Roger Dudley, was
killed in the Battle of Ivry, having been sent by Queen Elizabeth to aid
the King of Navarre. After serving several years as page in the family of
Lord Compton, where, in the words of Cotton Mather, "he had an oppor-
tunity to learn courtship and whatever belonged to civility and good be-
havior," Thomas Dudley received, In 1597, a commission as captain from
Queen Elizabeth, to assist Henry of Navarre in the siege of -Amiens, then in
the hands of the Spanlardsi. On the conclusion of peace, he returned to his
native town, Northampton, where he married Dorothy Torke, "a gentle-
woman of good estate and good extraction." He was then appointed to
the position of clerk to Judge Nicolls, a jurist of high reputation for special
judiciary endowments and exemplary integrity. This intimate association
must iiave been of inestimable value in fitting Dudley for the part he was
to take in moulding our early forms of government.

Judge Nicolls died in 1616, when Dudley was forty years of age. During
the fourteen years which elapsed before the great emigration, he was
steward to the Earl of Lincoln, brother of the Lady Arbella Johnson, his
duties including the management of many estates and the collection of in-
come. The affairs of the earl were "under great entanglements," owing to
years of mismanagement, but, by prudent, careful direction, Dudley found
means, in a few years, to discharge all the great debts. Mather writes: "The
Earl, finding him so to be, would never, after his acquaintance with him,
do any business of moment without Mr. Dudley's counsel of advice." Of
strong religious convictions, of firm moral and intellectual fibre, polished
and courtly in manner, his views of life broadened by his sojoumi in France,
with the advantages of noble birth, of wide and varied observation and ex-
perience, Thomas Dudley, at the ripe age of fifty-four, joined the great emi-
gration to America.

The "Arbella," named for the beautiful Lady Arbella Johnson, sister of the
Earl of Lincoln, sailed from Southampton, England, March 22, 1630, bearing
the royal charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and, among other dis-
tinguished men, the two who were to play the most important roles in the
establishment of the colony, John Winthrop, governor, with his two sons,
and Thomas Dudley, deputy-governor, with his wife (Dorothy Yorke), his
son Samuel and four daughters. After an unusually rough passage, they
arrived off Salem harbor, June 22, 1630. But "Salem pleased them not," and,
after a few days, they went in. search of another abode suitable for a cap-
ital city. Two expeditions were sent out, one led by John Winthrop, the
other by Thomas Dudley. Each made a different selection, but finally com-


promised on Charlestown. Want of water and other reasons led them to
seek a more favorable location, and New Towne was chosen. They agreed
to build there, but Governor Winthrop removed his home to Boston, and
of the government only Dudley and the secretary, Simon Bradstreet, re-
mained in Cambridge.

During the twenty-two years of his connection with the Massachusetts
Bay Colony, Thomas Dudley filled, for seventeen years, the first or second
place in the gift of the people. He believed in rotation in office and the dates
of his election as governor, rccmring somewhat regularly after a period of five
years, indicate that he carried this principle into practice. Governor Dud-
ley was active in the founding of Harvard College. His name and that of
Mr. Bellingham head the list of the committee of twelve appointed by the gen-
eral court, November 15, 1637, to consider its establishment. He signed the
charter and was in the board of overseers until his death.

The first house in Cambridge, that built by Governor Dudley (on the corner
of Dunster and South streets), in the spring of 1631, was probably a large,
commodious mansion, suitable for the entertainment of public and private
friends. One of the epitaphs called forth by his death describes the governor
as follows:

"In looks a prodigal, they say

A living cyclopedia;

Of histories of church and priest

A full compendium at least;

A table-talker rich in sense,

And witty, without wit's pretense;

An able champion in debate.

Whose words lacked numbers, but not weight;

And of that faith both sound and old,

Both Catholic and Christian too.

A soldier trusty, tried and true;

New England's sienate's crowning grace,

In merit truly as in place;

Condemned to share the common doom.

Reposes here in Dudley's tomb."

Could we have stepped into his study, we should have found among the
books he brought from England a "General History of the Netherlands."
This country had contributed largely to the Puritan ideas of religion, educa-
tion and liberty, and we may easily believe it was one of his constant
studies. "The Tui'kish History" and "Swedish Intelligencer" indicate
breadth of investigation. His "Livius" and Latin dictionary and eight
French books point to his classical taste, Camden's "Annals of Queen Eliz-
abeth" and "Commentaries of the Wars of France" would have had a per-
sonal interest to one who had lived through those times and who, as well as
his father, had fought in France. Books in theology, history, law and educa-
tion all reflect his liberality of mind.


Could we have looked into the dining room, when no visitors were present,
we should have found gathered around the family board Mrs. Dorothy
Dudley, the "worthy matron of unspotted life," Samuel, the eldest son,
who, soon after, married Mary, daughter of Governor Winthrop; Anne, the
youthful bride of Simon Bradstreet, so gifted by the muses that she has
been styled the "morning star of American poetry," and the three younger
sisters, Patience, Sarah and Mercy.

We should, doubtless, have heard stories from the lips of the governor that
■would be worth preserving; of his life as a page in the family of Lord
Compton, when he served milady in her bower, or followed milord to the
camp; of his experiences at a soldier in Fra,nce; of his clerkship to that
eminent jurist. Judge Nicolls; and of his part in the great emigration to

But Cambridge was not long to keep this distinguished settler. When
Rev. Thomas Hooker and the Braintree Company left to found Hartford,
in Connecticut, Governor Thomas Dudley removed to Ipswich and from there
to Roxbury, where his wife died, in 1643. Soon after, he married Katherine,
widow of Samuel Hagburne, and had a second family of three children — Jo-
seph, Deborah and Paul. He died in Roxbury, July 31, 1653, in the seventy-
seventh year of his age, and was buried in one of the oldest cemeteries in
New England, at the corner of Washington and Eustis streets, Roxbury.

Is it not strange that, with the exception of the tablet that marks the
site of his house, there is no memorial of this illustrious man in the city which
he founded, no avenue, no square, no monument bearing his name?

S. A, W.


THE CHARLES RIVER.— The Charles River, anciently called Quineboquln,
was the natural boundary between two hostile tribes of Indians. It rises in
Hopkinton, and, flowing in a circuitous course, enters Boston harbor at
Charlestown. It is navigable for sloops and schooners of several hundred tons
burden, as far as Brighton. At the time of the American Revolution, four
fortifications were erected on its banks: Forts Washington, No. 1, Putnam,
and a three-gun battery at Captain's Island.

FERRY.— In 1635, a ferry was established across the Charles River at the
southerly end of Dunster street, and was the only route from Cambridge to
Boston, by the way of Roxbury. In 1636, the town ordered that Joseph Cooke,
the friend and pastor of Rev. Mr. Shepard (who lived on Holyoke street, near
Holyoke place), "should keep the ferry and have a penny ov-
er and a half-penny on lecture days." As there was a large
amount of travel on the ferry, especially on lecture daj's, and this
means of crossing the river was considered dangerous, it was decided to
erect a bridge at the foot of Brighton (now Boylston) street.


THE GREAT BRIDGE.— The Great Bridge derived its name from the fact
that, up to this time, it was the largest and finest in the colony. It was built
in 1662, at a cost of £200. The cost of maintaiuiug it was so great that
the court decided, in 1670, that tolls should be taken. In September, 1685,
a high tide swept this bridge away, and, until it was rebuilt in 1690, ferriage
was resumed. When Newton was incorporated as a separate town, tolls
were abolished, and it was ordered that Cambridge should pay two-sixths of
the cost of maintaining the bridge; Newton, one-sixth; and the remaining
three-sixths at the public charge of the county of Middlesex. Newton was ex-
empted from its share In 1781. When Lexington was incorporated, in 1712-
13, and West Cambridge, in 1807, they shared in this expense until ISCO. In
1862, the general court finally settled the matter by making Cambridge and
Brighton share the expense of the bridge. It decreed that a draw not less
than 32 feet wide should be constructed at an equal distance from each abut-
ment, and that the dividing line should be the opening in the middle of the
draw. When Loi-d Percy led his marines from Roxbury to Cambridge, he
found the planks removed from the Great Bridge. As the frugal Commit-
tee of Safety had unwisely piled the boards on the Cambridge side, Lord
Percy ordered some of his soldiers to cross on the stringers and replace

enough of them to allow the troops to pass over.

N. M. N.


Charlestown and Watertown were settled before Cambridge. A pathway
led from one of these towns to the other, which was later made the King's
Highway. It entered the town along the present Kirkland street, passed
Holmes place, crossed the common to the Washington Elm, then through
Mason and Brattle streets and Elmwood avenue, where it passed the up-
per ferry (to Brighton) and then continued on to Watertown. In the earliest
times, this was the only road.

The first settlement was between this road and the river, south of the com-
mon, and the first thing that Governor Dudley and the new settlers did,
in 1631, was to widen the Charles River "for convenience of ships," making
a canal, or creek, "twelve foot broad and seven foot deep," so that ships
could land at South street. It came along the side of Eliot street, then
called Creek lane, as far as Brattle square, where, in 1636, a causeway and
foot-bridge over it were constructed. This canal was built by John Masters

Online LibraryCambridge Massachusetts Daughters of the American RevolutionAn historic guide to Cambridge (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 25)