Albert N. ] [Murray.

The story of Kendall square, a bit of history concerning the new location of Murray and Emery company online

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A BIT OF HISTORY CONCERNING

THE NEW LOCATION OF
MURRAY AND EMERY COMPANY



CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
NINETEEN SIXTEEN



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Copyright, 1915
By Albert N. Murray



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OEC 23/9/5



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THE BBroOE THAT LEADS TO KENDALL SQUARE

Vtf)t ♦ ^torp ♦ of ♦ ^enball - Square

ETROPOLITAN BOSTON of the present
day embraces considerable territory en-
hanced by great possibihties of industrial
development. Recent extension of the
transportation facilities of Greater Boston
has brought to the forefront one particular section
that is destined within a few years to become a leading
manufacturing center.

A story of activity is always of interest. The growth
of Kendall Square is a story of progress and develop-
ment of recent date, and of consequent interest,
although the history of over a century is so closely
entwined about Kendall Square that one is easily
carried back to the early days of Boston and Cam-
bridge for a perusal of the history of this locality, now
claiming so much attention.



Wl)t • ^torp ♦ of ♦ i^enball ♦ Square

Obviously the greatest advantage of Kendall Square
is its nearness to the heart of the " Hub." Supplant-
ing the primitive ferry across the Charles River — the
natural separation between two cities that otherwise
might have been one — by a modest wooden bridge
was an advance step, and Kendall Square gained a
point — or would have if it had been present at that
time. The substitution, sixty years later, of a more
substantial bridge and the introduction of horse cars
was another point in favor of Kendall Square — and
this time it was there to acknowledge the favor.
Fifty years passed, and then a granite bridge came,
and with it the Cambridge Tunnel — and Kendall
Square was " made." Its history in detail is of interest.
In the "Columbian Centinel " of January 7, 1792,
there appeared the following advertisement:

" WEST BOSTON BRIDGE. As all citizens of the
United States have an equal right to propose a measure
that may be beneficial to the public or advantageous
to themselves, and as no body of men have an
exclusive right to take to themselves such a privilege,
a number of gentlemen have proposed to open a new
subscription for the purpose of building a bridge
[6]








H.H. IN CU,SB XBS.MB.. -^ - ;-'- ^^^VtlS. '^VZIZ^O



tCJe ♦ ^torj) ♦ of ♦ Henball ♦ Square

from West Boston to Cambridge, at such place as
the General Court may be pleased to direct. A sub-
scription for two hundred shares in the proposed
bridge will this day be opened at Samuel Cooper's
office, north side of the State House."

History records that this subscription " was filled up
in three hours." A petition was immediately presented
to the General Court, and on the 9th of March, 1792,
Francis Dana and his associates were granted articles
of incorporation as " The Proprietors of the West
Boston Bridge." This franchise empowered them to
construct a bridge " from the Westerly part of Boston
to Pelham's Island in the town of Cambridge " and
also " a good road from the Island to the nearest part
of the Cambridge road." Their articles of incorpora-
tion also granted to them the right " to take certain
specified tolls during a term of forty years."

The completion of this first bridge was heralded in
the "Centinel" in its issue of November 27, 1793, as
follows: " The Bridge at West Boston was opened for
passengers on Saturday last. The elegance of the
workmanship and the magnitude of the undertaking
are perhaps unequalled in the history of enterprises.
[8]



r^-^^^ . ~— ~"^~^^



tlTlje ♦ ^torp • of ♦ llenball ♦ S>quare

We hope the Proprietors will not suffer pecuniary loss
from their public spirit."

Dr. Holmes, the historian, witnessed the building of
the bridge and records the following detail:

" It stands on 180 piers, and is 3483 feet long

Bridge over the Gore, 14 do. 275 do.
Abutment, Boston side, 87^

Causeway, 3344
Width of the Bridge, 40. "

He further writes of it as being a " magnificent struc-
ture, erected at a cost of $76,700."

By a subsequent act of the General Court, on June
30, 1792, the original franchise was extended to a
term of seventy years, and on February 27, 1807, was
again further extended for another term of seventy
years to date from the completion of Craigie's Bridge
(1809).

Before the building of the first West Boston Bridge
the section now known as Cambridgeport and East
Cambridge consisted solely of woodland, pasture,
swamps and salt marsh. Indeed, the town of Cam-

[91



tK jje ♦ ^tor j> • of • Eenball • Square

bridge at that date contained but one hundred and
forty-eight houses. Very speedily the new West
Boston Bridge and its connecting causeway became
the great highway from the towns of Middlesex to
the markets of Boston. In the year 1803 the " Cam-
bridge and Concord Turnpike Corporation " was
established, with authority to construct a turnpike
road from the westerly side of Cambridge Common
to Concord, and two years later, in March, 1805,
this corporation was given authority to extend the
turnpike to the causeway near West Boston Bridge.
This extension is now known as Broadway, and forms
part of Kendall Square.

In June of the same year the " Middlesex Turnpike
Corporation " was established, with authority to build
a turnpike road from Tyngsborough through Chelms-
ford, Billerica and Bedford to Cambridge and Concord
Turnpike near West Boston Bridge. The Cambridge
portion of this turnpike is now Hampshire Street.
The chief feature of Main Street and the causeway
was the inns. There was one located at the corner of
Main Street and Broadway, which junction is now
known as Kendall Square, and one a little further
flOl




TUAN'SPOBTATION FROM Kf:NDALL SQUARE TO BOSTON', BY WAT
or THE TUNNEL, IS SO RAl'ID THAT IT GIVES THIS SECTION
A DISTINCT ADVANTAGE OVER OTUER INDUSTKIAL CENTEB8



l^Je ♦ ^torp • of ♦ ^enball • g>quare

east. They had, in connection, vast barns and lengthy-
courtyards. Into these were driven the great white-
topped market wagons, drawn by double files of six
or eight horses. Far into the night their lusty drivers
clamored from the red-curtained barroom, while
without in the innyard but a single lantern swayed
to and fro to show the way to each individual wagon.
Beside the market wagons that went over West Bos-
ton Bridge there was a stage that once a day made the
trip between Harvard Square and Dock Square, Boston.

By this time the bridge had become so profitable to
the toll-keepers, inn-keepers, stage-drivers, etc., that
another was opened to the east, known as Craigie's.
The settlement about this bridge was the beginning of
East Cambridge, as that about the West Boston Bridge
was of Cambridgeport. There was intense rivalry and
sectional feeling between the factions supporting the
bridges as to which section should open up the most
streets, and both places grew very fast. Canals were
constructed through the marshes and wharves built at
their edge.

By 1815 the stage trips over West Boston Bridge were
made twice a day, the first leaving Cambridge at
[12 1





THE NEABNES8 OF KENDAU. SQUARE TO THE HEAKT OF BOSTON
IS HERE APPARENT, DEACON HILL AND THE CUSTOM HOUSE
APPEABINQ TO BE WITHIN A STONE's THROW OF THE BBIDQE



1Ef)t ♦ g)torp ♦ of * Eenball ♦ Square

eight o'clock in the morning and returning at noon,
and the second leaving at two o'clock and returning
at six. Later, hourly stages were started, which were
always hooted by the " Port chucks " (Cambridgeport
urchins).

The bridge remained in charge of the Proprietors of
the West Boston Bridge until 1846, when it was sold
to the " Hancock Free Bridge Corporation," who, in
turn, on February 1, 1858, conveyed it to the City of
Cambridge " as a free bridge forever."

The opening of this as a free bridge, after so many
years of toll paying, was an event of great importance
to the citizens. The event was celebrated in an en-
thusiastic manner by decorations, a monster proces-
sion one and one-half miles long, fireworks and general
rejoicing.

In 1854, West Boston Bridge was rebuilt and widened
to fifty feet, and seven hundred and fifty feet at its
westerly end and sixty feet at its easterly end were
filled solid. An interesting fact in connection with
this bridge is that the first street railway built in New
England passed over it, and was opened for travel
[141



^f)e ♦ ^torj> ♦ of ♦ Henball ♦ Square

across the bridge and causeway on March 26, 1856.
After fifty years, this bridge was found inadequate as
a connecting Hnk between the two rapidly growing
cities, and in 1907 it gave place to the present magnifi-
cently designed Cambridge Bridge. This new bridge
was constructed at a cost of over three milHon dollars,
and was a part of the general plan of the development
of the Charles River Basin.

Six years later came the opening of the Cambridge
Tunnel — operated first from Park Street to Harvard
Square, but when completed, having its terminal at
Andrew Square, South Boston. This stupendous under-
taking was accomplished in four years, at a cost of
twelve million dollars, including the power station
located in Kendall Square.

Some comparisons of the transportation facilities are
interesting. Before 1792, one waved for the ferry, and
the length of the passage was determined more or
less by the velocity of the wind. In 1793, one stage a
day favored the traveler; in 1815 two trips a day were
possible, and somewhere between that date and 1850
it was possible to ride into Boston once an hour.

[15]



QTjje * ^torp ♦ of • i^enball • Square

Slow, but steady progress! And then in 1857 came
the horse cars, followed in 1889 by the electric cars,
making the ride to Kendall Square a matter of minutes
rather than hours. And finally the Tunnel with its
three-minute ride between Kendall Square and Park
Street.

The name of Kendall Square is first noted in the city
records of Cambridge in 1856, and is credited to
Deacon Edward Kendall, for over half a century a
prominent business man of that locality. Doubtless
he patronized the stagecoach; we know he was a
passenger on the first train through the new Cam-
bridge Tunnel, for a Cambridge paper records that
when the guard called " Kendall Square " some one
called attention to the fact that Deacon Kendall was
on the train, and he was heartily cheered by his fellow
passengers.

This, in brief, is the story of Kendall Square. But
its real history is to be of the future. And in that
history the next few years will be noteworthy. That
our new plant occupies a central location in Kendall
Square is cause for real pride on our part, and we
plan to keep pace with the development of this locality.
[16]



LIBRftRY OF CONGRESS



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Online LibraryAlbert N. ] [MurrayThe story of Kendall square, a bit of history concerning the new location of Murray and Emery company → online text (page 1 of 1)