Walter Frye Turner.

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the city naturally offers suijerior advantages over many suburban localities, but add to these the

Medina Building, West Somerville.

fine topographical conditions of much of its territory, and it explains why the city is so rapidly
increasing in iiopuhition and in taxable wealth. From the meadow lands to varied altitudes rise
the highlands or beautiful hills, from which delightful views enchant the observer. To the south,
glittering in the sunlight, is seen the gilded dome of the State House, with the city gradually
sloping off from Beacon Hill and spreading out to the west, fringing the shores of the Charles



river witli itti iiuissive, jjalatial buildings. To the north, across and beyond the Mystic river,
lies Medford, with Maiden and Everett blending together, while in the distance, forming a beautiful
l>ackground, rise the picturesque hills of Middlesex Fells, while spreading out to the west are
the towns of Arlington and Belmont. In the opposite direction and in close proximity lies old
historic Cambridge, with her church spires piercing above the deep foliage of her majestic elms, that
have given refreshing shade to generations of students, who have gone hence to voice in all lands
their warmest praises for Harvard College, their Alma Mater. On Central Hill, the most
prominent of the Highlands, are located the City Hall, Public Library and High School building, with
Public Park adjoining, while all along Highland avenue, beautiful and some of them costly,
dwellings are being erected ; this is also true of Winter Hill, with the Winter Hill railroad station

High School.

convenient for botli. Somerville Highlands, with its elegant little railroad station, is being
rapidly occupied and built up ; new streets have been laid out and many new houses have recently
been erected. Somerville, which includes "Powder House Hill," or as it is now calletl
Nathan Tufts Park, with the railroad station near by at Davis square, is very rapidly developing ;
the price of land has been kept reasonably low, which has been favorable to building interests and
good houses have multiplied in the past two years. In fact all over the more elevated portion of
the city great enterprise in building interests has been shown ; a few manufacturing enterprises



have been built up, and some fine l)nsiues.s blocks, but the large part of the building has been of
residences. The following tables showing th(^ increase in valuation in the last ten years, and also
increase in population from census of 1880 to 1890, are a most flattering comment on Somerville's
prosperity :







Eeal Estate.










Showing an increase in real estate of over 64 i>er cent ; largely accounted for by the creation of
new taxable property ; while the per cent in increase in population in ten years only falls 4%
below the real estate increase. At this rai)id rate of growth, it will nor. be many years before the
desirable sites will have been occupied and Somerville will be densely populated, and Winter Hill,
Prospect Hill, Spring Hill, Somerville Highlands and "West Somerville will be occupied and each
blend to the other in unbroken occupancy.


On the 17th of June, 1892, was celel)iated the Semi Centennial Celebration of Somerville's in-
corporation as a town, and was most grandly and successfully accomplished.

We regret that limited space will only allow us to give but an abbreviated review of what
transpired on that memorable occasion. The origin of the movement that enlisted the citizens of



Somerville in the arduous preparations which culminated in the ceremonies of this event was so
concisely and briefly stated in the address ot Pres. Charles S. Lincoln, of the Citizens' Association,
at the opening exercises that we quote his words :

" Early in the winter of 1891, in response to a call which appeared in the Somerville Journal,
a meeting of citizens was held to consider the expediency of celebrating the 50th anniversaiy of
the existence of Somerville as a separate municipality. The result was the formation of an asso-
ciation for that purpose, and in the appointment of appropriate committees, who were charged
with the responsibility of carrying out in detail the plan which had been adopted by the associa-
tion. Many meetings have been held and much work has been done by the several committees,
and there has been a generous emulation in order to ensure a successful issue of the undertaking.

' ' Upon the organization of the City Government for 1892, the proposed plan with the estimated

Company M, 8th Keg., Somkkville Light Infantry.

expense was presented to the City Council, and an appropriation requested by the Executive
Committee. The City Council responded immediately to tlie re(iuest, and appointed from their
number comnuttees con-cspouding to those made by the association, and from that time the matters
pertaining to the ccleliration have been under the direction of the joint committees so formed.'"

Months had been occupied in planning and carrying these pieparatory plans into execution;
all the various committees and sub-committees harmoniously working together, wrought out a
success that astonished even those who were somewhat familiar with what was being attempted,
and will always be remembered by participants and admiring witnesses as one of those grandly
successful demonstrations so characteristic of an enterprising, successful and progressive popula-
tion. Great efforts had been made in decorating the city and especially on the route of the parade —
public buildings, business ))locks and many private houses all alike were finely decorated with
flags, streamers and bunting artistically arranged. A large gran<l stand had been built opposite
Central Hill Park, from which point the parade was to be reviewed by the lepresentatives of the
state and city. This was also finely decorated ; some of the cuts given herewith will show this
feature. The day was ushered in bright and warm ; the persistent efforts of numberless small boys



witli tlifir tin lionis aiiuouiiccd tliat ^^omeiville's jjreatest day of the half century had bcjiun and soon
tlie liooniinj; of cauuou vil.iatiny over tlie liills told that Major FoUett, at Ten Hills Farm, was
promptly peiforrnin;; the duties assig:ne(l him, of tiring a salute of 50 guns from his battery. The
crowd was rapidly gathering at Union s(|uare and on Central Hill, where the band concert began
at eight o'clock. At nine o'clock the High School building was thrown open to the crowd of eager
visitors anxious to see the display of historic relics and jmblic school work there on exhibition ;
this atliaction drew a crowd throughout the; tlay. As the formation of the parade was to occnr at
Union sciuare, the ciowd gathercii rapidly at that center fi-om all directions, steam cars, street
cais and evciythiiig that could lie utilized foi' i)nl)lic conveyance being taxed to its utmost capacity,

View fkom Gkand Stand, June 17, 1S92.

and long before the ap[)ointed hour for the line to move, the perspiring crowd had filled the side-
walks and were restlessly moving al)OUt to find some more desirable spot, i)erchance beneath the
refreshing shade of tree or building, from which to \ie\v the interesting exhibit composing the
seven divisions that weie to pass in review. After some delay the bugle sounded the command,
and the line began to move, headed by a platoon of police, consisting of twelve men nnder com-
mand of Sergeant Dow, followed by Bedford Cadet Band, 30 pieces; Boston Fusilier Veterans, 127
men, INIajor Henry A. Snow commanding; then came Chief :\rarshal Gen. Thomas S. Wentwurth
with his staff and aids, all mounted an<l presenting a very fine appearance ; the divisions followed
under the following order, command and class :

1st Div., Col. John Andrews. Military ; 2d Div., Col. Robert Dudley, Civic ; M Hiv., Col.



Alberto. Fairbanks, Cycle Clubs; 4th Div., Col. Wm. H. Ralph, Masons and I. O. O. F.; 5th
Div., Col. J. Albion Bri<,^gs, other Fraternal Orders ; (ith Div., Col. John S. Hayes, Schools ; 7th
Div., Col. James A. Litchfield, Trades.

The line of march was a long and circuitous one, through Bow, Summer, Central, Medford,
Dartmouth, Broadway, Mt. Vernon, Pearl, Cross, and Highland avenue to Central Hill Park,
where the column was reviewed by state and city officials, and when dismissed they were in an
exceedingly weary and heated condition, as the sun shone clear and hot, and early in the day the
heat had become intense ; the " ice cream " and " ice cool lemonade" venders reaped a rich har-
vest, but the lemonade cart of the North Packing and Provision Company, which was built for the
occasion, secured for its owners the appreciative thanks of thousands of thirsty people who par-

ScHOOL Baeges with Scholaes Eepeesenting the Thirteen Original States,

June 17, 1892.

took of the splendid lemonade that was dispensed all along the line of the parade. Two hundred
and seventy dozen lemons and three hundred pounds of sugar weie consumed in making the
lemonade, keeping three men busy all day squeezing lemons, and six men in uniform in charge of
a special officer dispensing the lemonade to the crowds of people. This was the " taking '' feature
of the day and will emphasize the fact in the memory of thousands that the North Packing and
Provision Company's thirty-one teams di-awn l)y fifty-two horses made the " biggest show" in
the parade. There were very many features in the ijarade especially worthy of more than iiassing
mention, but it is not our purpose to attempt a detailed review. All the line presented unbroken
evidence that great expense, labor, care and taste had been bestowed upon all the preparations
for this grand exhibit of the city's greatness in each of the classes represented by the seven
different divisions of the parade.



Tlie air had bct'ii extremely hot and oppressive from early in the day, but just as the time was
nearinj^ for tlie literary exercises to transpire in the marquee that had been erected ou the Park
for this occasion, suddenly the heavens became darkened, a strong wind filled the air with dust
and it was at once evident that a severe storm or tornado was rapidly approaching with tre-
mendous force and velocity. Everybody took the alarm and endeavored to gain a place of shelter.
Most fortunately but few sought shelter beneath the marquee, for suddenly the storm broke upon
the i)lace in wild fury, and the large tent gave way and a i)ortion came to the ground, but without
serious injury to anyone. The storm was of short duration, but it postijoned the remaining exer-
cises of the afternoon until the next day ; the programme for the evening, however, was carried


out and thousands'enjoyed the band concert and fireworks ou Central Hill Park in full measure.
The postponed exercises were held on Saturday afternoon in the big tent, which had been put in
thorough repair from the disaster of the day before. The large platform was filled with partici-
pants, members of the City Government and invited guests. Mayor William H. Hodgkins presided.
The exercises were opened by an overture by the Cadet Band, after which Rev. G. W. Durell
offered prayer, following which the chorus of a thousand school children, accompanied by the band,
sang several selections with grand effect. The mayor made a short address and introduced the
orator of the day, lion. Geo. A. Bruce, who delivered a most elo(|nent oration to about three
thousand people. The orator's effort was the subject of high compliment from a cultivated and
appreciative audience; following the oration was sung "The Star Spangled Banner;" then
followed a solo by Airs. W. C. Bailey, grandly rendered — oue of the good things of the day.


Mrs. Martha Perry Lowe then read her poem, " Fifty Years."' It was rich in thought and
diction, and like the oration should be carefully read and appreciated. The concert waltz, " Cen-
tennial,'' dedicated to the ladies of Sonierville, was played by the band, followed by singing " To
Tliee, O Country," by 500 young ladies of the schools, and singing of America by all closed the
ceremonies. The Semi-Centennial of Sonierville had jiassed ; the people went from thence to begin
the history of another fifty years with the inspiration of orator and j^oet resting upon them, and
breathing in spirit her last words,

" May we be faithful to the hour,
And grow in beauty and in power,
Bequeathing to the age a glorious dower."


The composition of Sonierville' s population is very largely of that intellectual and progressive
business class that makes it an especially favorable field for local journalistic enterprise.

That the field is thoroughly occupied will be credited, for there are three weeklies published
in the city : The Somerville Journal, Somerville Citizen and Sonierville Sentinel.

The Somerville Jovrnal is the oldest, having been established in 1870 by W. A. Greenough
& Co., who retained jji-oprietorship only a short time ; then followed several changes in owners ;
but Oct. 20, 1876, it was purchased by J. O. Hayden & Co., who continued it under that firm name
until 1890, when it was incorporated under Massachusetts laws as the Somerville Journal Com-
pany, but without change in its nianagement. The officers of the comiiany are : William H.
Hills, President ; J. O. Hayden, Treasurer and Manager ; William B. Lawience, Clerk. Directors
are the above officers and Edward A. Badgei'. Besides its newspaper plant, it has an extensive
and well equipped book and Job printing office. The company employs a large force in the
different departments.

The management of the Journal has been able and progressive, independent, adhering to
Republican principles, watchful of the interests of Somerville, chaste in its subject matter of a
family newspaper, always a pronounced advocate of the temperance cause, and a champion of the
religious and charity work of the city. It stands a leader among the suburban weekly newspapers.

The " Somerville Journal Souvenir of the Semi- Centennial " is an elegant testimonial of its
enterprise and ability for high grade work. It was wholly put in type and printed in the Journal
office at time of the recent celebration.

The Somerville Citizen is published every Friday by the Citizen Publishing Company, Citizen
building, Gilman square, near Winter Hill Station. The company is organized as follows: Elmer
H. Capen, President ; John Herbert, Treasurer ; Edwin A. Stone, Clerk ; P. H. Hardison, Editor
and Manager.

The Somerville Citizen is a bright, sparkling paper of eight pages, ably edited, and thorough
in the collection of local news ; it is Republican in politics, and devoted to the advancement of the
city's interests. The paper is printed in good clear type and is now in its fifth volume. The
company issued the Souvenir Programme of the Semi-Centennial Celebration, for June 17, 1892.
It was in pamphlet form, containing 48 pages, with 24 full-page illustrations, two of which
were groui^s of portraits of the otticers of the Semi-Centennial Association ; one of the chief
marshal and staff ; one for each division commander and staff ; one for mayor and aldermen,
and one for members of Common Council : one for School Board and Supt. of Schools ; one for


city (l('i)artinent olliciiiLs ; one for road officers and house officers of Somerville Cycle Club ; one
for the political representatives of Somerville ; one for groups of professors at Tufts College and
College buildings ; others were views of Somerville. It contained a full and official programme of
the celebration and was certainly a very elegant production.

The SoineiTillf ^lenfijtel is published weekly by Messrs. McDonnell Bros, at 28 Union square,
and is made up for a general family newspaper, containing all the latest news of local events and
the general news of the day, with some choice selections ; it is a " sentinel " doing duty for the
interests of the democratic party and ably voices the principles of the party.


Somerville is located so near Boston, that her financial institutions lose much patronage
by this close and intimate contact with the larger interests of Boston that otherwise they would

The Somerville National Bank, 58 I^nion square, is the only national hank in the city. Its
officers are Quincy A. Vinal, President: John A. Gale, Vice-President; James F. Beard,
Cashier; and transacts a general banking business.

The Somerville Savings Bank is located at 57 Union square. Its President is Albion A. Perry,
and Treasurer Frederic W. Stone.

Somerville Co-operative Bank, 59 Union siiuare, was organized April 29, 1880 ; authorized
capital, one million dollars. Oct. 1, 1892, its assets were about $325,000. J. Frank Wellington,
President; Geoige \V. Snow, Vice-President; James F. Beard, Secretary and Treasurer.

West Somerville Co-operative Bank, 3 Studio building, West Somerville. Elmer H. Capen,
President; J. Wai-ren Bailey, Vice-President ; O. H. Perry, Secretary. Meetings for sale of
money every third Monday evening in each month.


■fM*^*'^ •i*^ - \


Packers and Exporters of Piovisioiis ; E' talili^lied
IS'io ; IneorporatedJauuarv '2nd, IS'.iO; 'Pelejihone 117(j;
Cable Address, North; P.O. Box, .■.2^7; Offlue and
Store, 33 and 34 Xortli MaiUet Street, IJo-ston ;
Slaughtering, Curing and I'MLking Establi-hment,
Medford Street, Soinerville. — One of the most prom-
inent of the manufacturing interests located in the
city of Somervill« is that of the North i'acking and
Provisiou Co.. occupying land bounded bv Medford
street, Somerville Avenue and (i'-and .lunction Kail-
road tracks. This flourishing bu-iness was estab-
lished in 18.5.5 and came into the hands of the present
proprietors, who formed a corporation January 2nd,
1890, for carrying on slaughtering, curing and packing
business, with Mr. G. F. Swift, President; Mr. E. ('.
Swift, Treasurer and General Jlanagir; Jlr. S. Henry
Skilton, Assistant Manager. This companj' employs
over 1000 men throughout the year, and slaughters 3(iO0
hogs or more per day, as welTas curing and packing of beef for export and conducting a general jobbing business for
the sale of provisions. Their business yearly amounts to over .$12,000,0011, 60 per cent, of which is export trade.
They make the very finest articles in tlie provisimi line produced by any Ann in the United States; the superior
quality of their mild cured hams, bacon and pure lard is well acknowledged both at home and abroad. They also
maintain a branch of the Government Microscopic Inspection, which is under the charge of Dr. Rose of the
Agricultural Department, and prepares meats for the French, German and Italian niiirkets. where the microscopic
inspection is required. Their products are favorably known all over Gre,at Britain, Belgium, Holland, Norway,
Sweden, South America and West Iiidies. Great care is exercised in producing the best articles in their line, and
the care taken, the cleanliness and good order, as well as the excellent system in the handling of their business at
Somerville, is worthv of more than a passing comment. There are no better equipped or better managed plauts in
all its branches than'the Somerville packing house of the North Packing and Provision Co. Their buildings cover
about 12 acres of ground, the main building being 605 feet long, with an average width of 150 feet, six and eight
stories high. They have two niammotli refrigerators on this plaut, and cool over 3,000,000 cubic feet of space and
little over eight acres of floor space. Their new cold storage or refrigerator building. Just completed, is 175x125
feet, 6 stories high, with a storage capacity of over 75,000 barrels. Tnis refrigerator is artificially cooled, as well as
the large refrigerator in the main building, by the Mvers svstera of refiigeration. The ponderous ice machines,
three in number, with a capacity equal to the" melting of 500 tons of ice per day, are driven by three Corliss engines,
with a capacity of 700 horse power. The water, of which a large quantity is used by these machines and in con-
densing and for other purposes about the plant, is pumped from the sea at the Fitchburg wharf by very
powerful pumps, capable of throwing a 12-incli stream of water constantly wheu needed. The plant is lighted
throughout by the Mather system; 2 dynamos, 1000 lights each, are used. The power for running the machinery
of the plaut is furnished by three Brown engines of total capacity of 540 horse power; 9 large boilers of ISOO horse
power furnish steam for the plant. A large proportion of the output of this establishment is taken on cars at the
packing house doors and taken directly to the steamers, the side tracks of the company being capable of accommo-
dating 100 cars at a time; the Fitchburg and Grand Junction railroads, both of whicli have side tracks in the yards
of the corporation, furnish the best facilities both for bringing the live hogs to the plaut and taking the cured
product from the plant to the sea-board for export. Eighty horses are used in the business to supply the local
trade of tlie company, which is distributed all over New England and the south. These horses are cared for iu a
nice brick stable, 120x100 feet, adjacent also to which is the repair shop, 125x80 feet. The firm also has a large
wholesale and retail market on the plaut. 12-.XS0 feet, as well as large machine rooms for the accommodation of
boilers, engines, ice machines and large machinist shop. The buildings are all of brick, and present a neat, attract-
ive appearance to the passer-by, as well as a verv neat and finely cared for condition where the work is progress-
ing. This firm also emplovs about 100 coopers in their cooper shops, which are about one quarter of a mile distant, and
are nicely equipped to manufacture the tierces, boxes and tin pails used by the establishmeut. Their splendid two
and three horse teams passing on the street attract favorable comment and attention. Their place is as a whole
one of the best conducted and managed in the United States, of which industry so well conducted Somerville may
well feel proud. The above cut of their works gives a general idea of the appearance of the buildiugs.



GREEN BROS., Florists,
Vine Street, Sonierville, Mass. —
The ^reat increase in the demand
for (lowers of late years is one of
the most noticeable indications of
the pronounced gain in culture
which is so evident on every side
and which is so astonishing to
foreign critics of this country, who
are unable to understand how cul-
ture can he so general in a land
where practically every one works
for a living and there is no recog-
nized aristocracy. Flowers are
now in demaud for all occasions,
whether lor joy or for sorrow, and
everyone who goes into society at
all will find it very useful to know
where appropriate floral designs
can be obtained without delay at
moderate prices. Many residents
of Somerville are already acquaint-
ed with the establishment of Messrs.
Green Brothers, located on Vine street, for this enterprise was started by them in 1S83, and has long held a lead-
ing position among other establishments of the kind in this vieinitv, and it is but fair to say that the enviable
reputation of the undertaking is fullv maintained at the present day. Very spacious and well e .luipped green-
houses are utilized, and cut flowers, floral emblems, wedding bouquets, funeral deMgns, etc., are ollered in great
variety and at the lowest prevailing prices, while the facilities are so extensive that the largest orders can be sat-
isfactorily filled at very short notice. Messrs. Walter J. and George It. Green are very well known in Somerville
and vicinity, aud the success of their business is due to the just and honest dealings pursued by them during the

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Online LibraryWalter Frye TurnerSomerville [Mass.]: its representative business men and its points of interest → online text (page 3 of 15)