Here to return to
The thirty-six cities and towns comprising with modern Boston the Metropolitan District (see Plate V), all lying in the “Boston Basin,” or touched by a circle with a radius of ten miles from the State House, are:
CITIES — Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Quincy, Somerville, Waltham, and Woburn.
Towns — Arlington, Belmont, Braintree, Brookline, Canton, Dedham, Hull, Hyde Park, Milton, Nahant, Lexington, Needham, Reading, Revere, Saugus, Stoneham, Swampscott, Wakefield, Watertown, Wellesley, Weston, Weymouth, Winchester, and Winthrop.
All of these places, with the exception of Hull and Nahant, are within the suburban districts of the railroads terminating in Boston, with frequent train service, and are embraced in the electric-railway system.
Harvard Square is our destination, and it is barely a half hour’s ride by electric car taken in the Subway at Park Street station, or at Copley Square (Boylston Street), or further out on Massachusetts Avenue; or by an electric car taken at Bowdoin Square. Let us agree to go by the latter route, purposing to return by the former, and not forgetting, ere we board the car in Bowdoin Square, to glance at the venerable Revere House, and especially at the little iron-railed balcony from which Daniel Webster delivered many a famous speech. We soon reach Charles Street, with the County Jail frowning on the right, and cross Charles River by the new and massive Cambridge Bridge, completed in 1907.
Leaving this house behind us and turning our steps toward the center of the Yard, we come first to Holworthy, which was erected in 1812 from money obtained by a lottery. Back of Holworthy, by the way, is a gate given by George von L. Meyer, our Secretary of the Navy. Holworthy from its slightly elevated site at the head of the yard, occupies a commanding position, and has always been a favorite build ing. It was the first dormitory that made any pretense to luxury, for it is arranged in suites of three rooms for “chums,” — a study in front and two bedrooms in the rear of the building. Class-Day spreads and Commencement punches always found in Holworthy their fittest home. In front of Holworthy the Glee Club sings, and noted men gather in groups. Standing here we obtain the best view of the beautiful Yard, with its great elms, its shadows, its splashes of sunshine on the turf; or, of a Class-Day night, its festoons of Japanese lanterns swaying from tree to tree. Who can number the romances that have been transacted or begun in the deeply recessed window seats, in the somber, academic, almost monastic shades of Holworthy Hall! Time presses, however, and we must glance at the other buildings in the Quadrangle.
in order comes Massachusetts, but between Massachusetts Hall and
Harvard Hall is the principal entrance from the street to the college
yard, through the beautiful Johnston gateway, designed by
Charles F. McKim. This is inscribed with the orders of the General
Court relating to the establishment of the college in 1636-1639 and
God had carried vs safe to New England
New Englands First Fruits.
Massachusetts Hall, the oldest of the college buildings, was a gift to the college by the Province in 1720. This hall also was occupied by troops during the Revolution. Afterward it became a dormitory again, later a lecture room, and it is now used for meetings and public purposes. Beyond Massachusetts, in our tour of the Quadrangle, comes Matthews Hall, a dormitory erected in 1872 through the generosity of Nathan Matthews of Boston. This hall is said to stand on the site of the old Indian College, which was built in 1654 and in which several Indian youths struggled with the classics. One of them, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, took a degree and died. Just beyond Matthews Hall, and facing on the square, is Dane Hall. This was formerly the Law School, but is now occupied by the Bursar’s office, lecture rooms, and a psychological laboratory. We come next to Grays Hall, a modern dormitory which faces Holworthy Hall, at the south end of the yard. It was the gift (1863) of Francis C. Gray of Boston, and its site is probably that of the first college building. Back of Grays Hall, and close to the street, is an ancient wooden building, yet of dignified aspect, called Wadsworth House. This house was built in 1726, jointly by the Province and by the college, as a residence for the presidents of the institution. It was Washington’s headquarters until, as we shall presently see, he removed to the Longfellow house on Brattle Street. The speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1900-1903, James J. Myers, who after his graduation at Harvard became a tutor and proctor, took up his residence in Wadsworth House at that time, and, with rare fidelity, has remained there ever since. Returning now to the Quadrangle, the substantial granite building standing a little back and near the street is Boylston Hall, built in 1857 from money bequeathed by Ward Nicholas Boylston, whose picture, in flowered, silk dressing gown and cap, lights up Memorial Hall. Boylston Hall is devoted to chemistry. Next in order, and facing Matthews Hall, is Weld Hall, a dormitory given to the college in 1872 by William F. Weld. Beyond that is a simple, graceful, and dignified building of white granite, built in 1815 from a design by Bulfinch. It is called University Hall, and for many years was the main recitation building. It is now used as an office building. University Hall and Sever Hall might perhaps be described as the two buildings in the yard which are beautiful in themselves, apart from any association. Beyond University, standing at right angles with Holworthy, is Thayer Hall, a dormitory given to the college in 1870 by Nathaniel Thayer.
Passing out of the Quadrangle and continuing to Cambridge Street, which bounds the yard on the north, we have within view many buildings, mostly of recent construction, belonging to the university. Opposite the Phillips Brooks House, on the other side of the street, is the Hemenway Gymnasium, given by Augustus Hemenway in 1878. To the right is the Lawrence Scientific School building, given by Abbott Lawrence in 1847, and reënforced in 1884 by a building in Holmes’s Field just beyond, erected by T. Jefferson Coolidge of Boston. In this last building the visitor may behold an electric machine given to the college by Benjamin Franklin, and a telescope used by Professor John Winthrop. Immediately in front of us is a triangular-shaped piece of ground called the Delta, formerly the college playground, until Memorial Hall, designed by Ware and Van Brunt, was built there in the seventies. The statue in the Delta is an ideal statue of John Harvard, whose bequest of his library to the college in 1636 was really its start ing point. It is the work of Daniel C. French, and the gift of Samuel J. Bridge. The exterior of Memorial Hall may perhaps strike the visitor as lacking unity and simplicity, but the interior will not disappoint him. Memorial Hall proper, where are inscribed the names of those Harvard graduates who died in the Civil War, is noble and impressive; and the great dining hall, which occupies the whole western end of the building, with room for over a thousand students, which is paneled with oak, beautified by memorial stained-glass windows, and filled with pictures and busts, all of which have an historic and some of which have an artistic interest, is probably unique in this country.
If, before entering Memorial Hall (and Sanders Theatre), we turn to the right on leaving the college yard, we shall come first to Robinson Hall, at the corner of Quincy Street and Broadway, the architectural building, containing many casts and engravings. On the opposite side of Broadway, in the “Little Delta,” is the old gymnasium, built in 1858, now occupied by the Germanic Museum.
Of the many other buildings belonging to the university in this neighborhood only a few can be mentioned. Randall Hall, at the corner of Divinity Avenue, with a dining room that seats five hundred, is a good piece of architecture, constructed by Wheelwright & Haven. Beyond are the Semitic Museum; Divinity Hall, an unsectarian theological school; the University Museum, comprising the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, the Botanical Museum, the Mineralogical Museum, the Geological Museum, and the Peabody Museum, founded in 1866 by George Peabody, the American banker of London. All of these are open to visitors, and all contain something to interest even the unscientific person.
Returning to the vicinity of the yard, mention should be made of the Law School building, near the Hemenway Gymnasium, as this harbors one of the strongest departments of the university. The Harvard Law School has not only a national but an international reputation, and it has been described by an English jurist as superior to any other school of the kind in the world. The building was designed by H. H. Richardson, the architect of Seaver Hall, to which, however, it is scarcely equal. The library contains forty-four thousand volumes. Near this hall once stood the yellow gambrel-roofed house in which Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was born. It was removed about twenty years ago. The statue of Charles Sumner, by Miss Anne Whitney, is in the triangular plot of ground near by.
Some outlying spots might well be visited if time allowed, especially the great Stadium, erected in 1903, and Soldiers Field, the present extensive playground of the university, a gift of Major Henry L. Higginson. These are across the river, and near by are the University and Weld boathouses. Brattle Street, the “Tory Row” of Provincial days, is easily reached by electric car from Harvard Square, and is full of inter est. Here are the stone buildings of the Episcopal Theological School, and just above them the Longfellow house, one of the finest of colonial mansions. It was built about the year 1759 by Colonel John Vassall, a refugee of the Revolution. Washington took up his headquarters here when he removed from Wadsworth House, and here Madam Washington joined him. Afterward the estate passed into the hands of various owners: was used as a lodging house by Harvard professors when the widow Craigie owned it; was occupied by such distinguished persons as Jared Sparks, Edward Everett, and Worcester, the dictionary maker; and finally became the home of the poet Longfellow. It is now occupied by a daughter, Miss Alice Longfellow, and next to it is the home of another daughter who married a public-spirited citizen, Richard H. Dana, son of the distinguished lawyer who wrote “Two Years Before the Mast,” and grandson of the poet of the same name. About ten minutes’ walk on Brattle Street beyond the Longfellow house brings us to the corner of Elmwood Avenue, which leads past the familiar Lowell house, where James Russell Lowell was born, and which was his lifelong home. The seclusion of the house, which Lowell so much enjoyed, is now impaired by the parkway which skirts the Lowell grove. Mt. Auburn Street itself has been modernized by a succession of public hospitals and the like. Back of these hospitals, on the river, the curious visitor may behold the site where Leif Ericson built his house in the year 1001, or thereabout, — according to the identification of Professor Eben N. Horsford, whose other memorials of supposed Norsemen we shall encounter later. Close at hand is Mount Auburn, celebrated for its natural beauty, as well as for the distinguished dead who lie buried here. In the vestibule of the brownstone chapel at the left of the entrance to the cemetery are the much-admired statues of John Winthrop (by Greenough), John Adams (by Randall Rogers), James Otis (by Thomas Crawford), and Joseph Story (by his son). Turning to the left we seek Fountain Avenue and the graves of the Rev. Charles Lowell, of his son, James Russell Lowell, and of the latter’s three nephews, all of whom were killed in the Civil War. “Some choice New England stock in that little plot of ground.” On the ridge back of this lot is the monument of Longfellow, and near by (on Lime Avenue) the grave of Holmes. If, instead of turning to the left from the entrance, we ascend the hill to the right, passing the statue of Bow, ditch, the mathematician, we shall come to the old Gothic chapel now used as a crematory. Facing this stands the famous Sphinx, the work of Martin Milmore. Among other monuments in various parts of the cemetery are those of William Ellery Channing (Green-Briar Path), Hosea Ballou (Central Avenue), Charles Sumner (Arethusa Path), Edward Everett (Magnolia Avenue), Charlotte Cushman (Palm Avenue), Edwin Booth (Anemone Path), Louis Agassiz (Bellwort Path), Anson Burlingame (Spruce Avenue), Samuel G. Howe (near Spruce Avenue), and Phillips Brooks (Mimosa Path). In the Fuller lot (Pyrola Path) is a monument to Margaret Fuller Ossoli.
From the cemetery a Huron Avenue car will take us to the Astronomical Observatory, and by walking through the observatory grounds we can reach the Harvard Botanic Garden, laid out in 1807. This garden, open to the public, is full of interesting features, such as a bed of Shakespearean flowers, another of flowers mentioned by Virgil, and still another of such quaint plants as grew in an old-time New England garden.
The sight-seeing resources of Cambridge are not yet exhausted, but the sight-seer may be; and so from the Botanic Garden we will take an electric car for Boston, “stopping off,” however, at Harvard Square. Across Massachusetts Avenue, at the corner of Dunster Street, we may observe the site, marked by a tablet, of the house of Stephen Daye, first printer in British America, 1638-1648. Here were printed the “Bay Psalm-Book” and Eliot’s Indian Bible. Farther down Dunster Street, at the corner of Mt. Auburn Street, is marked the site of the first meeting house in Cambridge, set up in 1632; and still farther down, at the corner of South Street, is a tablet where once stood the house of Thomas Dudley, founder of Cambridge, who lived here in 1630.
From the south side of Massachusetts Avenue leads off Bow Street, once the great highway through these parts; and here may still be seen the colonial mansion occupied in prerevolutionary days by Colonel David Phips. In the same street the regicides Whalley and Gaffe were in hiding (1660) until the king, learning of their presence, ordered their arrest; they fled to New Haven. Just above Bow Street is Plympton Street, where, shut in by modern brick dormitories, is a fine wooden colonial mansion, constructed about 1761 by the Rev. East Apthorp, rector of Christ Church. Mr. Apthorp, it was supposed, aspired to be a bishop, and consequently his house was called in derision the “Bishop’s Palace.” Burgoyne was lodged here after his surrender at Saratoga.
Taking an electric car again, we return to Boston via the Harvard Ridge. Two hundred years ago this would have been a ride on horse back, or in a chaise, of eight miles, and over a rough road. Now it is a trip of three or four miles, accomplished luxuriously in less than half an hour. When the Subway (now building) is finished, it may be made in half that time. Cotton Mather would have shuddered at the change; and yet the university is now so large and so completely a little world in itself, that even the proximity of Boston can hardly ruffle its composure or divert its scholastic energies.
Brookline is the richest suburb of Boston and in many respects the most attractive, with numerous beautiful estates and tasteful “villas” and charming drives. During all the years since its population entitled it to a city charter, its people have steadfastly refused to give up their primitive government by the New England town meeting, just as they have declined all propositions looking to annexation to Boston, although their territory is embraced on three sides by the encroaching municipality. It began, however, as a possession of Boston. As “Muddy River,” so first called from the stream which still bears the name and contributes no little to the attractiveness of the Fenway section of the Boston City Parks System, its fertile fields were originally utilized by the chief settlers at Boston as a “grazing-place for their swine and other cattle, while corn” was on the ground in Boston. For a time, through this usage, it was known as “Boston Commons.” It was set off as an independent town only in 1705, when the name of Brooklyn was given it, and its inhabitants were “enjoyned to build a meeting house and obtain an Orthodox minister,” — so closely were civic and ecclesiastical prerogatives blended in the government then.
We may reach Brookline from Boston easily, quickly, and cheaply by several routes. The Newton Circuit line of the New York Central Railroad (South Station, or Trinity Place Station, a few steps from Copley Square) skirts and traverses the town, and has four stations within its borders. Various trolley lines cover it more generally, — via Tremont Street and Roxbury Crossing to Brookline Village; via Boylston and Ipswich streets and Brookline Avenue to the same point; via Beacon Street to the Chestnut Hill reservoir; via Huntington Avenue and Brookline Village to several destinations. For the purpose of rapid exploration the trolley is superior to the steam railway, and the last-named line is the most convenient. In the Subway, or on Boylston Street or Huntington Avenue, or at Copley Square we may take any outward-bound car bearing the legend “Brookline Village via Huntington Avenue.”
Near the Tremont entrance to the Fens from Huntington Avenue we get a view, on the right, of Fenway Court and Simmons College. Next in our immediate neighborhood, also on the right, appear the cluster of high-grade public school houses, and the fine assemblage of Harvard Medical School buildings described in earlier pages. (see pp. 91 E, 91 F). A little farther on we pass the House of the Good Shepherd, a worthy Catholic institution for the shelter and reclamation of wayward women and girls, — the large brick structure set in ample grounds.
As we cross the Riverway just at the foot of Leverett Pond, into which the river here widens, a pleasing vista opens out to the left. On either side of the tranquil lake are superb driveways, which of a pleasant afternoon are crowded with vehicles. A few rods farther on we are brought to our immediate destination, Village Square, where free transfers to other trolley lines may be made. Since our present object is to see something of the historical side of Brookline, as well as the part wherein is most exhibited the progress attained in the art of the landscape architect, we will here transfer to another car. We may remark in passing that on the left of the street (Washington) by which we entered the square stood in the old days the “Punch-Bowl Tavern,” built about 1730, — before the Revolution a favorite junketing place for British officers from the Boston garrison, and for nearly a century the stopping place of the stagecoaches for Worcester and other inland towns, and for the great goods wagons, the pioneers of our modern freight trains.
Boylston Street, originally the Worcester turnpike, branches off to the left, and since the Ipswich Street line of cars from Boston, mentioned above, continues out through this street, we will take one of them for the rest of our journey in this direction. For a little way the street is lined with buildings more utilitarian than elegant, but soon we pass on the left the immense and modernly complete William H. Lincoln Schoolhouse and enter upon a region of large and imposing estates, rising to either side of the road on the great pudding-stone ledges, the country rock of all this section. In two or three minutes more we come face to face with the granite gatehouse of the old Brookline Reservoir (fifty years ago the chief distributing basin of the Boston Water works), still in service, though its capacity is diminutive as compared with reservoirs of later date or with the needs of the city.
Here we will leave the car for a stroll over carless streets in Brookline’s choicest parts. We take Warren Street up the hill to Walnut Street, the first turn to the left. On either side are handsome dwellings with generous grounds, and on the far corner of Walnut Street stands the fine stone church of the old First (Unitarian) Parish. A little way below, on Walnut Street, is the ancient Town Busying Ground, lying close to the sidewalk, a serene old-time inclosure encompassed by modern structures, with mounds and vales, rural paths and venerable trees. Near the street, one of the highest of the mounds contains the tombs of the Gardner and Boylston families, both prominent in Brookline town history. Perhaps the most eminent Boylston who lies here was Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, who introduced in America the practice of inoculation, as the tablet’s extended inscription relates. He died in 1766, aged 87. The slab over the Gardner tomb contains thirty names, among them that of the single minuteman from Brookline killed at Lexington. A near-by ancient headstone informs that the widow of the Rev. Increase Mather of Boston lies buried here.
Returning to Warren Street (named for the famous Boston surgeon, Dr. John C. Warren, who owned the lands through which it winds), we may continue for a mile or more between splendid estates with stately houses set in velvety lawns fringed with trees. At the opening of Dudley Street is the fine old “Clark house,” built early in the nineteenth century, latterly the home of Frederick Law Olmsted, the noted landscape architect, to whose skill a good part of the town owes much of its beauty. The extensive country seat beyond it, covering many acres, is the Gardner place, that of the late John L. Gardner; and on the left hand is the beautiful Sargent place, the estate of Professor Charles S. Sargent, perhaps the richest in the town as regards landscape.
At Cottage Street Warren Street turns off abruptly to the right and, after a somewhat erratic course, loses itself in Heath Street, which emerges upon Boylston Street just above the Reservoir. On the right-hand farther corner of Cottage Street is the unique and celebrated old Goddard house, whose huge chimney bears the date 1730. Its quaint architecture, the old-fashioned garden which surrounds it, and the beautiful trees and shrubs which form its setting, make it one of the most worthy memorials of Province days. Next beyond, on the Warren Street side, is the castlelike country house of the late Barthold Schlesinger, behind noble trees and dominating a grand expanse of diversified landscape. Joining this extensive estate is the equally noteworthy Winthrop place, the former country seat of the late Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, its lands stretching to Clyde Street. A little farther along, on the left, is the Lee place, long the summer home of the late Henry Lee, a sterling Bostonian of his day; on the right, the Augustus Lowell estate, — these among others; and where Warren Street ends in Heath, the Theodore Lyman estate, named by some authorities forty years ago as the finest of modern country seats in this region.
We skirt this beautiful place as we continue through Heath Street. Turning down Boylston Street to the right, we soon see on the opposite (north) side of the way Fisher Avenue, which climbs over the hill of the same name on top of which are two reservoirs, one belonging to the city of Boston, the other to the town of Brookline. On the lower corner of Boylston Street stands the stately residence of Henry M. Whitney, its sides mantled in ivy. On a shaded slope, a little below, is the old Boylston house, occupying the site of the original homestead of the family, which was once almost seignorial in this town. Its head was Thomas Boylston, 2d, a surgeon who settled here in 1665, and whose son was the eminent Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, whose monument we saw in the old burying ground. One of the daughters was the wife of John Adams and mother of the second President of the United States. Dr. Zabdiel Boylston built the present house. During the Revolution it sheltered some of the patriot troops.
At Cottage Street, on our route through Warren, we might have turned off to the south for a walk to Jamaica Pond and Park (Boston City Parks System), something more than a half mile distant; and at Clyde Street we might have taken a stroll southwest for three quarters of a mile to Clyde Park, the property of the Boston Country Club, where the most fashionable racing events and golf and tennis matches here abouts take place. But there is more to see in the northern part of the town.
Accordingly we take a car back to Village Square, changing there to one bearing the legend “Newton Boulevard.” This conveys us along Washington Street, through the business center, past the post office, the steam railroad station, — trains cross underneath the street, — the fine granite Town Hall, and the new Public Library building (capacity of this library, 100,000 volumes) on the right. We now enter upon a region of ample, homelike-looking houses, generously encompassed by well-kept grounds.
To our left we see Aspinwall Hill rise sharply, its sides here and there showing open patches of pleasant lawn among the tree-embowered estates. An occasional break in the line of front walls inclosing the Washington Street properties accommodates a “path “of steep stairs leading up to Gardner Road, the first of the series of streets partly encircling the hill. Many others there are, in sweeping curves or crescents, entering upon and continuing short bits of straight highway. The landscape architects have happily avoided the mistake of trying to lay out a swelling hilltop in rectangles.
We may alight at Gardner Path, hedge, and vine-bordered, which will bring us up to the most picturesque part of Gardner Circle. To our left is the Blake estate, occupying part of the original Muddy River farm of the Rev. John Cotton, the early colonial minister of the church in Boston. Above, on one of the most sightly parts of the slope, stood, until within a year or two, the old Aspinwall house, shaded by fine elms. Its site now bears a modern mansion. Dr. William Aspinwall, who built it in 1803, was a notable physician in his day, a minuteman from the town, and a patriot all through the Revolution. His house — a grand one in its period, and to its last day a dignified, ample structure — was once the only dwelling on this side of the hill, and commanded the whole sweep of the Charles River and the then distant town of Boston in its outlook. Ascending to the top of the hill, if we desire, by a sort of switch-back arrangement of curving and gradually rising roads, we pass many attractive residences, mostly modern, our highest point being reached on the S-shaped Addington Road, two hundred and forty feet above sea level. From here, so far as the breaks between the rows of apartment houses will permit, we catch glimpses of country hills to the south, and of the village at our feet; to the north, across the Beacon Street Boulevard, rises Corey Hill, two hundred and sixty feet high, formerly part of the extensive farm of Deacon Timothy Corey, now covered with showy modern estates.
We can descend to the boulevard in a few minutes by Addington Path and Winthrop Road, and take any Newton Boulevard car, west bound, which will convey us shortly to Beacon Circle, directly facing which is the high embankment and gatehouse of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, through which flows a great part of the water supply of Boston. Here to the left is the High-Service Pumping Station, a group of solid buildings of some architectural merit, especially when seen across the beautiful expanse of waters making up the reservoir. The pumps are among the largest and finest of their class.
From this point our car turns to the right through Chestnut Hill Avenue, along the eastern edge of the reservoir, and immediately we reenter Boston. To our right are various roads with English and Scotch names, making up the Aberdeen District, an attractive and healthful addition to the city’s “sleeping room,” lately built up in the midst of what was primeval forest and ragged ledges of pudding stone. To our left, as we turn into Commonwealth Avenue, the grounds surrounding the twin lakes of the reservoir have been taken by the Metropolitan Water Board and converted into the Reservoir Park, one of the most restful and charming pleasure grounds to be found in the neighborhood of any great city. All around the winding outlines of the basin runs a trim driveway, and beside it a smooth gravel footpath. On all sides of the lake are symmetrical knolls, covered with forest trees and the greenest of turf. The banks to the water’s edge are sodded and bordered with flowering shrubs; and the stonework, which in one place carries the road across a natural chasm, and the great natural ledges, are mantled with clinging vines, and in autumn are aflame with the crimson of the Ampelopsis and the Virginia creeper. On the southern side, close to the narrow isthmus dividing the upper from the lower lake, stands a classical gatehouse, and behind it Chestnut Hill rears its wooded mass, crowned with some attractive dwellings. A pleasant, shaded road winds to the hilltop, which commands a noble prospect.
Our car continues along Commonwealth Avenue, which here crosses a high ridge. To the right the view embraces a pretty stone chapel, thrifty truck patches sloping away from our feet, a deep, verdant valley, with Strong’s and Chandler’s ponds nestling in its greenery. At the foot of the hill below us stands the Catholic Theological Seminary of St. John, a cluster of buildings imbedded in noble trees. The estate which it occupies was once an extensive country seat, known as the Stanwood place, comprising many acres of beautiful wooded land; and much of its beauty in woodland has wisely been retained. On our left we pass Evergreen Cemetery, and beyond several handsome estates set well back from the street. At the foot of the hill, Lake Street, we reach the boundary line of the city of Newton, and here is a little transfer station, where we change to a car of the Commonwealth Avenue line, which traverses the beautiful extension of the famous Boston avenue, — this part called the Newton Boulevard, — leading to various sections of Newton and to the country town of Weston.
Along Newton Boulevard to the Newtons and Weston. From the transfer station at Lake Street (reached by all electric cars from the Subway or Copley Square marked “Newton Boulevard”) our car first climbs the long slope of Waban Hill, the highest of Newton’s many hills — three hundred and twenty feet, — lined with modern houses whose chief recommendation is the charming outlook which they enjoy. On the summit, to our right, is the reservoir of the city of Newton. From this point the road stretches out in graceful, sweeping curves for about five miles, to the old stone bridge crossing the Charles River to Weston, at nearly the westernmost apex of the town. The road is practically perfect, — a broad, smooth driveway on either side of a turfed and shaded park through which the double tracks of the trolley line run, permitting of high speed. Advantage has been taken of the naturally diversified configuration of the country to make the highway as picturesque as possible, and we smoothly climb lofty ridges, gayly swing down their farther slopes, wind around the shoulders of swelling knolls, and whirl through shady forest depths in as much comfort and with nearly as much speed as the occupants of the many automobiles which find this their most delightful trip out of Boston.
We pass between the villages of Newton, Newtonville, and West Newton on our right; Newton Center, Newton Highlands, and Waban on our left, and through one edge of Auburndale, which here skirts the river. Our terminus is the favorite pleasure ground called Norumbega Park, where the trolley company has provided on the shore of the stream a variety of attractions for many tastes, — an open-air theater, an extensive menagerie, a café, and a large boathouse, where canoes and rowboats may be hired. A launch plies the river between the park and Waltham, making hourly trips daily, afternoon and evening.
Canoeing is the all-engrossing sport on this part of the river, and just around the bend to our left is the Riverside Recreation Ground. We cannot see it, for a high wooded promontory shuts off our view; but we may take a canoe and paddle up through the stone arch of the Weston Bridge, and in a few minutes we shall be in the thick of the fleet at Riverside, where on a pleasant afternoon or evening the water is often so densely covered that one might almost cross the stream by stepping from one canoe to another. Frequently during the summer the fleet parades, decorated with lanterns, bunting, and flowers, and various water fêtes are held at odd times. The grounds and boathouses are extensive and well equipped; and near by are the houses of the Newton Boat Club, the Boston Canoe Club, and the Boston Athletic Association, whose large membership helps to swell the crowds upon the river on these occasions.
As we stand at the Weston Bridge, looking west, the noble mass of Doublet Hill, with its twin summits respectively three hundred and forty and three hundred and sixty feet high, rises directly before us. On the hither slope appears the great equalizing reservoir, having a channel leading to it and great sixty-inch mains down from it to and across the river, which was constructed by the Metropolitan Water Board, the work beginning in 1902. A thirteen-mile aqueduct, much of it tunneled through the rock, brings the water from the Sudbury dam in Southboro, through Framingham, Wayland, and Weston, to this new reservoir. The huge mains constructed during the summer of 1902 along the Newton Boulevard now convey the additional supply to the Chestnut Hill basins.
From its summit Doublet Hill presents a fine view of the surrounding country, and its ascent is easy, either by a path through the wood or via South Avenue (which forms the western continuation of Common wealth Avenue through Weston and Wayland) and Newton Street, which branches off a little to the right and leads to Weston village and the station of the Boston & Maine Railroad. If we take the latter course we shall pass the residences of many professional and business men, who find Weston a quiet and healthful home. Thus far the trolley road has not invaded the old town; but the selectmen have granted a franchise lately to a company which proposes to build from Waltham, and very soon the ubiquitous electric cars will be whizzing and clanging through the shady streets, so long sacred to private vehicles.
To the left of South Avenue, East Newton Street pursues a winding course to the river at Newton Lower Falls, a factory village, where one may take a train for Boston if he so desires. On the way one passes “Kewaydin,” the extensive estate of Francis Blake (inventor of the Blake telephone transmitter), a castellated structure standing on a high, stone-walled hank.
But probably the most generally interesting spot to be reached by a short walk from Weston Bridge is the famous Norumbega Tower, built by the late Professor Eben N. Horsford to commemorate the site of the Norsemen’s fort founded by Leif Ericson about the year 1000, as Professor Horsford held. He elaborately carried out his identification of Watertown with the Vinland of the Northmen, and traced their wharves, canals, docks, and walls along the river to this point, the site of their stronghold, where may still be seen — at least the professor saw them — the remains of the moat and dam which the Northmen constructed. On this walk a short distance up South Avenue we take the first turn to the right, River Street, and follow that street along the riverside for about half a mile, to the mouth of Stony Brook, which divides Weston from Waltham. The tower is a structure of field stone, with an inside staircase giving access to a lookout at the top, and it bears a tablet upon which is inscribed a detailed description of the Norsemen’s works according to Professor Horsford’s theory.
Here the waters of Stony Brook are collected by a dam across the mouth of the narrow gorge, forming one of the reservoirs of the city of Cambridge. Beyond it, the towering bulk of Prospect Hill, in Waltham, cuts off further view in this direction. We might reach Prospect Hill by a walk of about three miles, but it would be better to return to Norumbega Park and Boston.
The Northern Newtons. By way of varying our route and seeing some thing of the northern Newtons, we will take a red car, which turns off the boulevard at Washington Street and follows that chief thoroughfare of this section down the steep incline through West Newton, a convenient and — away from the railroad — a pretty residential section. This is also the civic center of Newton, the City Hall standing near the New York Central Railroad station. We pass it soon after reaching the foot of the hill, Washington Street swinging around to the right and hence forward following the steam railroad tracks. These were depressed a few years ago, at great expense, so as entirely to eliminate grade crossings — of which there were many — throughout the city. This street is the chief business avenue all along through Newtonville to Newton, — anciently Newton Corner, — where our line ends and we may transfer to cars for other villages or for Boston, via Brighton and Commonwealth Avenue.
Taking one of the latter, a ride of less than five minutes through Tremont Street brings us to Waverley Avenue, where we alight if we wish to see the Eliot Monument, commemorating the first preaching to the Indians by John Eliot, “the apostle.” It is rather a stiff climb up Waverley Avenue to Kenrick Street (on the left), and a few minutes’ walk along Kenrick Street to a lane on the right, which leads a few steps down to the unique monument, — a handsome balustraded terrace, on the face of which are set tablets bearing the names of Eliot and his associates, and this inscription:
Here at Nonantum, Oct. 28, 1646, in Waban’s wigwam near this spot, John Eliot began to preach the gospel to the Indians. Here he founded the first Christian community of Indians within the English colonies.
The view from the top of the terrace is very fine. It embraces much of the ground which we traversed on our way out from Boston, including the wooded slope of Waban Hill just opposite, Strong’s and Chandler’s ponds in the valley to our left, and St. John’s Catholic Seminary in its grove close beside the Boulevard.
We may, if we wish, cross over Waban Hill via Waverley and Grant avenues, returning to Lake Street transfer station, and choose one of two or three pleasant routes back to the city. The cars via Coolidge’s Corner and the Beacon Street boulevard will show us all the latest triumphs of the builder’s art in blocks and apartment houses; those via Commonwealth Avenue will take us swiftly over a magnificent ridge, — the northwestern end of Corey Hill, — from the top of which a sweep ing view is had of Boston, Cambridge, and many towns beyond. The road is winding and runs up hill and down dale, like its Newton prolongation; and since it is not largely built up as yet, and there are few intersecting streets, our speed is but little less than that of the automobiles which make this a favorite course. Either car we may take will soon bring us back to Copley Square or the Subway.
Newton was originally part of Cambridge, but in 5695 was set off as Newton by the General Court, its previous designation having been Little Cambridge. Its Indian name of Nonantum is perpetuated in one of the least attractive of its many villages, — a manufacturing hamlet on the north side, separated from Watertown only by the river. The area within the city limits is nearly thirteen thousand acres, and its contour is very diversified, a number of fine hills rising to heights of from two hundred to three hundred and twenty feet. The Charles River forms the meandering boundary line, separating Newton from Watertown, Waltham, Weston, Wellesley, and Needham, successively. The main line and also the Newton Circuit branch of the New York Central Railroad traverse the city and serve the various sections with a dozen stations. A number of electric lines, radiating mostly from the business center, — anciently Newton Corner, now plain Newton, — thread all sections.
The many trolley lines radiating from Boston to all its suburbs make it easy to reach widely separated places of interest in a single afternoon, or at most in a day. In such a trip could be included the southern Newtons, Wellesley, Natick, Needham, Waltham, and Watertown. The territory embraced in these places is very extensive; but if, instead of describing the wide arc of a circle including them, one traverses several chords of that arc, the various points are easily and rapidly covered.
Essaying first the southernmost of these chords, we may take a Boston & Worcester car in Park Square, thence ride out through Brookline and Newton via Boylston Street and its continuations in Wellesley, almost in a bee line to Natick; or we may take at the Subway a car for the Reservoir, marked Newton Boulevard, and change there for a car passing along the Newton Boulevard to Washington Street, Newton; thence to the left through Auburndale and the “Lower Falls” to the same destination.
If we choose the route last mentioned, — by way of the Newton Boulevard, — our course from the intersection of the Boulevard and Washington Street, in Newton, is up quite a steep rise, past the Woodland Park Hotel on the right, — a roomy, wooden building, in wide-spreading, shaded grounds. At the next street opening above we get a glimpse of the large building of the Lasell Seminary, a noted school for girls; and a little farther on we cross the track of the Newton Circuit steam line, the Woodland station being close at our right. We pass attractive houses by the way, nearly all surrounded by generous grounds and several shaded by natural forest trees. As we cross Beacon Street we pass the Newton Hospital, an excellent example of the cottage type of such institutions, standing in large and well-kept grounds.
Our course continues in the same general direction, southwest, to Newton Lower Falls, a small, conventional factory village, where the water power of the Charles River has been utilized to propel woolen mills and one or two paper mills since about 1790. An ancient burying ground here contains the graves of Revolutionary soldiers.
At this point we cross the river and enter the town of Wellesley. For the rest of our way the trolley track parallels the main line of the New York Central Railroad. That part of Wellesley through which we first pass is locally known as “The Farms,” though the village and railroad station are some distance to our right. Wellesley is by nature one of the most picturesque towns in eastern Massachusetts, and its natural beauties have been enhanced by the art of the landscape architect.
As we continue along Washington Street, to our left rises Maugus Hill, three hundred feet high, on top of which is the town reservoir. About a mile from the town line we pass the neat stone Wellesley Hills station of the steam railroad, which just above has made its way through a deep rock cutting in the high ledge. Above the station is the Wellesley High School building. Beyond is an attractive stone church (Unitarian). Nearly a mile farther, in a picturesque inclosure of ten acres, shaded by fine trees and bordered on its hither side by a gurgling brook overhung with water willows, stands the Wellesley Town Hall and Public Library building, a gift to the town by the late H. Hollis Hunnewell, all complete, in 188x, when the town was set off from Needham and incorporated (its name being taken from Mr. Hunnewell’s notable estate, which in turn was named from Mrs. Hunnewell’s maternal grandfather, Samuel Welles, who about 1750 owned the place). The Town Hall is of stone, in the style of a French chateau, with porch facing the square, surmounted by a clock. The library is a distinct part of the building, with a separate entrance.
A short distance beyond we come to Wellesley Square, where is the Needham trolley line. Here carriages may be taken for a drive to the Hunnewell estate, which is generously open to the public. An hour may profitably be given to visiting it. The grounds embrace five hundred acres, of which sixty acres nearest the house have a frontage on the beautiful Lake Waban, named for the Indian chief who was Eliot’s first convert. Two long avenues of fine trees extend from the public way to the house, on one side of which is a vast lawn, on the other a French parterre, or architectural garden. Broad flights of stairs lead down therefrom to the parapet wall along the lake front, through successive terraces with evergreens on either side, trimmed into various fanciful forms. Along the lake shore is an Italian garden, with prim array of formal clipped trees. Great hedges of hemlock and arbor vita, fine vistas down avenues of purple beeches and white pines, extensive conservatories, and a graceful azalea tent, all add to the charm of the place.
Near by is the Robert G. Shaw estate, a picturesque mansion house set among fine trees and surrounded by beautiful lawns. Not far away — just where the Charles River in one of its most sinuous bends forms the boundary line between Wellesley and Dover — is the Cheney place, country seat of Mrs. B. P. Cheney, widow of a pioneer in the express business of America and in transcontinental railroads, an estate of two hundred acres. The views up and down the river here enhance the natural beauties of the land, which is highly diversified. The estate is laid out in a mingling of lawns, flower gardens, woods, groves, meadows, and fields. The five great elms which surround the house, tradition says, were brought from Nonantum, now Newton, and planted here by one of the friendly Indian tribe whom Eliot taught. The lawn of six teen acres, inclosed by fine hedges, is one of the noteworthy features.
Still farther south — indeed almost at the southern boundary of the town, where Ridge Hill, two hundred feet high, slopes to the placid waters of Sabrina Pond — is the famous Ridge Hill farm, of eight hundred and seventy acres. This attained most of its fame during the life time of a former owner, William Emerson Baker, who made a fortune in sewing machines, and who delighted in giving great fêtes here on occasion, providing for the amusement and mystification of his guests various surprises, droll and bewildering, sumptuous feasts, and odd sports.
But Wellesley’s chief fame lies in Wellesley College, for women, which crowns the rounded hilltops on the north side of Waban Lake, toward which its 300 acres of grounds gently slope. On the lake are the college boathouses, whence on “Float Day” go forth the class crews of young women to show off their prowess as oarswomen before the admiring gaze of relatives and friends ashore. The college is at the left of Central Street, through which our car continues on its way to Natick. A short distance beyond the square, as we cross Blossom Street, we catch the first glimpse of the buildings and pass Fiske Cottage at one of the entrances to the grounds, A little beyond, the white dome and low, square building of the new observatory — gift of Mrs. Sarah E. Whitin of Whitinsville — cap a gentle hillock. As we near the North Lodge, opposite, across the valley, on the crest of a fine ridge, stands College Hall, the main building, designed by Hammatt Billings. Its ground plan is a double Latin cross, and its façades are broken by bays, pavilions, and porches, topped by towers and spires. Within, the great central hall is open to the glass roof, eighty feet above. In this building are the college offices, the library, the original chapel, class and lecture rooms, and laboratories; also dormitories and a dining-room.
Other buildings are Stone Hall, gift of Mrs. Valeria G. Stone of Malden, devoted to botanical work and dormitories, on another knoll overlooking the lake; the Farnsworth Art Building, gift of Isaac D. Farnsworth of Boston, on an eminence opposite College Hall; the Music Hall, the Memorial Chapel, gift of Miss Elizabeth G. and Mr. Clement S. Houghton of Boston; the Chemistry Building; a group of dormitories of Elizabethan architecture; Mary Hemenway Hall, with the Gymnasium: the dormitories and the gymnasium completed in 1910. The main avenue winds through woodland and meadow from College Hall to the East Lodge at the entrance on Washington Street.
Wellesley College was founded by the Hon. Henry F. Durant, formerly a conspicuous member of the Massachusetts bar, who died in Wellesley in 1881, aged fifty-nine. The greater part of his fortune was devoted to its establishment as a non-sectarian institution for the purpose “of giving to young women opportunities for education equivalent to those usually provided in colleges for young men.” In this work he had the ardent coöperation of his wife, Mrs. Pauline Adeline (Fowle) Durant, who continues, since his death, her devotion to the work which jointly they planned. The college was chartered in 1871 and formally opened in 1875. The scheme of its founder included these features: a faculty of women and a selected board of trustees composed of both women and men, in whom the property of the college and its official control should be vested.
Our car passes for nearly a mile along the northern side of the college estate, and at the farther end stands another lodge at its western entrance.
We continue along Central Street and soon cross the line into the town of Natick. At our left rises Broad’s Hill, three hundred feet high; at our right is the railroad, close alongside. We reach Natick station in fifteen minutes from Wellesley Square. The village is chiefly devoted to shoe manufacturing. Here is the Morse Institute Library, founded by the bequest of Mary Ann Morse, who died in 1862. It was dedicated on Christmas day, 1873. Here also is the former homestead of Henry Wilson, the “Natick cobbler,” as he was known for many years, who rose from the shoemaker’s bench to the Senate of the United States and the Vice Presidency. It is a roomy, plain house of wood, painted white, standing back a little way from the street, under majestic elms. In the square near the station is the Soldiers’ Monument of the Civil War, flanked by brass siege guns.
A branch trolley line runs hence to Needham, and if we desire to see more relics of the Indian apostle Eliot, we may take the car to South Natick, only a mile and a half southeast. On the way we pass over Carver Hill, two hundred and eighty feet high, whence a splendid view of the upper Charles River country is gained. In the South Natick village center was the Eliot Oak, under which, tradition says, Eliot preached his first sermon to his then newly established plantation of praying Indians, in 1650. Here he did much of his work of translating the Bible into the Indian language; and here, in 1651, his converts built their first schoolhouse and church. Here, also, are to be seen the Eliot Monument, set up by the citizens in 1847, and the headstone from the grave of Daniel Takawambait, the first native minister, set into a granite block alongside the near-by sidewalk. The Eliot Church (Unitarian) is the fifth on the site of the rude structure reared by the red men. It is a typical New England meetinghouse of the early nineteenth century. It has no connection, except by name and location, with that founded by Eliot.
South Natick is said to have been the original Oldtown of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Oldtown Folks.”
From here to Needham, about five miles, the route lies mostly through a smiling farming country. We cross the Charles twice within a mile, and at Charles River Village, which we pass midway, its waters drive some paper mills. Needham is a quiet, dignified village of the conventional type, with a fine new high-school building and one or two other public edifices of brick.
Changing here to a car for Newton, a ride of a mile north brings us to Highlandville, the north village of Needham, where a Carnegie public library has lately been raised, and where are a couple of shoe factories. Two miles farther, in a generally northeasterly direction, the trolley line again crosses the Charles River, which, since we left it at South Natick, has made divagations into Dover and Dedham, skirted West Roxbury, and has assumed a path of comparative rectitude as the boundary line between Needham and Newton.
The railway enters the factory village of Newton Upper Falls, and traverses several rather depressing streets in the zigzags necessary for the car to mount the lofty brownstone cliff through which the river cut its way in ages past, and at the foot of which the village nestles.
The most direct route from Boston to Echo Bridge and Hemlock Gorge is by a Boston & Worcester trolley car, which passes over the Back Bay, through Brook line and Newton, directly to the upper end of the Gorge, where the deep, black water sweeps through the narrow chasm close beside the track. Alighting here, one can explore the reservation in a short time. By this route, also, it is a delightful ride to Wellesley Hills (where the line crosses that of the Natick cars by which we came out), and so on to Framingham and Worcester.
Continuing a mile or so farther, in the same general direction, we cross the tracks of the New York Central Railroad, and also those of the Boston & Worcester electric railway, at the neat and busy village of Newton Highlands. All about on the swelling slopes, in attractive modem houses, dwell many of Boston’s business men. Swinging around to the left into Walnut Street, our course is over a wooded eminence thickly studded with residences. Descending its farther slope, we pass on our left the Gothic arched entrance of the Newton Cemetery, one of the most beautiful, by nature and art, of any around Boston. A little farther down we see, away to our left, the great power house of the street railway system.
At the Newton Boulevard, where is a commodious waiting room, one may transfer to cars for Boston or to other parts of Newton. We might take a side trip hence to Newton Center via Homer Street, but the route is not particularly attractive; a better way to that pretty village is reached by taking a Boulevard car from Boston, and changing at Centre Street. This route passes the old burying ground of the town, where lie the first settlers, a great granite monument of modern date bearing their names. Of a later period are the graves of heroes of the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars, — Major General William Hull, Brigadier General Michael Jackson and sons, officers in the Revolution, the son and namesake of the apostle Eliot, and others noted in the early annals of the town. The old first parish church formerly fronted this ground, and its first pastor was buried here in 1668. At Newton Center are many beautiful residences, and on Institution Hill stand the buildings of the Newton Theological Institution, founded by the Baptists in 1826, as a training school for the ministry. Its grounds are extensive, and the view in all directions is inspiring. Within the past few years, under the presidency of the Rev. Nathan E. Wood, D.D., much money has been added to the funds of the school, a new library, chapel, and dormitories have been built, and the whole hilltop has been laid out in most attractive landscape style. At the foot of the hill lies Crystal Lake, as the former Wiswall’s Pond is known. It was named from old Elder Wiswall, in whose homestead it was included. A splendid road around its shores is one of the attractions of “the Center.” The stone Baptist church, of Romanesque architecture, is one of the finest in Boston suburbs.
But our car is bound north, to Newtonville, and immediately after crossing the Boulevard we pass a forest-covered hill on the left, while to our right is a deep, shady valley, through which brawls a swift brook down rocky ridges. It is a charming section, and some of the prettiest homes of the city are along this way. One famous estate which we soon go by is Brooklawn, once the home of General Hull, of Revolutionary fame; since 1854 that of ex-Governor William Claflin, who has dispensed hospitality to many distinguished guests here. Just beyond, on the left, is the stately High School; on the other side, the Claflin School; and again on the left, the attractive house and grounds of the Newton Club. A little farther on we come to the business center of Newtonville, where we cross the New York Central tracks and Washington Street. Here change may be made for Newton proper and most of the other villages. Soon we turn into Watertown Street and pass through the village of Nonantum, where on the left are the Nonantum worsted mills; also a tiny pond, bearing the lofty title of Silver Lake.
In a few minutes, turning sharply to the right, we are in Galen Street, in the small corner of Watertown lying south of the Charles, leading to the broad new bridge, replacing an old-time one, by which we are to cross into Watertown Square.
As we cross the grand stone bridge we miss the granite tablets which were on either side of the old bridge. These were erected by the late Professor Eben N. Horsford, one of them to mark his Norsemen sites, — that on the left inscribed “Outlook upon the stone dam and stone walled docks and wharves of Norumbega, the seaport of the Northmen in Vineland.” The other had this inscription: “The old bridge by the mill crossed Charles River near this spot as early as 1641.”
It is but a few steps to Watertown Square, where cars from Boston and Cambridge arrive by several routes, and where we change to a car for Waltham. Our course all the way is along old Main Street, to the foot of Prospect Hill, at the terminus of the route. Here we alight and, following the plain directions on guideboards, climb, first by the street crossing the Central Massachusetts Division of the Boston & Maine Railroad, and afterward by a winding path through the natural woodland park which the city of Waltham has made of the upper part of the hill, to its summit. From the outlook, four hundred and eighty, two feet above sea level — the highest eminence in the Metropolitan district except the Great Blue Hill in Milton, — we may see to the north, on a clear day, as far as Kearsarge (seventy-five miles) and several other mountains of southern New Hampshire; as well as Wachusett, Watatic, and Asnybumskit in central Massachusetts. The view embraces all the towns within a radius of twenty miles or more. In taking this noble hill and laying it out as a reservation, the city has wisely refrained from “fixing it up” or making it a “parky” affair. Its wildness and naturalness are its chief charms.
Returning to Main Street, we will take a car for about a mile east, passing along the pleasant, shaded thoroughfare, to the Common, on which stands the Soldiers’ Monument, and near which is the station of the Fitchburg Division, Boston & Maine Railroad. A branch of the trolley company’s lines to Newton, by the Moody Street bridge, crosses the Charles River just south of the Common. On our way down from Prospect Hill, three or four blocks before reaching the Common, we pass on the left a great elm on the corner of Upper Main Street and Grant Avenue, which bears a tablet stating that General Burgoyne’s army halted under its branches when on the march from Saratoga to Cambridge in 1777.
That was when Burgoyne and his men, taken prisoners at Saratoga, were being escorted by their Continental captors to imprisonment on Prospect Hill, Somerville, then a part of Charlestown. One division of the prisoners came this way, through Lexington; the other, via Weston and Newton.
The great works of the American Waltham Watch Company, on the south side of the river, for Waltham includes in its limits quite a slice of trans-Charles territory, attract many visitors. These are the most extensive watch-making factories in the world, and the buildings are not only immense but are ornamental in design and surrounded by handsome grounds adorned with flower beds and shrubbery.
Waltham is famous also as having been the birthplace and lifelong home of Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, “the bobbin boy” as he was called in the days of his early political successes, who became, successively and rapidly, inspector in the Boston Custom House, member of the legislature, member of constitutional convention, congressman and speaker of the House (after a contest lasting two months and requiring one hundred and thirty-two ballots to decide it), all before he was forty; later, governor of the state, major general in the Civil War, congressman again, and United States Marshal. See his statue in the State House Park [p. 44].
On lower Main Street, near the Watertown line, we pass on the left the famous old Governor Gore house, built by Christopher Gore, friend of Washington, governor and senator of Massachusetts, and donor of the Harvard College Library, named for him Gore Hall. It is a sightly dwelling, well placed on a gentle slope overlooking the street and shaded by majestic elms. It is of brick, and in its early days was perhaps the finest of suburban residences. It is still preserved in its original character by the family of the late Theophilus W. Walker, who for many years resided here.
We cross the boundary of Watertown and soon are at the village green; to the left, where the Soldiers’ Monument stands, and there is a roomy playground for the children. Just beyond, the Public Library, a brick building with pillars in front, is perhaps the most noteworthy piece of modern architecture in the place.
At the square in Watertown Center, the choice of three routes back into Boston is open to us: via North Beacon Street, along the river into Brighton and Allston; via Arsenal Street and Western Avenue into Central Square, Cambridge, and across the Harvard Bridge, by which way the Charles is crossed three times; and via Mount Auburn Street and Harvard Square, Cambridge. The first route has little to recommend it save rather pretty river views.
The second is the proper way if one wishes to visit the United States Arsenal, a collection of large buildings of brick, with slate roofs, inclosed in one hundred acres of grounds, lying between Arsenal Street and the river, with a wharf and landing just below the North Beacon Street drawbridge. Here is a complete equipment of machinery, heavy and fine, for the manufacture of artillery, projectiles, and gun carriages. Permission to enter and view the works is easily obtained from the commandant’s office. Close at hand also are the yards of the Watertown Cattle Market, at the station on the steam railroad known as Union Market.
But the route into Boston which contains most of historic interest, as well as attractiveness of surroundings, is that by Mount Auburn Street, which diverges from the square to the left of the other two. Since we have to change cars here, it will pay us to walk a few rods to Marshall Street, turning up to the left to read the tablet marking the site of the Marshall Fowle House, in which General Joseph Warren spent the night before the battle of Bunker Hill. James Warren, his successor as president of the Provincial Congress, afterward occupied this Fowle house, and here his wife entertained Mrs. Washington in 1775, when on her way from Mount Vernon to Cambridge in her own coach and four, with negro postilions in liveries of scarlet and white, a guard of honor, and a military escort. There was some pomp and gorgeousness even in those simple and primitive republican days.
Next beyond Marshall Street (left) is Common Street, one of the most interesting points in our journey, for here is the old burying ground and churchyard of the fourth meetinghouse of the First Parish. The building itself was demolished in 1836, and its successor was placed nearer the business center of the town. In this old church, built in 1755, were held the Boston town meetings during the Siege, and here — as a massive stone tablet against the fence informs — sat the Provincial Congress from April 22 to July 19, 1775; here the “Great and General Court,” or Assembly, was originated and held its sessions from July 29, 1775, to November 9, 1776, and from June 2 to 23, 1778. In March, 1776, this church was selected as the one in which to hold the observance of the Boston Massacre, when the oration was delivered by the Rev. Peter Thacher of Malden, on “The Dangerous Tendencies of Standing Armies in Times of Peace.”
Nearly all the way to the Cambridge line we pass pleasant estates on either side; but our next point of historic interest is at the corner of Grove Street, on the right, where the old burying ground, dating from 1642 and originally adjoining the first meetinghouse of the settlement, lies directly on the highway, separated from it only by a low wall. In the grass-grown and vine-covered grounds are ancient gravestones of quaint design, the earliest date being 1674.
Here stands a granite obelisk, presented to the town on the one hundredth anniversary of the contests at Lexington and Concord by the descendants of John Coolidge, the one Watertown man killed in the running fight with the British flank guard near Arlington Heights.
Continuing toward Cambridge we come to Belmont Street on the left, from which, if we choose, we may walk through Coolidge Street to another of the Norse memorials marked by Professor Horsford as the amphitheater or assembly place of those earliest discoverers. It is a spacious, natural, semicircular depression in the earth, its sloping sides broken into six terraces or benches, thickly grass-grown.
Returning to Mount Auburn Street we are soon by the Mount Auburn station, and here we may take a train for Boston over the Fitchburg Division of the Boston & Maine Railroad, or a trolley car for the city direct, via Harvard Square, Cambridge.
The quickest way to reach Milton is by a train on the Milton branch of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, leaving the South Station at twenty-three minutes past each hour and reaching Milton station in about twelve minutes. The pleasantest way is by trolley car (Ashmont and Milton) from the Subway via Mount Pleasant; or by elevated train to Dudley Street terminal, thence by surface car to Grove Hall transfer station, and changing there to a Milton car via Washington Street, Dorchester, and Codman Hill. Taking this last-mentioned route we have a particularly fine view of the harbor and islands from the point near Melville Avenue, where the street passes over one shoulder of Mount Bowdoin. We also pass several of the pleasantest estates in Dorchester, and the old Second Parish Church (on the left at Norfolk and Centre streets), dating from 1807, a typical New England meeting house of that period. Farther on, as our route continues over Codman Hill, past the old Codman mansion house, now a dairy farmhouse, we roll along under noble old trees and have a taste of real country air from the hillside, studded with buttercups in their season.
At the village known as Milton Lower Mills, though the larger part of it is on the Boston side of the Neponset River, the Boston street-car system ends and other lines start out, — for Dedham via Hyde Park, and for Brockton via Randolph, connecting at both points with lines to other places. Whether we have come out by steam or electricity, we shall want to walk about a little here. The chief industry of the village is the manufacture of chocolate, and the great stone-trimmed brick buildings of the Walter Baker Company cover a large space on both sides of the river and utilize its considerable water power. From the bridge one gets a view on the left of the slight falls; and in a rock rising above the water is set a bolt bearing a tablet with an inscription recording that the tide of April 16, 1851, reached the top of the bolt. This was the famous high tide of the storm which destroyed the Minot’s Ledge lighthouse, and was six feet eight and one-half inches above the average high water, here about ten feet.
Only a little way beyond the bridge, on the Milton side, — a short flight of steps up from the Milton steam railroad station brings us directly to it, — stands the “Suffolk Resolves” house, shaded by three venerable English elms, which has been called the “birthplace of American liberty.” It is a two-story yellow, double house, of which one half is now devoted to a watchmaker’s shop. Beside the pillared portico a marble tablet bears an inscription in antique Roman characters, relating the history of the Suffolk Resolves, which, adopted in this mansion by delegates from the Suffolk County towns September 9, 1774, “led the way to American Independence.”
At the time of the convention the house was the mansion of Daniel Vose, the great man of the section, owner of several of the industries of the town — his chocolate mills, founded in 0765, were the first in the colonies — and a zealous patriot. The convention was composed of delegates from the nineteen towns then comprised in Suffolk County, which also included all now embraced in Norfolk County. They had held their first session in the old Woodward Tavern at Dedham a day or two before. Paul Revere was the messenger who carried the Resolves to Philadelphia.
Continuing up the gentle slope of Adams Street we pass several old time houses on either side of the road. One on the right, just where Canton and Randolph avenues branch off, was in early days the Rising Sun Tavern. Canton Avenue is the direct route by the Great Blue Hill to Canton, while Randolph Avenue cuts through the Blue Hills Reservation farther south, and continues on to Randolph and Brockton. A line of trolley cars (of the Old Colony system) diverging to the right lower down the slope, at Central Avenue, skirts the base of the hill, passes through Milton Center, and comes out in Randolph Avenue before reaching the Reservation, affording an easy means of arriving at this great pleasure ground, — the largest of the Metropolitan system.
But there are reasons for prolonging our walk a little farther up Milton Hill, on Adams Street. All along the way are fine old estates which have been handed down from generation to generation of families noted in local — and some in national — annals. On the left side a pleasantly situated villa is the home of Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney, though her early home, in which her first works were written, was in Milton village. A few steps beyond, on the right, stands a house of modern exterior, well back from the street, in whose fabric is incorporated the historic house of Governor Hutchinson, his country seat. To this house he withdrew at the time of the closing anti-tea meetings in the Old South Meetinghouse in Boston; and it was from this house that he started on his final voyage to England in June, 1774, never, as it fell out, to return. Its situation is indeed a most pleasant one, as he described it to George III, and the view which it commands across the meadow at the foot of the hill is yet an exceptionally fine prospect. It is gratifying to observe that the great field in front, on the lower side of the street, has been taken for a public reservation, as Governor Hutchinson’s Field, so that the lovely prospect is safe from the obstruction of buildings.
Hutchinson’s vast estate was confiscated in the Revolution and was subsequently sold. Since 1829 it has been in the Russell family.
At the top of the hill the old Dr. Holbrook mansion, built in 1801, is noted for having been the scene of a brilliant entertainment to Lafayette during his last visit to America, in 1824. Beyond are the extensive estates so long associated with the Forbes family, — John M., the master spirit of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad for many years; J. Malcolm, equally noted in connection with the American Bell Telephone Company; Captain Robert B. and J. Murray Forbes; also the fine country seat of the late Oliver W. Peabody of the Boston banking house of Kidder, Peabody & Co.; and farther on the summer place of his partner, the late Henry P. Kidder.
At the old “Algerine Corner” — now commonplace Union Square — a road on the right diverges to the town center. At Otis Street, a little beyond, was, in provincial times, the estate of the royal governor, Jonathan Belcher, bought by him about 1728, and his country seat during his service of about eleven years. It was he who placed along the road to Boston the Belcher milestones, one of which is to be seen in the wall of the Peabody place, bearing the legend “8 miles to B Town House. The Lower way. 1734.”
Street continues through the square past East Milton, a half
mile farther on, a bustling village, its trade having a granite
foundation, — quite naturally, for it adjoins West Quincy, where
are the quarries which give to Quincy the title of “the granite
city.” We might prolong our walk to East Milton and there take a
car to Quincy, only three and a half miles distant. It would be
better, however, to look over the northern part of Milton and go to
Quincy by another route. From Union Square, Centre Street runs
“cross town” to Randolph Avenue, which we left at the
beginning of our walk. By way of Centre Street a walk of some three
quarters of a mile would bring us to the old Town Cemetery,
where rest the forefathers of many present citizens, the oldest
gravestone bearing date of 1687. The Ministerial Tomb is near the
entrance, and has a quaint inscription setting forth that it is “to
be, abide and remain forever” as such. The names of the first
minister, Peter Thacher, who died in 1727, his wife Susanna, and
several succeeding ministers and their families are inscribed on the
upright slab. Near the middle of this burying ground is a monument
which attracts the most attention. This is the granite bowlder over
the grave of Wendell Phillips and his wife. Phillips died
February 2, 1884, and his body was first placed in the Phillips
family tomb in the Old Granary Burying Ground, Boston, but after the
death of Mrs. Phillips, two years later, it was removed hither. The
inscription on the bowlder was written by him and it attests the
simplicity and the chivalry of the man:
and Wendell Phillips.
is a pretty walk along the broad and shaded parkway to the river,
which here is spanned by a new stone bridge, built by the
Metropolitan Park Board. Crossing it we are in Mattapan, the
most southwesterly village of the Dorchester District, Boston, whence
we have a choice of ways for the return journey, — street cars via
Blue Hill Avenue and Franklin Park, trains over the Milton branch
from a station close by the river, or over the Midland Division,
station half a mile north, at the crossing of Blue Hill Avenue. The
Milton branch route takes us for two or three miles alongside, and
twice across, the picturesque Neponset, whose shores are now
protected by the Metropolitan Board, and amid whose wooded nooks one
catches a glimpse of a rustic footbridge and the sheen of a little
Quincy is quite easy of access either by train or trolley. By train from the South Station (Plymouth Division, New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad) the distance is eight miles and the fare fifteen cents. By electric car from Washington and Franklin streets to Neponset Bridge, or by the Ashmont and Milton line to Field’s Corner, there transferring to the Neponset car, — and from Neponset Bridge to Quincy, — the distance is about the same, and the fare is ten cents. By either way the route is similar, — out through South Boston and the bay side of the Dorchester District to the village of Neponset at the mouth of the river (after crossing which we are in the bounds of the city of Quincy), but a short distance from the station and village of Atlantic, after which follow Norfolk Downs, Wollaston, and Quincy Center — all within three miles. The tracks of the steam and electric roads run parallel and close to each other most of the way.
In the basement beneath the church are the tombs of the two Presidents and their wives in granite sarcophagi. Application to the sexton and the payment of a modest fee prescribed by the church enables the visitor to descend into the electrically lighted vault and, through a doorway protected by a grille, to gaze upon the tombs. On either side of the doorway are inscriptions on marble tablets.
The body of the ancient black hearse in which the remains of the Presidents were conveyed is also preserved in this basement in a glass case.
Across the way from the church is the granite City Hall, and close by is the old burying ground where are the graves of the early ministers of the parish, among them John Hancock, father of the famous “signer” and governor; the tombs of Dr. Leonard Hoar, third president of Harvard College, and his wife and mother; of Henry Adams, immigrant ancestor of the Adams family; of John Quincy Adams, in which his body was placed before removal to the church opposite; of the first of the Quincys — Edmond; and of Josiah Quincy, Jr., who at thirty-one years of age died, in 1775, on the ship which was bringing him back from his mission to England in behalf of the patriots.
Near by, on Washington Street, is the fine Crane Public Library, and not far away, on Hancock Street, the Adams Academy, founded by a gift to the town in 1822 by President John Adams, and opened in 1872 — a classical school of high order. On Adams Street, which diverges to the west and continues through to West Quincy and Milton, stands the famous Adams mansion, originally the country seat of Leonard Vassall, a West Indian planter and a royalist like all of his name. Sequestered in the Revolution, it became the home of President John Adams from 1787 till his death. In it were celebrated his golden wedding and the weddings of his son, President John Quincy Adams, and of his grand son, Charles Francis Adams, Sr., once minister to Great Britain. It is now occupied by the great-grandson, Brooks Adams, and much of the interior finish and furniture is retained.
At the corner of Independence Street and Franklin Avenue the car passes two time-stained houses standing close together, restored and maintained as sacred memorials, to which the attention of more visitors is turned than to any other buildings in Quincy. The older and smaller house is the birthplace of John Adams. The other and larger house, with the old well sweep in the back yard, is the birthplace of John Quincy Adams. It was presented by the present Charles Francis Adams to the Quincy Historical Society, which has restored it to its original condition and made it a museum of historic relics.
Much of the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is related to this old town, notably Mount Wollaston, the high ground at the next station on the way into Boston. It was the “Merrymount” of Thomas Morton, whose revels with his crew of graceless roysterers and his may pole, set up in 1627, caused his banishment by the stem Puritan elders. The zealous antiquarian might spend days in tracing out the historic sites and in viewing the historic mansions of Quincy.
Dedham is one of the oldest of the suburban towns, and was at first one of the most extensive. Its territory, allotted by the General Court in 1635 to twenty-two proprietors, who had moved hither from Water town and Roxbury a few months before, embraced nearly all of the present Norfolk County. In August they had signed a “town covenant” binding them to “walk in a peaceful conversation” and to establish “a loving and comfortable society.” The name they proposed for their settlement was Contentment. The General Court, however, overruled their choice and gave the new parish the title of Dedham from the English town whence several of the settlers had come. It is a quiet, dignified old town, with majestic trees shading its streets, many old mansions, and picturesque river views. The Charles River, with its “Great Bend,” encircles the northern end of the town, and the Neponset River is on its eastern border. The two streams are connected by “Mother Brook,” the oldest canal in the country, dug by the enterprising colonists in 1639-1640. Several lofty hills break the surface of the town, and there are beautiful drives and trolley rides in several directions — notably to Westwood (formerly West Dedham), three miles from the center. The main street is High Street, running nearly east and west through the village and then turning off sharply to the southwest on its way to Westwood and Medway. Along this street are scattered most of the historic monuments.
We reach Dedham by train over the Providence Division, New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (though we could go in an electric car from Forest Hills), and alight at the stone station, with its imposing clock tower, at the center of the village. One block away is the granite Memorial Hall, serving the double purpose of a town house and a monument to the soldiers of the town who served in the Civil War. On the corner of Church Street, next above, is the low-arched brick building of the Dedham Historical Society, with an interesting collection of antiquities and documents. On the right-hand side of High Street, a little farther on, is the old Dr. Nathaniel Ames house, the home of the famous almanac maker from 1772 to his death, fifty years later. Just beyond stood till 1897 the Fisher Ames house, the home of Nathaniel’s distinguished brother. This is now removed to River Place, and with enlargements and improvements has become the home of Frederick J. Stimson, author and lawyer.
On the next street at the right, Ames Street, is the site of the old Woodward Tavern, dating from 1658, where met the Suffolk Convention in 1774, which at its adjourned meeting in the Vose mansion at Milton adopted the Suffolk Resolves. Just above Ames Street on High Street is the mansion house built in 1795 by Judge Samuel Haven, in front of which are several stately English elms brought from England in 1762, still vigorous and full of foliage. Opposite is the granite Court House, surmounted by a dome, for Dedham is the shire town of Norfolk County. Next beyond the Court House is the ancient Village Green, in the corner of which stands the locally famous “Pitt’s Head,” or Pillar of Liberty, a square granite pedestal about two feet high, which formerly was surmounted by a tall wooden column and a bust of William Pitt. It was erected July 22, 1767. A bronze tablet on its eastern face, placed in 1886, on the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the town, gives its history.
The other historic relic, only a short distance from the Fairbanks house, is the “Avery oak.” It is a great tree, older than the town, with a circumference, five feet from the ground, of sixteen feet. Its owner at the time is said to have refused seventy dollars for it from the builders of the Constitution, who desired it for timber for “Old Ironsides.” It is still sturdy and thrifty. It has been secured for preservation by the Dedham Historical Society.
Winthrop alone among the northern suburbs of Boston is without a trolley line, and that it has none is due to the excellent service afforded by the Winthrop circuit of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad. The ferry house and station of this railroad are at Rowe’s Wharf, directly opposite the elevated railway station of the same name. The ferryboats leave every fifteen minutes daily, connecting with trains at Jeffries Point, on the East Boston side of the harbor; and the fare to any of the nine stations in Winthrop is but five cents. The line makes a loop around the town, reaching every section of it, and the trains alternate in direction.
Winthrop is an ancient settlement but a comparatively modern town. For nearly a century after the first settlement its territory belonged to Boston, but in 1739 it became a part of Chelsea. In 1846 it was joined to Revere (the Rumney Marsh of early days) to form the new town of North Chelsea. It became an independent town six years later, taking the name of Winthrop in commemoration of Deane Winthrop, sixth son of Governor John Winthrop, who lived here for many years in a house still preserved, and here died about 1703 or 1704, aged 81. The first name of the hamlet was Pullen Poynt, but the year 1753 saw the establishment of a codfishery station at the extreme eastern end, and the “syndicate” which promoted that enterprise rechristened the place Point Shirley, from the governor of the Province. The fishery “trust” proved a failure, but Point Shirley was found to be so pleasant that a number of Boston families built country houses here, the Hancocks among the rest. A roomy brick house still standing at this point of the town, which retains the name of Point Shirley, is by some assumed to have been John Hancock’s house, but this is doubtful. In later days the present Point Shirley became noted through “Taft’s,” a hostelry famous for its fish and game dinners, now only a memory. Until about 1876 Winthrop remained a slumbrous farming town within five miles of the city across the harbor but known only to the few. Then it was rediscovered, and the building of the narrow, gauge railroad made it easy of access. With the advent of this railroad a beach settlement was laid out, streets with nautical names were cut through, and lots were sold off. A colony of summer cottages sprang up in a season or two, and “Ocean Spray” and “Cottage Hill” became familiar names. In course of time substantial houses to a large extent replaced the shells first erected; a beautiful, broad boulevard, with walks on each side, was built by the Metropolitan Parks Commission along the ocean front where had been a town way known as “The Crest” (destroyed by a gale in November, 1898); and the old farms of the inland part of the town became thickly covered with residences.
A walk along Winthrop Beach naturally follows, with the surf pounding on the right, and off beyond it the outer island, Nahant, to the north, and the open sea in view, with a glimpse occasionally of a steamer coming in. Near the upper end of the beach we should turn off and pass through Neptune Avenue and Shirley Street (the latter the old county road), by the Ocean Spray station of the railroad, to the old Deane Winthrop house on the right, marked by a tablet. A few steps farther to the intersection of Revere Street, and we are at the entrance of Fort Banks, the saluting battery, the brick hospital, and the command ant’s headquarters. We may follow Revere Street up a moderate slope to Summit Avenue, and taking this street to the right we shall get other fine views, while about us is picturesque Winthrop Highlands, as this section of the town is called. It is but a few steps down the eastern end of Summit Avenue and along Crest Avenue (to the left) to the Highlands station. Here we may take the next Boston-bound train back to Orient Heights (as soon as we cross Belle Isle inlet we are on Breed’s Island, the newer part of East Boston), and at this station change to a train passing over the main line for Crescent Beach at the lower end of the famous Revere Beach. On the way we pass the station at Beachmont at the foot of a fine hill thickly covered with houses, the other side of which we have seen from Summit Avenue, Winthrop Highlands.
At Crescent Beach the railroad is but a few rods back from the great beach boulevard of the Metropolitan Parks System, which extends along the ocean front for two miles with its splendid roadway and broad promenades on either side. The Revere Beach Reservation embraces the whole length of the beach to the Point of Pines, at the mouth of Saugus River. Near the middle of its length is an ornate band stand, and near its northern end the great State Bath House (the rail road has a station just at the rear of the Bath House). The boys’ bath room will accommodate five hundred boys at a time. All along the land side of the boulevard are various amusement places, — the steeplechase, the roller coaster, electric boats on a small lake, refreshment booths and restaurants, tintype galleries, and all the paraphernalia of a modern seaside resort for the people. Back from the shore, in easy connection with the Reservation, is the great show place of “Wonderland.” Perfect order is preserved by the Metropolitan Park police. On a warm afternoon and evening the visitors are numbered by scores of thousands, and the driving along the superb roadway makes an interesting pageant.
From the southern end of the Reservation the Revere Beach Parkway extends nearly five and a quarter miles west to the lower end of Med ford, where it joins the Fellsway, leading north to the Middlesex Fells. The electric cars of the Boston & Northern system run through the turfed center of this parkway till the Revere station of the Boston & Maine Railroad is reached, and there the Parkway crosses the tracks overhead. At the Revere station they take a more direct route via Winthrop Avenue and Beech Street, through Revere Center to Fenno’s Corner, whence they turn sharply off to the left into Broadway and so through Chelsea into Boston.
Much of the history of Revere has been identical with that of Winthrop, as we have seen. Up to 1852, when the latter town set up for itself, they had been associated municipally from the very first. In 1871 the name of North Chelsea was changed to Revere. With the exception of its beach section and the bold drumlin now covered by the semi-summer-resort settlement of Beachmont, it is a quiet town, still largely devoted to farming, with the scattered homes of old families. On the way inward through Broadway, before we cross Snake or Mill Creek, which lies partly in the Parkway, we may see off to the left the old Yeaman house, built about 1680, a typical farmhouse of the early days, with its gambrel roof and lean-to.
When we cross Snake Creek we are in Chelsea, which in 1634 was made a part of Boston by one of those terse, phonetic orders of the General Court, so much more definite than the long-drawn “acts” of our modern legislatures, that “Wynetsemt shall belong to Boston.”
Chelsea has numerous attractive features. Within its limits is the fine curving eminence of Powderhorn Hill, which we reach on our right and may ascend by a direct avenue from Broadway. The spreading building on its summit is the Massachusetts Soldiers’ Home, originally erected for a summer hotel. From the pleasant lawn and long shaded verandas of this institution, where the broken soldiers of the Civil War sit and smoke their pipes through the long summer afternoons, one may look far down the harbor and well-nigh all over the city below. From the top of the old reservoir near by the view takes in the Mystic marshes and the whole sweep of hills bounding the Boston Basin.
To the northwest of Powderhorn, and lying mostly in Everett, is Mount Washington, reached by Washington Avenue, through which trolley cars run, and to which we may cross through Summit and Winthrop avenues at the west end of Powderhorn. Turning into Washington Avenue to the right, a few steps bring us to Washington Park, maintained by the Chelsea Park Commission. Set into the park wall is a large flat stone bearing this legend: This stone, once a doorstep of the old Pratt mansion visited by Washington during the siege of Boston, stands opposite the barrack-grounds of Colonel Gerrish’s regiment of 1775-76.
Another landmark of earlier date is the Way-Ireland house, — in later years the Pratt family homestead, — in which Increase Mather was in hiding for a time before he sailed for England in April, 1688, as agent for the colonists, to intercede with the king against the oppressions of Andros. It stands near the foot of this hill, just off Washington Avenue, which winds to the right and continues to Woodlawn Cemetery.
Returning by a Washington Avenue car down Broadway and, if we choose, into Boston through the Charlestown District, we shall cross the Eastern Division of the Boston & Maine just beside the Chelsea station. Near by is Union Park, in which stands the Chelsea Soldiers’ Monument. At Bellingham Square, where we turn into Broadway, we take a course directly southwest to the bridge over the Mystic into Charlestown. As we near the bridge we see on our right the extensive grounds occupied by the United States Naval Hospital and the Marine Hospital, the former for sick and disabled officers and men of the navy, the latter for invalids of the merchant marine. The grounds are sightly, sloping to the river and shaded by ancient trees.
On the farther end of the tract, where the Island End River joins the Mystic River, is the site of Samuel Maverick’s fortified house, built in 1624-1625. Maverick described it as having “a Pillizado fflankers and gunnes both below and above in them which awed the Indians,” and no wonder. It was here that Maverick entertained Governor Winthrop and his associate leaders on their first coming in 1630. Maverick afterward removed to Noddle’s Island, now East Boston.
It is a pleasant trip to Medford, by the way of Somerville, with much historic interest. Taking an elevated train to the Sullivan Square terminal, and there changing to a Highland Avenue car, a fifteen minutes’ ride will bring us to Central Square, at the eastern end of Prospect Hill. This hill is historic as the site of the citadel, the most formidable works in the American lines during the Siege of Boston, and as the place where the Union flag with its thirteen stripes was first hoisted, January 1, 1776. These facts are related upon a tablet which stands on the present top of the hill, with the exception of one small point fifteen feet or so lower now than at that time. On its long summit General Putnam made his headquarters after the battle of Bunker Hill, and here also during the winter of 1777-1778 were quartered the British troops captured at Saratoga with Burgoyne. The point left uncut is now reserved in a park, and an observatory is to be built on its summit.
Central Hill beyond, over which our car soon passes, is also associated with the Revolution. Its summit is an open, parklike space, at the easterly end of which is observed a miniature redoubt with cannon mounted. This is intended to mark the site of French’s Redoubt thrown up after the battle of Bunker Hill, Which became a part of the besieging lines of Boston.
In this highland common are grouped a series of public buildings, — the City Hall, the Public Library, the High School, and the English High School.
On Winter Hill, northward, stood another Continental fort, and the chief one, connected with the Central Hill battery and the citadel on Prospect Hill by a line of earthworks. Near the foot of Central Hill, in a well-preserved old house marked by a tablet, are seen the head quarters of General Charles Lee during the Siege. Over on Spring Hill, to the west, Lord Percy’s artillery for a time covered the retreat of his tired infantry on that memorable 19th of April. On Willow Avenue near Davis Square, West Somerville, a tablet records a sharp fight at this point, and marks graves of British soldiers here.
At Davis Square we leave the car and walk through Elm Street, which curves to the right, to the junction of College Avenue, Broadway, and Powderhouse Avenue. Here, in a little park, stands the picturesque as well as historic Old Powder House, a tower with conical top, thirty feet high and about twenty feet in diameter at the ground, with thick walls of brick, and barred doorway and window.
It was first a mill, built about 1703-1704, and became a Province powder house in 1747. On September 1, 1774, General Gage seized the 25o half-barrels of gun powder stored within it and thereby provoked the great assembly of the following day on Cambridge Common. In 1775 it became the magazine of the American army besieging Boston.
To the northwest from this park it is but a few minutes’ walk through College Avenue to the pleasant grounds of Tufts College, which covers nearly all of College Hill and commands a wide and charming prospect of the surrounding country. Just beyond the railroad station (Southern Division, Boston & Maine) we enter Professors Row, which follows the curve of the hill to the left, and pass the houses of President Hamilton and others of the faculty; also Metcalf Hall, a dormitory for women students. To the right, on the crest of the hill, reached by a broad walk under lofty elms, stand the chief buildings of the college: Ballou Hall, the oldest; the noteworthy Goddard Chapel, of stone, with a hundred-foot campanile; the Barnum Museum of Natural History, built and endowed by the famous showman and containing among other things the skeleton of the great elephant Jumbo; the Goddard Gymnasium; East and West Halls, dormitories; the Library and the two Divinity School buildings, Miner Hall and Paige Hall. On the other side of College Avenue, near the entrance by which we came, are the Commons building, the Chemical Building, and the Bromfield-Pearson School; these last two being part of the technical school plant.
From the college grounds it is a pleasant walk to Main Street, Medford, through College Avenue and Stearns Street. On Main Street, between George and Royall Streets, we come upon a most interesting relic of Provincial days. This is the Royall mansion house, built by Colonel Isaac Royall in 1738. An earlier house on its site, erected before 1690 it is said, was utilized in its construction. A building at one side was originally the slave quarters, the only structure of its kind remaining in Massachusetts. In 1775 the mansion was the headquarters of Stark’s division of the Continental army. It is now occupied by the Sarah Bradlee Fulton Chapter, D. A. R., and is open to visitors for a modest fee.
Another relic of an earlier period cherished here is the Craddock house, said to date from 1634, and so entitled to the distinction of being the oldest existing house in the country. It stands some distance down the Mystic River side, on Riverside Avenue, toward East Medford. Opposite it, on ‘the other side of the river, — the Somerville (Winter Hill) side, — lay Governor Winthrop’s Ten Hills Farm.
In Medford Square electric cars can be taken for Malden, Melrose, and Everett in one direction, and for Winchester, Woburn, and Lowell in another. Forest Street is a Medford entrance to the Middlesex Fells. Electric cars now run through Middlesex Fells, starting from the Sullivan Square terminal of the Elevated system.
Across to Malden is an agreeable ride. The route passes the Middle sex Fells Parkway, a Malden entrance to the southeasterly section of the Fells, the most romantic part of the Reservation. As it nears the finish the parkway widens into Fellsmere, a small park. In Malden Center is the Public Library and Art Gallery, noteworthy as one of the best examples of the work of the architect, H. H. Richardson, in public buildings.
Winchester, which touches the western side of the Fells, is one of the most picturesque towns of the metropolitan region. Its natural beauty in wooded hill and vale, river and lake (the Mystic ponds), is unusual, and this has been to a great extent worthily retained in the building up of the town. It is next to Brookline, perhaps, in richness of possessions and as a favored residential place for substantial business and professional men of Boston. It has a few large country seats, some old-time family mansions, and a great variety of tasteful houses of modern build. It is connected with Medford and Arlington by electric lines, and so with Boston; but the more direct connection is by railroad (Boston & Maine, North Station).