Arlington Historical Society & Jason Russell House

Arlington Historical Society & Jason Russell House The AHS is located at the corner of Mass Ave and Jason Street. For more info: http://www.arlingtonhistorical.org/
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Operating as usual

On this day in 1940, bronze statue of Paul Revere was unveiled . . . .The artist Cyrus Dallin was a long-time Arlington ...
09/22/2020
Paul Revere Statue Unveiled

On this day in 1940, bronze statue of Paul Revere was unveiled . . . .

The artist Cyrus Dallin was a long-time Arlington resident.

On this day in 1940, a bronze statue of Paul Revere was unveiled in the shadow of the Old North Church. In the crowd of 8,000, stood the sculptor — 79-year-old Cyrus Dallin. He had waited 55 years since a committee had first selected his design to see his statue erected. Not surprisingly, the stat...

“Porch season” is unfortunately drawing to a close. Another image of porch (or “piazza” in the parlance of the time) lif...
09/19/2020

“Porch season” is unfortunately drawing to a close. Another image of porch (or “piazza” in the parlance of the time) life shows Governor John Q.A. Brackett, his wife Angeline Moore Peck Brackett, and their children John G. (born 1879) and Beatrice (born 1888). It was built in 1887 and Angeline grew up diagonally across the street. The house is identified in the photo as the “Congregational Parsonage” – as it was used for that purpose at the time the photograph was donated. The address is today’s 87 Pleasant Street, and the former Pleasant Street Congregational Church next to disbanded in 2011 and is now a location of Boston Church of Christ. It was used as a therapy office for the Mystic Valley Mental Health Association and later the headquarters of the Arlington Visiting Nurses Association. After an extensive interior restoration by Jeanne Stephenson-D’Amore in 1996 it became “An American Bed & Breakfast” -- the first short-term overnight lodging establishment in Arlington since World War I. The B & B was closed in 2008 and it was acquired as a private health care residence. The porch has been changed through the years, and is no longer the beautiful wrap-around one with columns seen here.

This particular print is blue because it’s a cyanotype, a paper printing process originated in the 1840s and often used to make contact prints without a darkroom. The process became useful for reproductions of large architectural and mechanical drawings, becoming known as “blueprints.” The blue color comes from the two light sensitive chemicals used to make the print.

Click on the “Brackett House” link in the record to see two other views of the property.

https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/584E1FA9-20CE-4D9E-A2C7-151495766193

“Porch season” is unfortunately drawing to a close. Another image of porch (or “piazza” in the parlance of the time) lif...
09/19/2020

“Porch season” is unfortunately drawing to a close. Another image of porch (or “piazza” in the parlance of the time) life shows Governor John Q.A. Brackett, his wife Angeline Moore Peck Brackett, and their children John G. (born 1879) and Beatrice (born 1888). It was built in 1887 and Angeline grew up diagonally across the street. The house is identified in the photo as the “Congregational Parsonage” – as it was used for that purpose at the time the photograph was donated. The address is today’s 87 Pleasant Street, and the former Pleasant Street Congregational Church next to disbanded in 2011 and is now a location of Boston Church of Christ. It was used as a therapy office for the Mystic Valley Mental Health Association and later the headquarters of the Arlington Visiting Nurses Association. After an extensive interior restoration by Jeanne Stephenson-D’Amore in 1996 it became “An American Bed & Breakfast” -- the first short-term overnight lodging establishment in Arlington since World War I. The B & B was closed in 2008 and it was acquired as a private health care residence. The porch has been changed through the years, and is no longer the beautiful wrap-around one with columns seen here.

This particular print is blue because it’s a cyanotype, a paper printing process originated in the 1840s and often used to make contact prints without a darkroom. The process became useful for reproductions of large architectural and mechanical drawings, becoming known as “blueprints.” The blue color comes from the two light sensitive chemicals used to make the print.

Click on the “Brackett House” link in the record to see two other views of the property.

https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/584E1FA9-20CE-4D9E-A2C7-151495766193

"Porch season" is unfortunately drawing to a close. Another image of porch (or “piazza” in the parlance of the time) lif...
09/19/2020

"Porch season" is unfortunately drawing to a close. Another image of porch (or “piazza” in the parlance of the time) life shows Governor John Q.A. Brackett, his wife Angeline Moore Peck Brackett, and their children John G. (born 1879) and Beatrice (born 1888). It was built in 1887 and Angeline grew up diagonally across the street. The house is identified in the photo as the “Congregational Parsonage” – as it was used for that purpose at the time the photograph was donated. The address is today’s 87 Pleasant Street, and the former Pleasant Street Congregational Church next to disbanded in 2011 and is now a location of Boston Church of Christ. It was used as a therapy office for the Mystic Valley Mental Health Association and later the headquarters of the Arlington Visiting Nurses Association. After an extensive interior restoration by Jeanne Stephenson-D’Amore in 1996 it became “An American Bed & Breakfast” -- the first short-term overnight lodging establishment in Arlington since World War I. The B & B was closed in 2008 and it was acquired as a private health care residence. The porch has been changed through the years, and is no longer the beautiful wrap-around one with columns seen here.

This particular print is blue because it’s a cyanotype, a paper printing process originated in the 1840s and often used to make contact prints without a darkroom. The process became useful for reproductions of large architectural and mechanical drawings, becoming known as “blueprints.” The blue color comes from the two light sensitive chemicals used to make the print.

Click on the “Brackett House” link in the record to see two other views of the property.
https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/584E1FA9-20CE-4D9E-A2C7-151495766193

If this were a typical year we would be recovering from a busy and successful Arlington Town Day - in which we have a bo...
09/11/2020

If this were a typical year we would be recovering from a busy and successful Arlington Town Day - in which we have a booth on Mass. Ave., a series of activities on the lawn, and free tours of the Jason Russell House.

Did you know that Town Day is a somewhat recent tradition? It has only been a fixture since 1976. Below are some programs from those earlier Town Day Festivals in the 1980s, donated by Howard Winkler in 2010.

Also included in this post are some photos of more recent Town Day activities. Here's to looking forward to Town Day 2021!

Wonderful story about a photographer who finds 100 year old photos of cats in a time capsule in his home. Can't help but...
09/09/2020
2012.6.692 - Print, Photographic

Wonderful story about a photographer who finds 100 year old photos of cats in a time capsule in his home. Can't help but think about the two cartes-de-visite of the same Winn family cat from the late 1860s.

https://mymodernmet.com/cyanotype-time-capsule-cat-photos/

https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/0CC724EF-9C75-4FDF-8947-593042948296

https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/26DFCE06-C582-4CE1-8B47-166223254815

Another cat-loving photographer in Arlington was B. Frank Swan who included two different cats in his series of photos around Arlington in the 1880s.

"Jerry" eating catnip -
https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/F469DA1D-53F3-4EF9-9396-381076160377

And "Mrs. J.W. Marsh's cat" https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/54B5A5FB-10F9-4945-87DD-278979366854

Mrs. J. W. Marsh's cat Catalog Number 2012.6.692 Object Name Print, Photographic Description Mrs. J.W. Marsh's catcat with stripes sitting on the grass Caption Mrs. J. W. Marsh's cat Date c.1880s Photographer Swan, B. Frank Copyright Rights status not evaluated. (CC BY-NC-ND) Non-commercial use only...

One good thing for 2020 - apparently tornado season was a very quiet one this year. Tornadoes happen infrequently in Mas...
08/28/2020

One good thing for 2020 - apparently tornado season was a very quiet one this year. Tornadoes happen infrequently in Massachusetts, with the last one being in 2011. We don't want to tempt the 2020 fates with this one, but #onthisday in 1871 a tornado came to Arlington - (or, as it is often referred to - a "strong gale"). There was also one in 1851, which is described as more severe. Shown is a photograph stereoview of some of the damage caused by the 1871 "gale." This was the former First Parish Unitarian Church on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Pleasant St.

The Woburn Journal, dated Sept. 2, 1871 reported:
"The gale which prevailed Sunday night was quite severe. The wind was especially furious in Arlington . . . . Individual losses are not great, but the aggregate is large. The spire of the Orthodox Congregational Church on Pleasant street was blown down. If was about one hundred and thirty feet was blown down. It was about one hundred and thirty feet high. The gust was so sudden and severe that the spire was turned end for end. The vane and upper part were shattered as they touched the ground, but the timbers were so strong above the bell deck that they did not break, and amid the wreck the bell was bottom side up twenty feet from the ground."

We have books and maps outlining the damage in 1851, but no photographs of the aftermath of this particular storm.

Read a blog post about these historic tornadoes in Arlington here: https://arlingtonhistorical.org/tornadoes-in-arlington/

Can't resist another post today for #nationaldogdayOne of Arlington's most well known dogs is the dog statue at Robbin's...
08/26/2020

Can't resist another post today for #nationaldogday

One of Arlington's most well known dogs is the dog statue at Robbin's Farm Park. The statue stood at the home of Nathan Robbins well before it was a park. The farm and statue were a popular attraction for children and their parents, who often took photographs of them astride the giant dog. The statue disappeared sometime in the 1940s, soon after the farm was turned into a park. Thanks to a community fundraising effort the statue was replaced with a near likeness in 2018.

This August 1937 photograph was donated by the editor of a book on Robbins Farm Park, Oakes Plimpton. It was sent to him by Richard B. Sherman, who is the boy at the "tail end" of the dog.

Who would like to recreate the photo with the new dog statue? Please tag us in it if you do!

#arlington #arlingtonma #robbinsfarm #robbinsfarmpark #dogstatue #publicparks #farmtopark #robbinsfarmparkdog

Sit . . . stay . . . it's #nationaldogday This 1909 photograph shows George A. Winn giving his dog (Golden Retriever?) a...
08/26/2020

Sit . . . stay . . . it's #nationaldogday

This 1909 photograph shows George A. Winn giving his dog (Golden Retriever?) a bath at the Arlington Boat Club.

Click the link below or copy into your browser to see all our collections records related to dogs:
http://ow.ly/K95M50B9Xdd

#1909 #20thcentury #turnofthecentury #arlington #arlingtonma #winnfamily #dog #dogbath #goldenretriever

Have you had a chance to wander through the beautiful Winfield Robbins Memorial Garden next to Town Hall this summer? Co...
08/23/2020

Have you had a chance to wander through the beautiful Winfield Robbins Memorial Garden next to Town Hall this summer? Community Preservation Act Funding has helped to restore some of the features of the garden, including the fountain and reflecting pool flowing from the base of the 1913 “Menotomy Indian Hunter” statue by Cyrus Dallin. The statue and pool are shown in this postcard photograph in their nearly new condition.

https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/archive/04100953-48B4-4796-9778-397778334644

The garden was constructed in Winfield's memory through the generosity of his cousins Ida, Caira and Eliza Robbins, to coincide with the completion of the Arlington Town Hall in 1913. The town hall architect, R. Clipton Sturgis, also designed the garden, in a highly formal pattern with symmetrical plantings. In 1939, prominent landscape architects Olmsted Associates transformed the garden into a more informal, natural, and secluded garden with meandering paths and naturalistic plantings, separated from busy Massachusetts Avenue with an ornamental sandstone and limestone wall.

Happy Birthday George Wellington! George Y. Wellington was the founder and second President of the Arlington Historical ...
08/22/2020

Happy Birthday George Wellington! George Y. Wellington was the founder and second President of the Arlington Historical Society. He was born on Aug. 22 1826 at the Dr. Timothy Wellington House (today's number 86 Pleasant Street), his many decades of public service began when, in his teens, he worked to bring the railroad to town.

Mr. Wellington was apparently a dynamic speaker, who would often present his reminiscences in early Society meetings. Although the papers are long, it is told that he kept the audience at rapt attention. They're now very useful details that might otherwise be lost if Wellington weren't so verbose.

For more information on George Y. Wellington, view our online collection records related to him: http://ow.ly/DZov50B2LaM

08/19/2020

Despite strong opposition to suffrage by many, Arlington women embraced their new enfranchisement. The following is from the Arlington Advocate on October 10, 1920.
"Polls in Arlington, Massachusetts were opened at noon, closing at nine in the evening, during which time 1377 votes were cast. By courtesy of others present at the opening of polls, Mrs. S. Elizabeth Yerrinton, 92 years old, was given the privilege of depositing the first ballot."

Susan Elizabeth Mayhew Yerrinton was born in 1828 in Maine, and was a widowed mother of 4 living at 59 Jason Street in 1920.

This beautiful lawn party looks like many of the socially distant gatherings some of us are having this summer -- comple...
08/19/2020

This beautiful lawn party looks like many of the socially distant gatherings some of us are having this summer -- complete with tent! It was likely the 1863 “Pleasant Street Fair for Benefit of the Soldiers of the Civil War.”
https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/7119573D-83D8-42C5-A16A-649041271780

Many of the people are identified on this index card. https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/archive/C6E90D95-961F-48D0-A345-893321836240

This summer scene and the mansion locale was made possible by the icy water of New England lakes and ponds, such as Spy Pond. It was the home of Addison Gage who was in the ice business. He initially worked for other firms, but eventually went into business with his son Charles. Together they shipped ice near and far -- to the vendors at Boston’s Faneuil Market to ports in a multitude of destinations in the southern States. It was such a lucrative business that it paid for the building of this beautiful mansion near Spy Pond, but would surely have been beginning to suffer without the loss in business to those warmer States to the south.

Gage was born in Pelham, NH in 1807. He married Anna Harrington in Charlestown. When he died in 1868, he passed the business along to his son. The mansion was moved closer to Spy Pond in the 1890s and then torn down in the early 20th century.

08/18/2020

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. This addition to the Constitution enfranchised women, but it wasn't until the 1965 Voting Rights Act that enforced voting rights for all.

It may be surprising to find that some of the most prominent women in Arlington at the time were against the movement for suffrage. It was a hard fought issue which many were against. There was an Arlington Anti-Suffrage League and the Arlington Advocate editorialized strongly against the movement. The Town and State voted two to one against suffrage and the amendment was passed by the State Legislature, not by popular vote.

The project to replace sidewalks in Arlington Center began recently just a few blocks away. Current work is done between...
08/15/2020

The project to replace sidewalks in Arlington Center began recently just a few blocks away. Current work is done between Pleasant and Franklin Street along Mass ave and Broadway. One major change is the removal of the brick walkways to replace with ADA compliant surfaces.

Here is a photo of the brick walkways in front of Town Hall when they were new and in good condition.
https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/photo/8F91B192-AAD0-47C6-AC9E-712050169815

Also relevant and especially interesting given the date, is this August 15 1860 petition to repair the sidewalks on “Main Street” (Mass Ave) in the same general vicinity
https://arlingtonhistorical.pastperfectonline.com/archive/A9B4D298-4010-470E-B818-083047238937

Exciting project happening right now  - Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. is performing Ground Penetrating Radar at the O...
08/12/2020

Exciting project happening right now - Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. is performing Ground Penetrating Radar at the Old Burying Ground. The project area is along the stone wall east of the obelisk, on the other side of Peg Spengler Way. This is an important part of an upcoming Community Preservation Act Grant to restore the wall. The remarkable technology will help to understand what is below the ground without disturbing it, including potentially unmarked graves or graves which have lost their markers over time.

Shown are representatives from GSSI, Board President George Parsons, and Jim Feeney from Town of Arlington Facilities Department. Feeney is overseeing the project for the Town of Arlington.

For more information on GSSI, visit https://www.geophysical.com/

Artist's rendering our our own Samuel Whittemore on April 19, 1775.  Whittemore was 78 when he fought retreating Redcoat...
08/11/2020

Artist's rendering our our own Samuel Whittemore on April 19, 1775.

Whittemore was 78 when he fought retreating Redcoats near the Menotomy village center. He killed two before he was shot and left for dead. He was discovered many hours later, his wounds were dressed and he was presumed to not live much longer but went on to live another 18 years!

78-year-old Samuel Whittemore, defending his home against the regular army soldiers of the 47th Regiment of Foot, as the British march back to Boston through Menotomy, now Arlington, Massachusetts. Beaten, shot and stabbed several times, he still survived and lived to the age of 96!
Courtesy of the artist Don Troiani.

Address

7 Jason St
Arlington, MA
02476

Opening Hours

Tuesday 13:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 13:00 - 17:00
Thursday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(781) 648-4300

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model made for the peabody historical society 2019
Model of the russell house 1775
Please call us, we are trying to reserve Jason Russell house for April 29 Sunday from 10-3 for our HCA Walk\ our number is 781-859-5164