Aug 6 and 13 – Discover (or learn more about) Cambridge History

What do Tootsie Rolls, George Washington, Cambridge churches, and public art have in common? They are all part of Cambridge Discovery Days 2011, “In Word & Deed: Conflict in Cambridge,” sponsored by The Historic Cambridge Collaborative.

On Saturday August 6th and Saturday August 13th, an array of walking tours, slide shows, talks, and first-person performances will be taking place across the city. So put on your walking shoes and take this opportunity to learn more about how Cambridge has long been a place of lively discussions, interesting ideas, and important contributions to the country and the world.

“The year 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, and we will offer war-themed tours and events, including explorations of Cambridge abolitionists, poets, scholars, and citizen volunteers. But conflict can also refer to arguments and disagreements about religion, race, sex, and politics; the impact on early Cambridge of the English Civil War; stories of the Revolutionary War; and town-gown disputes.” – The Historic Cambridge Collaborative

Here are just a few of the events (see links at the bottom for full schedule and detailed brochure); for most you can just show up and they are FREE – the few that require advance reservations and have a charge are noted:

  • August 6 ONLY -- 10:00 AM-Noon: Harvard, Cambridge & the American Revolution. ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED! Contact rdesilva@bidmc.harvard.edu
  • August 6 and 13 -- 10:30, 11:30 AM, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 & 4:00 PM: Tours of the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site. Longfellow House, 105 Brattle Street.
  • August 6 and 13 -- 10:30 AM-Noon: Strolling down Magazine Street. Meet in front of First Baptist Church, 5 Magazine Street.
  • August 6 and 13 -- 11:30 AM-12:30 PM: “Have you milked the cow today?”— for children 4-12. Children must be with a responsible adult. Brick area beside First Parish Church, Unitarian, corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Church Street.
  • August 6 ONLY - 1:00-2:30 PM: Candy Land. This tour, which begins at 292 Main Street, will feature eight tasty stops from Cambridge’s past as one of America’s largest centers of confectionary manufacturing.
  • August 6 and 13 1:00-2:30 PM: Cambridge Churches as Agents of Change. Tour begins at Tourism kiosk beside Out of Town News, corner Brattle St. and Mass. Ave.
  • 3:00-4:30 PM August 6 and 13: 1775 - Cambridge as the Seat of Civil War. Meet at Washington Gate, southern end of Cambridge Common.
  • August 13 ONLY 10:00-11:30 AM: Exploring East Cambridge. History Station, corner Cambridge and Third streets, Registry of Deeds
  • August 13 ONLY: 1:00-2:30 PM: Lois Lilley Howe – America’s First Female Architect.Tour of 12 houses, begins at Cambridge Historical Society, 159 Brattle Street
  • August 13 ONLY Telling our Story: Fresh Pond and the Civil War. ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED by August 7th jrogers@cambridgema.gov
  • August 13 ONLY 3:00-4:00 PM: Mary Dyer, Colonial Quaker. Inside chapel at First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street, chapel entrance on Mason St.
  • August 13 ONLY 3:00-4:00 PM: In the Face of Conflict - Many Cantabrigians now buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery may be called activists or reformers.Tour begins at Mount Auburn Cemetery main gate,580 Mount Auburn Street

Get the 2-page listing of all activities, tour guides, locations, and contacts for more information.
Get the 14 page brochure with detailed descriptions of all activities.

Have you participated in Cambridge Discovery Days in past years? If so, what was your favorite event?

Or, do you have other historical places in Cambridge that you recommend people visit or memories of the city’s history you would like to share?

When I worked in Kendall Square many years ago, I remember the differing smells from the NECCO candy factory on different days – junior mints one day, Necco wafers another – YUM!

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