Cambridge, MA and Its Interesting History
Cambridge, MA The Beginnings of The City
The landscape of Cambridge, MA was shaped by glaciers and a rising sea in its history. The first Europeans described it as a land of steep hills and large marshes and shallow streams. Since it was prosperous in water the Algonquin Tribe settled there and hunted, fished and farmed. By 1630, a group of Puritans from England, led by John Winthrop landed in the city and set sights on a hill near the Charles River.
The river was deep enough to accommodate the largest ships of the day, making it a good area to settle.There were few native Algonquin’s left by the time the colonists arrived, and the colonists made sure to have a deed for the remaining natives land.
Newtowne, MA Before Cambridge, MA
Newtowne was the original name of this city, and the village was initially laid out in an orderly grid work of streets, each family owned a home in the village proper and a plot of land for growing crops. Soon after the settlement of Newtowne a school, marketplace and meetinghouse were built to accommodate the settlers.
In fact, in 1636, Harvard College was established, making it one of the first colleges in America. An interesting fact on Harvard College is that it was originally established to train young men for positions of leadership and ministry in the church.
The American Revolution
Up until the time of the revolution this MA city, it was a quiet farming village made up of mainly the puritan settlers. There were a few Anglican residents as well, that were often among the wealthy of the community. They became known as the Tory’s and established Christ Church, which still stands today.
During the revolution George Washington used one of the homes as a headquarters, and when the Siege of Boston occurred a fort was constructed along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. One of these forts is still standing to this day.
When Cambridge became a City
In 1846, Cambridge became a city, uniting three rival villages. These villages were Cambridgeport, Old Cambridge and East Cambridge. Drawn to Harvard, and then later to Radcliffe College, many intellectuals infused the village.
Among the intellectuals who lived there were; Elizabeth Cabot, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell and many more. Many immigrants from the potato famine in Ireland landed in the city, and by 1855 the Irish population made up more than twenty-two percent of the residents. Other immigrants common to the area came from all over Europe including; Italy, Poland, Russia, Portugal, and Africa.
Modern day Cambridge is a melting pot of people from all over the world. Over one hundred thousand people flock to the city to attend the four prestigious colleges, from all around the globe. Lesley University and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology are world renowned.
Many of the labor intensive industries from the turn of the twentieth century have given way to modern jobs. These jobs include technology centered enterprises. These enterprises are focused on biotechnology research and software engineering.
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