Update June 29, 2020
Please take a moment to fill out our community survey. The Medford Historical Society & Museum is committed to racial justice and inclusiveness and recognizes that all of Medford history is Black history. The community benefits from a complex history that also includes First Nations’ peoples, and the waves of immigration that have flowed into the city. MHSM pledges to reach out broadly in the community in order to find ways to empower people of color. We understand that we are learning all the time, and we are committed to change in 2020 and beyond.
In the news: MHSM and Tufts have partnered to store the Civil War Photo Collection on the Tufts Campus. Learn more here.
Update: on Jan. 30 we posted this great picture from Digital Commonwealth, of John F. Kennedy campaigning in “Medford” for the U.S. Senate. He won against Incumbent Republican Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (1952). Someone pointed out to us that the building in the background is actually the Hobbs Building – home of the Somerville Theater in Davis Square!
Do you know the difference between MHSM, the Medford Historical Commission and the Medford Historic District Commission? Many times at MHSM, we get emails or calls asking if a home-owner needs permission from us to make changes to their property. That is not in our organization’s purview. The original purpose of the Medford Historical Society was to collect and preserve the history of this historic city, to correct the myths that had grown up over the years, to build a historical library, to collect the artifacts of local history, and to celebrate historical anniversaries. In 2013, we added “Museum” to our name to mark our organization as a keeper of the city’s material and historical archives and artifacts.
The Medford Historical Commission works to preserve and protect the city of Medford’s historic character and heritage in order to sustain and improve the significance of Medford’s place in American history. Established under Section 8d of Chapter 40 of the Massachusetts General Laws and Chapter 48 of the Medford Municipal Ordinances, the Commission is the official city body charged with the identification of properties and sites in the city of historical significance, and is the principal advisor to the city on matters relating to historic preservation. The Commission is further charged with reviewing all requests for demolition of buildings constructed more than 75 years ago or that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the Massachusetts Register of Historic Places.
The Medford Historic District Commission was established in 1985 under Section 4 of Chapter 40C of the Massachusetts General Laws and Chapter 48 of the Medford Municipal Ordinances, this commission is the official city body charged with administration of the city-designated Historic Districts. This Commission’s role is to ensure that any visible changes to properties within the Historic Districts enhances, rather than detracts from, the area’s historic character. The Commission can issue certificates of appropriateness, certificates of non-applicability, and certificates of hardship with respect to construction or alteration of buildings and structures within the historic districts. By preserving the historic character of the Historic Districts and Medford in general, the goal of the Commission is to sustain and improve the significance of Medford’s place in American history and to increase the cultural and monetary wealth of Medford residents. Carefully managing the appearance of historic neighborhoods has benefits for all property owners.
Check out our past newsletters (2006-2020)
January 2020 Newsletter: Includes President’s overview; Of Harpsichords and Clavichords: Medford’s Allan Winkler; recent events at MHSM; Events calendar; Remembering WWII; Counting the Medfords; Connecting Communities: Walks & Talks, Storied Women.
September 2019 Newsletter: Includes President’s overview; Collection of Civil War Photographs, now digitized, interview with Jay Stott; The Massachusetts 20th Volunteer Infantry Regiment, “The Harvard Regiment”; MHSM Events Calendar.
Spring/Summer 2019 Newsletter: Includes President’s overview; Samplers of the Ninteenth Century; Cable Program: “Looking Back at Medford’s History”; A Busy Season of Spring Programs; MHSM Events Calendar; Review and Updates to the MHSM Bylaws.
Winter 2019 Newsletter: Includes President’s Overview; The Amazing Susan Hallowell Brooks; Medford’s Brownie/Girl Scout Troop 72091; The Pansy Pleasure Club; MHSM Events Calendar; The Paul Revere Restaurant, West Medford.
Fall 2018 Newsletter: Includes President’s Overview; Susanna Rowson in Medford with an interview with Steven Epley; Oscar Green at 100; John Ciardi: Medford’s Own Poet part II; Calendar of Events.; Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffin recipe.
Spring 2018 Newsletter: Includes President’s Overview; John Ciardi: Medford’s Own Poet part I; MHSM program series on “Lydia Maria Child: Author & Abolitionist”; Scholar-in-Residence coming in September; Welcome Lani O’Donnell; A New Look for MHSM; Calendar of Events.
Winter 2018 Newsletter: Includes President’s Overview; Jumbo’s Long Journey to Tufts; MHSM Objects Appear in Online Tufts Exhibit; See the Civil War Photographs; Who was James Lord Pierpont?; The Ginny Doll; Medford in the 20th Century; Odds and Ends at the Medford Historical Society & Museum Calendar of Events.
Fall 2017 Newsletter: Includes President’s Overview; Medford Then and Now; Lydia Maria Child Society visit; On Paul Theroux; Victorian Society Award; In memory of Daniel J. Menezes; Nobel Winner, Dr. Eugene F. Fama; on Amelia Earhart; Calendar of Events.
Spring 2017 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; The Development of a West Medford Neighborhood; Medford’s Sacrifice – a World War I Memorial; Calendar of Events.
Winter 2017 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; The Architectural Revolution in Chicago; Looking Forward with “Historic Tree”; Celebrating Completion of 10 Governors Avenue Foundation, 1916; Brooks Estate Opportunity; Thank You to our Friends in the Medford Community; “Our Medford” Now in Third Grade Classrooms; Calendar of Events.
Fall 2016 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; Reprise on the Historic House at 21 Touro Avenue, South Medford; Historical Research Concerning 21 Touro Avenue; Twitter Feed from the Early 1900s; Staging Local, Staying Small; SPECIAL OFFER for NEW Medford Residents; Calendar of Events.
Spring 2016 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; Medford Ship Fights for the Confederacy!; MHSM Statement on the Peter Tufts House; Events Calendar.
Winter 2016 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; Upsotting the “One Horse Open Sleigh”: The Blackface Origins of “Jingle Bells”; Events Calendar.
Fall 2015 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Report, Lover’s Rock: Romantic Vandalism in the Middlesex Fells, MHSM Annual Meeting, Medford History Quiz, Events Calendar, Ronald Coddington Speaks in Medford.
Winter 2015 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; Interview with Mike Bradford; When the Red Sox Held Spring Training in Medford; Savannah-Medford Connections; Our Medford; Spring Events.
Fall 2014 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview; Letters to Medford a Huge Hit; Garden Club Views Lydia Maria Child’s “Floral Souvenir”; Historical Societies Exchange Visits; History, Mystery, and Mythology at the Peter Tufts House; Native American Display.
Summer 2014 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; Paul Revere in Medford on Patriots’ Day; Lydia Maria Child Scrapbook; A Research Success Story; Events Calendar; MHSM Welcomes New Directors.
Spring 2014 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview; Why is it the Cradock Bridge?; Peter Tufts House Project Day; Annual Fall Gala.
Winter 2014 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview; Scandal and Intrigue! Railroad Line Extension Threatens Medford!; Historical Fells Slides Viewed at St. Botolph Club Again After 120 Years; The Medford Historical Society Garden: A Collaborative Project; A Special Thank You to a Local Professional; MHSM Programs Events.
Fall 2013 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview; A Portrait of Lydia Maria Child, 1826; The Civil War Panels; A Note About Medford’s Post Offices.
Summer 2013 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview; Our Eternal Treasure: The Salem Street Burying Ground; Stepping Into Eternity: A Trio of Programs Co-sponsored by the Medford Public Library; Education Outreach Continues to Reach Out; Hey, Look at This!; The Medford Historical Society: One Hundred Years Ago; The Civil War Photos Collection; Medford’s Unsung Hero of the Siege of Louisburg.
Winter 2013 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview; A Tale of Three Buildings from 1937; A New Look Inside a Long-Ago Medford Shop; Annual Fall Gala.
Summer 2012 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview; Paul Revere, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Tom Convery; Mabray “Doc” Kountze at the Baseball Hall of Fame; “My Interests Were Dedicated to Jingle Bells”; Thoreau Comes to Medford and the Middlesex Fells!; MHS Programs for Fall 2012; Medford 1855 Project Completed.
Spring 2012 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview, Medford’s First MCAS, Middlesex Fells and Early Photography, This Spring at the Royall House & Slave Quarters, Henry David Thoreau Comes to Medford – Again!, MHS Programs Spring 2012 and Beyond.
Winter 2012 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview New Exhibits and New Volunteers, New Medford Neighborhoods Exhibit Features “Medford Hillside”, Medford in the 1860’s.
Fall 2011 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview Building Project Update, New Insights into the Medford Post Office Mural, Volunteer Opportunities, Hiking History in the Middlesex Fells, 100 Years Ago Today — Samuel Crocker Lawrence, Annual History Bike Ride.
Summer 2011 Newsletter. Includes: Presidents’ Overview New People & Projects; City, Volunteers Join forces to Preserve Historic Salem Street Burying Ground; Welcome to the New MHS Board members for 2011-12; Update on Education Outreach; St. Joseph’s School Essay Contest.
Winter 2011 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, The Paper Trail: Discovering your home’s history and how to share it, A Brief History of the Medford Historical Society, So You Think You Know Medford.
Fall 2010 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, A fresh focus on Fundraising at MHS, A History of Shiloh Baptist Church, Remembering John Lonergan (1938-2009), Second Annual Historic Bike Tour.
Summer 2010 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, Valeriani Scholarship Essay Awards Announced, Local Historian Honored at MHS Annual Meeting, Medford Historical Society Programming for 2010-2011, Brooks Estate Restoration, Medford History Links on the Library Web Page, Tom Convery’s Next Book to Benefit MHS.
Spring 2010 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, Medford’s Romantic Past, Programming Updates, Civil War Photographs Cataloging and Digitization Project An Update, Joseph V. Valeriani Scholarship 2010 Application.
Fall 2009 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, The Story of Medford’s Historic Districts, Elizur Wright and the Middlesex Fells, Lonergan Memorial Fund Established, Historical Bicycle Tour of the Medford Brick Industry.
Summer 2009 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, Medford History via the Internet Archive, In Memory of John Lonergan, MHS Board Welcomes New Faces.
Spring 2009 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, Who is Buried in the Historical Society’s Front Yard?, Member Reception and Annual Meeting, Salem St. Burial Ground, Civil War Exhibit a Success.
Winter 2009 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, Civil War Photo Show to Open, Whole Foods and Boloco Inspired Burritos Support MHS, Appraisal Night Held, Medford High School Graduates 1879, Asked and Answered, Treasurer’s Report
Fall 2008 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, The “Baloon”, Volunteer Opportunities Available, Civil War Photo Project Update
Summer 2008 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, The The Edward Finnegan Collection, A Medford Golf Story, MHS at River Day, The Development of Oak Grove
December 2007 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, The Civil War Archiving Project Moves Forward, Medford Historical Society Presents House Markers, Announcements, South Medford’s 101 Bus Route
Summer Update 2006 Newsletter. Includes: President’s Overview, Putting the House in Order, New Board Members, Upcoming Fall Program