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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Cambridge (Massachusetts)

CAMBRIDGE, a city, and one of the county-seats of Middlesex co., Mass., on the Charles river and the Fitchburg railroad; opposite to and connected with Boston by four bridges. It was founded in 1630-1631, under the name of “Newe-Towne,” or “Newtown,” and did not receive its present name until several years later. In 1636 the General Court appropriated $2,000 to locate a school in Old Cambridge, which later became Harvard College, now Harvard University. In 1631 Cambridge was 35 miles long and only 1 mile wide, including the townships now incorporated as Billerica, Bedford, Lexington, Arlington, Brighton, and Newton, all of these having been gradually separated from it. The city was formerly divided into villages called Old Cambridge, Cambridgeport, East Cambridge, and North Cambridge, names which are still used. It has grown into a populous manufacturing center, where glass, furniture, organs, steam-engines, etc., are made. Here also is located the massive stone court house of Middlesex co. The first printing office in the United States was located in Cambridge, and the “Bay Psalm-Book,” published by Stephen Day and printed in 1640, was the first book from this press. For historical and literary associations, Cambridge is one of the most famous cities in the United States. The venerable Washington elm, under which Washington took command of the American Army, July 3, 1775, stands at the corner of Mason and Garden streets. “Craigie House,” built by Col. John Vassall, in 1759, was Washington's headquarters in 1775-1776, and afterward became the home of the poet Henry W. Longfellow until his death. On Elm avenue is “Elmwood,” the birthplace and home of James Russell Lowell, who lived here 1819-1891. A part of this place has been bought by public subscription, to be preserved as a public park. This city has been the home of such distinguished men as Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Henry Channing, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Louis Agassiz, John Fiske, and Charles Eliot Norton. The fine city hall and land for a park was the gift of a former citizen, Frederick H. Rindge, who also presented the city with a public library, an institution now called the Rindge Manual Training School, and other benefactions which amounted to more than $1,000,000. The beautiful Mount Auburn Cemetery is partly in Cambridge and partly in Watertown. Pop. (1910) 104,839; (1920) 109,694. See Harvard University.