WPA Walking Tour – Water Standpipe

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. This post brings us not only to the last stop on the tour, but the last day of summer 2010.

“The Water Standpipe (open to visitors each second Sun.) rises 50 feet above the loftiest point on Arlington Heights, emphasizing

the great difference between the lowest and highest altitude of this town. From a balcony near the top,

Boston and the harbor are visible to the east; to the west Mt. Monadnock and Mt. Wachusett are dim blue shapes on the horizon.”

The Park Avenue water tower on July 22, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – St. Anne’s Chapel

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Number sixteen isn’t easy to spot, as it is nestled in pine trees on Claremont Avenue.

“St. Anne’s Chapel (open), between Hillside and Claremont Aves.,

was designed by Cram and Ferguson and completed in 1916. It is built in Romanesque style,

the interior and exterior being of local field-stone.

It is furnished with ancient ecclesiastical furniture, most of which came from Spain and Italy.”

St. Anne's Chapel on August 31, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Benjamin Locke House

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. A ways up Massachusetts Avenue brings us to site number fifteen.

“The Benjamin Locke House (private), 21 Appleton St., was built (1726) by a captain of the militia.

When the British passed by, about two o’clock on the morning of April 19, Captain Locke was awakened

and rushed out to arouse his neighbors. In a short time he was able to muster 26 men.

By afternoon the band grew to 52, which, with companies from surrounding towns,

joined in harassing the rear of Percy’s retreating column.”

The Benjamin Locke House on August 31, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Jason Russell House

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Lucky number thirteen is the Jason Russell House.

“The Jason Russell House (open weekdays except Mon. 2-5, Apr.-Oct.),

7 Jason St., a wooden two-story dwelling with pitched roof and central chimney was built in 1680…

The house was occupied by descendants of the Russell family until 1890. It is now the

headquarters of the Arlington HIstorical Society.”

A typical view of the Jason Russell House on July 12, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Town Hall

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Town Hall at number twelve.

“The Town Hall designed by R. Clipston Sturgis and built about 1914,

is a contemporary adaptation of Colonial design. Two stories in height, the ‘great hall’

is surrounded on three sides by administrative offices.”

The cupola of Arlington's Town Hall atop which sits a pineapple, a traditional symbol of welcome in New England. August 9, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Whittemore-Robbins Mansion

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. A little bit of backtracking brings us to our eleventh stop.

“The Whittemore-Robbins Mansion, behind the library, is a Federal

three-story building with a hip roof, a cupola or watch-tower, and four chimneys.”

The Whittemore-Robbins house on October 31, 2009.

WPA Walking Tour – The Indian Hunter

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Though not a numbered stop on the tour in the book, the Indian Hunter is mentioned briefly on its own line.

“The Indian Hunter, by Cyrus E. Dallin (see below), stands in the park between the library and the Town Hall.”

The Menotomy Indian Hunter has long been a symbol of the town of Arlington. August 9, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Arlington Public Library

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years.

“The Arlington Public Library (open weekdays 10-9), known as the Robbins Memorial Library,

erected in 1892 from the designs of Gay & Proctor, is constructed of Ohio limestone in Italian Renaissance style…

The entrance is similar in style to the main door of the Cancellaria [sic] Palace in Rome.”

Though the book cites the building material as Ohio limestone and the designers as Gay & Proctor, the Robbins Library website states that the building was designed by Cabot, Everett and Mead and was built from Indiana sandstone.

The northeast side of the Robbins Library on the night of September 5, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Minuteman Tablet

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Also at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Pleasant Street is stop number eight, the Minuteman Tablet.

“When word came that a British supply train was coming through with only

a small guard, the ‘old men’ made ready for its capture.

Crouching behind a wall, they arose as the British approached, covered them with leveled muskets,

and forced a surrender; the contents of the supply wagon were distributed to the farmers.”

The Arlington Minuteman tablet on the night of September 5, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Site of the John Adams House

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Perhaps someone could provide some insight as to the precise location of stop number seven.

“A marker on the Green identifies the Site of the John Adams House (1652),

which served as a hospital for the Provincial soldiers during the siege of Boston.”

Somewhere on the northeastern side of Massachusetts Avenue, at its intersection with Pleasant Street, is the site of the John Adams House (not THE John Adams). July 2, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Russell Park

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Our fifth stop is Russell Park.

Russell Park is one of the recreational areas of Arlington.

A tablet at the rear of the school records the exploits and longevity of Samuel Whittemore,

the hero who survived a bullet and a bayonet wound

and very nearly lived to see his hundredth birthday.”

Russell Commons Parking Lot hosts the Arlington Farmer's Market every Wednesday during the summer--and, of course, a whole lot of cars year round. September 9, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Site of Black Horse Tavern

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. The fourth stop is the site of the Black Horse Tavern.

“Here the Committee of Safety and Supplies of the Provincial Congress convened

on April 18, 1775. The following day a British searching party surprised Vice-President Gerry and

Colonels Leo and Orne, who escaped by making a hasty exit and concealing themselves in a near-by field.”

Now a BP filling station, a tablet marks the former site of the Black Horse Tavern. September 6, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – Site of Cooper’s Tavern

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. Stop number three is the site of Cooper’s Tavern.

“In the Tavern, two middle aged men, Jabez Wyman and Jason Winship,

sitting over their toddy, were killed on April 19, when the Redcoats,

rushing through the town, fired blindly through the windows.”

The site of Cooper's Tavern is marked by this tablet... and this Starbucks (which doesn't serve toddy.) September 5, 2010.

WPA Walking Tour – The Ancient Burying Ground

To count down the days to the end of summer, I will be taking you on a virtual walking tour of Arlington–the same one outlined in 1937’s The WPA Guide to Massachusetts. Each entry will include an excerpt from the book about each site visited. Hopefully this will give us a little insight as to how things have changed in the past 73 years. The first stop is the “Ancient Burying Ground.”

“Toward the farther side of the cemetery, close to the main path,

is a Monument over the graves of 12 Americans killed

on the retreat from Concord and Lexington, and buried

‘without coffins, in the clothes they had worn when they fell.'”

The "Ancient Burying Ground" on October 31, 2009.

Brigham’s

The smashed front window of the Brigham's restaurant on Mill Street. The location was boarded up on November 13, 2009 by Middlesex County Sheriff's Deputies after the year-old owner, Deal Metrics, failed to pay rent. Taken on August 9, 2010.

Uncle Sam

The statue of Arlington(Menotomy)-born Samuel Wilson, the inspiration for American symbol Uncle Sam. The sculpture to the left shows his hometowns through the years, from Menotomy to Mason, NH to Troy, NY. July 3, 2010.