Commemorative Plates

Ceramic objects in the AHS collection span centuries while telling local stories. Of these ceramics, several plates uniquely celebrate and document Arlington history. These pieces are known as commemorative or souvenir plates. Popularized toward the end of the 19th century,  plates of this kind were relatively cheap to produce and a novel way to memorialize … Continue reading Commemorative Plates

Ballad of the War of 1812

On Tuesday, April 24, 1917, Nina Winn wrote about attending a Historical Society event in which “Aunt Sue  read a poem & Elizabeth Smith wore the ball dress she wrote of – made by Hannah Hall [later Mrs. Cyrus Cutter] & given by Mrs. Sterling & Mrs. Bates. Then the ‘[Old] Peabody Pew’ was presented and … Continue reading Ballad of the War of 1812

1964: Views of Arlington Center east of Mystic Street

  It’s 1964. Comets could be seen streaking down Massachusetts Avenue. The Comet automobile, that is. Some likely purchased at Arlington’s Bonnell & Stokes Lincoln-Mercury-Comet dealership located between the Center and the Heights. But I digress . . . . This post continues one from last month, offering a unique tour of Arlington Center over … Continue reading 1964: Views of Arlington Center east of Mystic Street

In memory of Nina Winn at Christmas

An excerpt from the diary of Miss Nina L. Winn, December 23, 1916: No flowers at [florist David] Duncan’s & Mrs. Duncan there because he is so poorly, [to] cemetery with my 2 wreaths – couldn’t afford more. Regular readers of Nina Winn’s diaries will be familiar with passages throughout the years, in which she … Continue reading In memory of Nina Winn at Christmas

Park Pharmacy’s 1948 nifty new soda fountain

Interior photographs of Arlington businesses are quite rare, so when this one appeared recently on eBay it was purchased by a donor as a gift to the Society. This inside view of Park Pharmacy is published for the first time here. Park Pharmacy was located in Arlington Heights on the northeast corner of Park Avenue, … Continue reading Park Pharmacy’s 1948 nifty new soda fountain

1964: Views of Arlington Center west of Mystic Street

  A recent post to the Arlington List (a local “listserv” subscription mailing list) seeking to know the name of a long-gone sandwich shop where today’s Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant is located drew the correct response by me that it was Dewey’s Luncheonette.  This was followed by an informative and entertaining series of posts … Continue reading 1964: Views of Arlington Center west of Mystic Street

60 years ago: “Stop & Shop” building opens

In 1956, many housewives in Arlington were enjoying their first Thanksgiving shopping experience in the “ultra-modern” Publix supermarket that had opened to great fanfare just six months earlier at 905 Massachusetts Ave., home today to an expanded Stop & Shop store. With “extra wide aisles, cheerful coloring, ample check-out stations [eight of them], and no-tip … Continue reading 60 years ago: “Stop & Shop” building opens

Kimball Farmer House

This fall the Kimball Farmer House at 1173 Massachusetts Avenue, recently renovated to create three affordable-housing units by the Housing Corporation of Arlington, welcomed all of its tenants to their new homes. This event provides a welcome opportunity to broadly share the history of the house and the Farmer family, featuring photographs from the Society’s … Continue reading Kimball Farmer House

On the piazza . . .

Recent entries from Nina Winn’s 1916 diary include descriptions of her having lunch or reading “on the piazza.”  Nowadays, to American-English speakers, the word “piazza” typically conjures thoughts of the open public spaces that are characteristic of cities in Italy.  But in Nina Winn’s time, piazza was a popular term in the United States for … Continue reading On the piazza . . .

A summer Sunday in Arlington, circa 1905

Longtime Society member Bill Mahoney, who recently donated this previously unpublished image to our collection, would often remark “If only the photographer would have directed his lens just a little bit more . . .” towards a particular direction, we’d have a vastly easier time zeroing-in on a date for many historical photographs. Such is … Continue reading A summer Sunday in Arlington, circa 1905