Category Archives: Blog

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Longtime Society member Bill Mahoney, who recently donated this previously unpublished image to our collection, would often remark “If only the photographer would have directed his lens just a little bit more .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

Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 5

Fashion trends for clothing and home décor come and go today just as they did in the 19th Century. Hexagon based patterns were popular in the 1830s, the 1920s, and again in the 2010s. In quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet these patterns are often called Hexagons, Beekeeper, Honeycomb or Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Patterns were published, … Continue reading Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 5

Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 4

Elizabeth Russell Rourke donated this quilt to the Arlington Historical society 150 after her great grandfather Jason Russell was killed at his home by British troops on April 19th, 1775 in Arlington. Jason Russell’s grandson (also named Jason Russell) moved his family to Stafford, Connecticut following the American Revolution. This line of the family stayed in … Continue reading Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 4

Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 3

In 1835, CS Carpenter finished a beautiful white quilt by stuffing and sewing a cord between layers of soft, fine white cotton to spell out her name and the date. The quilt was passed down or sold through the years, and ended up in the hands of Arlingtonian Mrs. Francis Humphrey, who received the quilt … Continue reading Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 3

Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 2

This now faded cream and green colored quilt was once bright and showy, with crisp white cotton, and bright lime-green flowers on a dark hunter-green background. The soft ivory with brown and tan accents may once have been striking purples or even reds. Now faded with time, this quilt’s history is a tangle of family … Continue reading Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 2

Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 1

In 1926, Mary Gage donated a large wool quilt to the Arlington Historical Society. Mary and her husband Alfred Payson Gage had moved to Arlington from New Hampshire early in their marriage, and lived just down the street from the Jason Russell house for years. The only information about the quilt is Mary’s short history … Continue reading Highlights of the AHS Quilt Collection – Part 1

My Experience as a Tour Guide at the Jason Russell House

This is a guest post from Colleen Cunningham, one of our most experienced tour guides at the Jason Russell House.  She talks about why she enjoys showing visitors around the house. Entertaining Jason Russell House visitors with stories of life in Menotomy (as Arlington was then called) is the most fun part of being a … Continue reading My Experience as a Tour Guide at the Jason Russell House

Tornadoes In Arlington

On Tuesday, June 24, 2015 Arlington residents were under a Tornado watch until 11 p.m.  Luckily the time passed without incident.  There were at least two destructive tornadoes in 19th century Arlington; one in 1851 and another in 1871.  Both tornadoes happened on hot August days. The 1851 tornado is described as more severe, and we have maps and … Continue reading Tornadoes In Arlington

Clay Pipes from the Jason Russell House Archaeological Dig: March 1985

Pipe stems and bowls such as these are very common among finds at digs in the northeastern United States, given how common they were during the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. They were made of kaolin, a type of clay that was pressed into a mold and sometimes stamped or decorated before being … Continue reading Clay Pipes from the Jason Russell House Archaeological Dig: March 1985