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East Cambridge

Travel across the Charles and visit a fascinating neighborhood called one of America's industrial powerhouses

Middlesex County Courthouse

Tour Description

This tour is a 90 minute walk through historic East Cambridge, the neighborhood built upon a glacial hill. Discover the place where the continental flag adopted by the 1775 Continental Congress flew first at Fort Putnam during the Revolutionary War and where a beautiful square in the heart of the neighborhood hosts the Charles Bulfinch courthouse and several striking buildings that once comprised the Middlesex County seat. Learn about the complicated Andrew Craigie, considered to be the creator of East Cambridge, and his planning and building strategies that have left a legacy that is still visible today. Historic houses, churches and storefronts hold many stories of the lives lived in this vibrant neighborhood that became home to so many Europeans who immigrated from the beginning of the nineteenth into the twentieth centuries to make East Cambridge one of the nation’s industrial powerhouses that produced the first great glass industry in the country as well as multiple manufacturers of many things, among them: soap, rope, barrels, caskets, firecrackers, steam pumps, hats, furniture and candy.

Tour Information

tour duration

90 minutes

tour distance

0.9 mile

tour terrain level 1

mostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines

Public Tour Calendar

Private Tours

This tour can be scheduled as a private tour with advance notice. Call 617.367.2345 or use our private tour webform to learn more.

Starting Location

Meet your guide at the corner of First Street and Thorndike Street, on the mall (CambridgeSide Gallaria Mall) side of First Street.

Finding Your Guide: All guides carry an 8×11 sign that says “Boston By Foot Walking Tours.”

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Lechmere (Green Line)

Ending Location

This tour ends in the general area of Lechmere Canal Park.

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Lechmere (Green Line)