Have you ever wondered what the story is behind the name of your street?Â Recently, in a book published in 1896 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Cambridge's incorporation as a city, I came across an address that told the story of how many Cambridgeport street names
came to be.
Cambridgeport is one of Cambridge MA's most popular neighborhoods.Â Extending from Mass Ave in Central Square to the Charles RiverÂ at the BU Bridge, Cambridgeport's streets are lined with trees and Victorian houses.Â Former industrial buildings have been converted to lofts and many of the neighborhood's triple-deckers are now condominiums.Â The earliest houses in the neighborhood date to the very early 1800s.Â A sprinkling of new buildings - townhouses and condos primarily - can also be found in Cambridgeport.
William Henry Whitney spoke to the students of the Morse School on June 2, 1896 and told the stories behind these Cambridgeport street names:Allston Street
is named for the artist Washington Allston whose studio was in Cambridgeport in the early 1800sPutnam and Green Streets
are named for Revolutionary WarÂ generals -Â Israel Putnam and Nathaniel Greene.FranklinÂ Street
was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin.Hamilton Street
was named for AlexanderÂ Hamilton, aide-de-camp to George Washington and the first US Secretary of the TreasuryDecatur Street
Â memorializesÂ naval hero Stephen DecaturPerry Street
honors Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and Lawrence Street
commemorates his ship the USS Lawrence. One more street Erie Street
commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie in which Perry fought.Â It was Perry who said "We have met the enemy and they are ours."
LocalÂ families gave theirÂ names to Sidney
and Tufts Streets
Â as well as to Hastings
and Dana Squares
Next time you're out and about in the neighborhood pauseÂ for a moment andÂ consider whose name is on that street sign at the corner.
Â Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent at ReMax Destiny in Cambridge MA whoseÂ roots in Cambridgeport go back to the 1890s.Â Liz writes regularly about real estate in Cambridge and nearby towns on http://CentersAndSquares.com