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About Somerville
Historical Agency


About Somerville

The City of Somerville is an urban industrial city in the Mystic Valley on the Boston transportation corridor to the northwest. Somerville was a critical military position in the Revolution, with fortifications on Prospect Hill, and was an important corridor of turnpike, canal and railroad routes from Boston during the early 19th century. But in its earliest history, Somerville served as the grazing lands for the residents of Charlestown with only a few scattered permanent settlements. Among them was Governor Winthrop's estate at Ten Hills, the location of the first ship built in the colonies, the Blessing of the Bay, in 1631. Somerville's location, close to Boston and Charlestown, assured early development of markets for the city's agriculture and dairying products as well as well as for pottery, bricks and slate.

Photograph credits:
Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

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