1635 - The name "Fresh
Pond" begins to appear in town records.
1696 - Two Harvard students die skating on the Pond on a Sunday,
raising Puritan concerns.
1797 - Fresh Pond Hotel built by Jacob Wyeth opens for business
in the summer
1803 - First road to cut across Fresh Pond moraine directly, the
Concord Turnpike is chartered.
1807 - Frederic Tudor shipped ice to Havana probably harvested
from Fresh Pond.
1816 - Jacob Wyeth builds a homestead next to his hotel.
1825 - Nathaniel Wyeth invents a horse-drawn plow to harvest ice.
1831 - Mt. Auburn Cemetery opens.
1834 - There are 13 ice houses around the Pond, which leads to
conflicts over rights.
1841 - In December, first train, loaded with ice, leaves Fresh
Pond for the wharves, on the Charlestown
1843 - Fitchburg Railroad opens, subsuming the Charlestown Branch.
1844 - Beginning of brick-making industry; "clay rush";
brick ice houses.
1846 - Thoreau writes scathingly of Tudor harvesting ice at Walden
1847 - Watertown Branch Railroad opens.
1861 - Start of Civil War. Soldiers of First Massachusetts Regiment
of Infantry are located for 12 days
in the Reed & Bartlett ice house in June.
1865 - End Civil War. City of Cambridge acquires Cambridge Water
1872 - New pumping station built at 275 Fresh Pond Parkway.
1875 - Outlet from Fresh Pond to Alewife Brook is cut off.
1877 - Fresh Pond railroad station is built at 260 Lexington Avenue.
1878 - Niles slaughterhouse opens north of Concord Avenue near
the ice houses.
1880 - Commonwealth grants Cambridge right to annex 570 acres
of land from Belmont to
protect the water supply at Fresh Pond.
1884 - Commonwealth grants Cambridge right to obtain water from
Stony Brook and to build a dam and aqueduct to divert water into
1885 - Sisters of St. Joseph purchase 11 acres of land and 7 buildings,
including Fresh Pond Hotel,
which they turn into Mount St. Joseph Academy
(a boarding school for young ladies).
1886 - Dam built at Black's Nook. CWB almost completed with road
around the Pond.
1890 - Sisters of St. Joseph sell their land to the city of Cambridge.
1892 - Fresh Pond Hotel building moved to 234 Lakeview Avenue.
1893 - Jacob Wyeth House (the convent) is moved to 479 Concord
Avenue. Road around Fresh Pond
1895 - Water Board abandons its attempts to fill Black's Nook.
1899 - F. L. Olmsted, Jr., paper criticizes new shape of the Pond,
the road around the shoreline, and the steeply sloped banks and
1904 - Henry James revisits Fresh Pond after many years in Europe
and describes it as "desecrated
1904 - Brewster criticizes the "needless vandalism"
of the Water board's work
1911 - A two-acre playground opens on the southwest side of the
1917 - Members of Harvard's ROTC Corps camp at Fresh Pond, practice
trenches, fortifications, dug outs, observations posts, &.,
at what is now Neville Manor;
they hold "Battle of Fresh Pond".
1919 - Harvard spends $1570.05 "restoring grounds at Fresh
Pond after use by Military Units."
1921 - Proposal for an 18-hole golf course around the Pond.
1925 - Fresh Pond railroad station is demolished.
1926 - Municipal toboggan slide is installed at what is now Glacken
1927 - City Home for the Aged and Infirm (now Neville Manor) is
built on site of the "Prentice- Storer-Tudor
1928 - Tudor's Glacialis is filled in.
1933 - Nine-hole golf course built by Cambridge Unemployment Bureau.
1934 - WPA allegedly asked to fill Black's Nook but after transporting
and dumping hundreds of truckloads
of gravel, concrete, old cars, &., it decides the Nook is
1938 - Hurricane (Sept. 21) causes extensive damage to buildings
and trees at Fresh Pond; some of the debris is dumped in Black's
1942 - Board approves plan to fence off pumping station and purification
works with "7' high fence
with barbed wire top" and that watchmen and guards be given
1947 - Between 100 and 300 boys and girls found skating on Fresh
1950 - Fresh Pond drive-in theatre is built (where shopping mall
1951 - City is allowed to sell two lots for housing purposes along
Blanchard Road and Grove Street.
1954 - City is allowed to sell one lot for housing purposes along
the golf course boundary.
1955 - City is allowed to sell another lot for housing.
1962 - Fresh Pond Shopping Center is built; Cambridge Plant &
Garden Club starts work with the
City to tackle the neglected Reservation; reclaims 5 acres around
Black's Nook as a
1964 - Fresh Pond Cinema is built; Cambridge Plant & Garden
Club extends work at Black's
Nook to include 10 acres.
1968 - Twin Rindge Towers built on site of an old clay pit (a
3rd tower is added in 1970).
1971 - The John Barker house is demolished.
1979 - Cinema is built; Cambridge Plant & Garden Club creates
a berm and plants trees at Sozio's
Corner 400' feet long against an "ugly, exposed commercial
1982 - Cambridge Historical Commission's nomination of Fresh Pond
District to be added to the
National Register of Historic Places is rejected on the basis
that it has lost its integrity;
there is "not enough there."
1986 - Environmental report on Black's Nook advises ways of cleaning
up this "stagnant mud hole,"
including the pumping of chlorinated water from the reservoir
into the Nook to off-set
the effects of run-off from the golf course.
by permission of Jill Sinclair from her thesis Shifting
Patterns, Shifting Significance , the design and social history
of Fresh Pond Reservation, Cambridge, MA
Don Ostrowski, August 10 2007