Located just two miles north of Boston, the city of Somerville may be small, but it packs quite a bit into its limited space. Covering just 4 square miles of space, Somerville is home to more than 75,000 people as well as a variety of restaurants and other points of interest.
Originally settled in 1630 as part of Charlestown, the city of Somerville was not established until 1843. It was at this time that the town was separated from Charlestown, but it did not become incorporated as a city until 1872. By the 1900s, the city had become a densely populated area that was home to immigrants from all over Europe.
While the area was still part of Charlestown, the city that is now known as Somerville served a critical position in the American Revolution. The Powder House, which housed gunpowder for Revolutionary soldiers during the war, can be found in Somerville. This structure is now considered to be one of the most important ancient ruins in the state. The city was also part of the route that was ridden by Paul Revere during his famous “Midnight Ride.” Prospect Hill, which was where the first Grand Union Flag was raised under the orders of General George Washington, can also be visited in Somerville.
While many historical sites and buildings have been preserved in Somerville, the city offers many modern amenities to its residents. Characterized by its diverse mix of blue-collar families, college students, young professionals and immigrants from a wide variety of countries, the city features numerous ceremonies throughout the year to celebrate the many different traditions and holidays represented by the various cultures.
Somerville is known for its many different squares, which help to mark off neighborhood boundaries. Some of these squares, or neighborhoods, include:
- Assembly Square
- Ball Square
- Davis Square/West Somerville
- East Somervile
- Gilman Square
- Inner Belt District
- Magoun Square
- Nunnery Grounds/Mount Benedict
- Powder House Square
- Prospect Hill
- Spring Hill
- Teele Square
- Ten Hills
- Union Square
- Wilson Square
- Winter Hill
Each of these squares offers a unique mix of ethnic restaurants, shops, bars and small businesses.
Modern-day Somerville is also known for its rich arts center. In fact, aside from New York, no other city has more artists per capita than the City of Somerville. A number of umbrella groups sponsoring art events are located throughout the city. Some of these groups include the Brickbottom Artists Association, ArtsUnion and the Somerville Arts Council. Thanks to these groups and others like them, there is always a new exhibit or event to explore in Somerville. Perhaps the most anticipated of these events is the ArtBeat Festival, which is hosted by the Somerville Arts Council and takes place every summer in Davis Square.