Somerville MA History and Facts

Somerville-MALocated in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Somerville is a welcoming town full of gorgeous homes and plenty of engaging activities for its residents. With a population that exceeds 75,000 residents, Somerville is known as one of New England’s most densely populated communities. In 1842, it was divided from the urbanizing Charlestown and it was established as a city in 1842. In 2009, Somerville was voted by the Boston Globe magazine as one of the best administered municipalities in America.

Historic Facts about Somerville, MA

It was 1930 when Somerville was settled as a fraction of Charlestown. Since it was a division of the Massachusetts mainland, it was called “Charlestown beyond the Neck” (the thin strip of land that connected it to the Charlestown Peninsula was known as Charlestown Neck).

After the separation, the first name option was Walford, based on the first settlers of Charlestown. The separation committee didn’t accept the name, and then a member of the committee, Mr. Charles Miller, suggested “Somerville”.

Throughout the past, Somerville had a lot of railways and industrial lands clutched between the Mystic River to the north-east and the Charles River to the south-west. However, all these problems were compensated during the industrial revolution that left a rich historical record of numerous Sanborn Maps, invented in 1867 in Somerville. Consequently, these maps were utilized for fire insurance appraisal in the United States.

The invention of Fluff, also known as the marshmallow crème, is a special legacy left by the industrial past of Somerville. In 1914, the town turned into the home of the Economy Grocery Store, which lately developed into a grocery chain, named Stop&Shop. Bertucci’s and Steve’s Ice Cream represent two food service chains located in Somerville’s Davis Square.

Somerville in the Present Day

Somerville has succeeded to maintain its blue-collar roots throughout the years. It features a diverse population that includes Italians, Haitians, Brazilians, Irish, Portuguese, Tibetans, Chinese, Indians and more. Some of its main places of interest are:

  • Porter Square
  • Powderhouse Square (which is Tufts University’s location)
  • Davis Square
  • Union Square
  • Winter Hill
  • Somerville Community Park
  • Alewife Linear Park
  • Minuteman Bikeway
  • Lechmere Square
  • Somerville Theatre


Some of the most important neighborhoods and squares in Somerville are the following:

  • Ball Square
  • Assembly Square
  • Davis Square
  • East Somerville
  • Magoun Square
  • Inner Belt District
  • Prospect Hil
  • Spring Hill
  • Ten Hills
  • Teele Square

Regarding the events, Somerville hosts in May the annual Memorial Day Parade. Throughout this month the Somerville Open Studios takes place, which is a public event for artists and art enthusiasts. And since we’re talking about the visual arts, the community celebrates Art Beat in July, an engaging street festival that happens in Davis Square.

Somerville Homes and Real Estate

Somerville is a residential community with a median sales price of $436,000 per house. When compared to the exact same period from a year ago, statistics show that sales have increased with 14.1%. Also, the number of home sales has also boosted with 42.7%.

As far as the housing market in concerned, Somerville is doing great. People want to buy homes here because of the excellent living conditions, great schools, and extremely safe neighborhoods.

For more information on Somerville Homes and Real Estate, Call (617) 905-9128 to schedule a free consultation with Somerville Realtor Ed Greable.

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