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home | Locations | Medford, Massachusetts is 1 of 19 ci . . .

Medford, Massachusetts is 1 of 19 cities in the Boston Metro area with Active Retirement Communities.
Ivan Gillis
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Active Retirement Communities


State:    Massachusetts--Boston Metro


City:      Medford

Medford is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States, on the Mystic River, five miles northwest of downtown Boston. In the 2010 U.S. Census, Medford's population was 56,173. It is the home of Tufts University.

In 1637, the first bridge (a toll bridge) across the Mystic River was built at the site of the present-day Cradock Bridge, which carries Main Street into Medford Square. It would be the only bridge across the Mystic until 1787, and as such became a major route for traffic coming into Boston from the north (though ferries and fords were also used). The bridge would be rebuilt in 1880 and 1909.

Until 1656, all of northern Medford was owned by Cradock, his heirs, or Edward Collins. Medford was governed as a "peculiar" or private plantation. As the land began to be divided among several people from different families, the new owners began to meet and make decisions locally and increasingly independently from the Charlestown town meeting.

Medford was incorporated as a city in 1892 and was a center of industry, including the manufacture of brick and tile, rum, Medford Crackers, and clipper ships such as the White Swallow and the Kingfisher, both built by Hayden & Cudworth.

In 1868, a French astronomer and naturalist, Leopold Trouvelot, was attempting to breed a better silkworm using Gypsy moths. Several of the moths escaped from his home, at 27 Myrtle Street. Within ten years, the insect had denuded the vegetation in the neighborhood. It spread over North America.

In a tavern and boarding house on High Street (Simpson's Tavern) in the late 19th century, local resident James Pierpont wrote "Jingle Bells" after watching a sleigh race from Medford to Malden. Another local resident, Lydia Maria Child (1802--1880), made a poem out of the trip across town to her grandparents' house, now the classic song "Over the River and Through the Woods".

Irish-Americans are a strong presence in the city and live in all areas. West Medford, the most affluent of Medford's many neighborhoods, was once the bastion of some of Boston's elite families-- including Peter Chardon Brooks, one of the wealthiest men in post-colonial America, and father-in-law to Charles Francis Adams -- and is also home to an historic African-American neighborhood that dates to the Civil War.

The racial makeup of the city was 86.45% White, 6.10% African American, 0.11% Native American, 3.87% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.14% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.59% of the population.

Medford has three Public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV channels. The Public-access television channel is TV3, The Educational-access television is channel 15 and 16 is the Government-access television (GATV) municipal channel.

Points of interest

Tufts University: Though the Tufts campus is mainly located in Medford, the Somerville-Medford border actually runs through it. The school employs many local residents and has many community service projects that serve the city, especially those run through the Leonard Carmichael Society and the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, the latter of which especially emphasizes public service in Tufts' host communities.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford: Medford's first religious community since 1690.

Amelia Earhart residence, 76 Brooks Street

John Wade House, built 1784, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975

Former site of Fannie Farmer's house, corner of Paris & Salem Streets

Grandfather's House

Grace Church, designed by H. H. Richardson

Gravity Research Foundation monument at Tufts University

Henry Bradlee Jr. House

Jingle Bells historical marker, High Street

Salem Street Burying Ground

United States Post Office--Medford Main, historic 1937 building

Medford was home to Fannie Farmer, author of one of the world's most famous cookbooks--as well as James Plimpton, the man credited with the 1863 invention of the first practical four-wheeled roller skate, which set off a roller craze that quickly spread across the United States and Europe.

George Luther Stearns, an American industrialist and one of John Brown's Secret Six. His passion for the abolitionist cause shaped his life, bringing him into contact with the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Ralph Waldo Emerson and starting The Nation magazine. He was given the rank of major by Massachusetts Governor John Andrew and spent most of the Civil War recruiting for the 54th and 55th Massachusetts regiments and the 5th cavalry.

Amelia Earhart lived in Medford while working as a social worker in 1925.

Elizabeth Short, the victim of an infamous Hollywood murder and who became known as The Black Dahlia, was born in Hyde Park (the southernmost neighborhood of the city of Boston, Massachusetts) but raised in Medford before going to the West Coast looking for fame.

The Peter Tufts House (350 Riverside Ave.) is thought to be the oldest all-brick building in New England. Another important site is the "Slave Wall" on Grove Street, built by "Pomp," a slave owned by the prominent Brooks family. The Isaac Royall House, which once belonged to one of Harvard Law School's founders, Isaac Royall, Jr., is a National Historic Landmark and a local history museum. The house was used by Continental Army troops, including George Washington and John Stark, during the American Revolutionary War.

Medford has sent more than its share of athletes to the National Hockey League; Shawn Bates, though born in Melrose, MA grew up in Medford, as did Keith Tkachuk, Mike Morrison, David Sacco, and Joe Sacco. Former Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette grew up in Medford.

Medford was home to Michael Bloomberg, American businessman, philanthropist, and the founder of Bloomberg L.P., who is currently serving as the Mayor of New York City. Mayor Bloomberg attended Medford High School and resided in Medford until after he graduated from college. His mother remained a resident of Medford until her death in 2011.

The only cryobank of amniotic stem cells in the United States is located in Medford, built by Biocell Center, a biotechnology company led by Giuseppe Simoni.

Medford and the law

Medford is home to some famous crimes:

A few crooked officers of the Medford Police and Metropolitan District Commission Police forces pulled off one of the biggest bank robberies and jewel heists in world history in 1980, robbing the Depositors Trust bank over the Memorial Day weekend. The book The Cops Are Robbers: A Convicted Cop's True Story of Police Corruption is based upon this event. Salvatore's Restaurant, located at 55 High Street in Medford Square, is partially in the same location as the bank that was robbed. The private dining room in the restaurant uses the bank's vault door as an entrance way, and the hole in the corner of the ceiling that the robbers crawled through was left intact for nostalgia.

An admitted Mob execution by Somerville's Irish Winter Hill Gang of Joe Notarangeli took place at the "Pewter Pot" cafe in Medford Square, now called the "Lighthouse Cafe."

In October 1989, the FBI recorded a Mafia initiation ceremony at a home on Guild St. in Medford.

Income & Housing Costs Numbers:

Estimated median household income in 2009: $68,565 (it was $52,476 in 2000)





Estimated per capita income in 2009: $33,456

Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $381,088 (it was $229,500 in 2000)





Mean prices in 2009: All housing units: $427,797; Detached houses: $430,852; Townhouses or other attached units: $405,907; In 2-unit structures: $464,674; In 3-to-4-unit structures: $503,217; In 5-or-more-unit structures: $279,763

Median gross rent in 2009: $1,252.


March 2012 cost of living index in Medford: 136.6 (high, U.S. average is 100)

In-Depth Facts and Figures as listed below, plus other information:

·       Climate Charts

1.      Average Temperature

2.      Precipitation (Rain)

3.      Humidity

4.      Wind Speed (MPH)

5.      Snowfall

6.      Sunshine

7.      Cloudy Days

·       Tornado Activity History

·       Hospitals & Medical

·       Airports

·       Colleges/Universities

·       High Schools

·       Locations of Interest

·       Shopping Centers

·       Churches

·       Lakes/Streams/Rivers/Creeks/Parks

·       Tourist Attractions

·       Banks

·       Housing Costs Information

·       Crime Statistics

·       Radio Stations AM/FM

·       TV Broadcast Stations

·       Discussion Forums


For the above information and photos, use this link:


Total Tax Burden--Data for Calculation


Listing of Active Retirement Communities:



Silly Service--38 Years of Federal Civil Service (A book in progress, with weekly additions)       

Gillis Motor News (Monthly Listing of Car Events Nationwide)

World of Collectibles



Bird Watching

Dance Sites

World of Antiques


Quilts, Quilters, & Quilting

EZ Rides





















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