On May 1, 1876, a centennial tree, raised from the seed of the Washington Elm
by Mr. John Owen
, was presented to the city, and planted on the westerly side of the Common with suitable exercises.
Several thousand persons were present, together with the city government, and among the features of the occasion were an address by the mayor and an original hymn sung by the children of the public schools.
In 1882, a fine bronze statue of John Bridge, in Puritan
costume, one of the most prominent of the early settlers of the town, selectman from 1635 to 1652, and representative for several terms in the General Court, and deacon of the First Church
, was presented to the city by his descendant, Samuel J. Bridge
, and erected in the northeasterly corner of the Common.
It was dedicated November 28, after an interesting address by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson
and remarks by the mayor, President Eliot
, and General Charles Devens
Each Memorial Day finds a large concourse assembled around the soldiers' monument with the members of the various posts of the Grand Army
, to listen to eulogy and song, while the early flowers of spring are liberally strewed about it. As the throng passes from this interesting spot, the question is often asked: ‘What is the history of these cannon that are grouped around the monument?’
These three huge war-dogs came into the possession of the city by a vote of the legislature, passed March 31, 1875, as follows: ‘Resolved
, That there be granted and transferred to the city of Cambridge
the three old British cannon and their carriages now in the State Arsenal yard in said city, provided said city shall furnish a suitable platform for them in the Cambridge Common
, the first camp ground of the Revolution, and keep said cannon thereon in good condition forever.’
These cannon were about to be transferred to the state grounds at Framingham
, but the passage of this vote gave them a permanent place on the Common.
Two of them are British guns, and have the broad arrow-mark of England
The other, probably taken at Quebec
in 1745, is of French manufacture.
All bear evidence of great age. They belong to those captured by Ethan Allen at Crown Point
in 1775, which were ordered to be transported to Cambridge
to be used in the siege of Boston
was a great favorite of Washington
, and to him was given the execution of the order to remove one hundred