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In the year 1830, Joseph A. Holmes, a boy of seventeen, came to “work in the store,” and in 1834 entered the firm as partner. The business now took the style of J. A. Holmes & Co., as Mr. Hastings had by this time other business in Boston. Mr. Holmes was a Cambridge boy, born in a house still standing on Appian Way. His father, a carpenter by trade, came from Plymouth in 1798, while his mother, a descendant of Abraham Watson who lived in Cambridge as far back as 1650, was born in the old homestead on “Menotomy road,” near the present Arlington line.

In 1837 Mr. Hastings retired from the business and Mr. W. W. Munroe became a partner, and continued till 1842, when Mr. Holmes purchased the “Old green store” across the Square (erected in 1799) with the land about it, and started business once more, without a partner, but retaining the old firm name. In 1850 his brother, Isaac C. Holmes, who had been brought up in the store, became a partner, and so continued till he retired in 1875. His oldest son, Mr. Joseph Hastings Holmes, for many years an active and faithful clerk, now became a partner and so continued till his sudden and deeply lamented death in 1879.

Mr. Holmes, the father, continued the business alone till his decease in 1893 at the age of 81, active and energetic to the last. This is not the place for an eulogy nor for the recital of the many places of public and private trust held by him from the time that he became a member of the first city government of Cambridge. He was revered by all. After he had passed the age of threescore and ten, he replaced the old store with the present fine brick block of five stores, keeping for himself the largest and principal one.

So much for the past. The present owner, Francis M. Holmes, the second son of Mr. Joseph A. Holmes, was born in Cambridge on Main Street in 1840, within a stone's throw of the store building, and has never lived outside of the present limits of Ward Four. He has great regard for the traditions of the past, but also believes in the Cambridge of the present and in the Cambridge of the future. The course of the business will be shaped as in the past to exemplify the true “Cambridge idea” of conservative progress. The old stand in Central Square is retained, and also the now time-honored firm name of J A. Holmes & Co.

Notary public. Justice of the Peace.

L. M. Hannum.

.... Real Estate and Mortgages.

649 Massachusetts Ave.,
Central Square,
Cambridgeport, Mass.
Long Distance Telephone.

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