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[114]

IV. town of West Cambridge.


1807

On Feb. 27, 1807, the Second Precinct of Cambridge was incorporated into a town by the name of West Cambridge.

The Precinct, in 1807, discussed the expediency of setting trees and erecting posts, or a fence, near or about the meetinghouse.

On April 20, 1807, the Parish Committee appointed William Hill, 3d, to ring the bell and take care of the meeting-house for twenty-five dollars per year; and also as sexton for the ensuing year. In this year sixty dollars were appropriated by the Parish for the benefit of the Singing Society.


The proceedings of the Northwest Parish of Cambridge Singing Society on Oct. 27, 1807, made James Hill president and Artemas Kennedy secretary pro tern. It was ‘Voted first, that all property belonging to the society shall be transferred to the society that shall be hereafter created in the month of Oct. 1807, if such a society shall then exist. Voted second, that the society be dissolved by a unanimous vote.’ Signed by the president and secretary of the meeting.


The West Cambridge Musical Society.

This led to the formation of the West Cambridge Musical Society, instituted Oct. 1807, and similarly constituted, with the purpose of promoting ‘the knowledge and practice of the musical art generally, but more especially that part which relates to the worship of our beneficent Creator and exalted Redeemer.’ The names of subscribers to the Constitution were Artemas Kennedy, James Hill, Isaac Locke, Thomas Fillebrown, Amos Locke, Samuel Hill, John Wilson, Joseph Adams, Moses Cutter, Daniel Wilson, Samuel Wilson, James Fillebrown, Ebenezer Hall, Jr., Ichabod Fessenden (with clarinet), Walter Russell (bass viol), James Cutter, Jr., Joseph Hill, Joel Frost, Benjamin Cutter, George Swan, Abijah Cutter, Amos Hill, Benjamin Harrington, John Perry, W. B. King, Nathan Locke, Thomas Hill, Samuel Ames, William Mann, Jonas Adams, Philip B. Fessenden, David Hill, Asa Frost, William Frost, John Crosby, Ammi Cutter, Ephraim Frost, 3d, Thaddeus Frost. One article of the constitution provided that ‘every member shall sit in the singing seats when at meeting.’

At a meeting of the West Cambridge Musical Society, Oct. 13, 1807, James Hill was chosen moderator and Isaac Locke secretary. The fourth vote of the meeting appropriated unanimously a certain sum of money for the use of a new singing-school. Three persons were selected to take charge of said school, viz.: Artemas Kennedy to instruct the tenor and to be considered as chorister, Isaac Locke to instruct the treble, and Walter Russell for the bass. That the sum of [115] eighteen dollars be appropriated to compensate the instructors, and the Village Harmony to have the preference to any other book. The instructors to receive the money of the Parish Treasurer, and to furnish wood, candles, and all other materials necessary for the use of the school.

At the meeting of the Singing Society on Dec. 24, 1807, James Hill was moderator, and the regular officers of the organization were chosen. Eighteen dollars were appropriated for the singing-school, and the instructors to receive one dollar per evening, including room- rent.

As this society is long since extinct, it is well to continue its history here.

On Feb. 15, 1808, the instructors of the ‘late singing-school’ were authorized to contract with Major Whittemore for the use of his room, to accommodate ‘the Musical Society to practise music in.’ The expense to be paid out of the treasury. It was voted that there be a pitch-pipe purchased for the use of the singers, to be kept in the meeting-house. That Isaac Locke be authorized to purchase said pipe. Also that there be three persons chosen to apply to the Parish Committee for the use of the bass viol, to be granted to the Musical Society, to be made use of as they shall think proper. Isaac Locke, James Hill and Walter Russell were appointed for that purpose.

Dec. 1809, it was voted to purchase a lock and key for the schoolhouse gallery door. To meet on Monday, the 25th inst., for the purpose of admitting new members, and admitted as members Messrs. King and John Perry.

Dec. 18, 1810, the Society chose a committee for the purpose of selecting tunes, viz.: Walter Russell, Isaac Locke, James Hill, Amos Locke, John Perry, George Swan, Benjamin Harrington, Jonas Locke, Thomas Fillebrown.

Jan. 31, 1814, voted that the treasurer purchase one dozen of singing-books of the Middlesex Collection, and half a dozen hymn-books of Belknap's, for the use of the society. The records end with Dec. 30, 1816.

The following officers of the West Cambridge Musical Society—instituted 1807—are mentioned in this book of records:

Presidents.—Artemas Kennedy, 1807; James Hill, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1814; Amos Locke, 1816. Vice-Presidents.—Walter Russell, 1807, 1808, 1809; Amos Locke, 1810, 1814; Ebenezer Hall, Jr., 1816. Secretaries.—Isaac Locke, 1807, 1808, 1809; John Perry, 1810, 1814; Walter Russell, 1816. Treasurers.—

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