In the course of his remarks, Hon. Charles Sumner
In coming here to take part in this interesting celebration, I am not insensible to the kindness of good friends among you, through whom the invitation was received.
But I confess a neighborly interest in your festival.
Born in Boston, and educated in Cambridge, I am one of your neighbors.
Accept, then, if you please, the sympathies of a neighbor on this occasion.
Yours is not a large town; nor has it any considerable history.
But what it wants in size and history, it makes up in beauty.
Yours is a beautiful town.
I know nothing among the exquisite surroundings of Boston more charming than these slopes and meadows, with the back-ground of hills and the gleam of water.
The elements of beauty are all here.
Hills are always beautiful; so is water.
I remember hearing Mrs. Fanny Kemble say more than once that water in a landscape is “like eyes in the human countenance,” without which the countenance is lifeless.
But you have water in abundance, gleaming, shining, sparkling in your landscape.
The water-nymphs might find a home here.
You have gardens also beautiful to the eye and beautiful in their nourishing and luscious supplies.
Surely it may be said of those who live here, that their lines have fallen in a pleasant place.
I go too far when I suggest that you are without a history.
West Cambridge was a part of that historic Cambridge which was so early famous in our country, the seat of learning and the home of patriotism.
The honor of Cambridge is yours.
After allusions to the times of the Revolution, Mr. Sumner
Many years ago, when I first read the account of this period by one of the early biographers of Washington, Rev. Dr. Bancroft of Worcester, the father of our distinguished historian, I was struck by the statement that in case of attack and defeat, the Welsh Mountains in Cambridge and the rear of the lines in Roxbury were appointed as places of rendezvous.
“ ” The Welsh Mountains' are the hills which skirt your peaceful valley.
Since then I have never looked upon those hills, even at a distance—I have never thought of them—without feeling that they are monumental.
They testify to that perfect prudence which made our commander-in-chief so great.
In those hours, when undisciplined patriots were preparing for conflict with the trained soldiers of England, the careful eye of Washington calmly surveying the whole horizon, selected your hills as the breast-work behind which he was to retrieve the day. The hills still stand firm and everlasting as when he looked upon them, but smiling now with fertility and peace.1
1871-72. The Arlington Water Works were constructed.
Water Commissioners were elected in 1873.
Cost of construction