How Much Do You Know About Medford  

 
With so much talk of the economy, foreign policy, and proposed
tax hikes, I thought it might be nice to take a breather from
government and write about the so-called small things we should know and like
about Medford.

As a city councilor, I often have enjoy sharing a coffee
(or, as often, a pizza!) with folks throughout the city to talk about what’s on
their minds. While it is true that we start out talking about their concerns or the city
council, the conversation often turns to the little details about the
city— what a neighborhood was like years ago, what famous people are
from Medford, how many people live here or how many square feet the
city occupies.

There are certain things that we all know (or should know) about
Medford, like the fact that “Jingle Bells” was written here, at the
Simpson Tavern (now 19 High Street) in 1850 by James Pierpont. Or that
the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, grew up in Lawrence Estates.
Or that old-time comedian Frankie Fontaine, best known for his
character “Crazy Guggenheim” on the Fifties-era Jackie Gleason Show,
is buried in Medford’s Oak Grove Cemetery.

Just for the fun of it, I’ve put together this quiz. I’m hoping you’ll
test your friends and family -and yourself- to see how much you know about Medford.
Who knows—with your newfound knowledge of Medford, you just may want
to show up at the next city council meeting !

(ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ APPEAR AT THE END OF THE ESSAY.)

1. ) When was Medford settled, and what city was it part of ?


2. ) In Colonial times, Medford was well known as the center of
manufacturing for everything but

a. Brick-making

b. Rum-making

c. Ship-building

d. Bookbinding


3. ) What is the official population of Medford?

a. 55,765

b. 70,945

c. 61,320


4. ) How much land does Medford occupy?

a. 7.3 sq miles

b. 11.9 sq miles

c. 8 square miles


5. ) If you lived in Medford in 1950, what is one thing you would not
see? (Hint: “transportation”).


6. ) True or False: According to the last U.S. Census (2000), there were
more men in Medford than there were women.


7. ) Name the celebrity who is not from Medford:

a. Maria Menounos, Entertainment Tonight reporter

b. Paul Theroux, author

c. John Mahoney, who played the father on the sitcom “FRASIER”

d. Fannie Farmer, Yankee chef and cookbook author


8. ) True or false: Chevalier Auditorium was named for Maurice Chevalier, a star of
the Movie "GIGI" , who once performed there.


9) The architect of the Trinity Church in Boston's Copley Square, Henry Hobson Richardson
also built a structure in Medford. What is that structure ?

Answers:

1) 1603; Charlestown. It was incorporated as a city in 1892

2 ) D (bookbinding)

3 ) A (55,756)

4 ) C (8 SQ MILES)

5) INTERSTATE 93. CONSTRUCTION BEGAN IN 1956. BY 1963, THE EXPRESSWAY
FROM MEDFORD NORTH TO THE MASSACHUSETTS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BORDER WAS
COMPLETE.

6) FALSE: WOMEN OUTNUMBER MEN, 29,632 to 26,133.

7) C JOHN MAHONEY, WHO PLAYED THE FATHER ON THE SITCOM “FRASIER”

8) FALSE. THE INSPIRATION WAS MEDFORD NATIVE (AND SUMMIT ROAD RESIDENT)
GODFREY CHEVALIER. A NAVAL ACADEMY GRADUATE WHO SERVED IN WWI,
CHEVALIER IS BEST KNOWN FOR SAVING 25 MEN FROM DROWNING IN A BARGE
ACCIDENT ON NEW YORK’S HUDSON RIVER.

9) Grace Episcopal Church, built between 1867 and 1869.