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Arlington is a town of 46,000 people (2020) in Massachusetts. It is a largely residential town; many of its residents are employed in Cambridge, Boston and surrounding towns. It has several historical sites that reflect its history that dates back to the early 17th century.

Belmont is a town with a population of 27,000 (2020).


Arlington Town Hall

The town was settled by European colonists in 1635 as a village within the boundaries of Cambridge, Massachusetts, named Menotomy, an Algonquian word meaning "swift running water". A somewhat larger area, including surrounding land, was incorporated on February 27, 1807 as West Cambridge. In 1867, the name "Arlington" was chosen in honor of those buried in Arlington National Cemetery; the name change took effect that April 30. Mill Brook, which historically figured largely into Arlington's economy, flows through the town. In 1637 Captain George Cooke built the first mill on the brook. Subsequently, seven mills were built along the stream, including the Old Schwamb Mill, which survives to this day.

Paul Revere's famous midnight ride to alert colonists took him through Menotomy. Later on that first day of the American Revolution, more blood was shed in Menotomy than in the battles of Lexington and Concord combined. Minutemen from surrounding towns converged on Menotomy to ambush the British on their retreat from Concord and Lexington. All in all, 25 colonials were killed in Menotomy (half of all Americans killed in the day's battles), as well as 40 British troops (more than half their fatalities). The colonial soldiers are buried in Arlington's Old Burying Ground/

The Jason Russell House, a yellow colonial, is today a museum which remembers those twelve Americans, including Russell himself, who were killed in and around the house on April 19, 1775. Bullet holes are visible in the interior walls to this day.

In its early years, Arlington was a thriving farming community and had its own lettuce that was quite popular. Arlington had a large ice industry on Spy Pond from the mid-19th century until the advent of refrigeration. The farms were subdivided in the mid-to-late twentieth century. In 1979, the first spreadsheet software program, VisiCalc, was developed by Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin in the attic of the Arlington apartment rented by Frankston.

Get in[edit]

Map of Arlington (Massachusetts)

By car[edit]

Arlington is bounded on the south by Route 2, a major transportation route allowing access to Boston and the western part of Massachusetts. Arlington is also a short distance from Interstate 93 and 95. Other major routes that go through the town are Routes 2A and 3.

By public transit[edit]

The MBTA Red Line stops at Alewife station on the Arlington border. From there, you can take the 67 bus which runs to Arlington Center. The Commuter rail Fitchburg Line has two commuter rail stations in Belmont.

The popular 77 Bus runs though Arlington on Massachusetts Avenue. Other, less frequent bus routes in Arlington include the 62, 67, 78, 80, 87, and 350 buses. Belmont is served by MBTA bus 73, 74, 75, and 78.

Get around[edit]

The Minuteman Bikeway is a well-used bicycle and pedestrian path built on a former railroad right-of-way. It connects Bedford and Lexington to the west, runs through Arlington Heights, crosses Massachusetts Avenue at Arlington Center, and leads to Alewife Station on the MBTA, making it very popular with commuters.


  • 1 Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum, 611 Massachusetts Avenue, +1 781 641-0747, . W-Su noon – 4PM. Features the work of American sculptor, Cyrus E. Dallin (1861-1944) who lived and worked in Arlington for over 40 years. His works include the Paul Revere statue in Boston's North End and Appeal to the Great Spirit in front of Boston's Museum of Fine arts. Free; donations welcome. Jefferson Cutter House (Q6175449) on Wikidata Jefferson Cutter House on Wikipedia
  • 2 Jason Russell House, 7 Jason Street, +1 781 648-4300, . Sa Su 1-4PM, mid April to mid October. The Jason Russell House, built in 1740, still bears bullet holes as the site of bloody fighting on the first day of the American Revolution. British soldiers, in retreat from Lexington and Concord, shot and bayoneted Jason Russell on his own doorstep. Eleven other area Minute Men, who had gathered in Arlington, due to its strategic location, also lost their lives here in the April 19, 1775 skirmish. The Jason Russell House is attached to the Smith Museum. Admission covers both. Adults $5, children $2. Jason Russell House (Q6163398) on Wikidata Jason Russell House on Wikipedia
  • 3 Old Schwamb Mill, 17 Mill Lane, +1 781 643-0554, . Tu & Sa 11AM - 3PM. The Old Schwamb Mill is a continuously operating site where immigrant Puritan, Yankee, and German entrepreneurs used water power from the adjacent brook to run machines and develop a series of family-owned businesses. Today the mill continues to produce museum quality hand turned wooden oval and circular frames. Visitors can tour the facility and see how these frames are made. Old Schwamb Mill (Q7084941) on Wikidata Old Schwamb Mill on Wikipedia
  • 4 Prince Hall Mystic Cemetery (Prince Hall Cemetery), Gardner St. This historic cemetery is said to be the only remaining African American Masonic cemetery in the United States. Prince Hall Mystic Cemetery (Q7244050) on Wikidata Prince Hall Mystic Cemetery on Wikipedia
  • 5 Smith Museum, 7 Jason Street, +1 781 648-4300, . Mid April to mid October: Sa Su 1-4PM. On exhibit in the Smith Museum is "Family Ties: 200 Years of Arlington Town Life". In 1807 West Cambridge (now Arlington) separated from Cambridge, and the exhibit celebrates the old Puritan-era settlers and the vibrant immigrant families of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Smith Museum is attached to the Jason Russell House. Admission covers both. Adults $5, children $2.
  • 6 Uncle Sam Statue, 4 Mystic St (Arlington Center). Commemorates Arlington as the birthplace of Samuel Wilson, better known as "Uncle Sam".


  • 1 Spy Pond (directly off the Minuteman Bikeway less than half a mile from Arlington center). Spy Pond Park has a children's playground, benches and several grassy areas where you can relax and enjoy the view. Spy Pond (Q7334587) on Wikidata Spy Pond on Wikipedia



  • 1 Arlington Farmers' Market, 29 Mystic St. (Located in Arlington Center, in the Russell Common parking lot, behind Park Terrace, just off of Rte. 60/Rte 30.), +1 781 858-8629, . June - October: W 2PM-6:30PM. Large selections of farm fresh produce and locally raised, meat, local cheese, eggs, fish, honey, maple syrup, and flowers. Also baked goods from local area bakeries and restaurants.
  • 2 Derby Farm Flowers & Gardens, 454 Massachusetts Avenue, +1 781 643-0842, . M-W F Sa 10AM-6PM; Th 10AM-7PM; Su noon-5PM. Eclectic boutique offering fresh flowers, garden statuary, tools and ornaments, home furnishings and accessories, along with a selection of soaps and lotions.



Arlington's liquor laws allow alcohol to be served only with a meal. In practice this means that all bars are part of a restaurant and that after your second drink, even sitting at the bar, you'll be asked to order some food.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Arlington
LowellWinchester  N  S  CambridgeBoston via
ConcordLexington  W  E  CambridgeBoston
WalthamBelmont  W  E  MedfordRevere

This city travel guide to Arlington is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.