Somerville Plans Celebrations in Honor of 175th Birthday in 2017

Year-long series of events scheduled in 2017 in honor of City’s birthday. Submit your old photos, memories, stories of Somerville’s past to help shape a “Storytelling Gallery” at end of year event.

SOMERVILLE – In 2017, the City of Somerville is celebrating its 175th birthday, 175 years since we separated from Charlestown, and we’re celebrating all year long. But we need your help! While the City has plenty of celebratory events up its sleeve, we want to hear from residents, businesses, and visitors, past and present, about your memories of Somerville. All year long, we’ll collect stories, memories, photos, and anything else you want to share, and will display as many of them as we can during a year-end gala and “Storytelling Gallery.” Throughout the year, we’ll share your stories as well as some of our own via our website, social media, and more. Help us keep Somerville’s history alive through storytelling!

A Storytelling Series kickoff will be held on Thurs., Feb. 2, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the main branch of the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave. The kickoff event will include a presentation on how historians collect and use oral histories in contrast with traditional sources like letters and diaries, as well as serve as the beginning of Somerville’s 175th Birthday Storytelling Series. Throughout the year, we will ask community members to share stories and memories from Somerville’s past.

At the Feb. 2, kickoff, Dara Baker, Head Archivist of the Naval Historical Collection at the U.S. Naval War College, will discuss history researched with traditional sources, and the benefits and limits of those records. Nadia Dixson, City of Somerville Archivist, will discuss how historians came to use oral histories to capture what traditional sources don’t tell us.

The City is also seeking input and ideas for events, exhibits, presentations, and other fun and interesting ways to celebrate our milestone birthday. Whether you’re a local business owner with an idea for collaboration, a resident interested in more visual history displays, or a former resident looking to reconnect with friends and classmates, send us ideas or questions and we’ll work to incorporate them into our events!

Photos, stories, and upcoming events will be posted at www.somervillema.gov/somerville175, so stay tuned for updates.

For more information, visit www.somervillema.gov/175, or email Somerville175@somervillema.gov