Introducing the current Chair of the Medford Historical Commission, our patient and thoughtful leader, Ryan D. Hayward –
I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in the fields of history and architecture. I was introduced to the topics in the fifth grade while attending Medford Public Schools. I later pursued these academically, graduating from the Boston Architectural College with a degree in Historic Preservation. My professional career began at the Medford Historical Society, Brooks Estate and Royall House and I joined the Commission in 2007 in order to give back to our community. When not preserving our local heritage, I’m out collaborating with homeowners as a self-employed preservation and design consultant. I’ve had he opportunity to work on buildings old and new. It’s rewarding seeing the joy of owners at the end of their renovations. I myself am restoring an 1895 Queen Anne Victorian which has been in our family for 70 years. As I have lived and worked in Medford all my life and know about the past, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our community. Working with the Commission, we will ensure preservation is part of the ongoing change happening every day.
Photo courtesy of the owner.
Hayward House c. 1947
Next, Richard Northrup!
My wife and I became Medford residents when we bought our first home in 2011. In 2016 we welcomed our son. We have grown to love Medford and spend a lot of our time getting to know our adopted City. Outside of my work on the Historical Commission we also enjoy exploring the Middlesex Fells with our son and exploring Medford homes as part of the annual Jingle Bell Festival.
View from Bear Hill, in the Middlesex Fells, c.1895-6, taken by Boston commercial and naval photographer Nathaniel Stebbins. Image via Friends of the Fells.
Our newest member, Edward Wiest, shares this about his love for Medford, its architecture and its history:
Our family blundered into becoming temporary custodians of Medford’s Edward Oakes House – earliest elements erected c. 1729, moved to current site 1977 – more than 30 years ago. We’re still there. I am on on the Commission now to continue paying forward the work of Joseph Valeriani, Greg and Maia Henderson, John Hand, Fred Knox and many others who preserved the home in which we have lived so long, and the history of Medford as a whole.
The Oakes House, in what the commisson’s neighborhood surveyors now call “Medford Square South,” with its distinctive roof line – which could be described as both gambrel and saltbox. Photo from MACRIS.
Now, a word from the current webmaster of the Medford Historical Commission website, me – Abigail Salerno. I also administer the Commission’s ongoing neighborhood-by-neighborhood survey of historical buildings, landmarks and public spaces.
I recently moved to Medford with my young family and I am interested in neighborhood history, and the similarities and differences in the historical development of Boston, and Philadelphia, where I worked at the library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I enjoy walking in the Fells and riding my bicycle “over the river and through the woods” on our expanding network of trails.
Below, Annie Londonderry – Boston resident and the first woman to bicycle around the world. Illustration (and more info) from the Jewish Women’s Archive, in Brookline, MA.
Next up, Commissioner and current Vice-Chair, Jennifer Keenan, who shares the following:
I’ve officially been a Medford resident since 2006, but my roots go deeper as my father had his business here during the 70s and 80s. I am proud to call myself a local Realtor®, and I love being able to do my small part each day to make Medford a better place for all. If you come to my house you’ll find tea instead of coffee, steak instead of seafood, and cookies instead of brownies. In my next life I want to be a rock star, but for now I am wife to Melvin and mom to furbaby Dallas.
From Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth collection, photo titled “Teens Frolic in Medford Square,” 1972, by photographer Spencer Grant.
We’d like to share a little more about each of us – the members of the Medford Historical Commission – and our interest in Medford history. Look out for biographical updates in the coming year. Commissioner Benjamin Johnson offered this:
I moved to Medford in 2009 being drawn by the historical assets the city has to offer. During the day, I am an archivist at Harvard Business School Special Collections. I enjoy canoeing on the Mystic River, gardening, cooking, and fermenting things.
Photo postcard of “the little stream that feeds Mystic Lake at West Medford” c. 1910 and courtesy of ebay.