Quantity: 1 available
Book Condition: Good +
On offer are a group of three  original, detailed manuscript diaries handwritten by the City Engineer of what was known as the Chicago of New England. The diaries were written in 1876, 1878 and 1880. In 1876, George Kimball was the City Engineer of the city of Somerville, MA. Just north of Boston, Somerville was the scene of significant events in the Revolutionary War. Now, it was going through a rapid industrialization that would see its population mushroom from 15,000 to 90,000. The meatpacking industry was so large that Somerville was dubbed 'The Chicago of New England'. Brick-making was the second largest industry. All of this growth put significant strains on the city's infrastructure and Kimball played a very important role in seeing projects advance. He works tirelessly and his diary reflects the many meetings he attended or participated in: At stable at 7. Then to Cutter St. CB City Hall at 8AM Located drinking fountain at Davis Sq at 9am at bridge with [ ] giving grades for wall for 10-11 then to Packer St 3d at the work on drinking fountain Union Sq Dinner at City Hall PM Bd of Health at 4:15 Heywood Hartness called At City Hall to meet Cmtee on Bridges at 8 PM no quorum [Aug 21] A stable at 7:15 Dane St sewer City Hall at 7:45 Vine St. Sewer at Dane & Vine 8-9 to City Hall to Summit St to Bow St met with LL Towes and Dr. White and talked about nuisance on Towes land. City Hall Vine St. 11:30 Dane St noon Dinner At City Hall in PM cal. no. Bricks on W Lane sewer At 5PM visited Mr. Towes land on Prospect St with Dr. White to Newton to see Aunt [ ] Supper At 7:30 met Dr. White & Mr. Towes at Dr. Whites house. We agreed to put off the case until Monday provided he would fire up immediately [Sept 20] At [ ] St sewer Linden St catch basin visited Allen St. With [ ] Bennett at 9:30 to locate CB City Hall Central St sewer Dinner City Hall in PM At Central St sewer at 3 Meeting of Mayor and Aldermen in evening also Sewer Cmtee [Nov 12] He makes reference to dropping by the FRR offices [Sept 16, 1876]. FRR or the Fitchburg Railroad ran right through the city - it's main line is now part of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. Other businesses are mentioned as well such as Marine Britannic, A Parker's Stone Factory and others. There are rarely any references to personal matters. He notes: ... Home in evening worked on closet [Dec 6] Went to City Hall in AM waiting in lot saw Father, Mother and Daniel Dinner our case was reached about 3:30 Mother came [Dec 11] The 4 1/2 months recorded in his diary gives and excellent picture of the work he is doing in 1876 and people he is interacting with as they work to build the infrastructure of this fast-growing city. In 1879, the pace continues unabated: To City hall at 1 P.M. State House also called on Ald. Gallinan. [ ] on 3 P.M. train on L.R.R. Arranging matters with Assistants, etc. [Jan 2, 1879] In early January, he journey to 'the West'. He noted stops in Montreal, Toronto, Detroit and Chicago before reaching his destination in Galesburg, IL. In Galesburg, he visited several churches including the "African Church". His entry for Han 13th, is quite brief: At Galesburg. Having good time. [Jan 13, 1879] Returning home, he is immediately immersed in the demands of his job: At work on Health Report all day. Meeting of Board of Health. Leave Committee at 7 P.M. Board of Ald at 7:30. Feb 3, 1879] At City Hall at 8. Writing Annual Report. ... [Feb 5, 1879] At stable at 7. George St. Sewer at 7:30. City Hall at 8 A.M. To Semple's Nursery with Mayor. Called on Dennis O'Connel left word that contract had been awarded for Park Ave. And Chandler St. sewer E Cambridge. City Hall home to Bell School looking over drainage Ald. Dodge and Mr. Page. ... Dinner At City Hall at 2. To cutters land Bdg and Arlington fixing grade of street City Hall at 4:30 Home all evening. [Apr 29, 1879] 1880 saw no change in his pace: City Hall at 8:15. Making a Lithograph and finishing the Rules and Regulations. Dinner 1P.M. To Cedar St. sewer near Hall St. Mike crawled through the sewer and took two bricks from drain out of Hall St. ... Feb 14, 1880] This is a superb resource for municipal historians. It gives a clear picture of the work of a City Engineer in late 19th century America. The scale and scope of his responsibilities and the demands of his position are very clear. An engineering researcher would be able to read the first hand account of the daily demand's on Kimball's time as he juggles major projects, the most important being the sewer system being installed as the city grew. These were massive projects for their time. All of this was occurring at the same time that neighbouring Boston was building its first sewer system. Overall, these three diaries give an excellent look inside the urban infrastructure development process at this critical juncture in America's history.
Title: 1876, 1878 + 1880 ORIGINAL GROUP OF THREE  MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HAND WRITTEN BY A CITY ENGINEER BUILDING ABOVE AND BELOW THE GROUND IN THE HISTORIC CITY JUST NORTH OF BOSTON KNOWN AS THE 'CHICAGO OF NEW ENGLAND'
Publisher: SOMMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS, 1876
Book Condition: Good +
Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall
Item: 1.00 Item
Seller ID: 0008154
Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF; GEORGE A KIMBALL, SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS, REVOLUTIONARY WAR, PROSPECT HILL, BOSTON, MBTA, CONSTRUCTION, URBAN DEVELOPMENT, URBAN MODERNIZATION, SEWERS, TUNNELS, UNDERGROUND INFRASTRUCTURE, BRIDGES, BEANTOWN, FITCHBURG RAILROAD, MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSIT AUTHORITY, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, BRICK MAKING, INDUSTRIAL CITIES OF NEW ENGLAND, MIDDLESEX COUNTY; AMERICAN URBAN HISTORY; URBAN PLANNING; CITY ENGINEERS IN LATE 19TH CENTURY AMERICA; SOMERVILLE MUNICIPALITY; CITY GROWTH IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURYAMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL