Introduction

In the autumn of 2005, Professor Mark Auslander of Brandeis University and his class, entitled, “Museums and Public Memory” encountered an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. Counseled by Mr. Wallace Kountze and many others, the class researched and assembled a history of the close-knit community of West Medford, Massachusetts, focusing primarily on its compelling Afro-American heritage. The goal was to present and engaging historical portrait of this community, based on the recorded accounts of its members. The exciting emerging technology of the ipod was chosen for utilization for an audio tour of the heart of the West Medford community. This tour is the result of many hours of dedicated work by the students, the members of the West Medford Afro-American Remembrance Committee, and other community partners. We sincerely hope that you are informed, enlightened, and most importantly, entertained.

Download Audio File for iPod This file includes bookmarks and photos

Download mp3 Audio File for other players This file is a single mp3; you'll need to pause between the segments themselves

West Medford Walking Tour Instructions with Map

Here’s a map of West Medford– the tour will start at the (starred) Hervey School at 122 Sharon Street.

WALKING TOUR OF HISTORIC WEST MEDFORD AFRO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY

W1. Start of tour

Our tour begins at the Hervey School, 122 Sharon Street (corner of Sharon & Holton Streets), Medford.

Standing in front of the school, please listen to the following audio segments:

1. Introduction (Andrea)
2. Introduction (Dr. Auslander)
3. Neighborhood Memories (Cyanna)

4. Community Education (Deb and Christine)

5. Still more neighborhood memories of family and community (Jason)

6. Hervey School (Andrea and Sara)

7. School segregation and desegregation (Alex and Sabrina)

8. Formal Education (Abigail)
- Strong belief in education
- Higher education

W2. Walk to Jerome Street

Now walk one block west on Sharon Street, make a right on Harvard Avenue, walking towards the Mystic River. Turn right on Jerome street.

Walk a few doors to 103 Jerome Street, on the left. Listen to the next segment:

9. Little Store (Jason)

W3. Walk back to Dugger Park

Retrace your steps and make a right back onto Harvard street, walking to Dugger Park, at the corner of Harvard Avenue and Mystic River Road. Please listen to:

10. Dugger Park (Darnisa and Aliza)

W4. Continue along Mystic River road and look at the historic tennis court

11. Tennis Courts (Dave)

W5. Visit the site of the Community Center

Make a right on Mystic River road, go about 50 yards west and on the left stop at the site of the West Medford Community Center:

12. West Medford Community Center (Beth and Laura)

W6. Follow Mystic River Road to “The Flats”

Continue walking west along along Mystic River Road, passing by the Tennis Courts on the left. Merge onto Arlington Street. On the left by the river are the ‘flats,’

Here you can learn about

13. Fellowship spots (Hayley)

W7. Memorials in Nelson Circle

At the intersection of Arlington Street and Route 60, in the middle of the rotary (Nelson Circle) is a memorial to Vietnam veterans from Medford (please be careful crossing this busy street!)

Here you may listen to:

14. Vietnam Memorial: Vietnam Memories 1 (Dana and Guy)

15. Vietnam Memorial: Vietnam Memories 2 (Dana and Guy)

16. Vietnam Memorial: Vietnam Memories 3 (Dana and Guy)

W8. Jerome Street to the Stables

Now cross back across the street (carefully!) and walk east on Jerome Street. On the right, at 13 Jerome Street, the former site of the Kelley Stables and Riding School, stop to listen to:

17. Riding Stables (Elana)

W9. Memorial Park at Jerome and Sherman Streets

Proceed two blocks down Jerome Street. At the diagonal intersection of Jerome and Sherman streets, you will see a small memorial l for WW 11 Veterans dedicated on July 4, 1946 as well as a A memorial for Elmer Kountze, veteran, dedicated on August 24,1991 for his civic contributions to the city.

In this small park, please listen to the following segment:

18. Memories of World War II (Dana and Guy)

W10. site of the Old Shiloh Baptist Church

Continue half a block more on Jerome. Make a right on Fairfield. Go one to the corner of Lincoln & Fairfield Streets. On the far left (southeast) corner you will see the former site of Old Shiloh Baptist Church. Please listen to the following segments:

19. Old Shiloh Baptist Church:History and Introduction (Catherine and Jocelyn)

20. Old Shiloh Baptist Church: Reverend Phillips and the Congregation (Catherine and Jocelyn)

21. Old Shiloh Baptist Church: Events and Celebrations (Catherine and Jocelyn)

To conclude our tour, please listen to two segments—about how the community has changed s through the rise of automobile ownership and about the importance of voting and civic participation:

22. Community and Cars (Cyanna)

23. The Meaning of Voting and Civic Participation (Cyanna)

W11. Tour Conclusion

You have now reached the end of our walking tour of West Medford’s historic Afro-American neighborhood. We hope you have enjoyed the tour. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the tour and suggestions for improving it.

Here’s a view of the West Medford neighborhood from the air (via Google Maps, modified by Dave). [Click the map to see a full-screen view]:

satellite image / map of West Medford; click for larger view