Jason Russell House – Site of the Bloodiest Fighting in the Battles of Lexington & Concord

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Arlington, then known by the Native American name of Menotomy, was the sight of the most intense fighting during the British retreat after the Battles of Lexington and Concord. About half of those who lost their lives, about 25 of the Americans and 40 of the British, died in Arlington. Of the American causalities, about half of the deaths took at the Jason Russell House.

The house was built by Jason Russell between 1740 and 1745, but had been doubled in size by the time of the 1775 battle. As it is located on Concord Road (now Massachusetts Avenue), the main street connecting Cambridge and Concord, it was strategic and was gathering site for Minute Men, as well as Jason and some of his neighbors, who wished to contest the British retreat. At the time the British were passing, about two dozen men had gathered around the Russell house and created a mini-fortress.

Although the group had effectively fortified themselves to be able to take pot shots at the main British column marching down Concord Road, they left themselves open to the flankers, who caught them by surprise. Trying to reach sanctuary in his house, Russell was shot down and died on his doorstep. Eight Patriots were cornered and bayoneted. About eight other Patriots effectively barricaded themselves in the basement. Although there were multiple British casualties, a total of twelve Patriots died in and around the Russell house – making this the bloodiest spot in a bloody day.

Bullet holes can still be seen in several parts of the house, which is open for visitors and part of the Arlington Historical Society. There is a wonderful and detailed write-up of the house and its history as part of the Historic New England’s Old-Time New England Articles section, available here.

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Scutra – Arlington

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Elegant night out with excellent food. Creative menu with good specials. Service can be mixed, but overall very nice experience.
Good value. Restaurant.com coupons have been available.

Thai Moon – Arlington

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Thai Moon is a great, low key family run Thai restaurant in Arlington center.  The food is very good, the people are friendly and prices reasonable.  They do not have a website.

Hidden gem.

Punjab Restaurant – Arlington

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A great Indian restaurant with “high-end” atmosphere.  Excellent food, a bar you can sit at with good draft beer and elegant dining area.  They can be crowded on weekend nights, so expect a wait.

Great value.


Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum – Arlington

The Cyrus E. Dallin museum is in Arlington Center, just off of Mass Ave at the corner of Mystic Street (Route 60).  The museum houses a wonderful collection of Dallin’s work that spans his wide talents.  Housed in the Jefferson Cutter House, which was built in 1832, it is a great 1-2 hour visit and fascinating for seniors, children and adults alike.

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The Cutter house itself is worth seeing and is the last salt and pepper colonial in Arlington.  Originally owned by the Cutter family, owners of the Cutter Mills, it was moved from near the mill site two miles north of its current location in 1992.  It was made available to the museum by the town in 1998 and in addition to the museum, has some meeting space in the basement where art exhibits are occasionally offered.

Cyrus Dallin was an important sculptor that moved to Arlington when he was 32 and lived there until his death in 1944.  Well known and connected, many of his works feature Native Americans, but also include statesmen, generals, mythological figures and his family.  Especially worthwhile is a sculpture of his cat – created in a day in response to a taunt from his son.  His iconic “Appeal to the Great Spirit” has been in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston since 1912.   The “Paul Revere Monument” resides in Boston’s North End Paul Revere Mall was famous enough to be parodied by the Marx brothers in Duck Soup.  There is a wonderful sketch by John Singer Sargent of Dallin’s portico.

"Appeal to the Great Spirit" at Boston Muesum of Fine Arts

"Appeal to the Great Spirit" at Boston Museum of Fine Arts

The total collection of about 60 pieces is housed in four intimate rooms.  The docent / curators are superb and very patient and offer wonderful, insightful stories about the art and the man.  Admission is free, but donations are welcomed.  Hours are Wednesday through Sunday 12 to 4PM.

There is on street parking or a large town lot directly behind the museum.  Or, there is bus service from Harvard Square.  There are tons of great restaurants in Arlington well as other tourist sites within an easy walk.  Well worthwhile.  A hidden gem.  Their excellent web site can be accessed at http://dallin.org/

Great Arlington Haunts include:

Punjab Restaurant – Arlington
Thai Moon – Arlington