Winthrop Park


The knight Sir Richard Saltonstall, in 1631, decided that this undeveloped country (Massachusetts) was not for him. And so, he took a boat back to England, forfeiting the half-acre of land set aside for him. On this piece of land, Cambridge (then called New Towne) built its first farmer’s market. Even then, Cantabrigians were conscientious about eating local.

Winthrop Park was bordered by the old jailhouse, the residence of many of Cambridge’s most infamous Puritans. The accused witch Elizabeth Kendall had the first floor suite (there was only one room), and was sentenced to hang here. Anne Hutchinson resided here until she was, along with a few heretical followers, banished to Rhode Island (harsh!). Ah, good times.

As the city grew, Winthrop Square resisted buildings, and today has a variety of street musicians, tour guides, and sunbathers in the grass on a hot summer day. The sculpture (Quiet Cornerstone) remembers the Newtowne Market and was crafted by Carlos Dorrien in 1986.