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First Church in Malden is a historic loss

It’s a sunny Spring morning in 2016, and I’m standing outside the First Church in Malden under the shade of a budding tree. A butterfly flits into the sky toward the soaring steeple of the church, and I notice it’s sadly in need of repair. Looking at the facade, it’s hard for me to believe that this building is one of the last links residents have left to Malden’s founding fathers. The congregation of this church virtually “birthed” our present day Malden government and played a prominent role in the Revolutionary War, leading the colonies in support for America’s Independence from Britain. Harder still for me to believe is that anyone could allow this historic treasure to be destroyed. I’m at the church today to attend an estate sale being held before the building is scheduled for demolition later this year. The eighth “Meeting House” of Malden’s founders, this building is reportedly a replica of an earlier church and it will soon be replaced with apartment and retail/office buildings as part of the downtown revitalization […]

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Malden’s 2.3 mile secret

Five hundred years ago, the streets we drive everyday in Malden were vast swampland dotted with rocky outcroppings and covered with dense forest. A wide, winding river cut through this hilly forestland and Indian tribes like the Massachusett could live safely under the cover of the forest and watch for enemies approaching up the river. Tidal salt water flowed into the river from the ocean and with it came abundant fish, shellfish and sea fowl, and the large furry animals which preyed on them, providing plenty of food and clothing for the Native Americans. In the 1600s a few brave Pilgrim settlers from Boston found their way up the river and realized its value. The river provided a quick means of travel, alewife, blueback herring, oysters and clams could be found in the tidal stream and salt flats, the soil was ripe for planting and the trees that grew thick along its shores provided timber for building cabins. According to The History of Malden 1633-1785, the Native Americans in the area were not much of […]