50 Years on Stone Ave

Every street, in a way, is a microcosm of America, telling our rich history. Stone Ave in Somerville, MA, was built at the end of the 19th century and was soon populated with 20 houses. For its first 50 years, Stone Ave was the home of millions of stories about the people who lived there. Here are a few of those stories, mostly pulled from The Boston Globe.

(Reality check: This one small street in the streetcar suburbs of Boston wasn't really a "microcosm" of America, because this neighborhood didn't seem to be very diverse.)

Created by Steve Mulder

20 June 1897
To let, 1 or more furnished rooms, connected or separate, in new house, first-class neighborhood, family of 2, near railroads and 5 electric lines, 3 minutes' walk. Apply 50 Stone av.

22 Oct 1897
WANTED - A young man to paint blinds. Apply to CHAS. H. DAILY & CO, 2d house on right of Stone av, out of Union sq.

28 Nov 1897
UNION SQ, Somerville. 2-fam house, 9 large rooms, now renting for $24, price $2250, easy terms.

9 Dec 1897
Edward T. Peterson Jr, who is soon to start for the gold fields of Alaska, was given a farewell reception at the home of his parents, 18 Stone av, Somerville, Tuesday night. There was a large number of young men and young women present, including many members of the Metropolitan wheelmen, who presented Ed with an elegant Klondike sleeping bag. Another pleasant feature of the occasion was the presentation of a check for $1000 by his cousin, Mrs. M. J. McFadden. Vocal and instrumental music and dancing followed.

27 March 1898
ALL PERSONS suffering from rheumatism send 5 2-cent stamps, I will send a guaranteed cure or money refunded. Address H. ARMSTRONG, 38 Stone av, Somerville, Mass.

16 Aug 1899
Zanoni A. Richardson, 53, died at his residence, 10 Stone av, Somerville, last evening of heart disease, from which he has been suffering for many months. Mr Richardson was born in Winchester. He served in the civil war in Co H of the 43d Massachusetts regiment. He enlisted when he was about 16 years old.

9 Sept 1899
LOST - Near Union sq, Somerville, Sept 8, lady's gold watch with gent's chain and heart-shaped locket. Finder will be suitably rewarded by returning to JOHN S. McGOWAN, 11 Stone av, Somerville.

25 Feb 1900
WANTED by a young lady forming a primary class for piano lessons; would give lessons very low. Address 10 Stone av, Somerville.

5 Aug 1900
BAY DRIVING MARE, 7 years old, buggy, harness, etc. Call 43 Stone av, Somerville, between 7 and 8 o'clock, any evening; can be seen Sunday.

19 Sept 1900
Mr and Mrs Francis W. Gallagher are receiving the sympathy of a large circle of friends in a double bereavement. Last Sunday morning their little girl Agness 2 1/2 years old, died of diphtheria at their home, 22 Stone av. This morning their 4-year-old boy, Francis, succumbed to the same disease. Neither child had been sick long.

24 Sept 1900
Maria B. McMillan, the 3-year-old daughter of Mr and Mrs Albert F. McMillan, died this morning at 22 Stone av of diphtheria. This is the third death in the same house.

13 April 1902
FOR SALE - Pneumatic-tire runabout buggy, also fur robe, new harness, blankets, etc. Apply, any eve, 11 Stone av, Somerville, Mass.

14 July 1902
Stone-av juniors would like to play any 14-year-old team. Will pay full expenses. Anson Eaton, 10 Stone av, Somerville.

15 Sept 1902
John G. Knight, the Somerville patrolman-thief, this morning made a complete confession to Mayor Glines at the latter's office in city hall. "He confessed everything; he unbosomed himself," said Mayor Glines this noon. In addition to Knight, patrolman William H. Johnston, who lived over Knight at 24 Stone av for five weeks, Alderman Caldwell and Rev Silas B. Duffield rector of St Thomas' church, were before the mayor.

31 Dec 1903
A most successful whist party, under the auspices of the ladies' ad society of St Joseph's parish, Somerville, was held last evening at the residence of Mrs D. Twohig (vice president), 23 Stone av, Union sq, from 8 to 12. Refreshments were served, after which there were songs and recitations.

24 Jan 1907
The crusade against alleged promoters of lotteries was continued yesterday when a vigorous search was persecuted by Secret Service Agent Joseph E. Murphy in conjunction with US Marshal Charles K. Darling.... The men went to the house of Benj. McElroy at 27 Stone av, Somerville. No tickets were secured there, but plenty of advertising matter dealing with the above mentioned lotteries was taken.

25 Jan 1907
Banjamin McElroy of 28 Stone av, Somerville, and George A. Cole of 6 Madison av, Somerville, were arrested and taken before US Commissioner Hale in the federal building yesterday afternoon, charged with having engaged in sending lottery tickets from New York State into Massachusetts. The tickets, of which the secret service agents and the men of the marshal's department found upward of 1000, were for the Honduras lottery.

11 May 1907
REFRIGERATOR. Gurney, holds 100 lbs ice, first-class condition; suitable for storage or house, cost $30, price $13. 44 Stone av, Somerville.

18 April 1909
BAY MARE, wt 1150, 16 hands high, extra good roadster, afraid of nothing, can step fast; and runabout, cushion-tired, and brass-mounted breastplate harness, all in good shape; reason for selling, we have a car; price $185; 1 gray horse, $100. E. CALDWELL, Stone av, Union sq, Som; can be seen Sunday and Monday.

20 June 1909
I HAVE BOUGHT an auto, will sell my brown mare, wt 1100, 2 runabouts, harness, blankets and robes, will sell horse separate for $135, will not sell to traders. E. F. C., 10 Stone ct, off Stone av, Somerville.

23 July 1909
When opposite the foot of Stone av in Union sq, Somerville, at 7 last evening the shafts of a carriage, which was being driven by Frank F. Armstrong, 30 years old, son of Representative William B. Armstrong, became detached and the horse started to run. Mr Armstrong was thrown to the gutter, striking his head on the curbstone. He was made unconscious and was taken to the Somerville hospital. Later he was taken to his home on Summer st, suffering from a severe scalp wound. The horse was stopped by a pedestrian before he had proceeded many yards.

22 Aug 1909
CARPENTERS WANTED. 2 GOOD JOBBERS, 6 Stone av, Somerville, Mass. G. D. ROBINSON.

26 Aug 1909
Thomas J. McCormick, who had been ailing for the past several years and was confined to his home, 42 Stone av, for the past three years, a sufferer from rheumatism, died this morning. He was well known in Somerville, where he had lived for nearly half a century.... He was the last holder of a liquor license when Somerville voted no-license over 30 years ago. For many years he was interested in the race track, and at one time owned several fast trotting horses. About seven years ago, he embraced the Christian Science faith.

5 Sept 1909
AT UNION SQ, Somerville - Suite of 7 rooms and bath, elect and gas, piazzas, and all improvements, rent $28. 11 Stone av, Somerville.

24 Feb 1910
IN SOMERVILLE - Up-to-date grocery, provision and fish store, doing business $25,000 year, owner met with accident, sell at sacrifice. Further particulars address 11 Stone av, Union sq, lower flat.

13 May 1910
Frank Bowen of Stone av will leave tomorrow for New York as a delegate to the convention of the Workingmen's S. & B. and D. B. F. [The Socialist Party], which will continue for three weeks.

28 Feb 1911
The mystery surrounding the young woman who during the past few days placed large orders for flowers with Back Bay florists, having them sent to various addresses in Somerville, to furnish decorations for a wedding this morning, was cleared yesterday afternoon when she was turned over to the police of station 16.... The young woman placed orders for flowers worth more than $1000, but when they were sent to the addresses given no one could be found who had ordered them or knew anything about them. She said they would be paid for by her mother. Sunday and yesterday morning messenger boys and uniformed men with delivery wagons carrying handsome flowers besieged Stone av in Somerville. They made a house to house canvass, but no one could be found who had ordered the flowers. As they had been made up into bouquets the florists suffered quite a loss.

4 May 1911
Mrs Frank Bowen surprised two masked burglars in the dining room of her home, 19 Stone av, Somerville at 1 o'clock this morning, but they made her a prisoner by threats and before she fainted under the stress of her excitement they forced her to tell them the hiding place her husband had chosen in which to secret a roll of $100. After securing that amount they packed a silver service in a pillow slip and made good their escape.

6 Sept 1911
Mrs Grace Campbell, 41 years old, the wife of Charles Campbell and the mother of six children, has been missing from her home, 18 Stone av, Somerville, since Aug 26. Her relatives have made a diligent search but the only trace obtained was that she had been to a house on Curve st in the South End of Boston. Her raincoat was found in the house and was taken away by relatives. The family who live there deny any knowledge of the woman's whereabouts. Mrs Campbell told her children she was going to Boston on an errand. For about a week previous to her disappearance Mrs Campbell had been acting queerly, her family say, but never gave the slightest hint that she was going to leave home.

30 April 1912
Henry J. Hatch, 35 years old, was accidentally asphyxiated by illuminating gas some time last night in a peculiar manner at the home of Mrs John J. Coughlin, 21 Stone av, Somerville, where he had lodgings. The gas is supplied to the house through a prepayment meter. It is presumed by the medical examiner, Dr T. M. Durell, and the police, who made an investigation, that Hatch retired, leaving the gas burning in his room and that while he was sleeping the meter automatically shut off the flow of gas. Mrs Jennie N. Derby, another lodger in the house, returned home late in the evening and finding that the gas was not flowing went to the meter and inserted a quarter. It is believed that the gas shortly filled the room and asphyxiated Mr Hatch.

29 Dec 1914
The second coasting [sledding] accident within 24 hours on Somerville thoroughfares occurred at 12:10 this afternoon when John Hill, 13 years old, son of Mr and Mrs John J. Hill of 44 Hunting st, who was sliding down the grade of Stone av, ran into a sleigh at the foot of the avenue and was thrown against a curbing. He was picked up unconscious, taken to the office of Dr E. J. Meyer, and from there to the Somerville Hospital. His skull is fractured. His condition is serious.

6 Aug 1916
FORD ROADSTER 1914, M. V. seat covers, best running order; $200. Tel 160 Somerville; 11 Stone av.

28 July 1917
Lists for the first draft in the three divisions of Somerville were prepared yesterday and will be posted this morning....
Allen, Patrick J, 32 Stone av

10 Feb 1918
WILL SELL a new $800 player-piano, one of the best makes on market, at low price; see it and be convinced. 27 Stone av, Somerville, Mass.

9 July 1921
AT 20 STONE AV., Somerville, 7 rooms, all modern; rent $45.

10 Aug 1921
The body of Sergt Archie J. Elliott, who died Oct 15, 1918, from injuries received in action, arrived today at the home of his sister, Mrs Viola M. King, at 33 Stone av.

16 Nov 1924
NEW NOVELTY for Christmas, sells like wildfire; only live wires considered. Apply 8 Stone av., Union square, Somerville, Mass.

17 Dec 1926
At 8:40 o'clock lat night, a bottle was thrown through a parlor window of the home of Robert Nugget, 44 Stone av. The missile marred a new piano.

28 April 1928
SOMERVILLE - 1 good room to let for $3.50 per week, near Union sq., restaurants and cars. 25 Stone av., suite 1.

28 Oct 1931
After calling her on the telephone and begging her to return to him, her husband ordered her out again after she had spent four hours in cleaning up the house and taking 63 whisky and beer bottles from his room, Mrs Elizabeth Meehan of Stone av, Somerville, testified today in her suit for separate support from her husband, Edward J. Meehan of 182 Leyden st, East Boston.... Mrs Meehan said that she left her husband when he beat her and chased her from the house because there was no cold beer on the ice when he returned home.

14 May 1932
George Martin, 15, of 7 Stone av, senior at the Southern Junior High School, has three well-trained squirrels who this morning gave an exhibition of their talents in the yard of their owner's home.

1 Feb 1933
A well-known and prominent resident of Stone av, in the Union sq section of Somerville, has lodged a complaint with police officials of Somerville, to the effect that the talk and noise of the patrolmen assembling for the 12:45 am roll call in the new police headquarters building, opened a week ago in Union sq, disturbs members of his family.

12 June 1941
Capt. Amos A. Dow, 70, one of the last of the famed Searsport, Me., masters of square-rigged vessels, died suddenly yesterday at his home, 42 Stone av., Somerville. Born in Searsport, he went to sea as a boy with the famous Capt. Charles M. Nichols, in the ship Lucy A. Nichols, taking command in 1896. Later he took the vessel on a voyage around the Horn from New York to Hong Kong. In the late '90s, he entered the field of steam vessels, his first command being the Californian of the American Hawaiian Steamship Company.

29 Oct 1943
Sergt. John D. Hampton, Stone av., Somerville, has been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while flying anti-submarine patrols in the Caribbean theatre.

6 April 1944
Globe Story Finds Uncle for Ophan British Soldier
The appeal of a lonely British soldier, an orphan, for help in locating a relative in Boston was answered by the Red Cross and Globe and today a heart-warming letter from the boy's uncle was on its way to him at a Canadian training camp. The uncle is Joseph Brennan, 72, a baker at 256 Franklin st., a little man with a big heart and a deep understanding.... "I'm going to invite him to come down to see me on his first furlough. I'lll tell him he can come to Boston after the war and I'll give him a home and get him a job."... Mr. Brennan has four married sons and a daughter. All of them live in Malden, except Arthur, who is serving in the Pacific with the Navy. His home is at 37 Stone av., Somerville. [Arthur later returned home.]

29 Sept 1944
FLANAGAN - S Sgt., American Rangers, Joseph L., killed in action in France, beloved son of Catherine and Patrick Flanagan (nee McNamara) of 47 Stone av., Somerville. Solemn High Pro-Burial Mass Saturday morning at St. Joseph's Church at 9 o'clock.

29 Nov 1944
First Lt Myles A. King, husband of Mrs. Catherine M. King of 36 Stone av., previously reported as missing in action, is a prisoner of war in Germany. A fighter pilot with the 8th AAF he has been overseas two years and participated in 40 missions. [He later returned home; read more here.]

31 Jan 1946
Due San Francisco Tomorrow
MADDEN, William J., 1st Lt. 22 Stone av., Somerville.

13 Oct 1946
Arielle L. Magwood, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Magwood, of 27 Stone av., Somerville, teacher in a Marblehead public school, and Robert F. Mason, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Mason, of 15 Parker st., Charleston, were married at 4 p.m. yesterday in St. Joseph's Church, Somerville.... The bride, a native of Somerville, is a graduate of the Salem Teachers' College. The bridegroom, a veteran of World War II, served four years in the Army Air Corps, most of which was overseas.