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Sat Sep 23, 02023, 3:00PM UTC

Mary Mangan

Canceled: Old Powder House Tour and Picnic

Old Powder House Tour and Picnic

Claimed to be the oldest stone structure in Massachusetts, the Old Powder House in Somerville has been standing since the early 18th century. At this event, Long Now Boston members can enjoy meeting others who are interested in the arc of the use of this land for hundreds of years and its ongoing symbolism in our region’s story. The event will start with a free docent tour by our very own Mary Mangan, with an informal picnic in the park to follow. We will discuss features and functions of this site over the centuries and into the future.

Event summary coming soon!

Glaciers carved our region’s surface and created the landscape we see. How will climate change alter our land use?

  • The Powder House has had many functions: wind power, government power, local food production, and civic functions. How do those look going forward in our area?

  • How has the culture changed around the Powder House since the days when Native peoples settled the area, through the Revolution, to modern times?

  • The role of public facilities in forming community. Why is it so hard to have a meeting now….?

How it works: The Old Powder House in Somerville will be open on Saturday, Sept 23, from 10am-noon. However, the tour doesn’t take 2 hours: it’s a small site and we can’t fit everyone at once. It will take about 15 minutes for the tour portion. Come by the Powder House in the 11am-noon time range and take a short tour. Then we plan to have lunch and conversation in the park nearby, starting at noon. Some topics will include climate change, the past and future of land use, the future of monuments and memorials, urbanization and its effects, and more.

Note that this is a weather-permitting event: tours only run if there’s no thunderstorms or similar. If the event is cancelled, we will email attendees and post on our website.

Bring your own lunch, or plan to pick up something in nearby Davis Square, Ball Square, or Powder House Square. There are many local restaurants within a short walk, such as Yoshi’s (Japanese), Tu Y Yo (Mexican), Mint (Indian), and Noor (Mediterranean). Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for the picnic part. This event is family friendly: a small kid-friendly scavenger hunt around the park is available.

FYI: Parking is challenging in Somerville – consider public transit, cycling, or walking. Davis Square (Red line) or Ball Square (Green line, new GLX stop) are walking distance. Public parking lots in Davis Square are an option, and metered parking on nearby Broadway is available. Some parking on the side streets is typically possible, but is limited to 2 hours.

Mary has been fascinated with biology since spending summers at Hampton Beach engrossed by the tide pools. This led to degrees in Microbiology, Plant Cell Biology, and eventually a PhD in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. Moving to computational biology, bioinformatics and genomics as those fields emerged, she finds databases are the new tide pools for her. And new waves keep washing interesting things in. For some publications, you can see her Google Scholar profile at

Mary Mangan
Mary Mangan


Event writeup coming soon...

Event Summary

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