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Eben Norton Horsford, the Northmen, and the Founding of Massachusetts

John, Richard R.

On a grassy knoll overlooking the Charles River near Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one can find a commemorative stone tablet with a curious inscription. Here once stood a house of Leif Erikson's, or so we are told. The inscription is so authoritative, and the tablet itself so similar to the myriad historical markers in the immediate vicinity, that it has doubtless been taken at face value by many of the countless passersby who have paused to make it out. This curious tablet first came to my attention in the early 1980s, when I was a resident fellow at the Cambridge Historical Society, which happened to be just down the street. As a graduate student in American civilization, I quite naturally found its inscription intriguing and set out to discover what I could about its installation. This essay brings together my findings.

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Essays on Cambridge History
Cambridge Historical Society

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August 1, 2018