Changes In The Neighborhood

I knew that my father and his wife and my sisters and brother had moved in to our house on Old Middlesex Road as the first owners. Looking back, I am beginning to wonder when the other houses in the neighborhood were built. That land was part of what was called the Benton Estate. My sisters told me that when they were small they remember the big house which belonged to the Bentons.

Of course the Benton Branch Library, which had been the private chapel for the Benton family, was still very much a feature in my childhood, and is still standing today. It is no longer functioning as a Branch Library of the Belmont Public Library system, but I think it is maintained by volunteers as a sort of neighborhood lending library and possibly used for community meetings.

Our house was built in 1925-1926 and the Millers were the first owners. But what about the other houses? The Ginsburghs were next door. When was their house built? Mr Ginsburgh grew up in Rochester New York. He graduated from Harvard in 1920 and he was a member of an Army Training Unit at Harvard in 1921. In 1923 he married Betty Cohen in Cambridge. According to the 1930 Census, he and Betty were resident in their house number 49 Old Middlesex Road, next door to ours at number 43.

In the 1930 U.S. Census there are several other families that I can recall my sisters mentioning -the O’Sheas, Nita Hannigan, O’Sullivans, Bradford and Martha Patch, the Colpitts, the Kelly’s, the Parkers. All around the corner from the Ginsburghs. Where were these families in 1920?

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