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Friday, July 17, 1942
in What's New In Town
W. J. Sidis
Though most of the Tuft college buildings are in Medford, the Somerville-Medford line passes through the college grounds, and two boundary markers are to be found on the campus, so that at least part of the college is in Somerville. There are streets on the Somerville side bearing such names as Professors Row and Latin Row. Over thirty years ago, Tufts turned out the youngest college graduate on record―age 14. He would appear to have been the only extra-young college graduate in America who specialized in mathematics; for, though another boy shortly afterwards was reputed to be a mathematician, there was nothing authentic about such reports, which were 100% pipe-dream. The Tufts graduate now teaches mathematics; the victim of the press hoax, is unable to even understand the subject. Case of mistaken identity.*
Boston is the only large city in America having a large park, unmarred by highways of railroad tracks, adjacent to the shopping district.
Even Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village” is represented in our Metropolis. Over a century age, the name of “Sweet Auburn” copied from the name of the deserted village in Goldsmith’s poem, was given to a new real-estate addition located between Cambridge and Watertown. But Sweet Auburn had no better luck over here than in the poem, and soon became a real deserted village. The land was bought by the Horticultural Society as a model cemetery, and, as such, has ever since been known as Mount Auburn. A link is furnished in James Russell Lowell’s line of poetry, “And I thought of a mound in Sweet Auburn.”
One of the important inducements which got Puritans to adopt Boston as a home site was the presence of a spring of wonderfully pure water. This spring is no longer to be seen, but it still flows, under our Post Office Building, and down to the harbor. The little alley called Spring Lane, leading from Washington Street to the Post Office, is right above the old spring.
The fictitious “Port of Embarkation” made up by the magazine “Life” recently for its lessons to readers on the art of keeping army supplies moving, may have been located on “Life’s” maps in an impossible part of the South Carolina coast, but the outline of the main part of the imagined city was unquestionably that of Boston.
* This is Norbert Wiener who graduated from Tufts at the age of eleven, and entered Harvard in 1909 as a graduate student, the same year Sidis entered. See Sidis's Transcript.
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