Town of Somerville
Somerville (/?s?m?rv?l/ sum-?r-vil) is a city located directly to the northwest of Boston, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As of 2010, the United States Census has the city with a total population of 75,754 people, and is the most densely populated municipality in New England. As of 2010, it was the 16th most densely populated incorporated municipality in the country. Somerville was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from Charlestown. In 2006, the town was named the best-run city in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. In 1972, in 2009, and again in 2015, the city received the All-America.
The territory now comprising the city of Somerville was first settled in 1629 as part of Charlestown. In 1629, English surveyor Thomas Graves led a scouting party of 100 Puritans from the settlement of Salem to prepare the site for the Great Migration of Puritans from England. Graves was attracted to the narrow Mishawum Peninsula between the Charles River and the Mystic River, linked to the mainland at the present-day Sullivan Square. The area of earliest settlement was based at City Square on the peninsula, though the territory of Charlestown officially included all of what is now Somerville, as well as Melrose, Malden, Stoneham, Medford, Everett, Woburn, Burlington, and parts of Arlington and Cambridge. From that time until 1842, the area of present-day Somerville was referred to as “beyond the Neck” in reference to the thin spit of land, the Charlestown Neck, that connected it to the Charlestown Peninsula.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Somerville has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11 km2), of which 4.1 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (2.61%) is water. Somerville is bordered by the cities of Cambridge, Arlington, Medford, Everett, and the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown. It is located on the west bank of the Mystic River.
Millennia ago, glaciation left a series of drumlins running west to east across the landscape of what would become Somerville. These ridges would later become known as the “Seven Hills” of Somerville: