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Somerville is a city located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, just two miles north of Boston. Occupying slightly over 4 square miles, its population of 81,360 (as of the 2019 census), and a myriad of immigrants from all over the world make Somerville the most densely populated community in New England and one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation. Rich in both history and culture, the city houses numerous intriguing sites, businesses, and restaurants for every style.
Somerville was first settled in 1630 as a part of Charlestown, and was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from the urbanizing Charlestown because it was still largely rural. Somerville was officially incorporated as a city in 1872 due to its growing population and increasing industrialization. By the early 1900s, Somerville itself had become a densely packed urban area, featuring immigrants from across Europe.
As a part of Charlestown, areas existing in modern-day Somerville were critical military positions in the American Revolution. The historic Powder House - now considered one of the most distinct ancient ruins in Massachusetts - housed gunpowder for Revolutionary soldiers during the war. During British invasion, Somerville (Charlestown) was part of the route ridden by Paul Revere on his famous "Midnight Ride." Finally, and most notably, Prospect Hill was the site of the raising of the first Grand Union Flag, under the orders of General George Washington, on January 1, 1776. (Visit the Somerville Historic Preservation site for more information).
Today, Somerville is an eclectic mix of blue-collar families, young professionals, college students and recent immigrants from countries as diverse as El Salvador, Haiti, and Brazil. More than 50 languages are spoken in Somerville schools. With a large immigrant population, Somerville celebrates its diversity through numerous ceremonies celebrating cultural traditions and holidays.