Cambridge to Cambridge

I live in Cambridge, MA, a city I really like. I moved here from the New York metro area after I got married and it’s hard to imagine another hometown I would enjoy more.

One day, a random thought popped in my mind — that reaching out to other U.S. towns and cities called Cambridge might be a useful framework for considering the ways that we are similar to, and different from, Americans across the country.  It’s an artificial framework, for sure.  Why not look at other communities in Massachusetts or cities with populations around 100,000?  Those would likely be more meaningful comparisons, but not as fun as looking at all the towns and cities named Cambridge.

It turns out that there are quite a few U.S. Cambridges. Nearly 30, including a ghost town and some unincorporated townships or counties. The states that house a Cambridge stretch from the Atlantic (Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland) almost to the Pacific (Cambridge, Idaho) and many stops along the way.

I’ve been reaching out to folks in all these places to ask about their Cambridges, and I’m going to share their responses here. I hope you’ll tune in.

2 thoughts on “Cambridge to Cambridge

  1. Hi Jessica – what a fun project this is! I hope you connect with many other Cantabridgians across the country — hey, here’s a question – do they all call themselves Cantabridgians? We’ve traveled many times through Cambridge MD on our way to our family’s house on the Chesapeake, and there are SO many street names the same as my home-base Cambridge here in New England. We found that fascinating, but it makes sense given that our first settlers came from England. I look forward to following your adventures & I can’t wait to find out where this goes. Count me IN – I’m ON BOARD for the trip!!


  2. We refer to ourselves as Cantabridgians in Cambridge UK, too. I believe ‘Cantab’ actually means something to do with having a degree from the University here, though apparently you can get away with it if you just live here, too!


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