In the late 1990s, Ronald R. Rindge donated a collection of materials that had belonged to his grandfather, the philanthropist Frederick Hastings Rindge (1857-1905). Earlier this month, Frederick Hastings Rindge’s great-great-granddaughter, Melissa Rindge, came to visit the commission. CHC Executive Director Charles Sullivan showed Melissa a selection of Rindge items. This collection is comprised of materials relating to the Rindge family’s business interests in New England and Frederick Hastings Rindge’s donations to the city of Cambridge, including the Cambridge Public Library (1887), Cambridge Manual Training School (1888), and City Hall (1889).
Born to a wealthy textile merchant family in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 21, 1857, Frederick Hastings Ridge grew up to become a successful businessman. Rindge was privately tutored before continuing his education at Harvard. The passing of his parents in the late 1880s left him with an inherited estate of approximately 2 million dollars.
The Cambridge Historical Commission is proud to house the Frederick Hastings Rindge Collection, which contains materials from 1852-2001. Included are correspondence, photographs, financial records, family papers, and architectural drawings, among other items.
Rindge’s business interests in New England comprised a number of textile mills and manufacturing companies and he owned a large number of real estate properties, mostly inherited from his father. Many of our records represent the family business as well as Rindge’s philanthropic efforts.
In 1888 Rindge relocated to California, where he purchased large tracts in Los Angeles and a 17,000-acre Spanish land grant north of Santa Monica that is now occupied by the town of Malibu. Between 1888 and 1890, Rindge’s old schoolmate, William E. Russell, then Mayor of Cambridge, urged him to fund the construction of a number of projects in Cambridge, including the Cambridge Manual Training School (later renamed the Rindge Manual Training School and now the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School). Rindge hired the architects, superintended the construction, hired the faculty, reviewed applications from students, and supported the school for five years before turning it over to the city. Because Rindge was living in California, all these matters were the subject of extensive correspondence with his agents in Boston.
Many records held in the collection relate to the Cambridge Manual Training School and Camp Rindge, a summer camp program for the CMTS students at Lake Winnipesaukee, NH.
This collection is open for viewing and research at the Cambridge Historical Commission. Stop by during our research hours: Monday: 4:00-7:00PM, and Tuesday/Thursday: 9:30-11:30AM and 2:00-4:00PM, or feel free to call and make an appointment with our archivist!