Mill Pond, a former tidal pool that was turned into a city dump and ash heap was redeveloped to make this field in 1907. It was renamed in Hoyt Park in 1924, in honor of Russell E. Hoyt.
Hoyt was a member of the 26th Division (Yankee), Massachusetts National Guard, which was the first full division to deploy to France, and the 104th Infantry Regiment. He was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Army on April 28, 1918; this was the first American unit ever awarded a foreign decoration.
Although the original plans included a tiny area for children, the emphasis was on a playing field for boys that could be turned into a skating rink in the winter.
An ambitious plan for trees and greenery was never completed. A large fence was erected around the field to be “well protected from loafers.”
Details from the Cambridge Historical Commission
The park holds the annual Caribbean Festival and for decades has been a central gathering point for the Black and Brown community of The Coast. There is a plan to renovate and rejuvenate the Field as part of an initiative by the City of Cambridge.
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