House cleaning and maid service companies should not be afraid of no ghost. And we aren’t. Sure, when we first hear that homes, apartments and condos in the upscale suburb north of Boston called Winchester was built on soil procured during a land purchase with Native Americans, we naturally could not stop ourselves from thinking about Poltergeist and other movies where bad things result from such transactions. Then we heard that the very same neighborhood first experienced a population boom as a result of being a hotbed for Whigs, we breathed a sigh of relief. After all, how many haunted houses have you ever heard of that were built on the bones of an extinct political party?
Winchester was officially incorporated in 1850 and named in honor of Col. William P. Winchester. Funny thing about the naming of this village: the man whose name it sought fit to take did not live long enough to ever step foot there. While it would make a great story to suggest that he was somehow the victim of Native America or Whig ghosts, alas the true story is even more tragic: ‘twas typhoid fever that felled the Colonel.
Over the decades, Winchester has evolved into what is today known as a “bedroom community.” What does that mean, exactly? It means lots of business professionals who work in Boston and then come home to Winchester to sleep and get just a little R&R from downtown. It does not mean working in the frenzy of Boston all day and then coming home to more work cleaning up before they had to bed. That’s where we come in and Winchester residents are grateful.
Why? Because there must be something in the water in Winchester. Or maybe there’s something special in the air? Whatever the reason, Winchester residents apparently have far more pressing needs on their minds than doing the same house cleaning jobs we can press our full attention to. Take a look at this brief and utterly incomplete list of people who have called Winchester home:
Robert A. Brown: President of Boston U.
Edward Everett: President of Harvard U.
Glenn Murray: Hockey player for Boston Bruins.
Yo-Yo Ma: Cellist and musician with simply the greatest name ever. Period.
Jay Pandolfo: Hockey player.
Allan McLeod Cormack: Nobel Laureate.
Dan Spang: Hockey player.
Captain Richard Phillips: Of, you know, the movie Captain Phillips.
Brian Wilson: Baseball player…ha, got you!
As you can probably tell, Winchester is a hotbed for sports and recreation. Like any self-respecting upscale community, Winchester has a youth league for hockey, baseball, soccer, and—in keeping with the town’s Native American heritage—lacrosse. Small though it may be, the area is also rife with tennis courts, swimming opportunities, fields for running and paths for biking.
For those less inclined to taking part and more inclined to closer scrutiny of others taking part, Winchester offers the world-renowned Griffin Museum of Photography. The Griffin is museum as metaphor. Sure, a tour inside opens up a world of imagination as seen through lenses trained on subjects by some of the most visionary artists in the world of photography, but the Griffin Museum could have picked anywhere in Greater Boston to settle. That the museum is located in this particular township says much about the way the residents here view themselves and the community around them.
No wonder Winchester is home to so many visionaries in just about every other field imaginable.
Except for ghost busting.