Medford, located just a few miles north of Boston on the Mystic River, has an estimated population of 70,147 citizens. Founded in 1630, Medford derives its name from its description as "a meadow by the ford." For many years, the city was the center of industry; manufacturing brick, tile, rum, Medford Crackers, and building clipper ships. The city has also acquired a dubious distinction of the introduction of the Gypsy moth to the North American continent. Beginning in 1868, the French astronomer and naturalist, Leopold Trouvelot attempted to breed a better silkworm using Gypsy moths. Several of the moths escaped and within 10 years, the moth had spread across North America.
Other distinctions accredited to the city are more pleasantly notable. Fannie Farmer, author of one of the world's most famous cookbooks, is from Medford as well as James Plimpton, inventor of the four-wheeled rollerskate which set off a nation-wide roller craze. The city is also the home of James Pierpont who wrote "Jingle Bells" and Lydia Maria Child, who wrote the poem which became the Christmas song "Over the River and Through the Woods."
Medford is the home of Tufts University, which employs many local residents and has many community service projects that serve the city. These services are run by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, emphasizing public service in Tufts' host communities. History and cultural attractions in the city include the Amelia Earhart residence, the Gravity Research Foundation, the "Jingle Bells" historical marker, Peter Tufts house, and the Salem Street Burying Ground.