Page 4 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, May 31, 2019 Community hike set to celebrate city’s scientifi c heritage By Barbara Taormina M alden once played a part in the science of geodesy, and residents, volunteers, city and state offi cials and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are teaming up to celebrate and preserve the story of the city’s role in that history. And everyone is invited to join in. This Sunday, June 2, there will be a guided hike back in time to the MIT Geodetic Observatory located on a high point in Malden within the Middlesex Fells. MIT built the small stone observatory in 1899 for study and research in geodesy, the science of understanding and measuring the geometric shape of the earth, its orientation in space and its gravity fi eld. In its heyday, the observatory was a state-of-theart fi eld laboratory equipped with advanced latitude, astronomical and magnetic equipment, such as a transit instrument telescope, chronograph and magnetometer. In 1899, MIT Professor George L. Hosmer wrote, “The observatory is intended primarily to be used in giving instruction in the most refi ned methods of determining latitude and longitude and secondarily to be used in magnetic and gravity observations.” Work done at the observatory contributed advances to 20th -century surveying methods. When cities and towns began to grow, planners mapping out the expansion of communities used information gathered at sites like the MIT Geodetic Observatory to keep track of locations of things and distances in-between. We Carry... * 100% Waterproof LVT Flooring * Ceramic, Porcelain & Stone Tile                        31 Osprey Rd., Saugus * 781-289-9676  But when MIT built its Haystack Observatory in Westford, researchers moved out of Malden to the new facility. The Malden Observatory was abandoned and forgotten until Malden resident Brian DeLacey decided to investigate what was behind an old red sign near a parking lot on Fellsway East that read “1899 MIT Observatory Rock Circuit Trail.” DeLacey and fellow hiker and GPS enthusiast Bill Ricker dug into old records, maps and MIT history for information about the observatory. After plenThe foundation of the MIT Geodetic Observatory sits at the top of a high point in the Middlesex Fells near Malden’s northern border. ty of research and several unsuccessful hikes in the Fells in search of the observatory, they fi nally found the stone foundation of the building about a half mile from one of the Fells parking lots. “It’s a beautiful site,” said DeLacey. “You can see the remnants of the foundation of the geodetic observatory.” The guided hike to the MIT Observatory begins at 9 a.m. Hikers will meet at the Flynn Rink parking lot at 300 Elm St. in Medford. Although the roughly 45-minute hike involves some climbing, it is appropriate for a wide range of ages and abilities. At the site, participants will have a chance to share comments, conversation and questions about the Observatory and the work that was done there. Participants are also invited to volunteer to help clean up the site, paint and restore the interpretative sign, replace broken plexiglass and mount new signs with information about the observatory’s historic and scientifi c signifi cance. For anyone interested, the hike is an opportunity to experience what it was like for scientifi c researchers at the start of the 20th century and a chance to help preserve a unique piece of Malden’s history. 20%OFF SALE Tues.-Sat. • June 4 - 8 5 DAYS ONLY STOREWIDE! Arcadia Shaker White Cabinets Save On Cabinets, Floors, Baths, Doors, Windows And More! 260 Eastern Avenue, Malden, MA                      *We reserve the right to limit quantities. Can not be used on past purchases, returns or combined with any other offers, discounts, coupons, or promotions. Can not be used to purchase gift cards. Excludes Exceptional Value and Clearance Items. Expires June 8, 2019. * FREE! Planning Services

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