Site of 'Jingle Bells' Composition – Medford, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Site of 'Jingle Bells' Composition

The classic Christmas carol was written at this Massachusetts tavern in 1850. 

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The Christmas carol “Jingle Bells” was allegedly composed at the Simpson Tavern in Medford, Massachusetts in 1850 by James Pierpont (1822-1893). The tavern stood at the site which is now 19 High Street in Medford Square. The lyrics of the song tell of the sleigh rides held on Salem Street in the early 1800s.

While the historical marker here states that it was written at this location in 1850, further research has shown that James Pierpont was not in Medford in 1850, but in California during the Gold Rush. It is speculated that more than likely he wrote the song in a rooming house somewhere near downtown Boston. Savannah, Georgia also lays claim to “Jingle Bells” because it was copyrighted in 1857, when James Pierpont was living in Savannah.

Know Before You Go

The plaque is located directly outside of Drizik Eyecare and parking can be found in a lot nearby.

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June 9, 2021
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