The Mystic River neighborhood of Somerville is more commonly known as Winter Hill, home to the infamous “Winter Hill Gang,” which was a gang formed and participated in by such notable gangsters as James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi. The gang actually received its name from the “Boston Globe” — it is not a name its members took upon themselves. The gang was reported to have been active as early as the 1950s, and many believe it is still active today.
Mystic River is also home to Mudflat Studios, which offers a rather unique ceramic arts program defined by its proprietors as “committed to creating a community that is free of any kind of harassment. Mudflat does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, or veteran status.” It has been offering these programs since 1971.
The Assembly Square Marketplace also calls Mystic River its home. This facility was originally home to Ford Motors, which used it as a manufacturing facility in 1980. Later, this building was converted to a distribution facility. Today, Assembly Square Marketplace is a vibrant mall with stores such as Christmas Tree Shop, Home Depot, and Staples, to name a few.
Winter Hill Community School is also located in the Mystic River neighborhood. Winter Hill Community School accepts students from kindergarten through eighth grade and calls its educational methods “child-centered education.” The school offers not only a unique educational approach, but is committed to ensuring that students leave eighth grade prepared to enter high school and later college. Winter Hill also offers tutoring and an after-school program.
Somerville’s Foss Park is also located in the Mystic River neighborhood. The park was opened originally in 1876 and was called Broadway Park. In the early 1950s, Foss Park was taken over by the MDC (Metropolitan District Commission) for upkeep and maintenance. The park was not particularly well maintained for several years and fell into disrepair. Today, after several years of neglect, Foss Park not only offers tennis courts, basketball courts, and soccer fields, but it also has a well equipped playground and soccer fields. Foss Fest is a summer concert that is held at the park. The park also has a free admission spray pool and swimming pool.