The Union Square neighborhood is rich in history. One of the earliest American flags -- some claim the very first -- was hoisted on Prospect Hill by none other than George Washington. During the Civil War, the square was used by the Union Army for mustering and recruitment, giving the square its current name. When Somerville was still considered part of Charlestown, Union Square became the town's first developed commercial district. The Somerville Journal Building, Old Cemetery and the Bow Street Historic District are among the Union Square properties appearing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, Union Square, like many other neighborhoods in Somerville, has been revitalized. The area is home to a number of great restaurants, many of which have been opened since 1990. Some of the restaurants reflect the various immigrant populations and cultures that have played significant parts in the history of Union Square. Restaurant choices range from Indian to Peruvian cuisine as well as upscale and casual American dining. Numerous markets in the area offer products that also reflect the diversity of the neighborhood, and shoppers can find grocers specializing in the ingredients needed to prepare authentic international cuisine, such as Korean, Indian and Italian foods.
Shopping is excellent, and various entertainment venues are located in Union Square. The area promotes pedestrian street life with a decidedly highbrow slant although some events, such as the "What the Fluff?" annual festival honoring Marshmallow Fluff -- invented in 1917 in Union Square -- do not fit neatly into this category.
Union Square is located at the intersection of Bow Street, Somerville Avenue and Washington Street in Southeastern Somerville. The square is less than one mile from Inman Square, and downtown Boston is a short commute away. The Union Square neighborhood is served by several bus lines, but there are plans to extend the Green Line to Union Square by 2017.