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The Cambridge Center for Adult Education was founded as the Cambridge Social Union in 1870. In 1889 the Social Union purchased and moved into the house of William Brattle at 42 Brattle Street, which was built in 1727. The Brattle House was the site where Loyalist, General-Major William Brattle sparked the Powder House Alarm, an important prelude to the American Revolution. By 1831 the Brattle House was home to Margaret Fuller, an American journalist, critic, and women’s rights activist associated with the Transcendentalist movement. In 1938, the Cambridge Social Union became the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (CCAE). To this day, CCAE continues to honor the Cambridge Social Union’s original mission of “providing a means of social and intellectual improvement”. The Brattle house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1972, the Cambridge Center acquired the Blacksmith House (the former Window Shop) property. Blacksmith House includes the Dexter Pratt House, built in 1808. It is here that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow observed the village blacksmith at work under the Spreading Chestnut Tree. T