Arkham is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, not far from the Atlantic Ocean, athwart the banks of the Miskatonic River, about 22 miles NNE of Boston, a little more than 12 miles south of Newburyport. Travelers reach it by car, bus, train, or small boat. Fare for the B&O commuter train from Boston is $2.20, and from Newburyport is $1.40.

Its population is 22,562. Arkham was settled in 1692 and incorporated in 1699. Textiles form the bulk of its present industry, but more and more it is becoming a genteel residential suburb of Boston. Arkham is the home of Miskatonic University and the point of departure for classic Lovecraft stories such as The Mountains of Madness, The Dunwitch Horror, and The Shadow Out of Time.

In the Great War, Arkham gave its share; a bronze plaque at City Hall and a Commons bronze doughboy commemorates those who fell.

The economic boom in the 1920s passed by most of New England, whose industrial base was by now in rapid decline, but reached Arkham by way of the University. Town and school became inextricably linked. Many Arkham shops cater greatly or exclusively to the needs of the University community. In 1928, the school is the heart of the town’s economy. Its administrators and faculty form part of the newest of Arkham’s aristocracies.

Though New England’s fortunes declined after the Great War, local survey shows that 83% of Arkham homeowners possess electric irons, 77% have gas or electric washing machines, and 51 % have or plan to purchase vacuum cleaners. Nearly 50% of Arkham families own at least one auto-
mobile, and merchants complain of those who park their machines in front of shops all day.

Problems persistently arise between Town and University. At present, the cost of campus police protection is being debated. The University’s young president, Dr. Wainscott, has dared to enter the controversy by running for mayor. Even if the election in November goes to the University, the perennial struggle for power between Town and University will likely not end.


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