Dorchester Illustration 2263 I-CAR-DE Mayonnaise

2263 I-CAR-DE

Dorchester Illustration no. 2263    I-CAR-DE Mayonnaise

I-CAR-DE trucks sporting Lee Puncture Proof tires were pictured in a 1922 advertisement for the Lee Tire & Rubber Company. I-CAR-DE produced a number of cards using movie stars to promote their products.

Kathleen Aicardi wrote:

Aicardi mayonnaise (spelled phonetically, I CAR DE) was started in the early 1900’s by my great grandfather James A. Aicardi. He began making mayonnaise and selling it door to door. Then eventually the company grew, and they sold mayonnaise, picallili and one other item which I forget right now. Anyway….it was the top mayonnaise in Boston.

The Aicardi Food Products Co., located at 93 Stoughton Street, Dorchester, from at least the 1920s to the 1940s made products for grocery stores. The location was the corner of Stoughton Street and Windermere Road.  Their brand was I-CAR-DE, and one of their popular products was mayonnaise.  They used photos of movie stars on advertising cards.  The founder was James A. Aicardi, who lived at 91 Stoughton Street (same building.  His son James Jr., who lived at 15 Sumner Street, was also part of the company.

From building permit applications, the food production operation seems to have ended in 1944, and the family converted the building to a grocery store. The grocery store operation seems to have ended in 1968.

The 1925 Boston Directory has the following entries:

Aicardi Food Products Co grocer’s sundries 93 Stoughton Dor

Aicardi James A pres and treas Aicardi Food Products Co 93 Stoughton Dor h 91 do

Aicardi James A jr sec Aicardi Food Products Co 93 Stoughton Do h 15 Sumner do

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Dorchester Illustration 2262 Wrought at Mrs Saunders and Miss Beach’s Academy Dorchester

2262 Needlework by Eunice Bent

Dorchester Illustration no. 2262    Wrought at Mrs. Saunders and Miss Beach’s Academy

Eunice Bent made this piece of needlework at the school for young ladies operated in the first half of the 19th century by Judith Foster Saunders and Clementina Beach. The scan is from Betty Ring’s book Girlhood Embroidery, 1993). There is a verse from the Bible about Hagar on the piece itself (Genesis XII:17 … and the angel of God called unto Hagar out of Heaven…), and a statement on the matte: Wrought by Eunice Bent at Mrs. Saunders & Miss Beach’s Academy, Dorchester.

Of the many schools for young women that sprang up in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the Saunders and Beach Academy in Dorchester emerged as one of the most respectable–(Betty Ring. “Mrs. Saunders’ and Miss Beach’s Academy, Dorchester.” in The Magazine Antiques, August 1976).  Today the school is especially remembered for the noteworthy silk embroideries created by the students under the supervision of the proprietors whose goal was to prepare the daughters of well-to-do families to attract an appropriate husband and to take their place in society.

The women purchased the house for their school on Meeting House Hill from William and Frederick Pope, lumber merchants based in Dorchester.  Saunders had already operated a school in her hometown of Gloucester and was known for her exceptional skillful teaching of needlework as early as 1802.  She had no children, and little is known of her husband Thomas Bradbury Saunders who died in 1810.  Her well-known cousin Judith Sargent Murray helped Saunders and Beach with the description of their new venture

“I drew up the following preamble, and subjoined terms … Informed that the Town of Dorchester is destitute of a Seminary for Young Ladies, and impressed with reports of a high idea of the salubrity of the air, eligibility of the situation, and liberal urbanity of the inhabitants—two ladies, the one a native of America and the other born and educated in England …propose forming an academy in that place, where they will receive young Ladies as boarders upon terms hereafter to be committed …”— (Letter dated November 29, 1802: Judith Sargent Murray to Judith F. Saunders).

In March, 1809, the following subjects available at the Academy appeared in an advertisement published in the Columbia Sentinel:

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Letter Writing, Geography and the use of the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, French Language, Embroidery, Drawing and Painting, in oil, water colors, crayons, &c., tambour, plain, and ornamental Needle Work, drawing and coloring Maps and Mercator’s Charts.

No other school in the vicinity advertised its facilities more profusely or consistently. The census of 1810 shows an astonishing total of forty people were then residing in this house: one young male, thirty-six young ladies, and three women.  It is difficult to imagine how so many could have been adequately lodged in a house which had about nine rooms.  The house was enlarged by the addition of a long ell at the rear in 1817.  From 1822 to 1824 they conducted their school at other locations, but in May, 1825, they returned to their house in Dorchester, where they continued teaching at least until 1834 –(Betty Ring).

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Dorchester Illustration 2261 Dorchester and Milton Bank

2261 First Bank in Dorchester, Washington St opp River St

Dorchester Illustration no. 2261    Dorchester and Milton Bank

The subscribers to the stock of the Dorchester and Milton Bank met in April, 1832, and accepted the Act of Incorporation. John R. Chaffee, Pastor of the First Methodist Church, described some of the buildings in Lower Mills in his history of the church published in 1916. “The house opposite the head of River Street was built in 1822 by Robert P. Tolman, who had a store in the next building.  Over this store the Milton bank was organized in 1822.”  The Dolan funeral home is the Tolman house, and the bank building, which was located on its right side, was extant until about 1940.  The bank building is the house in the center of the photograph.

In Good Old Dorchester, William Dana Orcutt wrote: The town did not enjoy the luxury of a bank until 1832, when the “Dorchester and Milton Bank” was incorporated, with Moses Whitney, for its first president.  In 1850 the name of the bank was changed to the “Blue Hill Bank,” owing to the loss of some $32,000 by theft.

The Bankers’ Magazine, and Statistical Register. July, 1850. Vol. V. No. I reported:

The Dorchester and Milton Bank, at Dorchester, Massachusetts, was entered on the night of Saturday, June 1st, and robbed of about thirty thousand dollars, in the circulation of the Bank, together with the specie on hand, about $5,000, and $14,000 in blank notes not filled up. The Bank has issued the following advertisement.

The Vault of the Dorchester and Milton Bank was broken open and robbed on Saturday night last of about Thirty Thousand Dollars of the Notes of said Bank,–a quantity of Specie,–about Seven Hundred Blank Notes of the denomination of $20,– and the Copperplate upon which they were printed. Among the bills taken were a large number which can be identified at the Bank.

The Directors have therefore determined to call in their circulation, and will issue no bills of said Bank. All bills legitimately out will be redeemed at their own counter.  All persons are cautioned against receiving any notes of said Bank, unless from persons to them personally know, as the notes stolen will not be redeemed.

The first door of the vault has four locks, which had apparently been opened without force; the second had two locks, with a strong band of iron covering the key-holes, and fastened with a stout padlock. The villains must have opened the padlock with false keys, removed the iron bank, and finding that their instruments were not calculated for the work of opening the door, inserted gunpowder in each of the keyholes, and blew  off the locks.  The banking room is in the second story of the building, the lower part being occupied as a store, by Mr. J. Brewer.  The cashier of the bank, Mr. E. J. Bispham, resides in the same building.

The Bank later denied payment for a bill they determined was stolen, and the court found in their favor, but the plaintiff argued that it is the burden of the Bank to determine that the receiver of the bill knew it was stolen (Wyer vs Dorchester and Milton Bank). In 1853 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered a new trial.  We cannot find evidence of a final outcome.

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Dorchester Illustration 2260 Calf Pasture Pumping Station

2260 Calf Pasture Pumping Station

Dorchester Illustration no. 2260    Calf Pasture Pumping Station

Calf Pasture Pumping Station, photo from 2003

This building is located on Columbia Point in Dorchester surrounded by Harbor Point apartments, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Study of the United States Senate and UMass Boston.


The town of Dorchester was annexed to the City of Boston in 1870 partly due to the city’s desire to obtain a route to the sea for its sewage. “Whereas, in the opinion of the City Council, it has become necessary in order to complete the system of drainage and harbor improvements which have been devised for the benefit of Boston by the various commission which have had, and now have, these subjects in charge, to annex a portion of the whole of the town of Dorchester to the City of Boston.” – Order passed by City Council, Dec. 22, 1868, published in Reports in Relation to the Annexation of Dorchester to Boston, And the Act of the Legislature to Unite Said Town and City. Boston, 1869.   Although the necessity for the annexation to make the route of the sewer was denied by some, the sewer was clearly a consideration leading up to the votes in favor of annexation.  Indeed, by 1883, the Calf Pasture Pumping Station was a reality.

From the time of Dorchester’s settlement by English Puritans in June, 1630, until the late 18th century or early 19th, Columbia Point, a peninsula reaching into Dorchester Bay, was used as a calf pasture to keep calves separate from the main herd that was driven daily to what is now South Boston, the cow pasture. The land at Columbia Point was largely uninhabited even in the 1880s and was comprised of tidal marshland with an irregular shoreline, deeply cut by inlets.  The original size of Columbia Point is estimated to have been about 14 acres. After land-making over many years, the size of Columbia Point is now about 350 acres.  At the time of construction, the pumping station was located near the end of the peninsula.  Now UMass Boston and the Massachusetts Archives building are situated between the Pumping Station and the end of the peninsula.

Designed by Boston City Architect, George Clough, in Romanesque Revival style, the Pumping Station opened in 1883 as Boston’s first sewage pumping station and is now the only remaining building on Columbia Point constructed prior to the 20th century. The facility played a vital role in improving public health beginning in the late 19thcentury.  Within 35 years of its construction, the Calf Pasture Pumping Station was the keystone of a sewage disposal system that was a model for the rest of the country. The station was in operation as the Boston sewer system head-works until 1968, when a new treatment facility opened on Deer Island.

The pumping station along with the Gate House and West Shaft building are on the National Register of Historic Places. In recent years invasive vegetation has intruded into these structures. The Massachusetts Historical Commission has recommended that all three need to be secured against the weather – all door and window openings need to be secured; the structures need to be stabilized and mothballed to ensure they do not deteriorate while UMass undertakes a re-use study and develops plans for re-use and rehabilitation.

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Dorchester Illustration 2259 Mattapan Trolley

2259 Mattapan Trolleytype 4 car 5286 Oct 20, 1936Dorchester Illustration no. 2259    Mattapan Trolley

Mattapan Trolley Type 4 Car 5286 is shown on the loop at the Peabody Square end of Ashmont Station as it looked on October 20, 1936. Photo by James A. Parsons, 4 Westmoreland Street, Dorchester.

The family of James A. Parsons donated his photo albums of the Ashmont-Mattapan line to the Dorchester Historical Society. The following is from notes in his albums.

The Ashmont – Mattapan Line

by James A. Parsons, 4 Westmoreland Street, Dorchester, MA, 1976

The Ashmont-Mattapan line, considered an extension of the Harvard to Ashmont “red Line: Rapid Transit route, is one of America’s most unique trolley car lines. No fare is required if you board a trolley at Ashmont outbound towards Mattapan or an any station inbound from Mattapan to Ashmont Station.  However, if you board at any stop on the outbound run or get off at any of the stops before Ashmont after leaving Mattapan, the fare is 25 cents.

Originally the Dorchester and Milton Branch Railroad, the line was acquired by the Old Colony Railroad, later taken over by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Part of the “Red Line,” this stretch of track opened for trolley travel in 1930 as the “Hi-Speed” Line using heavy Type #4 street cars.  In the late 1940s smaller Type #5 cars were put into service for a short time, followed by the earlier types of PCC cars, which ran for several years.  Since 1960 the line has been served solely by 1945 vintage double end PCC cars purchased from Dallas, Texas, in 1959.

Another note of interest is that according to “Believe It or Not” Ripley, this is the only street car line in the world that runs directly through a cemetery (Cedar Grove in Dorchester).

While it is only a ten-minute ride, in my estimation this is one of the most interesting and picturesque trolley lines operating in the United States of America.

the following notes are undated

Most of cars are ex-Dallas double ended PCC’s, now operating single ended.

During the spring of 1978 the ex-Dallas cars housed at the Arborway Carhouse were transferred via motor truck trailers to the Mattapan Yard for service on the busy “Mattapan-Ashmont” Line.

These cars were still double enders because they saw most of their service on the Brigham Circle to Park Street via Huntington Avenue or Northeastern to Park Station and return, with the only loop located at Park Street. These lines are part of the “Green Line” Trolley System, and the cars were painted green accordingly.  The Mattapan-Ashmont Line is considered an extension of the Red Line, and the cars in service were painted red during the summer of 1977.

The Green Line cars transferred to Mattapan are numbered 332, 3323, 3324, 3325, 3327, 3328 and 3329. Car 3326 is still at the Arborway but painted yellow and black, in use as a Sand Car.

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Dorchester Illustration 2258 Holden House

2258 Holden House, Columbia Road

Dorchester Illustration no. 2258    Holden House near Upham’s Corner

The house of the Holden family stood on Columbia Road opposite Albright Ct. (now Annabel Street). Between 1884 and 1889, the house was taken down, and the property was sub-divided to allow construction of Holden Street with house lots on either side.

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Dorchester Illustration 2257 Pierce Building at Upham’s Corner

2257 Uphams Corner


Dorchester Illustration no. 2257    Pierce Building at Upham’s Corner

Anthony Sammarco has pointed out a mistake in last week’s Illustration. The house in the picture was not the Upham house but the Samuel B. Pierce House exactly across Columbia Road from Bellevue Street at the corner of Glendale.  The house is on the opposite side of the street than I thought.  The house was designed by John A. Fox and built between 1874 and 1879.  The family moved from the corner of Columbia Road and Dudley Street, where their former house was demolished in 1898-1899 to make way for the S.B. Pierce Bulding constructed in 1899.

The S.B. Pierce Building appears in the center of today’s illustration. Postcard. Caption on front: Uphams Corner, Dorchester, Mass. 1496   On verso: Pub. by German Novelty Co., Boston, Mass.  ca. 1910

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Dorchester Illustration 2256 Columbia Road at Bellevue

2256 Columbia Road opposite Bellevue

Dorchester Illustration no. 2256    Columbia Road at Bellevue

Photograph of Roy Wilkes, bay pacing gelding. Owned by Solly Wolfson. Published in The Dorchester Gentlemen’s Driving Club. Year Book 1905. Edited and compiled by Ernest H. Morgan.

The house in the center background is the Samuel Bowen Pierce House at the corner of Columbia Road and Glendale Street, designed by John A. Fox and built between 1874 and 1879. The family moved from the corner of Columbia Road and Dudley Street where their former house was demolished in 1898-1899 to make way for the S.B. Pierce Building constructed in 1899.

Solly Wolfson was a member of the The Dorchester Gentlemen’s Driving Club. The club members were owners of pacers and trotters who had their first public parade in 1900.  They felt the need for a speedway and agitated for one to be built at Franklin Field.

The active fight for a permanent speedway for Dorchester and vicinity began on May 14, 1900, when a hearing was given representatives of the Dorchester Gentlemen’s Driving Club by the Boston Board of Park Commissioners, relative to a track on the Talbot Avenue side of Franklin Field. The petition, signed by 2000 men, including such well-known horsemen as John Shepard and the late John M. Forbes, was presented by S. Howard Mildram, then councilman for Ward 24 and an active member of the club.

The fight ended on Thanksgiving day, 1904, when wth a drizzling rain overhead and several inches of mud underfoot, a long procession f prominent men and women in natty rigs, led by a tally-ho and brass band, started from Codman Square, and reaching the new speedway via Washington Street, Columbia Road, Blue Hill and Talbot Avenues, formally dedicated the speedway to the public use.

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Dorchester Illustration 2255 A.T. Stearns Lumber Company

2255 Stearns Lumber medal 75th anniversary

Dorchester Illustration no. 2255    A.T. Stearns Lumber Company

A.T. Stearns Lumber Company bronze paper-weight celebrating 75 years of business at Neponset. The company owned much of what is now the public property on Port Norfolk that is part of the Greenway.  The lumber yard buildings stood just east of the railroad bridge that carries the T’s red line to Braintree.

The following is from: Men of Progress. Boston, 1896.

Stearns, Albert Thomas, of Neponset, lumber merchant and manufacturer, was born in Billerica, April 23, 1821, son of Abner and Annie (Russell) Stearns. He is a direct descendant of Isaac Stearns, whom came to New England from England in 1636.  His grandfather, Lieutenant Edward Stearns, was in the Concord fight of 1773, and took the place of Captain Wilson who was killed.  His uncle Solomon Stearns,then a lad of seventeen, was also there.  He was educated in the public schools and at Phillips (Andover) Academy, which he attended one year, about 1834.  He was trained for active life at home, in farming carpentering, and in saw and grist mills.  Leaving home at the age of eighteen, he engaged in a variety of pursuits the next few years, at length settling into that of a builder; and from this worked naturally into the lumber business which, with manufacturing, has been the principal occupation of his life.  He started in this business in1843, in Waltham, where F. Butrick’s lumberyard now is, and leaving therein 1849, came to Neponset, where he has since remained.  During this long period he has been engaged in a large and prosperous trade, and has become widely known among lumber men.  He is a member of the Home Market Club and of the Norfolk Club.  In politics he was first a Free Soiler, and since its organization has been associated with the Republican party.  He has not been ambitious for political honors, and his only public service has been as a member of the Boston Common Council one term, 1879.  Mr. Stearns was married in June, 1843, to Miss Salome Maynard, of Sudbury.  They have had seven children: Albert Henry, Waldo Harrison, Frank Maynard (deceased), Anne Russell (deceased), Frederick Maynard, Salome (deceased) , and Ardelle Augusta Stearns.

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Dorchester Illustration 2254 Consumptives Home Grove Hall

 2254 Consumptives Home Grove Hall

Dorchester Illustration no. 2254   Consumptives Home Grove Hall 

Scan of illustration from King’s Hand-Book of Boston. Boston: Moses King Corporation, 1889. 9th ed. The Text of King’s Hand-Book says that the Consumptives Home Grove Hall was incorporated in 1870, six years after it was founded by Dr. Charles Cullis, who is still the manager [in 1889].  By 1889 a new building had replaced the original.

Mary Roach, in her book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers mentions that Dr. Duncan MacDougall in 1907 experimented at the Cullis Home to determine the weight of the human soul. He constructed a special bed in his office by arranging a light framework built upon very delicately balanced platform beam scales sensitive to two-tenths of an ounce. He experimented with six patients in the end stages of terminal illnesses and observed them before, during and after the process of death, measuring any corresponding changes in weight. He said that he found a loss of weight at the moment of death. MacDougall repeated the experiment with fifteen dogs and found no loss of weight. He concluded that the human soul had measurable mass. His work caused acrid debate at the time. See Roach’s book for a better description.

Dorchester House Tour a Success!

This year’s Dorchester House Tour, on Sunday, June 12, drew some 420 tourgoers to explore a dozen homes and carriage barns on Ashmont Hill as well as the beautifully restored All Saints Church.

I’m pleased to report that the tour was a resounding success, both as an initial effort by DHS to revive the tradition of showcasing Dorchester’s architecturally significant neighborhoods, and as a fundraiser for the Society’s building restoration fund.  We look forward to planning future tours, and we are eager to begin the much-needed repairs to the 1806 William Clapp House. Watch for more information in the months ahead.

The owners of the 12 homes and carriage barns that were open for the tour were joined by an additional 100 people who volunteered in those homes and at All Saints Church. Members of the DHS Board who served on the planning committee did everything from solicit sponsors and advertisers, to write copy, take photographs, and design printed materials, to coordinate volunteers, and much more. It was truly a team effort.

While many visitors were from Dorchester, they also came from other Boston neighborhoods and nearby suburbs. Some had connections to Ashmont Hill, and fond memories, while others had recently moved to Dorchester and were eager to see the neighborhood.  Visitors also came from farther away: from Salem, Concord, Bedford, Whitman, West Newbury, and Newport, RI, to name a few. Tourgoers expressed interest and delight in the houses, and appreciated the willingness of their owners to open their doors to strangers. Homeowners enjoyed sharing information and stories; several were asked, jokingly, if they would take reservations to stay.

We are grateful to the homeowners and all the volunteers, to the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, to our sponsors and advertisers, to our media sponsor the Dorchester Reporter, and especially to the hundreds of people who came to discover or rediscover Dorchester, for making it a wonderful day in the neighborhood.

— Earl Taylor, president, Dorchester Historical Society

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