Dec. 14, 2014 Holiday Party at Dorchester Historical Society

Historic setting, food, music – join us.

2 pm, Dec. 14, 2014

Dorchester Historical Society

195 Boston Street, Dorchester

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Dorchester Illustration 2172 Torrey Mansion

Dorchester Illustration no. 2172 Torrey House

 

The Torrey mansion stood on the corner of Washington Street and Melville Avenue. Designed by Cabot and Chandler, the Torrey House was one of the most elaborate 19th-century homes in Dorchester.

ELBRIDGE TORREY was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, September 17,1837. He died at his home in Dorchester, Massachusetts, January 2, 1914. Mr. Torrey belonged to the old school of Boston merchants, noted for their enterprise and sterling integrity. His philanthropies were many and of great variety, though always free from ostentation. It is within bounds to say that no man stood higher than he in the esteem and confidence of the people where he made his home for more than the past half century.

The following positions have been held by Mr. Torrey: President of Torrey, Bright & Capen Co. (carpet importers), since its incorporation, until he retired from business in 1907; corporate member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, from 1876, also a member of its Prudential Committee, serving until he resigned in 1893; Trustee of Mount Holyoke College from 1899 until his death; was elected a member of the Board of Trustees at Hartford Theological Seminary, and served 17 years, the last 3 of which he held the office of President. He then declined a re-election; President of Central Turkey College, and at the time of his death, of the Cullis Consumptives’ Home. He was one of the original members of the Boston Congregational Club. He was at one time unanimously elected its President but declined to serve. He was also a member of the Board of Council of the Home for Aged Couples and for fifty years was identified with the Second Church of Dorchester, was Deacon forty-five years, and Chairman forty-two years of the Board of Assessors of the Parish. He was Vice-president of the Congregational Church Building Society and a Director in the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was for several years on the Board of Directors of the Elm Hill Home for Aged Couples. He was also for seventeen years on the Board of Trustees of Bradford Academy.

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2171 McGrath Electric

Dorchester Illustration no. 2171 McGrath Electric

In 1940, the McGrath Electric Company documented their acquisition of a truck with photos.  Their storefront was located at 1726 Dorchester Avenue across from St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church next to a drugstore.  The drugstore space is now occupied by Romel Dry Cleaners, and the McGrath Electric space is now occupied by Jabez Variety Plus.

 The photo of the truck was taken at the back of the building. 

 

This block of stores seems now to be owned as commercial condominium units.

 

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

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Hebrew Home for the Aged

Dorchester Illustration no. 2170 Hebrew Home for the Aged

 

On Wednesday, January 28, 1903, a small group of Orthodox Jews – five women and one man – completed and signed the official documents and paid the five-dollar fee, thus creating the Hebrew Moshav Zekainim Association. Its purpose, the documents stated, was to “establish a Home for the taking care of the old and infirm Jewish men and women in the City of Boston.” Two years later, “owing to the demand for a Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews in our city, where the ritual of orthodoxy will be strictly adhered to,” the Association announced that it had purchased a building at 21 Queen Street in Dorchester. It opened its doors in September 1905 with 15 elderly residents. Today, Hebrew SeniorLife serves more than 3,500 seniors at seven sites and, through its programs and facilities, impacts the lives of nearly one-quarter of Jewish seniors over age 70 in the Greater Boston area.

The Board of Directors voted to relocate the “home” to a new location. The official announcement that a greatly expanded facility would be built on a location other than Queen Street was made on June 4, 1953, at a gala dinner commemorating the Home’s 50th anniversary. The belief was that in order for the “home” to establish itself as an important geriatric treatment facility, it had to be closer in proximity to the Boston medical area on a site in which there was room to grow.  However, the new location had yet to be determined. The City of Boston was willing to sell a 9.5-acre parcel of land known as Joyce Kilmer Park, which abutted the Arnold Arboretum. The purchase price was $40,500. Ground was broken in 1956 at the new location at 1200 Centre Street in Roslindale and on September 22, 1963, more than 260 residents moved from 21 Queen Street in Dorchester to the new 475-bed residence. The name was officially changed from “Hebrew Home for Aged” to “Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged.”

 

Source: http://www.newbridgeonthecharles.com/body.cfm?id=70

The Queen Street property is now home to The Neighborhood House Charter School. 

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

 

 

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November 16, 2014 2 pm – The Three-Decker: Symbol and Stereotype

Diane Jacobsohn, PhD

Three-Decker: Symbol and Stereotype

2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014

at the William Clapp House

Diane Jacobson will examine why three-deckers are considered a form of vernacular architecture peculiar to New England, as well as some of the exceptions.   Through the lens of social history, she will describe how a popular multifamily dwelling became a symbol of undesirable housing by the 1920s.  Despite the negative stereotypes, three-deckers were an attractive housing option, and many still are today.  Her focus is on three-deckers in the Boston area.

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2169 Oakland Hall, Mattapan Square

Dorchester Illustration no. 2169 Oakland Hall

 

Oakland Hall stood at the corner of River Street and Oakland Street (now Cummins Highway).  As noted below it was moved on its lot to face Mattapan Square more conveniently.  Does anyone know when it was taken down?

 

upper picture:

 

Boston Globe, Jan. 5, 1908

Will Start New Parish

Rev Fr Francis J. Ryan Will Have Mass in Oakland Hall in Mattapan Today – Plans for a Church Later

In Oakland hall, close to Mattapan sq, in Mattapan, the Catholic people of that place will assemble this morning for the first time as parishioners of an independent parish to be built up under the direction of Rev Fr Francis J. Ryan.  He was appointed about a week ago to take charge of this section which heretofore had been a mission attached to St Gregory’s parish of Milton [!]. ..

lower picture:

Oakland Hall, Mattapan

Fancy This no. 224 by Jack Frost published in Boston Herald September 10, 1935

How Boston Beat Milton By a Penny

Trustees of the Boston Public won an unexpected penny n Jan. 9, 1924, when a trust fund provided for in the will of Emor Hollingsworth, 19th century litterateur, was divided.  The Boston library branch in Mattapan received $11,484.64 and the Milton library branch in Mattapan, second beneficiary, ot $11,484.63.  Milton lost out, to the extent of the penny, because the Boston library was deemed to have a more expensive organization.

Mr. Hollingsworth’s will, seeking to benefit the two Mattapan branches, directed that a hall now known as Oakland hall be built for Mattapan, with profits from rentals to be given the library branches.

The building went up in 1872 and later was moved so that its entrance would be more conveniently reached from Mattapan Square.  It now is at River Street and Cummins Highway.

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

 

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2168 Dorchester High School for Boys strike

Dorchester Illustration no. 2168 Dorchester High School for Boys strike

Dorchester Illustration no. 2168

 

Today it is hard to imagine that there were rules for clothing worn to school in former years.  The illustration is a press photo that probably ran in a Boston newspaper. Newspapers in other cities picked up the story from the wire services.

 

Binghamton (NY) Press, October 16, 1950

500 Stage School Strike Over Ban on Dungarees

Boston–(U.P.)–Pupils stated a strike today for permission to wear dungarees at Dorchester High School for Boys.  Some 500 students stayed away from classes.

Headmaster Albert F. Reed said he understood the strikers wanted to wear dungarees to industrial shopwork classes.

Crowds of pupils at the school gate chanted: “We want dungarees.”

A squad of police preserved order on the school grounds.

Reed estimated that 100pupils showed up for classes on schedule, but added that he believed several hundred” others would have entered the school if they had not been intimidated by the “ringleaders.”

“I think the small boys are afraid of the big ones,” he said.

The school has a total of about 600 pupils, about one-third of whom take the industrial course. Pupils are required to wear either street clothes or cotton khaki drill uniforms to all classes.

Reed said he did not consider it unjust to forbid dungarees “since khakis are a lot cheaper for boys who don’t want to wear their suits to shop work.”

A spokesman for the students said the strikers also sought repeal of a new school rule forbidding unrestricted visits to locker rooms.

Reed said the students never had complained about the rule on dungarees and locker rooms visits.

 

Lewiston Daily Sun, October 17, 1950

Dorchester High Students Strike

Quit Classes, Demonstrate Against School Rules

Boston, Oct. 16 – AP- Police today talked 300 high school boys into settling a “strike” that kept them away from classes two hours.

But before the students went back to Dorchester High School for Boys, police said this happened:

One group of boys smashed milk bottles against parked cars, littering nearby Norfolk Street with broken glass.

Some 200 others invaded the grounds of the girls’ high school at Codman Square.

Finally six policemen rounded up the boys, who filed into the building in lines of five.

The strikers objected to school regulations forbidding the wearing of dungarees in industrial classes and limiting the number of visits to the locker room.  Headmaster Alfred F. Reed reused to change the rules after a meeting with a student committee.

 

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2167 Ashmont Station

Dorchester Illustration no. 2167 Ashmont Station

In the late 1890s a new Ashmont train station was built on the west side of the train tracks on the land where the land is today. Earlier, the station was on the north side of Peabody Square in the v between Dorchester Avenue and Talbot Avenue.  The station in the illustration today is the one that served Ashmont from the late 1890s until the change-over to rapid transit in the late 1920s, when a brick headhouse was placed approximately where the headhouse is today.

 

The site of the station in the illustration today had been the site of the All Saints Episcopal Church, but when the new church building opened on Ashmont Street, the church no longer needed the land where their former wooden building stood on Dorchester Avenue.

 

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

 

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2166 Word War I postcard

Dorchester Illustration no. 2166

 

Postcard sent from the front in World War I, postmarked Aug. 7, 1918 to Miss Laurette Moulton, 1683 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA.

 

How are all you at home.  Suppose by the time you get this card, you will be thinking of starting back to school again; and be sure you study French so you can be a nurse in the next war and know how to take to the people over here.  Maybe this war will last long enough.  Some of us are at [unreadable] on detached service for a while about 25 miles from the[readable].  Many Mass. wounded boys here.  Just heard last night that Soissons had been taken again by the allies.  Best wishes you all.  Private Harold Jenks, Mobile Operating Unit no. 1, section 2. Amer. Exp. Forces

 

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The Dorchester Illustration is sent occasionally. If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please reply to be taken off the e-mail list. If you know others who would like to receive the daily e-mail, please encourage them to join the group by going to http://groups.google.com/group/dorchester-historical-society. You may contact Earl Taylor at ERMMWWT@aol.com

If you value receiving the illustration, please express your appreciation by making a donation to the Dorchester Historical Society, either by regular mail at 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125, or through the website at www.DorchesterHistoricalSociety.org

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October 19, 2014 2 pm Listen Up: the Music of the Beatles

As the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles in the US comes to a close, re-live a little personal history at DHS.

 

Delvyn Case, professor of music at Wheaton College, will present a musical introduction the brilliant early songs by The Beatles, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” and “Eleanor Rigby,” discussing how their musical and lyrical attributes combine to create what he calls “perfect” pop songs.

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