Dorchester Illustration no. 2336 Tenean Creek
Tenean Creek was one of Dorchester’s distinctive early geographic features, now filled in and covered over. The serpentine route of Tenean Creek can be best seen on the 1850 map of Dorchester.
The mouth of the creek was located at approximately where the Stop & Shop is now on Morrissey Boulevard. The Murphy School sits on part of the filled-in creek. The creek stretched from there northward past Park Street.
The Philip McMorrow Playground, between the Murphy School and Victory Road, is part of the creek land that was filled, as was the land where the Armory is located on the North side of Victory Road, formerly Mill Street. In the illustration, there is a circle with a cross in it that indicates a mill at the Armory location. That was the Breck mill built in the 17th century to make use of the rising tides to fill the mill pond. By the time the map was drawn n 1850, the mill belonged to the Blake and Tileston families.
North of Mill Street, Tenean Creek meandered northward to Park Street and a little beyond. Since the creek was navigable by small boats, it was useful for low-level shipping. When the Old Colony Railroad was constructed to the east of the creek, it seemed logical to create a street next the railroad, whose property owners would have access to the creek. Field and Drake had their business here on Exchange Street, a precursor to the Field’s Store in Field’s Corner. The Mattapan Bank was located here. Exchange Street is now gone along with the creek, replaced by Mapes Street lined with industrial and commercial properties.
The flat nature of the land where the creek was filled in is now the only reminder of the former presence of Tenean Creek.