Dorchester Illustration 2279 O’Brien’s Market

Dorchester Illus2279-obriens-markettration no. 2279     O’Brien’s Market

O’Brien’s Market will be the subject of a hearing at the Boston Landmarks Commission on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, at 6:00 pm in Boston City Hall in response to a petition to designate the property a Boston landmark. The Commission has the option of accepting the petition for further study.  Please attend if you can to voice your support

O’Brien’s Market

1911-1913 Dorchester Avenue/175 Ashmont Street

The surge in residential development in the 1880s must have presented an attractive opportunity to offer household provisions to the area’s growing and affluent population. By 1884 there were several dozen homes in the immediate vicinity, and both Carruth’s Hill and Welles Hill were primed for further development. In 1884 Messrs. Frederick P. Jacques and George C. Griffin decided to open a grocery and produce market at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Ashmont Street in what was then called Ashmont Square.

The two proprietors of what was initially called the Ashmont Market engaged the architect W. Whitney Lewis to design a building to accommodate their provisions business and also to provide two four-room residential suites for the proprietors on the upper floors.  (George O’Brien started out as a clerk in the store in 1895, later succeeding to the ownership of the business; hence the current and long-standing name of the building.)

It is not known whether Lewis was first drawn to the Ashmont area by Messrs. Jacques and Griffin or by Frank Fairbanks, a prosperous Boston hatter, for whom Lewis designed a house at 1 Fairfax Street in 1884 (along with several other houses in that neighborhood at the same time), but regardless, in the design of the market, Whitney Lewis placed the first significant building in Peabody Square.

The Peabody Square “Ensemble”

O’Brien’s Market is a critical element in the collection of buildings that make up Ashmont’s historic village center in Peabody Square, an assemblage of 19th century structures that is National Register-eligible and exceptional in the quality and diversity of its components.  In addition to the Market, Peabody Square comprises:

The Hotel Argyle (1882-92), an architecturally complementary building to O’Brien’s, and an adjoining red-brick stable directly across the street (166-170 Ashmont Street).  The buildings were likely designed by Lewis; the stable was was remodeled to a car barn in 1910 by architects Guy and Proctor.

The Ashmont Block (1892), which housed club rooms and a large, second-floor function hall, designed by local architect-builder H.M. Wallis (164 Ashmont Street).

All Saints Church, Episcopal (1892-1894), designed by Ralph Adams Cram and Bertram Goodhue.  All Saints was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Property with National Significance in 1980 (NR #80000678) ; the 2012 Historic Structures Report prepared as part of the church’s recent restoration recommended that its status be upgraded to National Historic Landmark, which the parish intends to pursue.

Peabody Square Park (1893), a green space in the center of Peabody Square with horse-watering trough.

The Peabody Square Fire House (1895), designed by City Architect Edmund Wheelwright.

The Peabody Apartment Building (1895-1896), designed by Edwin J. Lewis, Jr.  (no relation to W. Whitney Lewis), who also designed numerous houses, primarily in the Shingle Style, in both Ashmont Hill and Carruth’s Hill. The Peabody was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, as a Property with Historic Significance for Architecture, Community Planning and Development (NR#01000872).

The Peabody Square Clock (1909), designed by William Downer Austin and manufactured by the E. Howard Clock Company.  It was designated a Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission on November 1, 1983.

This remarkable and coherent ensemble of buildings and structures satisfies the National Trust’s Criteria for Evaluation A and C and might also be designated a Boston Landmark District (Criteria A and D). Each of the buildings is makes an essential contribution to the character of the Square, which enhances the neighborhoods surrounding the square as some of the most desirable in Boston.

Text from Vicki Rugo.

 The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

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Dec 11, 2016 Holiday Party + Dorchester Illustration 2278 Christmas Postcard

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2278     Christmas Postcard          

Christmas postcard sent to a home on Kilton Street (now Norwell Street) in the early 20th century.

Sunday, December 11, 2016   2pm

William Clapp House, 195 Boston Street.

Dorchester Historical Society

Holiday Party

DHS members and friends gather to ring in the holiday season at the annual Holiday Open House.  Dorchester-based pianist Bil Mooney-McCoy will play music of the holiday season and lead the gathering in a lively carol sing.  Enjoy food, good company and shopping in our specialty gift shop.

                Dorchester Historical Society

               195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125

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Dorchester Illustration 2277 St. William’s Church

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2277     St. William’s Church

St. William’s became a Parish set off from St. Peter’s in 1909, consisting of territory south of St. Margaret’s nearly to Glover’s Corner, and including the Savin Hill district. The Reverend James J. Baxter was the first pastor and was succeeded by James McCarthy. Baxter bought the Worthington estate at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Belfort Street. The old mansion was adapted as a rectory. St. William’s first building at 1048 Dorchester Avenue was in the Spanish Mission style designed by Edward Sheehan, a Dorchester resident. The Pastor in 1930 was David J. Murphy.

The building was burned in September 1980 and was replaced with a church of modern design.

From the 1990s through 2004 the Archdiocese of Boston endured the consequences of allegations and lawsuits involving misconduct by priests with the result that the Archdiocese paid out large monetary settlements. The Archdiocese studied its parishes and determined that low attendance and large expenses warranted the closing of some. St. William and St. Margaret were the only two parishes, out of 11 Catholic parishes in Dorchester, that felt a direct impact of the Archdiocese’ reconfiguration process of early 2004. In 2004, these two parishes will merged under the name of Blessed Mother Teresa parish, and the new parish is located at 800 Columbia Road in the building that was St. Margaret’s Church.  The parish is now named St. Teresa.

For more information, consult:

Emery, S.L. A Catholic Stronghold and Its Making. A History of St. Peter’s Parish, Dorchester, Massachusetts, and of Its First Rector the Rev. Peter Ronan, P.R. Boston, 1910.

Lord, Robert H., John E. Sexton and Edward T. Harrington. History of the Archdiocese of Boston. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1944. 3 vols.

Shand Tucci, Douglass. The Gothic Churches of Dorchester. Issued by the Dorchester Savings Bank. Boston: Tribune Publishing Company, 1972.

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Dorchester Illustratio 2276 Trolley Car Yard at Park Street

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2276     Trolley Car Yard at Park Street

Paul Cifrino purchased the land on Park Street at Fields Corner adjacent to the T station to develop a retail shopping plaza in 1962. Before the shopping plaza, the site served as a trolley car yard and barns.

Today’s illustration shows trolley snow plow #2015 at Park Street plus a view of the yard from the 1930s or 40s. In the lower photo, Park Street is on the left, and the photographer seems to have been standing on top of a building on the east side of Dorchester Avenue looking west.

The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

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Dorchester Illustration 2275 James McIntosh Harness Maker

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2275     James McIntosh, Harness Maker

Illustration from 1868 Business Directory for James McIntosh, Harness Maker and Carriage Trimmer. Located at Glover’s Corner, this business carried all sorts of items related to horses and harnesses.  it took a lot more work to keep horse and harness in good repair than what we do today for our automobiles.  Most of us are satisfied if we take our cars through a car-wash once a week or so.

The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

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Dorchester Illustration 2274 King Cleansers, Geneva Avenue

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2274     King Cleansers, Geneva Avenue

Postcard at Boston Public Library showing King Cleansers, 435 Geneva Avenue, ca. 1930-1940. Number 435 is at the corner of Geneva Avenue and Dakota Street.

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Dorchester Illustration 2273 Account of the Manufacture and Use of Cocoa

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2273   Account of the Manufacture and Use of Cocoa

The first known recipe pamphlet issued by Walter Baker & Co. was entitled An Account of the Manufacture and Use of Cocoa and Chocolate and was published in 1876. The next was Chocolate Receipts, which was published about 1880. In addition to publishing recipes, Baker extols the nutritional value of chocolate and cites many experts. Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, a German physician, is quoted: “I recommend good chocolate to nervous, excitable persons; also to the weak, debilitated and infirm; to children and women. I have obtained excellent results from it in many cases of chronic deseases of the digestive organs.”

The first teacher of the Boston Cooking School, Maria Parloa, wrote many of the recipes for Walter Baker & Co.’s 1899 pamphlet, Choice Recipes. She was a well-known cookbook author and teacher. The Appledore Cook Book, her first, was published in 1872. Though little is known of her early life, she attended the Maine Central Institute when she was 28 years old. The Appledore Cook Book, published the next year, tells us that she had worked as a cook in private families and had worked as a pastry chef in several New Hampshire hotels. She went into teaching in Mandarin, Florida, where she gave her first lecture on cooking to raise money for the purchase of an organ for the local Sunday School. Encouraged by her success, she opened a cooking school in 1877 on Tremont Street in Boston. In 1879 she agreed to teach at the Boston Cooking School, a project of the Women’s Education Association. Over the years she published Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book and Marketing Guide (1881) and Practical Cookery (1884) as well as writing many articles for the Ladies’ Home Journal, of which she was a part owner.

The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

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Dorchester Illustration 2272 Milton Station Car Barn

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2272   Milton Station Car Barn

The Milton Station car barn was located at approximately 2262 Dorchester, where a Boston Housing Authority high-rise now stands near Lower Mills.

Postcard. Caption on front: Milton Station Car Barn, Dorchester, Mass.  Postmarked Nov 3, 1908. Dorchester Center Station, Boston. With one cent stamp. No. H 12791 The Robbins Bros Co., Boston, Mass. & Germany.

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Dorchester Illustration 2271 Sally Baker’s House, Savin Hill

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2271   Sally Baker House, Savin Hill

Sally Baker lived on Savin Hill Avenue, the part of Savin Hill Avenue that circles the north side of the Hill, nearly opposite Savin Hill Court.

Sarah Baker was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church near Lower Mills from early years until her death in 1866. She lived next to that church for a long time, finally moving to her early home at Savin Hill.  Miss Baker conducted a band-box business for forty years, and when she had gathered $5,000, she invested the money.  She left this investment in her will so that at the end of twenty years, the money would be given to the Methodist Church to build a new house of worship within three-fourths of a mile from her Savin Hill home.  The money became available in 1886, at which time no church existed within the required limit.

In March, 1876, Rev. W. G. Leonard was employed by the Boston Sunday School and City Missionary Society to organize a Sunday School in the part of the city called Mount Pleasant.  For that purpose he leased the old Governor Eustis House on Shirley Street.  In August 1876 a lot on Howard Avenue was leased and a Chapel building was begun.  On October 30th Rev. David Sherman, Presiding Elder of the Boston District, organized a Methodist Episcopal Church.  The chapel was finished and dedicated in November.

In 1899 the Trustees of the New England Conference asked the Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church on Howard Avenue, Roxbury, to disband and add the proceeds of the sale of its property to the Baker estate.  The church was reorganized at Upham’s Corner, and its first meetings were held in Winthrop Hall opposite the site of the proposed church.  The Baker Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church was located at the corner of Columbia Road and Cushing Avenue.  The site chosen was found to be nineteen feet outside the required limit, and special permission was obtained from the Court to use the Baker bequest.  The money had grown to $22,642, and it contributed substantially to the construction of the Baker Memorial Church, which opened in June, 1891.    The site is now a vacant lot at the corner of Columbia Road and Cushing Avenue next to the bank building.

 

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Dorchester Illustration 2270 Unitarian Church in Lower Mills

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Dorchester Illustration no. 2270   Unitarian Church in Lower Mills

Dorchester’s third church society was formed as a result of disagreement at Second Church in Codman Square.

In the Boston area in the early 1800s ministers would routinely trade parishes to give congregations the opportunity to hear other preachers.  John Codman, the first minister of Second Church, was chosen by the congregation and ordained in late 1808.  Codman was a staunch Congregationalist and was an opponent of the transition of other Congregational churches to Unitarianism in this period.  He would not agree to preaching by Unitarian-leaning ministers to his congregation. The more liberal of his congregation objected, and there was a period of very high tension when two factions met at the Church on the same day, hearing speakers of different opinions.

To defuse the situation, Codman bought out the pews of the liberals, who formed a new congregation and held their first meeting on May 6, 1813, in the Dorchester Reading Room, the back room of a barber shop which had been furnished as a reading room for the people at Lower Mills. At a second meeting in August, the members called themselves “The Proprietors of the New South Meeting-House.” The Second Church was known as the South Meeting-House, and the Third was now called “The New South.”

Their new building was completed in October, 1813, on the west side of Washington Street at Richmond Street and came to be known as Richmond Hall (now 1111-1113 Washington Street) in honor of the first pastor. Ministers from Boston preached until the installation of the Rev. Dr. Edward Richmond on June 25, 1817. The church building pictured in today’s illustration was built to an Asher Benjamin design in 1839-1840 on Richmond Street at Dorchester Avenue, located where the CVS store is. The church building faced Richmond Street.

The archive of these historical posts can be viewed on the blog at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org

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