Jamaica Plain Has 15 Working Gas Street Lamps

A working gas light at Meehan Court in Jamaica Plain, as of May 2014.

Chris Helms

A working gas light at Meehan Court in Jamaica Plain, as of May 2014.

One of the delights of living in an older city (at least by North American standards) is that vestiges remain of previous eras. Take, for instance, the fact that JP still has 15 working gas street lamps.

You can turn a corner, as I recently did wandering off Green Street onto Meehan Court, and find yourself in a time warp. The whole city was once lit by gas. According to a Globe article, there were once more than 10,000 gas lamps in Boston. The number was down to 2,847 by 2004.

Of the ones that remain, the city still maintains them, said Michael Reiskind, the neighborhood’s unofficial historian.

JP was once very important to the city’s gas infrastructure. What is now English High School was once Jamaica Plain Gas Company.

Here’s a 5-second video of the gas light at Meehan Court in action.

If you’d like to tour all 15 working gas lamps, here’s a Google map. Special thanks to Reiskind for the list on which this map is based. This map is editable if anyone would like to add photos, descriptions or even move a map pin if it is in the wrong place.