Twenty-three years ago the then president of the Jamaica Plain Historical Society, Rhea Becker, had an idea. Why not conduct a series of walking tours during the summer months as a way to highlight the rich history of JP for people? The JPHS has been conducting historic walking tours of Jamaica Plain tours ever since.
From the four tours that debuted on the schedule in 1995, the offerings have now expanded to include seven different tours. Each tour lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. Depending on the tour, participants might see a colonial mile marker from 1745 or a early 20th century project to create affordable housing that also fostered community. (Some things in Jamaica Plain are continuing needs.)
The tours include both residential areas and some of the parts of JP that have a greater industrial heritage. Participants also get to hear about some of the amazing people who have called Jamaica Plain home, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner, the man who created the pineapple industry in Hawaii and the women who funded some of the very first public kindergartens in the country.
The seven neighborhood tours are: Monument Square, Sumner Hill, Stony Brook, Hyde Square, Green Street, Woodbourne and Jamaica Pond.
Tours leave from different locations depending upon what neighborhood is being featured. The Hyde Square tour starts from the Brendan Behan Pub (sorry, drinks are not part of the tour), the Jamaica Pond tour starts from the Pond's bandstand and two tours start from the Loring-Greenough House.
Please visit the Jamaica Plain Historical Society's website for more info about each tour and schedules. Please note that the tours are led by volunteers and are cancelled in the case of heavy rain.Tours will be given every Saturday starting May 12th through the end of September. No reservations are required to take a Jamaica Plain Historical Society tour and there is no fee. You just need to meet your guide at the starting location.