The following article was republished with permission from the Jamaica Plain Historical Society. In 1873, with the Church of St. Thomas Aquinas built, Reverend Thomas Magennis, the pastor, turned his attention to the establishment of a grammar school for boys and girls in the parish. He had been elected to the school board of the Town and he appreciated the value of the public school system, but he wanted that extra something, religious training and liturgical music, taught as well. He made a trip to New York and observed the teaching methods of the Sisters of St.
Gaslights once lined most of the streets in Jamaica Plain. Originally, lamplighters went around to light them each night and then extinguish them in the morning. Later, gaslights became automated and the lamplighters were charged with maintaining all the lamps on their assigned routes - as explained in this article: The Old Lamplighter. In Jamaica Plain in 2021, we have just a few of these sentinels of the past left:
Burroughs Street - 3 lights can be found on Burroughs:
One is at the intersection with the Jamaicaway. One is at Regent Circle
One’s whereabouts is not known (possibly Agassiz Park?)
31 Jamaica Street
2 Paul Gore Terrace
Meehan Place (this street runs off of Green Street)
10 Union Avenue (rear)
Forest Hills Street - 2 lights can be found on Forest Hills St:
Two different types at #327 (the Pole Yard)
165 Allandale Street (two here!)
90 Allandale Street
Long-term JPHS member Sarah Freeman provided the list of gaslights, which she said JPHS' Michael Reiskind had provided by memory previously.
The Civil War Monument with its marble block inscribed with names, places and dates of the fallen, forms a solid outline of that war's events. The city of Boston reinforced the memory of the Civil War further when it lay out and named the streets in Jamaica Plain. Names focus on heroes of the war: the naval officer Porter, the general Sheridan, post-war president Andrew Johnson, Massachusetts war governor John Albion Andrew (also seen above an arch on the Monument), and perhaps, in a magnificent gesture, Southern commander-in-chief Robert E. Lee. The focus of our street names then shifts to battle areas of the Civil War that took place in The Carolina's including the city of Newbern, North Carolina. Of the 146,730 Black and White troops from Massachusetts (with 13,942 casualties) sent to the war under the zeal of governor John A. Andrew, 23 of those dead are memorialized on our Monument, three died in the Carolina campaigns.
Ever wonder about the history of Hyde Square, Green Street, or Stony Brook? Learn about those neighborhoods and other JP areas through the Jamaica Plain Historical Society's history walking tours series. This is 27th season of JPHS' historic walking tours. All tours are free to the public, and the series kicks of May 14 with a tour Monument Square. The tours are mostly on Saturdays at 11 am, although there are a few Sunday tours this summer.
At the corner of South Street and Carolina Avenue in Jamaica Plain is a colorful court that hosts lively tennis, pickleball and basketball games throughout the week. Next door, at 30 Carolina Avenue, is a unique brick building and wooden stable that has housed the Penshorn Roofing Company since 1960 (figure 1). If we stand on that corner and turn back the clock over 170 years, we would visit a time of great transformation and growth for the city of Boston and a family that played a significant role in those changes. We would also learn the story of an entrepreneurial immigrant family and the tragedy they endured. Architecture of 30 Carolina Ave
30 Carolina Avenue is a one-and-a-half story Second Empire-style building.