JPHS Presenting Play About JP Woman Who Was First to Graduate MIT with Architecture Degree

In 1891, a 23-year-old woman from Jamaica Plain won an architecture contest to design the Woman’s Building for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago -- and while that should have been the beginning of a great career for Sophia Hayden -- her life's story ended being quite harrowing. While doing research, a Jamaica Plain Historical Society member learned that Hayden was from Jamaica Plain, and was the first woman to get an architecture degree at MIT. "We thought her story deserved to be better known and we always do an event for Women's History Month," said JPHS President Gretchen Grozier. On March 12, there will be a reading of the play Sophia Hayden Deserves Better by Stephanie Alison Walker. It is a fictionalized version of her story for dramatic purposes.


What Is Jamaica Plain’s Most Beautiful Building? Here Are Your Answers

Jamaica Plain News asked people for their thoughts on what they feel is the most beautiful building in Jamaica Plain. Beauty is subjective, right? And the answers varied from the Loring-Greenough House to beautifully painted Victorian houses, a 12-sided home, and many others. We have to give props to GBH's Jeremy Siegel for the idea. And here are your answers, starting with a lovely home.


Holiday Gifts? JP Historical Society’s Got Great JP-Centric Items

Don't know what to get your favorite Jamaica Plainer (is that what you call someone from Jamaica Plain?)? Then check out the Jamaica Plain Historical Society's online shop. Added to the JPHS online store this month Check out the newly added holiday card as well as postcards featuring Jamaica Plain historic buildings designed by JPHS member Felipe Alvarez. There's an eco-tote bag featuring a very old looking Centre Street with a trolley track, an Orange Line mug, and a triple-decker postcard. There's also the masonic lodge rainbow hoodie.


Archaeological Survey at Loring Greenough House Searches for History of Enslaved by Property Owners

The city's Archaeological Program is conducting a dig this week at the Loring Greenough House and already found a few things of interest on the first day. The dig is taking place Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, and is open to the public to come and see how a historical excavation takes place. One of the big reasons of why the Loring Greenough House was selected for an archaeological survey is to try to uncover the history of inhabitants who were enslaved by the property owners, said the city's Archaeological Program Facebook page. The Lorings built the house in 1760 and enslaved at least three individuals. The Lorings fled the house in 1774 after animosity was directed at them due to being British loyalists.


History: Parochial Education In Jamaica Plain

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.


There Are Still Gaslights in Jamaica Plain

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.


Jamaica Plain’s Gaggle of Civil War Streets

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.


Jamaica Plain Historical Society Neighborhood Walking Tours Begin May 14

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.


History of 30 Carolina Avenue and 52 South Street

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.


Two Affordable Housing Developments and Church Recommended for Community Preservation Act Funding

Two affordable housing developments and a local church were among 52 projects that were recommended to receive Community Preservation Act funding. Mayor Michelle Wu and the city's Community Preservation Committee's recommendations totaled more than $27 million in grants. The two affordable housing projects recommended to receive funding are:

Stonley-Brookley -- $1,975,000 to partially fund the creation of 45 mixed income-restricted homeownership units in a new development. Community Preservation funds will support the 32 affordable units ranging from 80% to 100% Area Median Income (AMI). 127 Amory St.