Walking Tour of Stony Brook

Join the JP Historical Society to explore a fascinating industrial area at the geographic heart of Boston that includes 19th-century tannery and brewery buildings, the homes of early German settlers, and today’s Boston Beer Company, the brewers of Samuel Adams. In the 1970s, a coalition of community groups joined together to block construction of the Southwest Expressway through Jamaica Plain and other Boston neighborhoods. Today, the Southwest Corridor Park that runs through the Stony Brook neighborhood stands as a testament to the power of community activism. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.

Walking Tour of Sumner Hill

Join the JP Historical Society to visit Sumner Hill. Developed as a suburb by General William Hyslop Sumner in the mid-nineteenth century, this National Historic District includes one of the finest collections of Victorian houses in the area. The tour includes the ancestral home of the Dole Pineapple Company founder as well as the homes of progressives who were active as abolitionists and women suffragists. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.

Walking Tour of Monument Square, JP

Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to tour a residential area that includes a National Historic District. View architecture that spans three centuries; the oldest community theater company in the United States; and an elegant 18th-century mansion that once served as the country’s first military hospital. Learn about the monument that commemorates fallen Civil War soldiers from West Roxbury and about Pauline Agassiz Shaw who established the class that became the model for continuous free kindergarten education. We will visit a house dating to 1716 that once served as a tavern, the Eliot School dating back to 1689, the home of the first woman to graduate from MIT and the First Church Burial Ground. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain.

William Dawes’ Secret

William Dawes, Jr., is known today only as the other rider who carried news of the British army march to Lexington in April 1775. Like the more famous Paul Revere, Dawes was deeply involved in the Patriot movement for years before and after that date. This talk reveals Dawes the militia organizer, the fashion icon, even the arms smuggler whose secret mission for the Patriots’ Committee of Safety helped bring on the Revolutionary War. The speaker will be J. L. Bell, who is the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War. He maintains the Boston1775.net website, offering daily helpings of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about Revolutionary New England.

Hidden History of Boston Book Talk

Though arguably America's most historic city, Boston also claims its share of little-known events. Our colonial past saw riotous mobs celebrating their hatred of the pope in an annual celebration called Pope's Night; William Monroe Trotter, champion of civil rights at the turn of the last century, published the independent African American newspaper the Boston Guardian; In 1991, a centuries-long turf war played out on the streets of quiet Chinatown, ending in the massacre of five men in a back alley. The cover of the book features Amelia Earhart who got a flying start in Boston. In her new book, author and historian Dina Vargo shines light into the cobwebbed corners of Boston's hidden history. Dina Vargo is a volunteer docent for Boston by Foot, where she developed an interest for writing off-beat walking tours.