Historian Anthony Sammarco's newest book Jamaica Plain Through Time chronicles the neighborhood from the late 19th century through to the 21st century. The following is from Sammarco's book with contemporary photographs by Peter B. Kingman. Known in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as the Jamaica End of Roxbury, the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, evolved from agrarian farmland for over 200 years into one of the more dynamic and inclusive neighborhoods of twenty-first century Boston. Jamaica Plain became one of the earliest streetcar suburbs of Boston with various forms of transportation linking it to downtown Boston. With horse drawn streetcars, the Boston & Providence Railroad as well as the Boston Elevated Railway, by the turn of the twentieth century, the ease of transportation allowed a thriving nexus of cultures to move to a community that not only saw tremendous residential and commercial development, especially with the numerous breweries along the Stony Brook, but also green space and open lands that were laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted as a part of the "Emerald Necklace" of Boston.
Love Love, a Boston band with JP ties, is debuting the video for their song "I Like You Weird" here on Jamaica Plain News. The tune's a candidate for neighborhood anthem. Take a look and listen at the embedded video and see if it doesn't have a JP vibe. In addition to the sentiment of the song itself being very JP, the video includes shots from The Midway Cafe and the Pond. The band includes JP singer/songwriter Chris Toppin, who also teaches music in the neighborhood and coaches at Girls Rock Camp, which is mostly based out of Spontaneous Celebrations.
Running a free community event like the JP Music Festival is great fun — even behind the scenes. The festival itself brings together the people of JP and Boston (and many Brooklinites sneak over the border) to celebrate great, local, live music. Every year the thousands of people who come discover just how much amazing musical talent lives and works in our ‘hood. As a group of JP residents (okay, a couple of us have migrated to Dorchester), part of the fun of putting on a free community event is raising the money to pull it all off. The committee is led by Rick Berlin and Shamus Moynihan as co-producers and the festival committee is currently Margie Nicoll, Kellie Cardone, Justin McCarthy, Ferris Mueller, and Charles McEnerney.