‘Jamaica Plain Through Time’ Takes Readers on Historical Tour of Neighborhood

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.

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Coronavirus Collateral Damage: Funerals, Animal Vets, Art Schools, Wake Up The Earth Festival, All Affected

The damage wrought by COVID-19 is permeating all aspects of society. Our funerals are being affected, our woodworking classes are being cancelled, and our beloved Wake Up The Earth Festival is not happening May 2. The Forest Hills Cemetery was consecrated in 1848, and it's not clear if there's ever been restrictions placed on the number of attendees allowed at funerals. But now there are -- in accordance with Governor Charlie Baker's executive order, burials are now limited to 25 people, according to Forest Hills Cemetery's website. Along with the 25 person limit, there are other new protocols:
We are requesting that all family members remain in their cars until the casket has been placed at the gravesite and the Cemetery personnel have left the area.

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Video: 3-Year-Old Gives Amazing Tour Highlighting Jamaica Plain!

A young boy (and his mother) made an incredible one-minute video highlighting all of his favorite things about Jamaica Plain -- the restaurants, train stations, barber shop, libraries, bicycles, karate classes -- and more! Holding a toy train to start, Santiago Arroyo begins in front of the Egleston Square mural across from the T and makes his way to the Egleston Community Garden, and then moves on to restaurants by highlighting the original Chilacates, JP Licks (what kid doesn't like ice cream?), Pikalo, and Exodus Bagels. He shouts out all the bicycles to ride, neighborhood libraries and playgrounds, mentions he takes karate classes with his mother and grandmother(!), and talks up the firefighters of Engine 28. Then he really gets into the action -- by getting a trim at Flaco's Barber Shop, and a teeth cleaning at the Brookside Community Health Center. He ends by showcasing JP's T stops.

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Stonybrook Neighborhood Slow Streets Meeting May 8

There will be a community meeting to discuss the traffic diverter pilot project that was previously installed on Dungarven Road in the Stonybrook neighborhood on May 8. The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) installed the pilot traffic diverter on Dungarven Road, which was just south of the intersection with Gartland Street, on June 15, 2018 and removed in October 2018. At the upcoming meeting, the BTD will share a summary of data and observations collected before, during and after the traffic diverter was installed. Resident feedback that was collected will also be shared, and residents will be able to provide feedback at the meeting. The strategy of the diverter was supposed to:

Discourage people from driving the wrong way on Washington Street
Discourage drivers from cutting through Hatoff’s driveways
Discourage and eventually end wrong-way driving on Williams Street
Reduce the number of people navigating the low-visibility intersection of Dungarven/Kenton
Reduce the volume of thru traffic on Kenton Road

This public meeting will be at 6:30 pm on May 8 at English High School (144 McBride St.).

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The Wake Up The Earth Parade (Egleston Square branch) makes its way to the festival.

Let’s Wake Up the Earth! WUTE Festival and Parades on May 4

The annual Wake Up the Earth Festival and Parades are one of the best days of the year in Jamaica Plain -- and the festival is this Saturday. This year is the 41st Wake Up the Earth Festival! The festival has a fascinating creation story. It began in 1979 when a group of local neighbors and activists came together to stop the Interstate 95 expansion into Jamaica Plain -- and won their fight! Organized by Spontaneous Celebrations, the parades are boisterous, creative, with bands, stilt walkers, dancing, giant puppets, and of course, dogs in costumes!

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