A German Tourist in 1916 Jamaica Plain

Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_uniforms_of_the_United_States

Courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_uniforms_of_the_United_States

This article originally appeared in the Boston Globe on November 16, 1916

This is the story of a personally conducted tour through Jamaica Plain.  It began about 6:45 last evening, and it lasted for about two and one half hours.  And if there were any streets that escaped, it wasn’t the fault of patrolman Joseph Cunningham of Station 13, the conductor, or Mrs Louisa Cline of 16 Dixville St., South Boston, the conducted.

The tour began in this wise: Patrolman Cunningham was walking along Burroughs St. a few minutes before 7 o’clock when a woman rushed up.  "Aber, wo ist das? —" and she trailed off into the mysteries of German. Patrolman Cunningham had left his German at home on the piano.  After a desperate attempt he gathered that she was looking for 8 Amory St.

As she seemed at a loss, he decided to take her to the address.  And just here the tour began.  When the tourists got to 8 Amory St. they found that it was the wrong place.  Patrolman Cunningham asked her who the people were she was to meet.  She didn’t know.  Then she had an inspiration.  It wasn’t Amory St. after all.  It was Burroughs St.  

Back the party went.  They hunted up 8 Burroughs St.  No use; they were wrong again.  Cunningham strove again to get the name of the person sought by Mrs. Cline.  She couldn’t remember it.  But she thought that the street might be Parkman St.  The tour now turned to that highway, but there was no one at No 8.  Certainly that wasn’t the place.  

The next inspiration of the conducted was South St.  By this time Patrolman Cunningham was getting his stride.  The preliminary had been mere play.  He decided that they would begin at the car barn and "do" every street in the vicinity.  They did.  And when it was all over, although the conductor was a willing guide, he decided that he had done his share of walking for about a month, so the tourists turned toward the police station.

Lt. Riordan was flabbergasted when the party arrived.  Mrs. Cline overwhelmed him with a torrent of German.  He hurried to the desk and rang for the sole German policeman in the station.  But that gentleman was floored by Mrs. Cline as easily as the others.  

Finally, after nearly 15 minutes questioning, Lt. Riordan managed to inform the conducted that she was not under arrest.  He only wished to know where she lived.  And as soon as he extracted that bit of information, he got busy with the telephone.

Twenty minutes later a man and woman entered the station.  They were Mr. and Mrs. W. Heinmann of 8 Enfield St, Jamaica Plain.  They were in a great to do.  They had arranged to meet - "Ach, ya! Aber es ist das Enfield St." came an excited voice from the seat near the wall where Patrolman Cunningham and the conducted were seated.  And then followed an excited and heart-gladdening greeting.

After the matter had been all straightened out, and the two ladies and Mr Heinmann had closed the door behind them and walked down the steps, Patrolman Cunningham stood up and scratched his head.  "Well, I’ll be darned."