Posts in Colonial
Milestones, not signs, marked the way

En route to a recent meeting this chronicler was on the southern end of Blue Hill Avenue. On the outbound side, a rectangular granite marker almost four feet high, eight inches thick and nearly two feet wide was revealed. It had to be an early milestone in the tradition of the Judge Paul Dudley milestones (seen in finest form at the Civil War Monument here in JP).

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Colonial Stones Mark Miles from Old Roxbury to Old State House

Five monuments remain in the early Roxbury town limits (including West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain until 1851), untouched for the most part by politics, urban redevelopment, and other forms of change and still performing their original function (if one knows how to read them). There is another five such monuments that can be found in Brookline, Brighton, and Dorchester. They are milestones showing the distance to the Boston Town House (now the Old State House). 

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Eliot School in Session Here Since 1676

Jamaica Plain is home to the fourth-oldest school in the country. The Eliot School was founded 329 years ago in 1676. On Oct. 2, 1676, 38 “inhabitants of Jamaica or Pond Plain” got together and pledged money, payable in corn, to support the school for 12 years. Now called the Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts, the institution thrives to this day, offering classes to children and adults days and evenings, taught by highly skilled artists and crafts people.

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Jamaica Pond and Boston’s Water System

This article is based on a talk by Marcis Kempe, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, presented on December 7, 2014 at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. Mr. Kempe, an avid water-supply historian, discusses the early attempts by Boston residents to find drinking water on Shawmut peninsula. A system of wood pipes led eventually to the establishment in 1796 of Boston’s Jamaica Pond Aqueduct Corporation, which piped water directly to homes and businesses.

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