A Jamaica Plain Bibliography/2019

Originally developed from the Jamaica Plain: Collected Bibliographies, Boston Landmarks Commission, 1983, as part of its Jamaica Plain Preservation Survey. In 1991 , Walter H. Marx (a founder of the JPHS) revised and augmented this bibliography. BPL numbers represent Boston Public Library call numbers. In 2019, the JPHS added in as many online options as possible for the resources cited here.


Please see the Historic Maps page of our website for a complete listing of online maps. Another excellent resource is the Norman B. Leventhal Map Collection of the Boston Public Library. The Boston Planning & Devlopment Authority has historic neighborhood maps that can be overlaid onto current maps.

The Town of Roxbury by John G. Hales (surveyor, selectman, publisher), 1832; 100 rods=1 inch; shows churches and some industries; also included in both editions of F. S. Drake, The History of Roxbury, 1878 and 1910. BPL# Map 81.36.1832

The Town of Roxbury by Charles Whitney, 1843 with revised edition 1849; with churches pictured on top and bottom and houses indicated but not named, 24"X 30" - BPL# Map 81.36.1849

Jamaica Plain in West Roxbury from Walling's Map of the County of Norfolk, 1859 on a generously large scale; with all buildings indicated and named - West Roxbury Historical Society

A plan of Boston's Roxbury by N. Henry Crafts (city engineer), 1867; 500' = 1"; with major public buildings and named wharves; 36" X 40" - BPL# Map 81.3.1867

A Map of the Towns of Brookline and West Roxbury (1867) from frontispiece to The Brookline & West Roxbury Directory for 1868-69; with no buildings named nor indicated - Jamaica Plain Public Library Branch

Dorchester, Roxbury, and West Roxbury by Boston Suburban Book Company, 1907; 1200' =1"; with very detailed streets - BPL# Map 81.3.1907

View of Boston Highlands, Wards 19-22, by G. H. Bailey & Co., Boston, 1888; with border pictures of churches and factories and showing all buildings in view with a numbered key of many of them below; 30" X 36" - BPL# Map 81.36.1888

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Ward 23, City of Boston, by G. H. Bailey & Co., Boston, 1891; with border pictures of churches, municipal buildings, residences, and store blocks and showing all buildings in view with a numbered key of many of the buildings, 24" X 34" Norman Leventhal Collection at the BPL

Real Estate and Street Atlases

Boston Public Library History Reference Section, Copley Square or online resources: https://www.bpl.org/resources/history-and-political-science/

Boston Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston

Harvard Map Collection, Pussey Library, Harvard Yard

Boston Inspectional Services Department, 1010 Massachusetts Ave, Boston

Atlas of West Roxbury by Hopkins, Philadelphia, 1874

Atlas of West Roxbury by Bromley, Philadelphia, 1884, 1890, 1896, 1914, 1924 [all on JPHS Historic Maps page]

A Record of the Streets, Alleys, Places, Etc. in the City of Boston , City of Boston Printing Department, 1910


An Almanac & Business Directory for the Environs of Boston, by G. Adams, Boston, 1848, 1849, 1850, with ads and brief descriptions - BPL# 44892.5

The Roxbury Almanac and Directory, by G. Adams, Boston, 1847 through 1866 BPL# F74.R9.A18

The Brookline & West Roxbury Directory, by G. Goodnough, Boston, 1868, Jamaica Plain Branch Library

The Brookline, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury Directory for 1873-4, Dean Dudley & Co, Boston. Includes listings for both residents (alphabetical) and businesses (by category) in the last year that West Roxbury remained an independent town.

The Blue Book of Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and West Roxbury, N. Cambridge, 1895 through 1899; with ads and lists of residents - BPL# 2358.22

Clark’s Blue Book of Boston, 1881. Jamaica Plain Listing starts on page 123

Clark’s Blue Book of Boston, 1900. Jamaica Plain Alphabetical Listing starts on page 301

Boston City Directories - online and searchable, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1870, 1872, 1875, 1885, 1905 and 1925. Tufts University project allows you to search the full text of all the directories in their digital library (or combine your full text search with metadata).

The Blue Book of Roxbury and Dorchester, Boston, 1915 - BPL# 2359a.142

The Boston Blue Book or City Directory, Boston, 1876 through 1937 - BPL# F73.22.B8 or available on film in the Microtext Room on the Boston Public Library at Copley Square


The Boston Public Library offers an online newspaper archive (requires a Library Card account)

The Roxbury Advertizer (weekly) April 4, 1846 - December 29, 1848; first called The Mutual Advertizer BPL# N1169.14

The Roxbury Citizen (weekly) January 4, 1936 - present; now part of The Jamaica Plain Citizen - available in the BPL Microtext Room, BPL# AN2.M4.R7

The Roxbury Gazette & South End Advertizer (weekly) January 2, 1942 - available in the BPL Microtext Room, BPL# AN2.M4.R71

Jamaica News (weekly) January 1, 1897 - available in the BPL Microtext Room, BPL# AN2.M4.J38; The Jamaica Plain Branch Library has the years 1898, 1899, 1901, 1902, 1903

The Jamaica Plain Press (weekly) November 1939 - available in the BPL Microtext Room, BPL# AN2.M4.J380

The Jamaica Plain Citizen (weekly) January 1, 1937 - present; bound editions available for inspection along with The Roxbury Citizen (1942-1963) at the publisher, Tribune Publications, 1281 Hyde Park Ave., Hyde Park, Massachusetts and at the BPL Microtext Room, BPL# N2.M4.J35

Town Reports

The City of Boston Archives provides digital access to some items in their colletion https://www.boston.gov/departments/archives-and-records-management#digital-access

Roxbury Town Records (1648-1849), reels #217-18 - available in the BPL Microtext Room, BPL# F73.B7

West Roxbury Town Records (1851-1879), reels #222-25 - available in BPL Microtext Room, BPL# F73.B7

West Roxbury Town Reports (1851-1874) - yearly paperbound reports in the possession of the West Roxbury Historical Society at the West Roxbury Branch Library

Other Documents

Order of Exercises at the Celebration of the Completion of Two Centuries since the Settlement of Roxbury, October 8, 1830, single sheet - BPL# XH80.225 No.14

Roxbury Centennial, November 22, 1876; 104 pp. - BPL# F74.R9R9

Mayor's Address to the City Council of Roxbury (yearly, 1848 through 1867) - incomplete set, BPL# 6341.1

Commissioners on the Subject of the Union of the Cities of Boston, Roxbury, 1867, 20 pp., City Document #3 - BPL# 4455.152

Rufus Choate, Application to Set Off Wards 6-8 of the City of Roxbury as an Agricultural Town, Boston 1851, the noted Massachusetts lawyer (whose statue is in the Suffolk County Courthouse in downtown Boston) together with Jamaica Plain citizen, Arthur W. Austin (for whom Centre St. was renamed as long as the Town of West Roxbury existed) were spokesmen for the petitioners to the Massachusetts General Court in a successful attempt to separate West Roxbury from Roxbury. The document is useful for the social and political history of the town - available at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and at Harvard Widener Library 13187.41.10

Report of the Committee on the Location & Erection of a New Town House, West Roxbury, 1866, with an appendix by the architects, Ware and Van Brunt; the suggested location was not the one finally selected - available at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and at the Harvard Widener Library #13187.41.23

A. W. Austin, Address at the Dedication of the Town House of West Roxbury, Boston, 1868; a synopsis of the history of West Roxbury together with a review of the history of the separation from Roxbury in a very amusing writing style - available at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and at the Harvard Widener Library #13187.41.23

Ceremonies at the Dedication of the Soldier's Monument in West Roxbury, Boston, 1871, 32 pp.; primarily a record of the event and speeches but with a fine concluding description of the monument - available at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and at Harvard Widener Library #13187.41.25

General Published History

Charles M. Ellis, The History of Roxbury Town, Roxbury, 1847, 146 pp. - BPL# 2358.84 or B4129.59

Francis S. Drake, A History of Roxbury, Roxbury, 1878 (rep. by the City of Boston, 1910), chaps. 10-12; the most available source - BPL History Reference Room (#562.1.34) or BPL#6350a.41 and G293.1.34 and at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. JPHS has the 10th chapter (Jamaica Plain) on our website.

Roxbury Past & Present, ed. H. J. MacElaney, Boston, 1918, 98 pp. with plates and maps - BPL #4359.68

Harriet M. Whitcomb, Annals & Reminiscences of Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, 1897; a detailed lecture originally for a local ladies club in Jamaica Plain by one who on her death in 1941 was one of the oldest residents in the city - BPL#F74.J3W5 and Widener #13314.5 and Jamaica Plain Branch Library

Jamaica Plain Preservation Study, Prepared by Rosalind Pollan, Carol Kennedy and Edward Gordon for the Boston Landmarks Commission, 1983. Available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, 2 Volumes (Volume II gives some individual house histories by address)

Historic Sites in the West Roxbury District, City of Boston, 1907 and Jamaica Plain Branch Library

Jamaica Plain, Boston 200 Neighborhood Histories Project, Boston, 1976, 7 pp. and Jamaica Plain Branch Library

Jamaica Plain Community Study, United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston, 1964

Specific Published Histories

I. Loring-Greenough House
Eva Boyd, "Jamaica Plain by Way of London" in Old Time New England, Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Boston, and Jamaica Plain Branch Library

Eva Boyd, A Garden Pageant - The Place Remembers, Portraying Ten Episodes in the History of the Loring-Greenough House in the Neighborhood, Jamaica Plain, 1930 (reprint Jamaica Plain Historical Society, 1989) - BPL#F73.68.J3.B6

Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club, The History of the Loring-Greenough House, 1956 and at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Public Library

Jamaica Plain Tuesday Club, The Story of the Loring-Greenough House, n. d. and at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Public Library

Boston Landmarks Commission, Study Report for the House

II. The First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Dr. Thomas Gray, A Half-Century Sermon, Boston, 1842, pp. - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library: With a memorandum on town development and the "Eliot Lands"

F. Seaver, The Founders of the Third Parish of Roxbury in Jamaica Plain - Who They Were and Where They Lived in 1769, Boston, 1917 with map - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library

A History of the First Church Unitarian, n. d., 3 pp. - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library

III. Central Congregational Church
Ellen L. Ernst, The First Congregational Society of Jamaica Plain 1769-1909, Boston, 1909 - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library

IV. The Footlight Club
100th Performance 1877 - 1906, Cambridge, 1906 - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library

V. The Children's Museum
Adelaide B. Sayles, The Story of the Children's Museum, Boston, 1937 - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library

VI. Fire Department
A.W. Brayley, A Complete History of the Boston Fire Department, Boston, 1889 - available at the Boston Public Library

VII. The Adams Nervine Asylum
Annual Reports of the Managers of the Asylum, Boston

Boston Landmarks Commission, Study Report for the Asylum

VIII. The Bolyston Schulverein
History of the Boylston Schulverein, Boston, 1924; with English synopsis on pg. 28 - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library

IX. Jamaica Plain Neighborhood House
Marion C. Balch, A History of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood House Association, Boston, 1953 - BPL# HV878.B.35 The records of the JPNH are housed at UMass Boston and include a copy of this history.

X. Lewis Dawson Farmhouse

Boston Landmarks Commission, Study Report for the Farmhouse

Newspaper Articles

"The Old Home Town", Boston Sunday Post, December 12, 1943 - Jamaica Plain description with cartoon on full page

"Jamaica Plain - It Has Everything", Boston Post, January 9, 1944 - another full page description

"The Old Curtis Farm", Boston Globe, September 13, 1970, pg. B-49 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/hnpnewyorkbostonglobe/docview/758627547/73CBCDDD9D3A4AA9PQ/ (requires BPL account to access)


Henry A. May, Scrapbooks with Historical & Biographical Articles of Roxbury, West Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain (1890 - 1901), vols. 2-19, BPL#H80.217

W. H. Marx, Jamaica Plain Citizen, Jamaica Plain Historical Society, 1989 - present - a series of essays on local history originally printed in The Jamaica Plain Citizen. Enter ‘Walter H. Marx’ into the search option on the JPHS website to find most of these essays.


A List of 99 Ways of Spelling Jamaica Plain, Boston, 1886 - available in the Jamaica Plain Branch Library

Boston Architect Department, Annual Reports, 1891 through 1894, Boston; reports for the years when E. M. Wheelwright was City Architect and contains documentation for municipal buildings erected in Jamaica Plain, including some schools, the Jamaica Pond Boathouse, and a Precinct House addition - available in the Harvard College (Fogg Art Museum) Library #FA2635.2

Boston Planning & Development Agency (formerly BRA) Resources

The BPDA provides much of their documentation online via their website: http://www.bostonplans.org/

General Planning Documents
B65R General Neighborhood Renewal Plan, BRA, 1962 Jamaica Plain Summary

B65R Jamaica Plain Survey & Planning Application, Survey Jamaica Plain Renewal Area, n.d.

B65R Jamaica Plain Community Organization, c.1965 Comp 0

B65R J. Boland & R. Cady. Housing Market Study-Jamaica Plain

B65R Jamaica Plain, General Neighborhood Renewal Plan, 1965 G

B65R Draft Jamaica Plain-Parker Hill Planning District, n. d.

B65R Jamaica Plain, Background & History, n. d.

B65R Jamaica Plain Real Estate Analysis 1953-1955, n. d.

S51 Larry Smith & Co., Economic Analysis, Jamaica Plain E GNRP Area, prepared for BRA, 1964

B65R Code Enforcement Program - Jamaica Plain, 1965

B65R Jamaica Plain, Community Conservation Program - Application for Federal Grants

J62 Application for Federal Grants under the Provisions of BRA neighborhood improvement program, community facilities, open space land and urban beautification and improvement - Jamaica Plain, n. d.

D40.6 Survey of Properties Owned by the City of Boston, BRA BRA Planning Department, June 1970. Part 6, Jamaica Plain

B65R Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Improvement Program, n. d.

B65R Jamaica Plain Reference File

B65R Jamaica Plain-Mission Hill, Parks Study, Draft, BRA JM February, 1973

B65R Jamaica Plain, Background Information, Planning JP Issues and Preliminary Neighborhood Improvement Strategies, June, 1975

Development Studies & Proposals
B65R Cabot Estate Studies, n. d.

B65R Cabot Estate Open Space Task Force Report, 1971

B65R Cabot Estate - Summary of Alternative Development CaS Schemes, n.d.

R21 Replacement of the Agassiz/Old Agassiz Elementary BRA3 Schools, BRA, May, 1965

R61 Hughes, John T., Jr. A Police Station for the Consolidation H of Division 13 & Division 17, Boston, MA. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of B. Arch, MIT, Boston, 1960.

T10 Jamaica Plain Community Council. Impact of the Proposed J Expressway on Jamaica Plain, January, 1968.

T40 Tippets-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton. Roxbury-Jamaica Plain T499R (Boston), MA. Areawide Topics Plain, No. 40. Prepared for the Mass. DPW in cooperation with the US/DOT, FHA. Chestnut Hill, MA. Sept. 1972.

D40 Boston's Southwest Corridor Development Potential; B65R analysis and projection of the social & economic B impact, August, 1974.

Miscellaneous Documents
B65G.B Boston Globe. Boston's Neighborhoods. n.d.

C436 Centre St., An Exhibit & Fair by the Boston Children's C Museum, 1975

R37 Jamaica Plain Community Council Youth Committee. J How does Jamaica Plain provide for its youth? A survey of youth programs in Jamaica Plain. Boston, 1967