Known in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as the Jamaica End of Roxbury, the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain evolved from agrarian farmland for over 200 years into one of the more dynamic and inclusive neighborhoods of twenty-first century Boston.
A new book by Anthony Sammarco, noted author and historian of over sixty books on the history and development of Boston, entitled, “Jamaica Plain Through Time’ Sammarco explores the development of Jamaica Plain from farmland to an urban hub in Boston.
According to Arcadia Publishing this photographic history of Jamaica Plain, Sammarco, with contemporary photographs by Peter B. Kingman, has created a, “fascinating book that chronicles the neighborhood from the late nineteenth century through to the twenty-first century.”
“Jamaica Plain became one of the earliest streetcar suburbs of Boston with various forms of transportation linking it to downtown Boston,” said Sammarco in his introduction of the new book. “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 greenspace and open lands that were laid out by Frederick Law Olmstead as a part of the “Emerald Necklace” of Boston. Its bucolic setting led to Jamaica Plain being called The Eden of America.”
In the book, Sammarco points out that in the twentieth century, Jamaica Plain was also to become the location of numerous hospitals and institutions that provided care for Bostonians. “The Faulkner, Washington, Shattuck, Vincent Memorial, Massachusetts Osteopathic and the Veterans Administration Hospitals; the New England Home for Little Wanderers and the Trinity Church Home; the Boston School of Physical Education, the Eliot School, the Perkins School for the Blind and the Nursery for Blind Babies; the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Children’s Museum all contributed to Jamaica Plain’s pride of place in Boston,” Sammarco continues.
The book can now be found on Amazon for $23.44 in paperback form.
Sammarco is well known in Boston and within historical circles of the city. He lectures widely on the history and development of his native city of Boston. His books–Lost Boston, The History of Howard Johnson’s: How A Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became a Roadside Icon, Jordan Marsh: New England’s Largest Store, The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History, and Christmas Traditions in Boston have been bestsellers.
Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, where he was named educator of the year and serves on the Leadership Council.
For his work in history he has received the Bulfinch Award from the Doric Dames of the Massachusetts State House, a lifetime achievement award from the Victorian Society, New England Chapter and the Washington Medal from Freedom Foundation and was named Dorchester town historian by Raymond L. Flynn, mayor of Boston.
He was also elected a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is a member of the Boston Author’s Club and a proprietor of the Boston Athenaeum.
He splits his time between living in Boston and in Osterville on Cape Cod.