JP History

The Jamaica Plain Historical Society will be holding three events in the coming months on local and regional history. The events are as follows:

250th Anniversary of the First Church in Jamaica Plain.

       The event will be held on Sunday, January 27 from 3:00  5:00 p.m at the First Church in Jamaica Plain 6 Eliot StreetBoston, MA, 02130.

       The 250th anniversary of an act of the Massachusetts colonial legislature finalized on May 26, 1773 is approaching.  The act defined the boundaries of a new standing order parish on the “pond plain in the Jamaica end” of the Town of Roxbury.  These standing order parishes were part of the organization of the colony, providing for the militia as well as taxation used for a meetinghouse and an educated teacher. It can be argued that the founding of the Third Parish of Roxbury (now the First Church in Jamaica Plain) coincides with the beginning of an established Jamaica Plain. 

       George Wardle, historian of the First Church in Jamaica Plain, will tell the tale of Suzanna and Benjamin Pemberton and how they doggedly lead their neighbors in a long process to get permission to carve out a new parish in the middle of Roxbury. They persisted in the quest despite opposition by the two existing parishes (who did not want to give up tax-paying parishioners to another church). It was quite a feat, one that was almost undone in 1786 during the economic struggles that occurred after the American Revolution. 

       Learn what the Jamaica Plain area was like at the time, who the other founding families were, and how Jamaica Plain fits into the story of 3 separate municipalities: Roxbury, West Roxbury and Boston.

       This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Snow date for this event is Sunday, February 10th.

The Boston Suffragists

       This event will be held on Saturday, March 30 from 1 – 3 the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, 30 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

       Women – and men – from Boston were very active in the movement to gain the vote for women.  Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, Clara Barton and others gave speeches, wrote articles, and marched in parades during the almost seventy year struggle.

       Come and listen to present day Bostonians as they read from these writings and speeches that reveal women’s determination to be able to vote in order to participate fully in the political life of the country.

       Judith Kalaora, from History at Play, will be a part of the program. Ms. Kalaora portrays a number of famous women through living history performances, including Deborah Sampson, Christa McAuliffe, and Hedy Lamarr.  We are very pleased to have her join us in the role of Lucy Stone, one of the most important figures in the woman suffrage movement.

       This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Co-sponsored by the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail and the JPHS.

William Dawes

       This event will be held on Sunday, April 7, from 2  to  4 p.m at the First Church of Roxbury, 10 Putnam Street Roxbury, MA 02119

       J.L. Bell who runs –  history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about Revolutionary New England – will speak on William Dawes. Nearly everyone knows of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride but most are unaware another rider took a dangerous route over the land, through Roxbury, to get to Concord that night too. [More details soon!]

       Join us at the First Church in Roxbury, 10 Putnam Street, Roxbury to learn more about this lesser-known hero of pre-Revolutionary Boston.                   This event is co-sponsored by the Roxbury Historical Society, the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry and the JPHS. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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