JP History Special Section : Jamaica Plain Historical Society Announces Walking Tours

Please join members of the Jamaica Plain Historic Society (JPHS) for our 24th season of historic walking tours. All JPHS tours are free to the public and are offered on dates shown. All tours are held on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. sharp.

Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed. 

A map showing the starting points of the walking tours can be found here. 

July 27 Green Street

July 28 Southwest Corridor Park (Special Sunday tour)

August 3 Woodbourne

August 10 Jamaica Pond

August 17 Monument Square

August 24 Sumner Hill

August 31 Stony Brook

September 7 Hyde Square

September 14 Green Street and Hyde Square in Spanish

September 21 Woodbourne

September 28 Jamaica Pond

Green Street

Laid out in 1836, the street played a key role in Jamaica Plain’s development, functioning as a residential, commercial, and transportation conduit in the lives of the district’s residents. Although Green Street was subdivided as early as 1851 for stores, factories and houses, it was not extensively developed until the late 1870s with construction continuing until the early 1900s. The Bowditch School was completed in 1892, and early in the 20th century the United States Post Office moved from its location on Call Street at Woolsey Square to its new location at the corner of Green and Cheshire Streets.

Leaves from Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, 640 Centre St.

South West Corridor

Free Guided Walking Tour of the Southwest Corridor Park will take place on Sunday, July 28 starting at 11:00am from in front of Jackson Square MBTA station on the Orange Line. Conducted by the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.

Hyde Square

Learn about 1840s Hyde Square when German and Irish immigrants transformed the neighborhood with their businesses, schools, and institutions. See how in the early 1960s, Hyde Square changed again when Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican immigrants transformed it into Boston’s first predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. This tour also takes us to the home of Maud Cuney Hare, a prominent music historian and one of only two black women students at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1890. You will also learn about the property currently housing the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center which was once a site of the Perkins School for the Blind. The tour will also walk through the Sunnyside neighborhood, the site of homes built by philanthropist Robert Treat Paine from 1889 to 1899 as a “worker’s utopia” for working families.

Leaves from Brendan Behan Pub, 378 Centre St.

Note: this tour will be given in Spanish on September 14th

Aprende sobre la plaza Hyde en la década de 1840 cuando los inmigrantes alemanes e irlandeses transformaron el vecindario con sus negocios, escuelas e instituciones. Veremos cómo a principios de la década de 1960, Hyde Square volvió a cambiar cuando los inmigrantes cubanos, puertorriqueños y dominicanos convirtieron el vecindario en el primero predominantemente hispano de Boston. Este recorrido también nos lleva a la casa de Maud Cuney Hare, destacada historiadora de música y una de las dos únicas estudiantes negras en el Conservatorio de Música de Nueva Inglaterra en 1890. También aprenderemos sobre la propiedad que alberga el Centro Médico para Animales Angell de MSPCA. que fué el sitio de la Escuela Perkins para Ciegos. El recorrido también recorrerá el vecindario de Sunnyside, construido por el filántropo Robert Treat Paine de 1889 a 1899 como una “utopía del trabajador” para las familias trabajadoras. 

Los recorridos duran entre 60 y 90 minutos y se cancelan en caso de fuertes lluvias. No se requieren reservas, basta con ir al punto de partida a la hora indicada. 

Monument Square

Tour a residential area that includes a National Historic District. View architecture that spans three centuries; the oldest community theater company in the United States; and an elegant 18th-century mansion that once served as the country’s first military hospital. Learn about the monument that commemorates fallen Civil War soldiers from West Roxbury and about Pauline Agassiz Shaw who established the class that became the model for free, public kindergarten education. We will visit a house dating to 1716 that once served as a tavern, the Eliot School dating back to 1689, the home of the first woman to graduate from MIT and the First Church Burial Ground.

Leaves from Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St.

Jamaica Pond

Once a district that only included the houses of Boston’s elite, the Pond later was put to industrial use as tons of ice were harvested there each winter. Learn about the movers and shakers such as Francis Parkman and James Michael Curley who made their homes on the Pond’s shores. Discover how the Pond was transformed from private estates and warehouses into the parkland we know today.

Leaves from the Bandstand, Pond St. and Jamaicaway. 

Stony Brook

Explore a fascinating industrial area at the geographic heart of Boston that includes 19th-century tannery and brewery buildings, the homes of early German settlers, and today’s Boston Beer Company, the brewers of Samuel Adams. In the 1970s, a coalition of community groups joined together to block construction of the Southwest Expressway through Jamaica Plain and other Boston neighborhoods. Today, the Southwest Corridor Park that runs through the Stony Brook neighborhood stands as a testament to the power of community activism.

Leaves from Stony Brook Orange Line T station.

Sumner Hill

Developed as a suburb by General William Hyslop Sumner in the mid-nineteenth century, this National Historic District includes one of the finest collections of Victorian houses in the area. The tour includes the ancestral home of the Dole Pineapple Company founder as well as the homes of progressives who were active as abolitionists and women suffragists.

Leaves from Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St.


This neighborhood developed from 19th-century summer estates into a model suburban enclave. It contains examples representative of New England architecture with designs by local architects and builders. It also contains an unusual garden city model housing development by the Boston Dwelling House Company which was founded in 1912.

Leaves from Bethel AME church steps, corner of Walk Hill and Wachusett Sts.

All photos and information are found on the webpage of the Jamaica Plain Historical Society,

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