ROXBURY 1834-1868


March 12, 1846. Roxbury became a city. Old board of selectmen replaced by a mayor,

8 aldermen and 24 city councilmen. Roxbury divided into 8 wards. John J. Clark first mayor.

May 24, 1851. West Roxbury incorporated as a separate town. Boundary between the towns was Seaver Street and over to Day and Perkins streets. By this division Roxbury lost 4/5’s of her territory.

1857 State Supreme Court rules that the 71 acres of the Back Bay is the property of the Commonwealth not Roxbury. The Mass General Court passed a law in 1859 confirming that the Roxbury boundary was Fairfield street. This deprives Roxbury of the development rights of the Back Bay.

March 24, 1866. Town of West Roxbury ordered that a 48 foot public way be built connecting Walnut Ave with the Dedham Turnpike ( Washington Street) to be called Egleston Square.

Jan. 6, 1868. Roxbury annexed to Boston by a vote of the two towns in Sept 1867. 1,832 Roxbury citizens voted for; 592 against.


1832. St James Church formed. Church built on St James street in 1834 First Episcopal Church in Roxbury. Razed for urban renewal.

Dec 6, 1846. Dedication of St Josephs Church. First Catholic Church in Roxbury. Parish included all of Roxbury, Dorchester, Brookline, Hyde Park, Dedham and Norwood. Razed in Feb 2005.

Land beneath the ledge of Tommy’s Rock bought in the spring of 1845. (Sometimes called Tommy’s Rock Church.) “Tommy” is Tommy Hommogen. a black man ( perhaps black- Indian) who lived in a gothic cottage at Washington and Circuit Street. He may have worked on McCarty’s cattle farm.


May 1, 1853. Notre Dame Academy completed. Designed by Patrick C. Keely. Land bought in June 1853 on an isolated hillside above the Dedham turnpike. Boarding school for Catholic girls to be educated as teachers in the parochial schools. Building razed and land taken in 1963 for urban renewal. Emmanuel College is a direct descendent.


1846. Forest Hills Cemetery. Mayor Henry A.S Dearborn successfully petitioned the city government to buy the 56 acre Joel Seavern’s farm for a country cemetery such as what he had a decade earlier designed at Cambridge called Mt Auburn. More land was added and the newly built cemetery was consecrated in 1848 and named Forest Hills Cemetery ; soon thereafter the ancient locale Canterbury disappeared and became Forest Hills

Original gate was a wooden Egyptian Revival arch that deteriorated and was replaced by a sandstone Gothic arch designed by the 25 year old Brookline architect Charles Panter in 1865.

The municipal cemetery was incorporated by the state legislature as a private non profit burial ground on March 11, 1868.

June 24, 1852. Mt Hope Cemetery consecrated, Transferred to the City of Boston in 1857.

May 31, 1868. Dedication of the Roxbury Soldiers monument. Soldiers Lot Forest Hills Cemetery Martin Milmore sculptor. Commissioned in 1866 by the Roxbury board of alderman; approved by mayor George Lewis; competed and temporarily displayed at Roxbury City Hall Dec 1867. Milmore’s home and studio was on Cabot st. He was an apprentice of Thomas Ball when Ball designed the Public Garden equestrian of Gen. Washington


1795- 1868 major Roxbury industries were tanneries, brewers, rubber making and iron foundry.

Tanneries were a colonial era industry. Guild & White Tannery established in 1847 at Lowell St corner of Heath St. Manufacturer of calfskins for gloves. Destroyed for widening of Lowell for extension of Columbus Avenue to Egleston Sq in 1898.

Highland Foundry. Part of Pierpont Mills complex Built in 1847 next to Guild & White. Produced a hollow iron and in 1867 obtained patent for the Peerless iron cooking stove.

Louis Prang factory established in 1856 at 280 Roxbury st. Chromolithography. In 1867 began manufacturing greeting cards and trade cards in color lithography. Born in Breslau Germany, he was an apprentice to his fathers dying and printing business cards. Lived at 29 Center Street,

Edward Howard Watchmaker. Established E Howard Watch & Clock Co in 1850 on 214 Eustis Street. Also located on Hampden Street.

1846. Roessle Brewery Company. John Roessle was a boot maker who bought part of Pierpont’s Mill on Lowell Street. ( 1250 Columbus ave.Site of RCC).He brewed the first lager beer in Boston.

1856. Burkhardt Brewery built at Parker + Station St.

1857. H & J Pfaff Brewery. 1276 Columbus Ave ( Site of RCC)


1.May 21. 1853. Metropolitan Street railway chartered to run horse cars on rails between Roxbury and Boston. Began operation Sept 1856 and replaced the horse drawn stagecoach omnibus. Cars began at Boylston Mkt. to Norfolk House in Eliot Square, second line met at Tremont House traveled over the neck to Norfolk House and then via Center St over Hogs Bridge to West Roxbury.

Carbarn stables at Roxbury Crossing built in 1859 near the railroad station. Repair shop, stable and harness shop. Shop built on the site of the Gore family tannery; Gores had been tanners for generations.

Carbarn built at 3134 Washington Street corner of School St in 1867 when service was extended to Forest Hills in 1865.

July 4, 1835.Boston & Providence RR opened 40 mile single track route from Charles St at Park Sq to Providence through Peirponts Village. Right of way still in use today. Passenger station at Roxbury Crossing ( Pierponts Village) by 1850. Second RR line to open in Boston. Expanded service to include freight in 1866.


1859. House of the Angel Guardian. Vernon Street Cornerstone laid in 1859. Land bought from the Norfolk Land Co in 1856 to build an orphanage for homeless Catholic boys. Relocated from Moon Street in the North End. Patrick C Keely architect. Razed 1976. Cupola removed and set up as ticket booth at Cyclorama bldg. On site of Madison Park row housing behind post office.


1846. Joseph Warren House . Warren estate originally covered 7 acres between Warren Place and Moreland Street. It was bought in 1687 by the housewright Joseph Warren, grandfather of the general, from the John Leavens estate - who owned the land by 1633. The first house on the land was built by the Warren family in 1720.

1836. Alvah Kittredge mansion

1841. Edward Everett Hale house built by a housewright and bought by Hale in 1869.

1854. Joseph W Hunnewell house. Bought by William Lloyd Garrison in 1864.


1851 Cedar Square donated by Alvah Kittredge,

1852. Horatio Harris Park . Established by City of Roxbury

ca 1845 Lucious Manlius Sargent cottage. 72 Seaver Street. Bought from AD Williams on June 25, 1845, house and barn. In 1828 Saregent bought 27 acres from Williams called the Long Crouch which today is part of Franklin Park. Saregent moved to Roxbury in 1829.

1867. Honeysuckle Hill. City of Roxbury park. Dale Street