History

Mr. Lincoln on the stump: A visit to Lower Mills

By 
Peter F. Stevens, Special to the Reporter
Feb. 17, 2011

On September 16, 1848, a tall, angular Congressman with dense, slightly unkempt dark hair strode behind the podium of Richmond Hall, in Dorchester.

He had come to campaign for the Whig Party’s presidential candidate, General Zachary Taylor, hero of the Mexican-American War. As the Congressman began to speak in his folksy Illinois manner, the residents crowding the hall took the measure of that speaker, thirty-nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln.  Read more

Mystery rock: Was memorial meant to honor WWI hero?

By 
Alex Owens, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 24, 2010

The plaque-less stone monument in Savin Hill’s McConnell Park. 	Ed Forry photoThe plaque-less stone monument in Savin Hill’s McConnell Park. Ed Forry photo

Savin Hill resident Heidi Moesinger has probably walked by the mysterious stone in McConnell Park hundreds of times, never knowing why it was there.

The stone, which sits about 50 feet from the park’s playground, is surrounded by a low, black fence and rests on a small hill overlooking the beach.

On the side facing the ocean, a faint, oval-shaped shadow and drill holes remain, suggesting that the stone was adorned with a plaque in the past. According to local residents, the rock has been sitting there for more than 60 years, but despite the fact that it looks to be some kind of monument, no one seems to be sure what it is meant to honor.  Read more

OFD: Everett remains one of nation's greatest statesmen and orators

Richard A. Katula, whose book The Eloquence of Edward Everett, America's Greatest Orator will be published this spring, is participating in a program at the Dorchester Historical Society on February 22, at 2 pm. The following is adapted from his book.  Read more

Made in Dorchester: Exhibit to showcase 19th century pewter

The Gleason Pewter and Silver Plating Company on Washington Street: Photo courtesy Dorchester Historical Society.The Gleason Pewter and Silver Plating Company on Washington Street: Photo courtesy Dorchester Historical Society.  Read more

JFK Museum highlights inaugural address in exhibit

Inauguration Day, 1961: In front of the Capitol.Inauguration Day, 1961: In front of the Capitol.With less than a week left before Barack Obama makes his inaugural address, he might heed instructions President John F.  Read more

Long before Salem, Dorchester executed its own 'witch'

Every year around this time, the town of Salem, MA observes a rather macabre part of their local history as they mark the executions of 14 women and five men, all accused witches, that occurred there over several days in 1692.

But decades before Salem began its bloody purge, Dorchester was the site of an apparent "witch" execution.

In 1648, eighteen years after Dorchester's first English settlers arrived, Alice Lake was arrested right here in Dorchester for witchcraft and, according to historical documents recently uncovered by a distant relative, was executed.  Read more

MyTown tours contemplates Fields Corner as next stop

A popular teen program that shepherds tourists down the side streets and lost histories of the South End is being courted for a possible expansion into Fields Corner.

Historic Boston Inc. helped bring a stable of Fields Corner figures together for a MyTown tour of the South End's Columbus Avenue last Wednesday and afterward feted tourists and tour guides alike at a Vietnamese noodle shop nearby, all to help put a new spotlight onto the corner's history.  Read more

Settled before Boston, Dorchester home of many firsts

By 
Earl Taylor, president, Dorchester Historical Society
May. 29, 2008

Settled by passengers from the Mary and John about June 1, 1630, Dorchester originally was one of the largest towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and included South Boston, Hyde Park, Milton, Wrentham, Stoughton, Dedham, Sharon, Foxboro, and Canton. The town remained a rural farming community until its annexation to Boston on January 4, 1870.  Read more

Once a toll road, Dorchester Ave. is a route that is rich in history

By 
Rev. Daniel Dunn
May. 28, 2008

As our Dorchester Day Parade Marshal assembles the official cars "across the bridge," they will be in Milton, which was part of the Town of Dorchester, until it became a separate town in 1662. Proceeding to the official starting point, the cars will cross the Neponset River at the spot where the Federal Triumphal Arch was erected in 1798, to commemorate the ratification of Jay's Treaty.  Read more