Boston Rambles

Boston Rambles

A Rambler Walks and Talks About the Hub of the Universe

Posts filed under History

Foreign and Familiar

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there “ Opening line from The Go-Between, by L.P. Hartley, 1953. I had the great good fortune some years ago to study with the late Eugen Weber, one of the most charismatic lecturers I have had the pleasure to hear. Fortunately for us, many of… (read more)

Across the Muddy River

The Muddy River at Washington Street in Brookline is unimpressive. Water from Leverett Pond on the south passes through a culvert under the street and drains into a small, almost unnoticeable creek on the north side, to continue to eventually to the Charles River.  And yet, merely by crossing the narrow ‘stream’ below the latest… (read more)

Exit Timing

A brief analysis of the routes out of Boston to Watertown and beyond, also called the Upper Post Road. It is easy to take the relative ease of travel in the modern world for granted. I recently visited India for the first time and, in the course of traveling, I reflected how long and difficult… (read more)

Roxbury: Time Travel (WTPR#7)

“Rightly to estimate the present, we must invoke the past, of which we ourselves are the product, and its study cannot fail to teach us the importance of perpetuating those elements of true greatness in New England character bequeathed to us by our Puritan ancestry, and in which their descendants take a justifiable pride.” Francis… (read more)

More Blues

As I waited for luggage at the Terminal A baggage carousel in Logan Airport recently, I noticed a promotion on a nearby wall for Boston’s Grove Hall neighborhood. The poster advertises all the great things waiting to be discovered in the neighborhood. Visit Franklin Park Zoo! Tee up at William Devine Golf Course! Explore Olmsted’s… (read more)

Taking the High Road in Roxbury and Dorchester

The Last of the ‘Old Roads’ from Boston is the road variously referred to as ‘The Way to Braintree’ or the ‘Upper Road to Dorchester.’ It is the last in the sense that the road was laid out in the 1660s to provide a shorter route to the bridge over the Neponset River at what… (read more)

The Road to Harvard, Part 2

One of the difficulties in doing a project of this nature is the internal tension between a desire to produce these entries in a steady stream and the fear of making mistakes or of being superficial. I have an urge to generate as many entries as I can as quickly as possible. I also know… (read more)

The Road to Harvard

In a couple of previous entries I described the original road to Cambridge from Boston which passed along the Neck and through Dudley Square, winding its way to Brookline and what is today Allston and Brighton, crossing the Charles River at what is today the Larz Anderson Bridge and ending at Cambridge Common. I wrote… (read more)

The Road to Braintree

 Dudley Square, Roxbury, Massachusetts. I moved to Braintree, Massachusetts in February 1977 from the semitropical island of Bermuda. I had never seen snow and the ground in Braintree was covered in it. Lots of it. Also it was extremely cold, something for which I was completely unprepared. Also, as a teenager moving to a new… (read more)