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flag  History of Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

Visit Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA - Blake House, 1912  The James Blake House is the oldest surviving house in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The house was built in 1661. Dorches

Dorchester, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA

On May 20, 1639, the first free American public school, the Mather school, was founded in Dorchester.

Dorchester includes: Calf Pasture, Canterbury, Cedar Grove, Central Avenue, Codman Square, Fields Corner, Glover's Corner, Grove Hall, Harrison Square, Harvard Street Station, Lower Mills, Meeting House Hill, Neponset, Savin Hill, and Uphams Corner.
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Postcards and Memories of Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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There is MUCH more to discover about Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Dorchester Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Blake House, 1912

The James Blake House is the oldest surviving house in Boston, Massachusetts, U
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Blake House, 1912

The James Blake House is the oldest surviving house in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The house was built in 1661. Dorchester Historical Society

The house was built in a Western English style of post-medieval architecture by James Blake, an immigrant from England. The Blake family owned the house until 1825 when it was acquired by the Williams family. In 1891, the City of Boston acquired the house. wikipedia

The house's original occupant was James Blake, a deacon who was born in Pitminster, England in 1624, emigrating with his parents to Dorchester in the 1630 's. James married Elizabeth Clap (the daughter of Deacon Edward Clap and niece of Roger Clap) in 1651, and it has been suggested that the house was built in anticipation of this marriage. boston.gov
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Walter Baker Chocolate Mills (Webb Mill, and Baker Mill), Dorchester, Mass.
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Walter Baker Chocolate Mills (Webb Mill, and Baker Mill), Dorchester, Mass.

"The Baker Chocolate Company is the oldest producer of chocolate in the United States. The company was initially established when a physician named Dr. James Baker met John Hannon on the banks of the Neponset River. Irishman John Hannon was penniless but was a skilled chocolatier, a craft which he had learned in England and which was, until now, exclusive to Europe. With the help of Baker, Hannon was able to set up a business where he produced “Hannon’s Best Chocolate” for 15 years. In 1779, Hannon went on a trip to the West Indies and never returned. His wife sold the company in 1780 to Dr. Baker who changed the name to Baker Chocolate Company. The Baker's Chocolate brand now belongs to Mondelez International..." wikipedia
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Dorchester High School, 1913

Dorchester High School was founded in 1852 in what was then the inde
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Dorchester High School, 1913

Dorchester High School was founded in 1852 in what was then the independent town of Dorchester, Massachusetts. In 1870, Dorchester was annexed by the City of Boston and Dorchester High came under the jurisdiction of Boston Public Schools. When a new school building on Peacevale Road opened in 1925, the student body was split. Dorchester High for Boys moved to the new facility, while Dorchester High School for Girls remained in the Codman Square building.[2] In a Boston School Committee vote in 1953, the school again became co-educational when the Dorchester High School for Girls was closed. wikipedia
Edward Everett Square

Edward Everett Square, in Dorchester, Boston, is the intersection of Columb
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Edward Everett Square

Edward Everett Square, in Dorchester, Boston, is the intersection of Columbia Road, Massachusetts Avenue, East Cottage Street and Boston Street, that was named in 1894 after a former Governor of Massachusetts, Edward Everett, who was born near there. wikipedia
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Walter Baker & Co.
Dorchester, Mass.

The Ladies' Home Journal
January 1898
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Walter Baker & Co.
Dorchester, Mass.

The Ladies' Home Journal
January 1898
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Washington Street, Dorchester, Mass.
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Washington Street, Dorchester, Mass.
First Parish Church and Lyceum Hall, Dorchester, Mass.
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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First Parish Church and Lyceum Hall, Dorchester, Mass.
New W. E. Endicott School, Blue Hill Ave., 1908

2 McLellan Street, Dorchester
Built 1906
James
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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New W. E. Endicott School, Blue Hill Ave., 1908

2 McLellan Street, Dorchester
Built 1906
James E. McLaughlin, Architect

William Endicott (1842-1903) served for 40 years in the Boston Schools. He was Master of the Christopher Gibson School. Born in Canton, Mass., he served in the Civil War, then he started teaching in the Christopher Gibson School in Dorchester in 1866.
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Municipal Building, 1906
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Municipal Building, 1906

Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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"Meeting House" Hill Unitarian Church, 1906
Codman Square, Washington St. Second Cong. Church

Baker’s Corner was re-named Codman Square for t
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Codman Square, Washington St. Second Cong. Church

Baker’s Corner was re-named Codman Square for the Rev. John Codman, the first minister of the Second Church, who presided as minister of the church from 1808 until he died in 1847. Rev. Codman was a well known minister, famous for his “fire and brimstone” preaching. codman.org
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Eaton Sq., 1910

Coppen Square, a small green at the corner of Bowdoin and Quincy Streets, was ori
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Eaton Sq., 1910

Coppen Square, a small green at the corner of Bowdoin and Quincy Streets, was originally named Eaton Square after Percival Eaton, whose family kept a tavern there from the time of the American Revolution to the Civil War. wikipedia
Grove Hall, 1910

The first 200 years of settlement (1650-1850) was characterized by farms, summer
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Grove Hall, 1910

The first 200 years of settlement (1650-1850) was characterized by farms, summer estates, and orchards, including, in 1832, the estate of horticulturalist Marshall P. Wilder who used the land to experiment with many varieties of fruit trees, plants and flowers. The name “Grove Hall” is derived from the name of another estate and mansion owned by Thomas Kilby Jones, a Boston merchant who developed the property around 1800. That estate dominated the Grove Hall crossroads for a century and later served the community for many years as a health center. The growth and decline of New England’s largest Jewish community centered in this neighborhood is documented as the most important facet of the neighborhood’s history between 1906 and 1966... Grove Hall Neighborhood Study, egc.org
Home of Edward Everett Hale, 1910
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Home of Edward Everett Hale, 1910
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St. Margaret's Church
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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St. Margaret's Church
Blaney Memorial Baptist Church & Parsonage
Dorchester Lower Mills, Mass.
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Blaney Memorial Baptist Church & Parsonage
Dorchester Lower Mills, Mass.
Convalescents Home
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Convalescents Home
Mary Hemenway School
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Mary Hemenway School
W. E. Russell School, 1911

In 1903, the William E. Russell School in Boston's Dorchester neighbor
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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W. E. Russell School, 1911

In 1903, the William E. Russell School in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, designed by James Mulcahy, was named in his honor. wikipedia
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Harris School
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Harris School
Henry L. Pierce School
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Henry L. Pierce School
Parsonage & St. Peter's Church
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Parsonage & St. Peter's Church
Dorchester Temple
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Dorchester Temple
Women's Club
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Women's Club
Colonial Club
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Colonial Club
High School for Girls
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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High School for Girls
Immanuel Church
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Immanuel Church
Boston Public Library, Codman Square Branch
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Boston Public Library, Codman Square Branch
St. Marks Church
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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St. Marks Church
Mather School, Meeting House Hill, Dorchester, Mass.
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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Mather School, Meeting House Hill, Dorchester, Mass.
St. Hughes Church
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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St. Hughes Church
The Carney Hospital

Carney Hospital was established in 1863 in South Boston by Andrew Carney with
Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

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The Carney Hospital

Carney Hospital was established in 1863 in South Boston by Andrew Carney with a $75,000 donation and with Sister Ann Alexis Shorb, Carney's choice for its first administrator and a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. It was located on the former Hall Jackson Howe estate on Old Harbor Street on Telegraph Hill. The hospital was designed by Boston City Architect Charles Bateman. wikipedia
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Discover Dorchester: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1630 - In September 1630, Governor John Winthrop and the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlers traveled to the peninsula, known as Shawmut by the Algonquins, and founded Dorchester, the first part of the city of Boston.

www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/ state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html

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1639 - May 20 - The first free American public school, the Mather school, was founded in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston


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1717 - March 7 - The Great Snow, a composite of four winter storms to hit the eastern U.S. in nine days, finally came to an end.
Snow depths averaged 60 inches following the storm. Up to four feet of snow fell around Boston MA, and snow drifts 25 feet high were reported around Dorchester MA.
The Weather Channel
1839 - Dorchester
Dorchester, Massachusetts
Norfolk county. This ancient and respectable town lies on Dorchester bay, in Boston harbor, 5 miles S. from Boston and 7 N.E. from Dedham. Population, 1837, 4,564. It was first settled by a party of Puritans from England. These pilgrims landed from the ship Mary and John, at Nantasket, on the 11th of June, 1630, and on the 17th day of that month they located themselves at the Indian Mattapan, and called it Dorchester, in honor of their pious and learned friend, the Rev. John White, of Dorchester, 120 miles W. from London. The town was incorporated on the 7th of September following, and included most of the territory of the towns of Milton, Canton, Stoughton, Sharon, and that part of Boston on which stand "Dorchester Heights," memorable for their sudden conversion into a fortress, for the protection of Boston harbor, by order of Washington, on the night of March 4, 1776. These lands were obtained from the Indians by purchase, not by combat. The present limits ... Read MORE...

1845 - DORCHESTER. [Pop. 4,875. Inc. 1630.]
NORFOLK COUNTY

Dorchester was named after Dorchester in England, from which some of the first settlers came. The Indian name was Matapan.

Dorchester originally included what aie now the towns of Milton, Stoughton, Sharon, Foxborough, and Canton.

The Burial Ground contains some of the oldest and most curious memorials to be found in the State.

Lieutenant-Governor William Stoughton was a citizen of Dorchester ; and Richard Mather, one of its earliest ministers, was the father of Increase Mather, and the grandfather of the learned Cotton Mather, of Boston.

Dorchester is celebrated for its country-seats, and the delightful prospect from its hills. The place was selected by the settlers, because that peninsula of it, which is now South Boston, was ' a safe place for keeping sheep.'

Distance from Dedham, 7 miles ; from Boston, 4.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1854 - Dorchester
Dorchester, a post-village of Norfolk county, Massachusetts, on Dorchester bay, and on the Old Colony railroad, 5 miles S. of Boston. It has considerable shipping, chiefly employed in the whale and other fisheries, and contains several churches and two banks. Dorchester may properly be regarded as a suburb of Boston. Population of the township, 7969.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1869 - Dorchester Annexed to Boston
Dorchester the Indian name of which was Mattapan, was named in honor of the Rev. John White, of Dorchester, the capital of Dorset County, England. It was incorporated as a town September 7, 1630; annexed to Boston June 4,1869.

A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts, with Numerous Illustrations Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.; revised and enlarged by George J. Varney. Boston: B.B. Russell. 1890, 724 pages
1870 - January 3 - Dorchester is annexed to Boston

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1873 - For the Love of "Rob"
A widow in Dorchester, Mass., has been three times married. Her first husband was Robb, the second Robbins and the third Robinson. The same door plate has served for the whole three, and the question now is, what extended name can be procured to fill out the remaining space on it.
Harrisburg Telegraph
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
March 1, 1873
1891 - SIX LIVES LOST. A PLEASURE PARTY THROWN INTO THE WATER BY THE VESSEL OVERTURNING.
Boston, Aug. 10. - A sad accident occurred on Dorchester Bay yesterday afternoon by which six persons lost their lives. The yacht Nay, owned and sailed by Captain J. M. BURKE, started on a cruise about the bay yesterday afternoon, having on board four men and five children. There was a light breeze blowing, but yachtsmen say the boat was overcrowded. In tacking the vessel keeled over too far and the entire party was thrown into the river.

Skipper BURKE, aged 46, was one of the victims.

The others who were lost are:
THADDEUS MANTHON, aged 30.
NELLIE BURKE, aged 11.
JAMES BURKE, aged 8.
THOMAS CARMODY, aged 11.
ANNIE CARMODY, aged 13.

VINCENT BURKE, aged 14, FERGUS CHURCHILL, aged 30, and THOMAS BALLARD, aged 30, succeeded to clinging to the overturned boat from which they were taken by a passing boat when they were almost exhausted. The bodies of the victims have all been recovered.
The Evening Bulletin
Maysville, Kentucky
August 10, 1891
1895 - Dorchester
Dorchester, a former town of Suffolk co., Mass, situated on Massachusetts Bay, 4 miles S. of Boston, on the Old Colony Railroad and the New York & New England Rail road. It is now the 16th ward of Boston, to which it was annexed in 1869. It is bounded on the S.E. by the Neponset River, has a hilly surface, and presents picturesque scenery. Here are extensive manufactures of various articles, and many fine country-seats. Dorchester post-office is now a branch of Boston post-office. Pop, in 1890, 18,048.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
2023 - Here's a list of places to visit and things to do in Dorchester:
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum: This iconic museum is located on Columbia Point and is dedicated to the life and legacy of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. It features exhibits on his presidency, the Kennedy family, and the era of the 1960s.

Savin Hill Beach: Enjoy a day at the beach at Savin Hill Beach, which offers beautiful views of the Boston skyline. It's a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking during the summer months.

Dorchester Heights: Visit this historic site, where during the American Revolutionary War, George Washington's troops fortified the hill to force the British to evacuate Boston in 1776. You can explore the monument and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Franklin Park: This expansive park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted offers a wide range of activities. You can go for a walk or jog along the trails, have a picnic, play sports, or visit the Franklin Park Zoo.

Franklin Park Zoo: Located within... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Dorchester Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about 233 ancestors who were born or died in Dorchester.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Dorchester.

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male ancestorThomas HOLCOMB (7 April 1605 - 7 September 1657) and female ancestorElizabeth FERGUSON (11 November 1617 - 7 October 1679) married 14 May 1634
male ancestorWilliam HANNUM (1603 - 1 June 1677) and female ancestorHonor CAPEN (1616 - 1 December 1680) married 1634
male ancestorJohn STRONG (October 1605 - 14 April 1699) and female ancestorAbigail FORD (8 October 1619 - 6 July 1688) married 30 December 1636
male ancestorJohn CAPEN (26 January 1613 - 4 April 1692) and female ancestorRedegon CLAPP (7 May 1609 - 10 December 1645) married 20 October 1637
male ancestorHenry WOODWARD (1610 - 7 April 1683) and female ancestorElizabeth MATHER? (1615 - 3 August 1690) married 1638
male ancestorRichard EVANS (1614 - 1661) and female ancestorMary UNKNOWN (1618 - ) married 1638
male ancestorHenry LAKE (08/14/1611 - 02/21/1673) and female ancestorAlice IREOD? (1620 - 6/05/1658) married abt. 1640
male ancestorJohn MINOT (2 April 1626 - 12 August 1669) and female ancestorLydia BUTLER (23 February 1629 - 24 January 1667) married 19 May 1647
male ancestorEdward BRECK (1595 - 2 November 1662) and female ancestorIsabel RIGBY (1610 - 21 June 1673) married August 1647

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Updated: 9/15/2023 2:23:47 PM