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Dorchester History (cont'd)

By 1800 many Yankees had farms in Dorchester, some quite large; then in 1844 the first railroad lines were built by Old Colony, despite bitter opposition by the residents.  Horse-drawn streetcars ran down Washington St. and Dorchester Ave. from 1857, and at this time the Yankees began to sell their farms and move south or west to Milton or Brookline.  This caused a sudden and unreplaced loss of leadership, and in 1870 Dorchester was annexed as a part of Boston.

This was also the time when real estate flourished on a grander scale, as the emerging wealthy middle class chose Dorchester as the place to have architects build them houses in the newest styles, such as Queen Anne, Shingle, Colonial Revival, and Bungalow.  Close enough to the city to commute quickly to their jobs, yet so suburban they could keep horses, sheep and the occasional cow, these families enjoyed a way of life we can still glimpse today through Dorchester's architecture.

By the turn of the century, much of Dorchester was filling rapidly with second-generation Irish Americans, and the first triple deckers were built.  Dorchester today is a truly multicultural collection of neighborhoods where, although life-styles have of necessity become increasingly urbanized, lovely, spacious homes still abound and are affordable, and community spirit and commitment endure.

If you are interested in more history on Dorchester and its communities please refer to my community links page.

, Boston 200 Neighborhood History Series

Massachusetts State Senator  Brian A. Joyce Room 413A State House, Boston, MA. 02133


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