A Walking Tour of the Brighton Center National Register District: Part 1

by William P. Marchione A visit to the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum, located at the bottom level of the Smith Senior Center on Chestnut Hill Avenue, is recommended in advance of taking this walking tour.  The museum, which is just a few steps from stop #1 in our tour, is organized around six themes in the …

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Smyrna Transportation History, part 2, after 1870

1. The North Atlanta and Marietta Streetcar Line, 1905-47 With the introduction of electric streetcars into the City of Atlanta in 1889, a process of rapid extension of streetcar service to the suburbs was set in motion. Not until 1905, however, was Electric streetcar service extended through Smyrna by  the North Atlanta and Marietta Streetcar line. …

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Photo Essay #4, part 1: Smyrna’s Transportation History, 1828-1870

The following photo essay, presents over 50 images with commentary relating to aspects of the transportation history of Smyrna and South Cobb up to 1870.  Part 2, which will follow within the next few days, will carry the transportation history of the area forward to the present day. WPM 1. North Georgia Land Hunger and the …

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Martin Milmore: Boston’s Great Civil War Sculptor

The last of the more than 100 historical columns that I wrote for the Boston Tab and Allston-Brighton Tab newspapers between 1998 and 2002, this piece on the life and career of the noted Boston Sculptor Martin Milmore never appeared in print, nor was it included in either of my books of collected articles. Only …

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Photo Essay #3: Smyrna’s Old Downtown

The following images of Smyrna's Old Downtown are arranged in approximate chronological order.  Smyrna's downtown was largely demolished in the 1989-90 period to allow for the widening of traffic choked Atlanta Road. Please bear in mind that the age of the buildings pictured here cannot be established with absolute certainty in every instance. Nor is …

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James L. L. F. Warren of Brighton: Horticulturalist. Reformer, the “Father of California Agriculture”

This article first appeared in the Boston Tab newspaper on September 21, 1999. It was subsequently published in my book Allston-Brighton in Transition: From Cattle Town to Streetcar Suburb (2007) - WPM Bostonians have made many significant contributions to the development of California and the Pacific Northwest. In the 1790 to 1792 period a Boston-owned ship, the Columbia, …

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Oral Interview with Helen Terrell McGee, age 91, and Nancy McGee, part 2

Davenport Town, the racially segregated black neighborhood on the eastern edge of Smyrna Bill Marchione: I wanted to ask you if you had any experience of the black neighborhood called Davenport Town. Helen McGee: Yes, actually one of the black ladies that used to live in Davenport Town used to do our washing years ago, and …

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Oral Interview with Helen Terell McGee, age 91, and her daughter, Nancy McGee of Smyrna, Georgia, June 2011, part 1

This oral interview with Helen Terrell McGee and her daughter Nancy McGee was conducted in June 2011. Helen McGee passed away at age 95, in 2014.  Helen’s mother, Bess Embree Terrell, kept a diary documenting her day-to-day activities in Smyrna from 1927 to 1942. They were made available to me when I was researching my …

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John McLane Oral Interview, part 2: Gordon Street, Allston and Vicinity

Bill Marchione: What do you recollect about transportation in your early years? John McLane: Of course, we had the old semi-cars. Some of them turned around at Oak Square. They were a noisy streetcar. Streetcar changing directions at Oak Square, Brighton, with Faneuil Street and Bigelow Hill in the background I’ve seen a lot of …

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John McLane, An Oral Interview Part 1: Recollections of the Historic Lake Street Neighborhood of Allston-Brighton

John McLane, age 89, retired Boston fire fighter and life-long resident of Allston-Brighton John McLane, was 89 years of age in 2001 when I conducted this interview. He had lived in Allston-Brighton his entire life, residing during his first ten years (1912-22) in the Lake Street area of Brighton (the neighborhood in which I also …

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