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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Smyrna Photographic Essay #2: Public Education

The following posting is a by-product of a project undertaken by the History Committee of the Smyrna Arts and Cultural Council in which more than 1400  historical photographs of Smyrna were gathered and topically categorized. This is the second of a series of Smyrna history photographic essays to appear on this blog, the first on …

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Nathaniel J. Bradlee: A Prolific 19th Century Boston Architect

This article made its first appearance in the Boston Tab newspaper on February 9th 2001, and subsequently appeared in my collection of Boston history essays, Boston Miscellany: An Essential History of the Hub (History Press, 2008). I offer it again here, accompanied by many additional  illustrations. WPM The Chestnut Hill Reservoir originally contained two basins---the …

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Smyrna Photographic Essay #1: Religious History/ Churches

The community of Smyrna originated in the late 1830s with the establishment of the Smyrna Campground by the Methodists of the area. The Campground served as a gathering point for religious services in a day when preachers rode circuit owing to their limited number and distances they were obliged to travel in this sparsely settled …

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