Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How to See Boston in 1890

Here we have an excerpt from a guidebook on touring Boston's brewing district. The area is certainly no longer the pastoral outskirts of a busy city, though Franklin Park and Arnold Arboretum still provide a leafy respite for the weary city dweller. Only the Haffenreffer Brewery (called Boylston Brewery here) lives on as the headquarters for the Boston Beer Company.



"By this route we 'do' the most rural of the outlying districts of the city. Within it are elegant country estates and charming rural homes, and the walks about it are exceedingly pleasant. In this district, also, are the great Franklin Park, yet to be improved, but already a most inviting place ; the Bussey Institution and Arnold Arboretum, connected with Harvard University ; and Forest-Hills Cemetery. The latter can best be reached by steam-cars over the Providence Division of the Old Colony Railroad ; and there are street-cars direct to Forest Hills, through the Roxbury District, and to Franklin Park by way of Oakland Garden, by the street-railway.

"Street-cars for Jamaica Plain start from the Tremont House, Tremont Street, a short walk from our general starting-point ( Scollay Square ). The ride out is directly through Tremont Street and the South End.

"At the Roxbury Crossing of the Providence Railroad, just beyond the Roxbury station, Tremont Street turns to the right. The Brookline cars here follow the line of Tremont Street, while the Jamaica-Plain cars continue almost straight ahead up Pynchon Street.

"We are here in the midst of the breweries district. Over to the right, across the railroad-track, we can see the great Burkhardt and Vienna breweries. Burkhardt was one of the pioneer German beer brewers of Boston and vicinity. His brewery is the solid, substantial, stone structure. The Vienna brewery is of brick, and a more modern building.

"As we enter Pynchon Street, we can see up Roxbury Street, on the left, Prang's extensive art-establishment, which we have already noticed in a previous route. Soon we pass, also on the left, the immense brewery of John Roessle—a fine structure of brick, with yards and outbuildings well-kept, all wearing an air of substantial prosperity. Next to the Roessle brewery is that of Pfaff, and, beyond that, the Norfolk brewery. Across the way, at the right, on streets parallel with Pynchon Street, are the great Highland Springs and Burton breweries. Farther along, not to be seen from the car, but not a great distance beyond, is the Boylston brewery. Others are in this neighborhood."

-How to See Boston: A Trust Worthy Guide-book By Grand Army of the Republic National Encampment. 24th, Boston, 1890, National Encampment, Grand Army of the Republic

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