In the 1600s, William Blaxton set up his farmstead on Beacon Hill because it was far from the bustle of the city. John Hancock’s uncle Thomas Hancock built his mansion on the hill in the 1700s so he could enjoy a rural lifestyle. In the early 1800s, future mayor of Boston Harrison Gray Otis moved to Beacon Hill because it was the new and fashionable neighborhood he was helping create. Louisa May Alcott, in the 19th century, and Robert Frost, in the 20th, lived on the hill because the literary set loved the neighborhood’s picturesque streets and close quarters that made it easy to get together for conversation. The 9,000 residents who live in this small, urban neighborhood of Boston today appreciate its walkability, convenience, quirkiness, and neighborliness. The historic architecture, ever-burning gas lamps, rugged bricks, and one-of-a-kind shops prove that the best of the past can live comfortably with the novelty of the present.
About the Author
Karen Cord Taylor founded the Beacon Hill Times and served as its editor and publisher for almost 15 years. She is the author of Blue Laws, Brahmins and Breakdown Lanes: An Alphabetic Guide to Boston and Bostonians.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Colonial and Revolutionary Days 9
Chapter 2 Early-19th-century Builders 21
Chapter 3 Abolitionists and Authors 37
Chapter 4 Laying Groundwork in the 20th Century 53
Chapter 5 Resurgence 71
Chapter 6 A 21st-Century Neighborhood 97