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Once a part of Roxbury, West Roxbury was originally known as Westerly. Located six miles from Roxbury's town center at Meeting House Hill, which was settled by Puritans in 1630, Westerly was composed of farms and large estates. In 1840, Brook Farm, a transcendental community striving to live and commune with nature, brought fame to the hamlet. In 1851, after years of agitation headed by the Honorable Arthur Austin, West Roxbury officially separated from Roxbury and became an independent town. Meanwhile, the Boston and Providence Railroad, with various depots, such as Bellevue, Highland, West Roxbury, and Spring Street, launched a building boom that continued unabated well into the twentieth century. New streets and houses soon fragmented the farms and large estates. West Roxbury chronicles the development of this desirable and well-regarded Boston neighborhood through vintage images from the collection of the West Roxbury Historical Society and modern photographs taken by Charlie Rosenberg.
About the Author
Anthony Mitchell Sammarco is the author of over forty books on the history and development of Boston and teaches at the Urban College of Boston. Rosenberg is vice president of the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.