Brookline Historical Society
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Reminiscences of the Civil War by Burt Wilder, Surgeon
In 1863, Massachusetts formed the 54th regiment specifically to recruit free men of color and newly-freed slaves to fight in the Civil War. The response was so great that an additional regiment for black soldiers was formed, the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Burt Wilder was a white officer and surgeon for the 55th. He was known anti-slavery views and for his great respect for the men of his regiment. As a scientist, he spent his life actively refuting the racist narratives that persisted after the war. His wartime diaries were later published as Practicing Medicine in a Black Regiment: The Civil War Diary of Burt G. Wilder, 55th Massachusetts. This article from the Brookline Chronicle is an account of his speech at Brookline Town Hall on May 30, 1914.
Fundraiser for the Veterans of the First Regiment Massachusetts Infantry, Civil War
1911. At the 50th Anniversary of their muster-in date.
Brookline Members of the First Regiment Massachusetts Infantry, Civil War
Citizens of Brookline Who Died in the Civil War
On March 26, 1884, Brookline created a committee to erect monuments in Town Hall honoring those Brookline citizens who died in the Civil War. This document lists their names and the details of their service.
Eleanor Hardy, circa 1882
1869 - 1953; married, Oct 2, 1890, Dennis Miller Bunker; married, 1893, Charles Adams Platt; parents: Alpheus Holmes Hardy and Mary Caroline Sumner; lived on Linden Place, circa 1877; lived on Walnut St. by Cypress St., circa 1879.

Her father was Alpheus Holmes Hardy, a merchant involved in the India trade via a business he took over from his father, and her mother was Mary Caroline Sumner. In 1889 at a reception, Eleanor met Dennis Miller Bunker, a rising star and ultimately major figure in American painting. They married October 2, 1890 and moved to New York City where he would teach. During a Christmas visit to her family back in Boston that year he got meningitis and died. He painted a portrait of Eleanor of Eleanor that hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1893, she married Charles Platt, a close friend of her husband whose wife had also died. Platt was an artist, landscape designer, and architect. Among his works were the gardens at the Larz and Isabel Anderson estate and the Brandegee estate, both in Brookline, and the Freer Gallery of Art building in Washington.

A friend of the Platts, the muralist Henry O. Walker, used Eleanor as the model for the mural "Wisdom of the Law" in the appellate court building in Madison Square in New York (1898-99). In 1968, her son Geoffrey, as the first chairman of the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission, was in the courthouse facing a challenge to the preservation law when he looked around (reported the New York Times) "to find a very familiar face staring at him from the courtroom wall. He said ‘My God, there was mother, and I knew everything would be all right.’" In 2000, the courthouse building was restored by the architectural firm Platt Byard Dovell White led by Geoffrey’s nephew, Eleanor’s grandson, Charles Platt.
Alice Amory, circa 1882
Alice Amory dated her tintype album February 18, 1882. This photo, the first in the album, is unsigned and it is likely she. Born 1865, Brookline. Her father was Robert Amory, a well-known physician who later quit medicine to spend ten years as president of the Brookline Gas and Electric Light Company. Her mother was Marianne Appleton Lawrence, daughter of Amos Adams Lawrence, a prominent Brookline resident. The family lived at 7 Colchester St. from approximately 1868 to 1884, the house still stands. Her mother died in 1881; her father remarried in 1884; and the family moved to 279 Beacon St., Boston. In 1892, Alice married Augustus Thorndike.
Beacon St. Just West of St. Mary's St., 1-Jul-1909
Looking east toward Boston. #1017 Beacon St. near foreground on the far right. The awnings on the storefronts are also visible. All buildings on the right are still standing. Near foreground on the far left the front steps of the house at #1032 Beacon are visible, it is no longer standing.
[Source: Smithsonian]
Beacon St. Just West of Carlton St., 1-Jul-1909
Looking east toward Boston. #1073 Beacon St. near foreground on the far right, midway between Hawes St. and Carlton St. On the left is the building comprising 1056-1064 Beacon St. All still standing.
[Source: Smithsonian]
Beacon St. Just West of St. Mary's St., 1-Jul-1909
Looking east toward Boston. #1021 Beacon St. near foreground on the far right. The brownstones on the left are no longer standing.
[Source: Smithsonian]
Woman's Christian Temperance Union Poster Against Saloons in Massachusetts
"Stroke a blow at Saloon" it reads, in reference to an upcoming vote on April 22, 1889.
Map of Brookline
Lower Washington St. at Walnut St.
Looking east with Walnut St. coming in from the right. Partial view of the Brookline House, an eating establishment started by Aaron Whitney circa 1865.

Photo from the Brookline Chronicle, July 8, 1943
1560 Beacon St.
Built in 1892 for Benjamin Lombard Jr., a banker and real estate executive. The Lombards moved to 349 Coomonwealth Ave. circa 1905 and King Gilette, the inventor of the modern razor blade, bought the house circa 1907 and lived there until 1913. The house was torn down in 1944.
The Pollock School, 28 Alton Place
The Pollock School, 28 Alton Place
338 Washington St.
Northwest corner of Washington and Thayer. House of Martin Kingman from 1866 to 1913, when it was demolished.
[Source: Digital Commonwealth]
Beacon St. & Englewood Ave, Reservoir Hotel, 1887
Looking east on Beacon, standing at today's Strathmore Rd. Englewood Ave enters on the left.

From the 1887 photo series taken just before the widening of Beacon St.
358 Washington St.
Long time residence and business location of Jonathan Dean Long (1819-1889), carpenter and builder, roughly across the street from the library. He was also listed in the town directory as a horticulturist and there is a sign advertising “Plants And Flowers For Sale “ in front of the house. The people pictured here do not seem to match those in Long’s family.
[Source: Digital Commonwealth]
High St. Corner, Brookline Village, circa 1905
Standing on the corner of Walnut St. and High St. looking northeast towards Lower Washington St. Left, on High St., is the rear of Henry J. Pineo, Carpenter and Builder. On the corner, with Walnut St. going to the right, are several outbuildings of Michael W. Quinlan, Carriages and Harnesses, whose main business is off screen to the left, on the corner of Boylston St. and High St.
[Source: Digital Commonwealth]
High St. Corner, Brookline Village, circa 1905
Standing on today's Rt.9. To the left is the corner of Hose House #1 and Chemical Engine #1. To the right of that, also on Lower Washington St. is P. J. Burns, Horse Shoe Forge. On the upper right, are the High St. businesses of George M. and Thomas K. Forster, Upholsterer and Henry J. Pineo, Carpenter and Builder.
[Source: Digital Commonwealth]
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