Streets of Brookline

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Brookline Village, circa 1873
This unique photo is a rare photo of the early stages of the expansion of Brookline Village northward away from the business center on Lower Washington St. It shows the first two buildings of Colonnade Row which have just been built and populated with the initial businesses. A third building would be added on the right in 1875. All are still standing as are the original cast-iron pillars visible on the store fronts.

The horse-drawn car is being pulled on rails which were first laid in 1859 to effect a much-needed improvement over the slow and bumpy rides of the trackless Omnibuses which were essentially enlarged stage coaches. This horse car is being pulled northward either to the final stop at Washington and School Streets or to the final stop at Harvard and School Streets. At these final stops the horse(s) would be unhitched and attached to the other end of the car and the route retraced.

There are three stores in the building on the left:
  • The first store, at #243, appears unoccupied
  • In the middle, at #239, is the dry goods store of Walter Martin
  • On the right, at #235, is the grocery store of George F. Joyce who would later expand and relocate up the street
There are three stores in the building on the right:
  • The store on the left, at #227, is the apothecary of Charles P. Ladd
  • In the middle, at #223, is the store of George Turnbull, the first tailor in Brookline
  • On the right, at #219 Washington St., is the Brookline Savings Bank which had just been incorporated in 1871
In the distance the old railroad depot can be glimpsed with a sign for the American Telegraph Company. It also housed the post office.

From the collection of Leo Sullivan